CFL DFS Week 11: Are You Up for the Task-er?
Welcome to CFL DFS Week 11, which is bound to be a great one with the amount of action that is set to occur. Technically there will have been five games played by the time Monday night is over, but DraftKings has included games starting Thursday (skipping Wednesday’s game). Like DraftKings, this week’s rankings have seen a significant change. For the first time this season, we have a top receiver that isn’t named Bowman, Walker or Williams. Instead, this week’s strategy when creating your lineup is to target the second tier of receivers. I won’t spoil it for you, but you won’t believe how far the mighty have fallen at the WR position.
Hamilton – 31
Calgary – 30.5
Winnipeg – 28.5
Ottawa – 26
Edmonton – 24
Toronto – 23.5
Montreal – 23.5
Saskatchewan – 23
1. Zach Collaros, HAM
2. Trevor Harris, OTT
3. Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY
4. Ricky Ray, TOR
Has Zach Collaros impressed you yet? After waiting about two months for his return, all he has done is throw for 1,151 yards and 11 touchdowns (just one interception). He’s redeveloped a great chemistry with his receivers and we’ve seen Luke Tasker and Terrence Toliver really excel since his return. Collaros’ matchup is middle of the pack at best and Hamilton has an implied team total of 31, the highest of the week.
Collaros is the clear number one, but if there is a guy who can put up the points with him this week then it’s Trevor Harris. Harris was pretty sharp against BC last week, a tough matchup, but only threw for one touchdown against them. That won’t likely likely happen again even if their implied team total is 26. Montreal’s defense has been great in 2016, but gave up some big numbers earlier in the season.
Bo Levi Mitchell is a good cash game option if your lineup just doesn’t work with near 11k quarterbacks, but he’s very limited in his upside. He has thrown for three touchdowns just twice this season and has had four games of zero or one touchdowns. Even against Edmonton, a great matchup, his upside is limited because of Jerome Messam’s ability to reach the end zone (four straight games with a rushing touchdown for Messam). Calgary has the second highest implied team total, so Mitchell does have that going for him.
Ricky Ray’s first game back since injury will come Wednesday (after the time of writing this), so keep an eye on how he plays and who he targets. If he plays well then slot him in here as a viable cheap option that opens up some variety in your lineups. He should be restricted strictly to tournaments because the matchup is just average and he has shown in the past he can be very hot and cold.
1. Tyrell Sutton, MTL
2. Jerome Messam, CGY
3. Travon Van, OTT
4. Shakir Bell, EDM
5. Michael Ford, SSK
Tyrell Sutton is the exact CFL DFS running back I’m looking for when choosing a player at this position. He generates a nice amount of touches on the ground (11 per game in 2016), but also sees a lot of action through the air. In his three games this season, he has caught four, five and seven passes. Just last week he saw eight targets, bringing seven of them down for 65 yards. Those numbers provide a high floor and make him a great cash game option against Ottawa on Thursday.
Jerome Messam is priced too high for us to want to use in anything other than multi-entry tournaments, but you have to respect his game. The guy has a touchdown in four straight games and has seen some of the best usage numbers for a running back during that span. Over those four games, he has averaged 13.3 carries and 3.5 receptions per game. Edmonton has one of the worst defenses in the CFL and Messam should do quite well against them. It is just too hard to spend $8,000 at running back this weekend in cash games when Sutton is $1,000 cheaper.
Travon Van might be the best value running back on the board with a price $200 cheaper than Sutton this week. His matchup is tough, as Montreal ranks as one of the best in terms of yardage allowed this season. But Van has generated plenty of touches this year to make him an attractive, low-priced option. Like Sutton, Van has started just three games this season (weeks 1, 2 and 10). In those starts, Van has carried the ball 12 times in each to go along with 4.3 receptions per game. When deciphering between Van and Sutton, look to Van in tournaments and Sutton in cash games.
Shakir Bell had a monster game in week 10, his 2016 debut, rushing for 138 yards and bringing down four receptions and one touchdown against Saskatchewan. That will happen against a defense like the Roughriders’, but this week he’ll face a tougher defense (Calgary) with a higher price tag ($5,500). I still like Bell, but don’t feel so inclined to use him at that price. Edmonton should rely on him for another 15 or so touches, which is great considering the cost savings he provides. Use Bell where you want to fit in the Hamilton trio or one of the three elite priced receivers in tournaments.
Kendial Lawrence has seen limited touches for a starting running back and it’s because of Michael Ford. Ford has seen action at running back over the last two games, rushing eight times and bringing down another eight passes. He has also added return yardage in all three games he has played this season. He’s your punt running back option in week 11, providing a floor of about 7-8 Fantasy points with upside of about 12-13 if he can find the end zone or bust a long play.
Wide Receiver (High-Priced)
1. Luke Tasker, HAM
2. Terrence Toliver, HAM
3. Naaman Roosevelt, SSK
4. Greg Ellingson, OTT
5. Chris Williams, OTT
6. Adarius Bowman, EDM
7. Clarence Denmark, WPG
8. Derel Walker, EDM
Luke Tasker came up strong up for the DailyRoto community last week, generating 31 Fantasy points for “JSousa46” and his lineup that took down two tournaments in week 10. With that kind of production how can I not rank him number one this week? Hamilton has the highest implied team total on the slate (31) and a quarterback that is red hot since his return from injury. There is likely just one to two more weeks of Tasker not being priced at elite receiver prices, so let’s enjoy it while we can.
