CFL Week 1
The purpose of this article is to help break down the weekly CFL slate by offering insight into the players to help formulate the best lineup possible. It is imperative that you check on injury statuses before each game since it can change at any notice. I’ll list several players that I like at each position but then have my full player pool listed below.
Saskatchewan vs. Hamilton
Montreal vs. Edmonton
Ottawa vs Calgary
Winnipeg vs British Columbia
High Priced QB Options
Trevor Harris- Harris is probably my favorite QB in the league and I really think he could have a huge year in Edmonton. He has his favorite target in Greg Ellingson who I think could be the most consistent WR play all season long and a very big upside receiver in DaVaris Daniels. Harris had some monster games against Montreal last season (28/42, 342 yards and 3 TDs/ 44/54, 487 yards, 1 TD/1INT) so he is coming in at my top QB play of the week. He has a price tag of $9,800 which is very cheap for a guy with 30 point upside.
Mike Reilly- Reilly makes his return to BC and I think he has a lot of upside with his new WR group. He will also get the additional benefit of playing indoors so that will have a positive impact on the offense as a whole. I am not thrilled with the matchup against Winnipeg, especially since the Blue Bombers do a great job limiting passing touchdowns (15 passing TDs allowed all last season). With that being said, there is a good chance that he can at least hit for 30 DK points which we would gladly take. Reilly comes in as the most expensive
Value QB Options
Matt Nichols- Nichols has the best RB in the league and gets a bump in his receiving core with the addition of Chris Matthews. This game could be a high scoring one, especially since Mike Reilly will be on the other side of the field, challenging the WPG defence. Nichols has been known to be a game manager but with the addition of Matthews to the mix, I think he has more fantasy upside this season than ever before. If Chris Matthews is out, I would not really look Nichols way unless you were just hoping he would be low owned.
Zach Collaros- I have liked Collaros game ever since he was at Cincinnati. He has had a hard time staying healthy and really any big time playmakers last season. Opponents now have to worry about William Powell who is a top 2 RB in the league so I think this actually sets up well for Collaros to take some chances downfield. He is not a safe play by any means and is very risky since they are not a pass heavy offence. Pipkin is the same price point and is also another viable punt that comes at a cheaper price tag if you were really looking for value. Both plays are risky so proceed with caution!
Main QB Fades:
Jeremiah Masoli- The Roughriders defense is very stingy and they are a bunch that I will not look to attack. Masoli faced them twice last season and averaged 258 yards in each game while throwing 0 TDs and 2 Ints.
Bo Levi Mitchell – Bo might not have his full WR core ready and this game could get out of hand early if the Redblacks are not able to generate an offensive attack. Looking at last season, he fared out well against Ottawa but did not show the type of fantasy upside that we would hope for (In 3 games, he avg 223 yards while throwing 5 TDs and 3 Ints).
Andrew Harris- Even at the age of 32, Andrew Harris is still the best running back in the CFL. Winnipeg runs a very balanced offense so he will always get his opportunities whether it is on the ground or through the air. Last season vs BC, he had some of his strongest performances so I can see similar stat lines being put up (Ran for 109,1 TD/ 139 yards, 2TD). Winnipeg led the league in total rushing yards and attempts last season while BC was bottom 3 in both total rushing yards allowed and rushing attempts allowed on the season.
William Powell- Powell really made a name for himself last season and is certainly viewed as a top running back in the CFL. He is now in a much more running back friendly offense with the Roughriders so he will be leaned on even more in his new role. Looking at how he was used in the pre-season, he saw 7 rushing attempts which resulted in 55 yards and 2 catches for 20 yards. Powell only played the first half so if he sees a full workload and has this output, he will be a top RB option ever single week.
Other notable RB’s: Don Jackson (Very cheap in relation to his price last season), William Stanbeck (The guy moving forward in Montreal, should get attempts and PPR looks), Moises Madu Jr. (starting RB that could see PPR opportunities since they should be trailing in the game)
Greg Ellingson- Ellingson is my favorite receiver play of the week. Both him and Harris have fantastic chemistry and I can see Harris relying on him earlier on in the season, especially since they are both on a new team with a new offensive system.
Bryan Burnham- Burnham should have a monster season with Reilly getting him the ball. Reilly loves throwing the deep ball and Burnham has the type of speed to take the top off of defences. Last season, Burnham only played WPG twice but was targets 12 times while only bringing in 6 catches for 129 yards. I think at the right price point, he could be a great play to start out the season.
Bralon Addison- Addison seems to be the talk of the CFL fantasy world and for good reason. Last season, Addison came on strong towards the end of the year and with Sauders out of the picture in Hamilton, he has a chance to really emerge as a main target for Masoli. Another thing to look for is the health of Brandon Banks. He is coming off of a major injury and if he is unable to go, Addison will receive an even bigger bump.
Calgary- They could be the chalky defence week 1 and for a good reason. Ottawa comes into the season with alot of questions surrounding the QB battle between Davis and Jennings as well as which WR will step up outside of Brad Sinopoli. Take advantage of the soft week 1 pricing and feel comfortable rolling out the Stamps for D/ST.
Edmonton- I think there could be some fantasy upside to rolling out the Eskimos defence this week. Montreal allowed 66 sacks last season which was the most in the CFL while Edmonton was tied for 1st overall with 45 sacks. I do see the Alouettes putting up some points but if the Eskimos can put constant pressure and create a few turnovers in the process, they might be the cheaper D/ST to use.
Saskatchewan- SSK has a really good defense and for some reason they go overlooked in dfs. Pricing just dropped and at first I wasn’t going to use them because Hamilton can put up points but after seeing they are only $4,100, I am very intrigued and quite possibly became my favorite defense of the week.
Player Pool (Giving a variety of options to help with your build)
QB- Harris, Reilly, Nichols(if Matthews is out for WPG, I’m bumping Nichols down), Collaros/ Pipkin (Cheap Options, probably don’t have to reach this far down this week)
RB- Harris, Powell, Jackson, Stanbeck, Madu, Whitehead ( could crack the starting lineup as a receiver but could also get looks on punt returns which would be huge)
WR1(8k+)- Ellingson, Burnham, Rogers
WR2(6k to 7.5k)- Addison, Begelton, Adams, Brescacin, Roosevelt
WR3 (Sub 6k)- S. Evans, Posey, Holley, Lawler (If Matthews is out)
D/ST- SSK, CGY, EDM