CFL DFS Week 7: Bo Knows CFL
Don’t look now, but we are on to the seventh week of the CFL season! By now, we know all of the stars of the league and who to look at when certain players go down due to injury. That last part plays a huge role into this week’s DFS CFL action. There are a few big injuries in Ottawa and BC that you can’t miss on if you want to be in the green this week. Before getting to those injuries and the top plays, let’s take a look at what Canadian Vegas thinks about this week’s CFL action.
Calgary – 36.5
Ottawa – 31.5
Edmonton – 27.5
BC – 26.5
Hamilton – 26
Winnipeg – 23.5
Montreal – 23.5
Saskatchewan – 23.5
1. Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY
2. Trevor Harris/Henry Burris, OTT
3. Jonathon Jennings, BC
4. Mike Reilly, EDM
5. Darian Durant, SSK
Ever since the first week against BC, Bo Levi Mitchell has been an extremely consistent quarterback in the CFL. Over the last four games, he has thrown for 300+ and at least two touchdowns each week. This week the Stampeders are facing off against Saskatchewan, the worst defense in the league in yards per attempt (9.54). Combine all of this with an implied team total of 36.5 and you have yourself an easy choice at quarterback.
Henry Burris didn’t look good at all against Toronto on Monday and we aren’t sure if Trevor Harris will be back in time for this game on Saturday, but I love both quarterbacks this week. With the matchup that Edmonton presents (second worst in yards per attempt and worst in points per drive), this offense should get rolling again. It’s also nice to see their implied total is 31.5, second highest on the week. Burris makes for a better tournament option than cash game option, but a healthy Harris would mean an elite play at quarterback.
Don’t look now, but Jonathon Jennings has put up 77 Fantasy points over his last two games. He’s done this by airing it out 40.5 times per game while adding five carries per game on the ground. This is elite usage for a quarterback under $9,000 on DraftKings. Montreal’s matchup is average at best, but I’d be hard pressed not to recommend him in tournaments so it would be easier to spend up at receiver.
Mike Reilly and Darian Durant (Mitchell Gale if Durant doesn’t start) both have the same common issue these days: offensive line play. This one thing is holding back their offensive potential from being reached. Reilly should still have a good game, but for his $11,000 price tag and average matchup, I’ll pass on him this week. Durant should be back from injury and has an average matchup. Even though Calgary’s defense has the league’s best yards per attempt (7.56), they’ve managed to give up 300+ yards over the last four games.
1. Brandon Rutley, MTL
2. Jerome Messam, CGY
3. Andrew Harris, WPG
4. Nic Grigsby/Travon Van, OTT
5. John White, EMD
6. SSK Running Back
Running back is a tough position this week because there isn’t a whole lot of difference in pricing between the eight options. The running back I’m most likely to target is Brandon Rutley. He has scored in each of his last two games and has caught four passes in three straight games. Since he became a starter three games ago, he has averaged 14 touches per game. He’s a very safe option at the position going up against a BC Lions’ run defense that has allowed a league worst 5.31 yards per carry.
Jerome Messam is another safe option at the position, but comes at a more expensive cost. Like Rutley, he has caught four or more passes in three straight games, but he hasn’t scored since week three against Ottawa. Calgary uses him in an odd fashion for such a big guy (not around the goal line and plenty through the air), but he’s somehow maintained a high floor this season. With the Stampeders being such big favorites (-13 against Saskatchewan), you should expect 10+ carries and 3-4 catches at minimum.
Andrew Harris leads all running backs with 17.5 touches per game on the season. He faces a Winnipeg defense that is pretty clearly the third worst to Saskatchewan and Edmonton. Their 5.19 yards per carry is a great sign for Harris who is coming off a game where he ran 22 times for 127 yards and a touchdown.
Whoever starts at running back for Ottawa should be considered a great option in this slate. Travon Van and Nic Grigsby have both seen plenty of touches when they’ve started (15.5 touches per game for both) and they’re both $6,300. Edmonton is an awful defense that should give both of these running backs a shot at mid-teens points without even finding the end zone.
Whoever Saskatchewan starts at running back, Michael Dyer or Curtis Steele, will be great options in tournaments. The matchup isn’t that great, but they’re extremely cheap and allow you to create variance in your lineups.
Wide Receiver (High Priced)
1. Derel Walker, EDM
2. Adarius Bowman, EDM
3. Chris Williams, OTT
4. Marquay McDaniel, CGY
5. Duron Carter, MTL
6. Naaman Roosevelt, SSK
7. Emanuel Arceneaux, BC
8. Ernest Jackson, OTT
The matchup isn’t the best, but Edmonton’s top two receivers, Derel Walker and Adarius Bowman, continue to be the elite options to target at receiver each and every week. These two have generated 22+ Fantasy points in 80% of the games they’ve played in (8 out of 10). They have also combined for 51.7% of their team’s targets (110 total targets). Fitting one of these two into your lineups isn’t a must this week, but it’s very close. This week it’s much easier to fit a star receiver into your lineup.