Terrence Toliver comes at a much cheaper price ($7,600) and doesn’t have a whole lot more risk than Tasker. He has caught four touchdowns over his past three games (all games Collaros has started) and has gone for an amazing 380 receiving yards during that span. Toronto’s pass defense is one of the worst against passing offenses, making this trio of options from Hamilton (Collaros/Tasker/Toliver) a special one.
You might not realize it because of how bad his team is, but Naaman Roosevelt is one of the best receivers in the CFL. His numbers this season rank him at the top or close to it in basically every category. He’s leading the CFL in targets (92), coming in second in receptions (62) and fourth in receiving yards (877). With Roosevelt’s usage it’s very hard to overlook him in lineups where you want to load up on two higher priced receivers or where you want to fade Tasker.
Greg Ellingson has been great over his last two games, but it’s his performance last week that has me excited. He caught five passes for 142 yards with Trevor Harris back at quarterback for the Redblacks. Chris Williams was Harris’ top target when the season started, but the time off has possibly created better chemistry between he and Ellingson. The matchup is tough, but Ellingson should be low owned with upside, thus making him a great tournament option.
Chris Williams, Adarius Bowman and Derel Walker continue to have mirror seasons this year and this time it’s not for a good reason. After starting their seasons red hot, all three have majorly cooled down. Williams has been the best recently, hence why he’s ranked above the other two, but isn’t currently priced appropriately. While I love Williams in tournaments this week, I can’t use him in cash games with the other great options on the board that come at much cheaper prices. Bowman and Walker have seen their production decline lately and while James White is likely out this week, that same injury didn’t help them in week 10. Use these two Eskimos’ receivers in tournaments only.
Clarence Denmark has really outdone himself in his three starts this season. The Montreal defense held him to just five receptions for 53 yards, but he was unstoppable against Toronto and Hamilton in his first two starts of the 2016 season. In those two games he caught a total of 14 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns. With a matchup like Saskatchewan it’s hard not to love Denmark in every format. The Blue Bombers have the third highest implied team total (28.5) and Denmark has shown to be the top receiver in this offense over the past four weeks. (UPDATE: Beware. It looks like Weston Dressler and Ryan Smith are practicing and could play this week. If this is the case then Denmark and Mayo become extreme tournament options at best. I will be staying away from both if those two are healthy enough to play. This would also make Dressler/Smith great options in all formats)
Wide Receiver (Value)
1. B.J. Cunningham/Nik Lewis, MTL
2. Thomas Mayo, WPG
3. Caleb Holley, SSK
4. Davaris Daniels, CGY
5. Kendial Lawrence, SSK
With Duron Carter out for this week’s game we see two Montreal receivers starting to generate some buzz. Those two are B.J. Cunningham and Nik Lewis. As we’ve talked about in the past, Lewis is the safe option across the middle and in short yardage routes, making him an elite cash game option this week. With Carter out, he should see his targets easily reach double digits. Cunningham sees more targets down the field and therefore has more risk. Even then, I’m still a big fan of his against Ottawa. Cunningham caught eight passes for 80 yards last week with just about everyone in the offense back for Montreal.
Thomas Mayo ranks high after bouncing back from just three receptions in week eight. Winnipeg has the pleasure of facing off against Saskatchewan this week, the worst defense in the CFL. With that being said, Mayo should see plenty of targets at a mid-range price that allows you to plug in a few 7-8k receivers. If your goal is to plug in receivers like Williams, Bowman or Walker then you’ll want to look to even cheaper receivers like the next two options I talk about… (UPDATE: Beware. It looks like Weston Dressler and Ryan Smith are practicing and could play this week. If this is the case then Denmark and Mayo become extreme tournament options at best. I will be staying away from both if those two are healthy enough to play. This would also make Dressler/Smith great options in all formats)
Our next two options are quite the opposite of each other. Allow me to explain. Caleb Holley is seeing about nine targets per game, but is only generating eight yards per target. This week he has the second highest efficiency rating (19.59) because of those targets close to the line of scrimmage. He’ll be a great option in cash games, but his upside is limited as a receiver on the team with the lowest implied team total this week (23). On to Holley’s polar opposite…
Davaris Daniels might not look like it, but he’s about as boom/bust play as there is this week. Sure, he’s been great in his two weeks of action with Calgary this season, but his efficiency and yards per target ratings are unreal. He’s basically catching everything thrown his way and he’s doing it deep down the field. He makes for a great tournament option this week.
Kendial Lawrence isn’t nearly as appealing as he used to be with some other value options emerging and his price rising. Saskatchewan finally got him a touchdown last week, but his touches continue to be limited for a starting role at running back. Use him in limited action this week in multi-entry tournaments only.
Winnipeg has benefitted from a somewhat easy schedule over the last four weeks, but even then they have outperformed every other defense during that span. In the three games they played during that span they have intercepted 12 passes, recovered four fumbles and sacked the quarterback eight times. They’re putting up elite numbers and face one of the worst offenses in CFL history when they face off against Saskatchewan on Sunday.
No other defenses look too appealing this week, but a cheaper option I’d target if needed would be Montreal. They’ll be at home against Ottawa on Thursday, a team they sacked seven times two weeks ago. They also forced three turnovers and allowed just 19 points. While things are different now due to Trevor Harris being back, the Montreal defense has shown to be very good this season and come at a much more affordable price this week.