Here are some value picks to start the first week or two of the CFL season.
These are players who maybe because of injury or just a down season are lower on the value chart in terms of their cap hit than their value will likely be as the season goes on.
These are players you can get some value on early in the year because they will be harder to fit in the cap later in the year.
There are some ‘super sleepers’ in the under $3,500 range that I’ll break down in another column before the season.
WR NAAMAN ROOSEVELT | SSK CURRENT VALUE: $5,788
POSITION RANK: 9th
Naaman Roosevelt was among the league’s top receivers before getting hurt last season (Matt Smith/CFL.ca)
Roosevelt is currently the ninth highest in terms of salaries amongst receivers. Last year before his injury, he was in the top-three range of receivers in the Canadian Football League. Roosevelt’s price will start to rise early into the $7,000 to over $8,000 range so you can take advantage of getting that kind of production at what could be a bargain price early. He also has chemistry with Kevin Glenn from the 2015 season when Roosevelt broke onto the scene in the CFL late that season.
WR DURON CARTER | SSK
CURRENT VALUE: $4,436
POSITION RANK: 18th
Duron Carter built chemistry with quarterback Kevin Glenn from their time with the Als (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)
Kevin Glenn also has chemistry with Duron Carter from last year in Montreal. Carter is still a premiere receiver in the CFL and with Roosevelt taking some coverage, it will allow Carter to have some big games early with the likelihood his price will steadily rise during the season.
WR BRANDON ZYLSTRA | EDM
CURRENT VALUE: $4,109
POSITION RANK: 24th
Brandon Zylstra can expect to see plenty of targets behind leading receiver Adarius Bowman (The Canadian Press)
If you’re looking for someone to fill the void in Edmonton left by Derel Walker, look no further than Zylstra. Quarterback Mike Reilly likes him and already seems to have some chemistry with some big games from Zylstra last season. He’s the receiver I think will make a name for himself this season in the CFL.
WR KAMAR JORDEN | CGY
CURRENT VALUE: $3,881
POSITION RANK: 29th
Kamar Jorden looks to build on a breakout season under Dave Dickenson (The Canadian Press)
Jorden will again try to grab on to that third receiver role in Calgary with Marquay McDaniel and DaVaris Daniels. Lamar Durant will be brought up on my ‘super sleepers’ column but with Bakari Grant now in Saskatchewan, Jorden can reach his potential if he lands on the roster a little more consistently.
WR WESTON DRESSLER | WPG
CURRENT VALUE: $3,780
POSITION RANK: 30th
Although he only found the end zone twice, Weston Dressler was a 1,000-yard receiver in 2016 (The Canadian Press)
Weston Dressler only scored two touchdowns last year, which decreases his value, but he should still be a 1,000 yard receiver. He should also be able to find the end zone a little more frequently as he’s done for most of his career. That’s a bargain for a player who will be one of Matt Nichols’ favourite targets this year.
WR S.J. GREEN | TOR
CURRENT VALUE: $3,777
POSITION RANK: 31st
S.J. Green looks to bounce back from a devastating season-ending knee injury in 2017 (Bea Serden/Argonauts.ca)
Yes, I know the health issue with S.J. Green may scare people off but with Ricky Ray throwing him the football and in an offence that he is more than comfortable in, I see Green having a season that may not get him back to his standing as one of the best in the league, but definitely a player whose cap hit will rise during the season.
RB ANDREW HARRIS | WPG
CURRENT VALUE: $7,156
POSITION RANK: 4th
If Andrew Harris can just find the end zone this year, he’ll be a premiere fantasy performer (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)
Harris was Mr. 100 last year. He consistently had over 100 yards of offence but his problem, like Dressler, was not finding the end zone with five touchdowns last season. Harris will still rack up the yards and I think he may be a player that could be in the five figures value in fantasy football. $7,156 will be a bargain early in the year.
QB RICKY RAY | TOR
CURRENT VALUE: $9,474
POSITION RANK: 6th
Despite his age and injury history, Ricky Ray has plenty of value going into a new season (The Canadian Press)
When healthy, Ray continues to have amazing accuracy and throws more touchdowns than interceptions. When you can save two or three thousand dollars and get similar points that is a good deal in fantasy football. Ray can save you some cash to use elsewhere on the roster.
OTTAWA RUNNING BACK
CURRENT VALUE: $5,155-$6,401
POSITION RANK: 7th-12th
Shakir Bell is one of three backs vying for the starting job in Ottawa (Chris Hofley/OttawaREDBLACKS.com)
William Powell, Mossis Madu or Shakir Bell. They are all under $6,500 but whoever plays will be a big part of that offence in not only the running game but the passing game as well. It’s a camp battle to keep an eye on because in the first weeks of the season they could be the No. 2 running back that could help you pile up the points.
QB KEVIN GLENN | SSK
CURRENT VALUE: $8,093
POSITION RANK: 9th
Kevin Glenn is the lowest-ranked starter among fantasy quarterbacks in Week 1 (Riderville.com)
Yes, I have three Roughriders on this list as I think their offence is underrated because of their struggles last season. When you look at Glenn’s receivers, you see a lot of talent, as mentioned above. He is the lowest valued starting quarterback in the CFL going into the season and could give you decent numbers. Like Ray, saving a few thousand on quarterbacks means you can have more higher talented running backs and receivers on your weekly roster.