Week four of the DFS CFL season is here and to be honest I’m just not creative enough to think of something clever right now to start this rankings article out. I used it all up proposing to my now fiancé this past week! This week’s action should be fun, but as tough as ever with DraftKings tightening up pricing. While there have been obvious plays that didn’t cost an arm and a leg in the past, this week there aren’t many that scream chalk! Let’s get right to the action…
Projected Team Totals
TOR – 24.75
WPG – 27.75
CGY – 27.5
MTL – 21.5
OTT – 25.75
EDM – 31.75
BC – 26.5
HAM – 23.5
Mike Reilly, EDM – $10,800
Trevor Harris, OTT – $10,100
Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY – $10,500
Leading the way of high-priced quarterbacks this week is Mike Reilly. His usage in the running game is key to his high projection, but even then lowering his projected rushing attempts by 2.75 keeps him as the top quarterback play. Edmonton has the highest implied total this week in the game with the highest total. While Travon Van is a more than capable backup at running back, Reilly’s value can only go up with John White out for the season. Reilly will cost a pretty penny, but if paying up at this position this is the man to target.
Trevor Harris is the clear number two quarterback in this slate with some great performances in 2017, an average implied total and a game script that should see him chucking the pigskin all game long (they call it a pigskin in Canada too right?). Harris has thrown seven touchdowns on the season topping 300+ passing yards in every game. With two elite receivers (Greg Ellingson and Brad Sinopoli), Harris will definitely benefit from this game being a very fast paced game.
While we have loved Bo Levi Mitchell in week’s past, this may be the week to fade him. Projections just aren’t popping for him and his salary is just $300 less than Mike Reilly. The matchup against Montreal isn’t sexy, as Montreal’s defense has been beat up by the run way more than the pass in 2017. Montreal should be missing Mincey, an elite corner for the Alouettes, but we’ll still be using BLM in tournaments only this weekend.
Matt Nichols, WPG – $8,700
Matt Nichols heads into the weekend with plenty of reason to use him. He has three great options to throw to (Darvin Adams, Weston Dressler and Andrew Harris), has an implied team total that is second highest in the slate and is projected to throw the football the third most this weekend. While I’m personally not thrilled with the matchup against the Argos, a defense that has done very well causing havoc in the passing game, there’s plenty of reason to spend down at the position with Nichols. Considering the slate is tough on value flex players, it wouldn’t be a dumb thing to use the Blue Bombers quarterback in week four.
Jeremiah Johnson, BC – $7,600
Jerome Messam, CGY – $7,000
Andrew Harris, WPG – $7,500
Raise your hand if you enjoyed Jeremiah Johnson’s success last week against the Alouettes (you should be raising your hand). Well, this week looks to be another Jeremiah Johnson game as the Lions face off against the Tiger-Cats. BC’s implied total is fourth best on the slate, but should be ahead the entire game with Hamilton looking just awful through three weeks. Johnson has turned into an elite running back thanks to his usage through the air. He has totaled 11 catches in 2017 to go along with 35 rushing attempts. This average of just over 15 touches per game will always project him well especially in a good matchup.
Jerome Messam costs $600 less than Johnson and will provide the same amount of usage in the Stampeders offense, so the projections have to love him right? Right! He has averaged just over 14 carries per game to go along with three receptions this season. Messam scoring just one touchdown so far in 2017 has held him back from the big game, but with Montreal being crushed on the ground this is an elite matchup for him. Montreal has allowed 21.02-Fantasy points per game on the ground in 2017, just over 2-Fantasy points more than any other team in the CFL.
While Andrew Harris is listed as a running back, he does the most of his damage through the air. Would it surprise you that he has 23 carries on the season to go along with 14 receptions in just two games? That is a huge reception number and one that keeps him playable every week. The lone issue with Harris is that his upside is limited due to his ineffectiveness on the ground so far this season (3.9 ypc) and lack of scoring ability (zero touchdowns in 2017 and just five in 2016). His floor is going to be higher than most each and every week, but his ceiling will never really be in the 20s.
Chris Rainey, BC – $6,000
I’m going to sneak in Chris Rainey here and hope that Ben doesn’t read this part of the rankings article. He’s a limited touch running back that returns punts and kicks and should see 4-5 targets this week. As you can imagine, he’s a very risky option, but guess what? You have to risk it to get the biscuit! Look, if you want a cheap running back then look to Ross Scheuerman from Hamilton. He’ll likely rush 5-6 times for 25 yards and add another four receptions through the air for another 35 yards. Not. Sexy. At. All. Play Chris Rainey this weekend and you’ll almost assuredly see 10+ Fantasy points at minimum with multiple-touchdown upside. Take that Ross!