Chris Williams is the perfect tournament option this week with Bowman and Walker continuing their great seasons. Williams has been overshadowed by them for weeks now. Whether it’s Burris or Harris, there’s enough in this matchup to think that Williams has a monster game. He also provides slight salary relief from the two “Eskimo brothers.”
Marquay McDaniel had a rough week six, snagging just two catches (3 targets) for 20 yards against a difficult defense. I have a hard time seeing Saskatchewan throwing anything out there to stop McDaniel and the rest of this offense. Canadian Vegas agrees, as Calgary has a 36.5 implied total against the Roughriders.
Duron Carter has been a monster since Kevin Glenn returned from injury, recording games of 6/124/1 and 8/115/1 over the last two weeks. He has faced below average defenses, but he’s still seeing enough targets during that stretch (8.5 per game) to serve as a great pivot in tournaments.
The Roughriders offense struggled mightily last week, yet Naaman Roosevelt still managed seven catches for 67 yards. While that’s not a game to brag about, it should make you feel better about him with the return of his starting quarterback. Calgary has been giving up big yardage through the air over their last four games and Roosevelt is the clear guy to beneficiary should that streak go to five.
Emanuel Arceneaux is the best option in the $7k range this week when BC faces off against Montreal. He brought in six catches for 128 yards last week at Calgary and now faces an average at best Montreal defense. With Nick Moore out for BC, Arceneaux is one of the guys that should benefit from his injury.
Ernest Jackson is a prime target in tournaments if Henry Burris is starting this week. It’s well known around the CFL writer’s community that Burris favors Jackson more than Harris does. We saw that a little bit on Monday night when he caught five passes for 55 yards and one touchdown. I expect Burris to be much better this week if he starts again, but Jackson loses his value if Harris is healthy enough to start against Edmonton.
Wide Receiver (Value)
1. Bryan Burnham, BC
2. Anthony Parker, CGY
3. Ryan Lankford, SSK
4. Bakari Grant, CGY
5. Nik Lewis, MTL
Nick Moore’s injury plays a huge impact on the BC receiving core and the one guy I think it’ll benefit the most is Bryan Burnham. With Moore out before the week six game against Calgary, Burnham caught nine passes for 139 yards and one touchdown. He saw his targets rise from 8/4/4/6 over the first five games to 12 in game five. Now, with an average Montreal defense in his way, he’s a great way to find some salary relief at the receiver position.
Anthony Parker has been an extremely reliable receiver over the team’s last three games, producing 12.7, 21.1 and 11.9 Fantasy points for no more than $4,500 during that span. This week his price rises to just $4,800 and his team is projected to score 36.5 points. I’m not a rocket scientist, but a receiver seeing eight targets per game over his last three makes a great cheap option.
Ryan Lankford has posted the lowest price/target ever on my spreadsheet with him coming in at $412 this week. He has played in just two games this season, but in those two games he has generated nine and eight targets. While I’m skeptical of a two-game sample size, it’s hard to pass him up at $3,500 on DraftKings. I’ll be using him in tournaments mainly, but could see him creep into my cash game lineup if injuries pop up.
Bakari Grant sat out due to injury the first two weeks of the season, but has seen seven, seven, and 12 targets over his last three games. He actually led the team in targets by three last week against BC. He’s another receiver in the $5k range that makes a case for usage in all formats this week.
There’s absolutely nothing sexy about Nik Lewis, but he’ll get the job done this week against BC. He has yet to score a touchdown this season, but is averaging 8.6 targets, seven catches and just under 70 yards per game. He’s a great cash game pivot from Grant and Burnham if you’re not a fan of those two options. Do recognize that he comes with a much lower upside than those two receivers.
Within the next week or two, I’ll be posting my article discussing defenses and how to choose them. One interesting stat that I discovered are that 42% of Fantasy points are generated from turnovers while 31% are from sacks. This isn’t that surprising, but it does show that we shouldn’t worry about how many points are scored against your defense as long as it’s less than 35 points.
With all of this being said, Hamilton’s defense comes in as the number one defense for me this week. They lead the CFL in sacks and average two turnovers per game. They also have an elite returner in Brandon Burks, so the threat of a return touchdown is very real. It also helps that they are facing Winnipeg and their offense that is missing their top three receivers.
Winnipeg is another defense to keep an eye on this week when they take on Hamilton at home. They lead the CFL in turnovers with 16 and had a monster game the last time these two faced off (six turnovers, four sacks and one defensive touchdown). Hamilton has an implied total of just 26 points, good for fourth worst this week.
Picking against Saskatchewan could pay off huge this week if Darian Durant is out again. Even then, I still like this play as this Calgary defense has been much better at causing turnovers over the last three games (eight turnovers over the last three games compared to just one turnover in their first two games). Saskatchewan’s lack of good offensive line play is a big benefit to Calgary’s defense in this one.