Week 14 of the CFL season has arrived, which means we aren’t too far away from the end of the season. Who could have thought that this many weeks of the CFL season could possibly go by so fast?! As always, injuries play a big factor in this week’s plays and we’ll have to keep an eye on the depth charts as they come in. Luckily for us, the four games are being played in two days! Let’s get right to the Vegas totals, shall we?
Calgary – 31
Ottawa – 29.5
Hamilton – 28.5
Edmonton – 28
BC – 27
Saskatchewan – 24.5
Toronto – 23.5
Winnipeg – 22
1. Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY
2. Jonathon Jennings, BC
3. Zach Collaros, HAM
4. Dan LeFevour, TOR
Bo Levi Mitchell has consistently shown his ability to put up solid numbers this season, so in a week where the high-priced quarterbacks are in tough matchups or are priced just way too high, he finds himself at the top of the rankings. He’s done quite well against Winnipeg this season (25.36 and 26.5-Fantasy points in their two meetings), but they haven’t played since week five. There’s no reason to think he struggles this weekend though as he has collected 22-Fantasy points or better in five straight matchups to go along with the weekend’s highest implied total (Calgary – 31).
Jonathon Jennings really struggled during the middle of this season, but bounced back strong against a very good Montreal defense. He threw for 341 passing yards and one touchdown in a game where he completed 72.7% of his passes. This week he plays on the road (where he’s been better this season) against an Edmonton team that actually struggles more at home than when they’re the visitor. Take it for what it’s worth, but the Eskimos average 8.5 more points per game at home to go along with 100 more passing yards.
Zach Collaros has no business being atop this list the way he has played the last two weeks, but with a prime matchup and plenty of value at the receiver and running back positions, he’s more than usable against Saskatchewan. Against Montreal and Toronto, he threw two touchdowns and four interceptions. These numbers severely disappointed those who used him, but I expect much better against the worst defense in the CFL. Back in week nine, Collaros made his second start of the season and impressed us all throwing for 381 yards and five touchdowns. I don’t expect that big of a game, but he could easily throw for 350 and 3-4 touchdowns on Saturday.
Dan LeFevour has come back to the CFL and been a more than serviceable quarterback in his two starts. He has thrown for 300 yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game against Winnipeg and Hamilton. What I love about him is his ability to run, rushing 20 times for 96 yards so far this season. If you’re looking to go contrarian then use LeFevour to load up on players at expensive price points this weekend.
1. Jerome Messam, CGY
2. Jeremiah Johnson, BC
3. Curtis Steele, SSK
4. Tim Flanders, WPG
Jerome Messam found pay dirt again this season, but unfortunately didn’t do a whole lot other than that in week 13. He ran 11 times for 35 yards and didn’t do much through the air either (2/37/0). I expect much better against Winnipeg considering the game script (big favorites) and high-implied team total (31). Messam should see plenty of touches against the Blue Bombers.
Jeremiah Johnson has been extremely impressive lately when he gets the start and he’s a great option against a struggling Edmonton defense. Just two weeks ago Johnson was phenomenal against a tough Montreal defense, rushing for 16/159/3 in the contest. The game projects to be very high scoring (implied total of 50), meaning there should be plenty more opportunities for Johnson to reach the end zone. I would consider him the tournament option this week amongst high-priced backs, while Messam is meant more for cash games.
Curtis Steele is a great tournament option now that he’s back in the starting lineup and healthy. In his first start since week five, he generated 113 total yards on just 16 touches. Saskatchewan has a surprisingly high-implied team total (28.5), so a Steele touchdown could mean big for his owners. Use him in tournaments only.
Tim Flanders is another player we’ll have to keep an eye on because of Andrew Harris’ injury tag. Harris has missed some practices and currently looks iffy to play. If he’s out then Flanders becomes a great option at a great price. In his first start of the year (last week against Toronto), he received 23 touches with four of them coming through the air. Calgary’s defense is tough, but you can’t hate on a potential 20+ touch game out of a $5,400 running back.
Wide Receiver (High-Priced)
1. Adarius Bowman, EDM
2. Luke Tasker, HAM
3. Weston Dressler, WPG
4. Emmanuel Arceneaux, BC
5. Marquay McDonald, CGY
6. Ernest Jackson, OTT
Others will likely disagree, but I’m not a huge fan of the high-priced receivers this weekend. While they have plenty of talent, the matchups are tough or their quarterback play has been shaky of late. Adarius Bowman has had two great games in a row and could have gone for more if not for a few drops and better placed passes. He easily left 50+ yards on the table last week. BC has a very solid defense, but Bowman’s usage and targets are too high to ignore. He has also really pushed himself over his teammate Derel Walker in recent weeks.