Greg Ellingson, OTT – $8,400
Adarius Bowman, EDM – $9,700
Brandon Zylstra, EDM – $6,700
Brad Sinopoli, OTT – $6,800
SJ Green, TOR – $7,600
Kamar Jorden, CGY – $7,100
Going into the week four slate we’re hearing a lot of talk about targeting the Edmonton/Ottawa game. Well, this is what you’ve been waiting for as our top four receivers all come from this one. Greg Ellingson leads the way and with good reason. He’s coming off a game where he recorded 10 catches for 170 yards and one touchdown. Ellingson is also averaging over 11 targets per game, a number that leads the CFL. Considering the game script that projects Ottawa playing from behind, Ellingson is probably the safest option on the slate. DraftKings upped his price this weekend, but we’re still going to enjoy him in all formats come Thursday.
Adarius Bowman will be a little tougher to fit into lineups thanks to his high price tag, but he also carries some of the biggest upside of the slate. Bowman struggled in week one, generating just 3.3-Fantasy points, but bounced back big for 29.7 in week two. This week his Eskimos have the benefit of the highest implied team total as well as an offense missing their top running back. In tournaments, Bowman might hold the slight edge over Ellingson thanks to likely low ownership and his massive upside.
Brandon Zylstra saw his targets go down in week two and because of it so did his production. He caught just four of the six passes thrown his way against Montreal, but we must remember the below average matchup he was in. This week the matchup is much better and he only just slightly projects worse than Bowman. If throwing out a QB/WR/WR stack then the Eskimos’ Reilly/Bowman/Zylstra has to be atop the list. While it has only been three weeks, 2017’s small sample size ranks Ottawa the second best team to double stack against.
One underrated play going into week four is Brad Sinopoli. Potentially an overlooked player this weekend, Sinopoli has done fairly well as the second receiver in this Ottawa offense. He has seen over nine targets per game and has caught 75% of them. With a price tag of less than $7,000, he has an easier path towards reaching value with upside of nearly 30 points. Considering the matchup, the up-tempo nature of the game and a game script pointing at Ottawa playing from behind all game long, I’m a huge Sinopoli fan in week four.
S.J. Green was injured early during the 2016 season and because of it came into this year as a relatively unknown player. Well, after three games I’m pretty sure everyone knows he who he is now. He is second in the CFL in receiving yards and fourth in receptions this season with 19 catches for 367 yards under his belt. His quarterback, Ricky Ray, is projected to attempt the most passes in week four and as his number one receiver, it’s very difficult not to like him. UPDATE: DeVier Posey is OUT for this week’s action, the second most targeted receiver on the Argos in 2017.
Ben has been calling Kamar Jorden the top receiver on the Stampeders for weeks now and I’m ready to buy that statement. His five touchdown receptions are the most in the CFL and going into this slate, it’s hard not to love him and his price tag. His matchup is tough going up against the Alouettes, but he has shown through three weeks that he will consistently be called upon when it matters the most, inside the red zone.
Other receivers worth mentioning are Vidal Hazelton and the two Blue Bombers: Darvin Adams and Weston Dressler. Hazelton has done well in Edmonton and sees himself with a very intriguing price tag just less than $6,000. Adams and Dressler are prime targets to pair up with Nichols if you choose to go that way at quarterback. Dressler has proven more than Adams in 2017, but Adams is prime for a big game considering his talent level.
Bryan Burnham, BC – $6,000
L’Damian Washington, WPG – $3,000
Bryan Burnham and the BC offense should fair very well against the Hamilton offense, but a slow pace holds them back from huge projections this week. Hamilton has given up 32 and 37 points this season and 875 total passing yards, so you could say they’ve struggled. Jennings should have a good day against BC and because of that Burnham should be one of the two main benefactors. He’ll cost much less than Emmanuel Arceneaux, but both are valid options in week four. Hamilton has given up an average of 82.57-Fantasy points per game to opposing team’s quarterback plus top two receivers. (Beware of small sample size bias here).
If you’re struggling to find a cheap option L’Damian Washington is a risky but intriguing play at $3,000. He should continue to start at one of the slotback positions, always giving him value at that price. I would only use him in tournaments, but he’ll provide salary relief in a week that doesn’t provide ample value options.
The BC Lions are our top defense coming into the week and we would be surprised if they weren’t easily the highest owned defense of the slate. They’re facing a Hamilton offense that is led by Zach Collaros (431 passing yards and 1 TD pass). While we think Collaros is a talented quarterback, his offensive line has serious issues and he lost one of his best receivers in Terrance Toliver in week one. The Lions should feast this weekend against the Tiger-Cats struggling offense.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have forced four turnovers through two games, making them an intriguing option going into week four. They have yet to turn these turnovers into points, but it’s only a matter of time before they strike paydirt. The Argos and Ricky Ray are rolling on offense, but with them averaging just over 42 passes per game the Blue Bombers will have plenty of chances at a few more interceptions.
Like the Blue Bombers, the Argos have been great at forcing turnovers in 2017. They have recorded an interception, a fumble recovery and four sacks in every game. What impresses us the most is whom they have faced. They have done this against Hamilton, BC and Ottawa. Choosing the Argos defense against Winnipeg means you’ll be picking against the team with the second highest implied team total (Winnpieg – 27.75), but in CFL it’s all about turnovers and sacks, two things the Argos do great.
As always, head to the forums to give us your thoughts on the slate. I’d love to hear who you like or dislike going into the week four slate of DFS CFL action!