Luke Tasker is the Hamilton receiver I want to target this week, but honesltly Terrence Toliver is another good option. Tasker is the guy that has benefitted the most from Collaros’ return to the lineup and if Collaros is back, then we could see a bounce back game for Tasker here. He’s currently is sitting on a questionable tag and if that’s the case then Toliver becomes a great option in this spot – as well as Andy Fantuz – who should see an uptick in targets if Tasker is out.
Weston Dressler has been a great option for the Blue Bombers, even with some quarterback changes. I love him most for his usage (7+ catches in six of his last seven games), but I do see his lack of upside against a Calgary defense that is very good. He likely won’t reach pay dirt (54 receptions but just one touchdown reception on the season), but you’re using a guy like Dressler for safe production in cash games.
Emmanuel Arceneaux is another safe receiver that has limited upside, but he’s a tick or two above Dressler in tournament formats. He has five touchdowns on the season and caught five or more passes in seven of his last eight games. While Arceneaux’s floor is just a tad lower than Dressler’s, the Lions receiver has a better matchup and higher implied total. Consider Arceneaux in tournaments and in cash games if you have the extra salary to spend at this position.
Marquay McDonald is a tournament option if I’ve ever seen one in week 14. He produced last weekend against Ottawa, but was largely ineffective for three straight games prior. Before that bad stretch of games, he caught 10, 8, 8, 2, and 7 passes. He caught seven passes and a touchdown in each game against Winnipeg this season (two games). His price is just low enough to be below guys like Arceneaux and Tasker, but is close enough to Dressler to cause some likely split ownership between the two.
Ernest Jackson is priced right at $7,000 and has done plenty to deserve that tag. The man has caught a touchdown in six straight games after scoring just once in the Redblacks’ first five games. He’s clearly built some chemistry with Redblacks’ QB, Trevor Harris. Against Toronto, the Redblacks should move the ball enough to provide Jackson with plenty of chances at another touchdown.
Wide Receiver (Value)
1. Armanti Edwards, SSK
2. Juron Criner, OTT
3. Kenny Shaw, TOR
4. Shawn Gore, BC
5. Bryan Burnham, BC
Our resident Regina native and fellow CFL writer, Ben, gave us the scoop on the forums last week about a guy named Armanti Edwards. Michigan fans surely know who that is, but this former App State quarterback has turned into a receiver in Saskatchewan. He caught six passes for 60 yards and ran a touchdown in last weekend against Edmonton in their win. I expect enough touches out of him to warrant using him in all formats, thus why he is ranked number one.
Juron Criner is another cheap option on DraftKings ($3,600) that has value this weekend. In his first start of the season (last week at Calgary), he caught four passes for 91 yards. Against a tough defense like Calgary, I’m impressed and think he can do more of the same against Toronto. Will targets be guaranteed for Criner? None of us really know, but he’s a great tournament option at this price.
Kenny Shaw has shown some good chemistry with new Argos quarterback, Dan LeFevour, catching six passes in both games he has started this season. Just last week he caught two touchdowns against Winnipeg! Shaw has more than enough talent in this league to be successful as he showed earlier in the season. If you’re looking for a mid-range receiver option for tournaments then Shaw might be your guy.
Shawn Gore and Bryan Burnham are two very good options this weekend, but in different formats. Gore comes with more risk therefore he’s a better tournament option, but is also priced appropriately. Burnham on the other hand comes with a higher floor, but also a higher price tag. Burnham is the fifth leading receiver in the CFL this season, which you would have never realized without looking at the stats. He should be considered in cash games more than tournaments, but does have some value in both. Gore should be used in tournaments where you’re looking for a less than $5,000 receiver to help finish your lineup. Both of these guy’s matchups are great and their implied team total is a big positive for both (27).
Calgary is going up against a roughed up Blue Bombers offense that is set to struggle this weekend. They have the lowest implied team total at 22 and Calgary is coming off a game where they forced two turnovers and sacked the quarterback three times. They also found the end zone on defense twice! Winnipeg is a great matchup for Calgary and their price point won’t break you ($4,800).
With Calgary being our high priced defense to target, I felt the need to give you a cheaper one here. Toronto is the second cheapest defense on the board. It wasn’t too long ago that I showed you in a strategy article that price really doesn’t matter. Some of the best performances on the season had come from teams priced at or around $4,100. This weekend against Ottawa they’ll face an offense with a high-implied team total, but this defense has been stellar in two of the last three weeks. This is a high risk/high reward play here to help save you some extra cash, but considering the other value options across the different positions, I wouldn’t get too bold here.