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TORONTO — The TSN CFL Fantasy game is easy for any fan to play, with just seven roster spots and a $40,000 salary cap.
However, success requires, at a bare minimum, knowledge of which star players are sitting due to injury. With such small rosters, a wasted spot on a player who isn’t in the lineup can be a devastating blow to your week’s score.
Meanwhile, the more dedicated Fantasy player will want to keep close tabs on who’s practising with the first-team offence. Practice reports can be the source of hidden gems that produce big numbers despite low ownership percentage, providing an edge over the rest of the field.
With that, CFL.ca breaks down some of the critical roster notes for each game.
Antonio Pipkin, QB, MTL
The Alouettes have listed Antonio Pipkin ($6,000) as their starting quarterback for Friday night’s game in Ottawa. Pipkin provided tremendous value in last week’s win over the Argos with 25 Fantasy points and has been a pleasant surprise through his first two career starts. He will, however, face a tougher challenge against the REDBLACKS’ front in Ottawa.
Johnny Manziel, QB, MTL
Johnny Manziel ($6,000) is expected to dress and back up Antonio Pipkin ($6,000) for the Alouettes in Week 12. Manziel could see the field some, but isn’t expected to make much of an impact in his first game back from injury.
William Stanback, RB, MTL
William Stanback ($4,000) will not be in the lineup for the Alouettes after being injured during Week 11. Unfortunate news for the young power back, who was finally getting his chance with Tyrell Sutton ($6,241) sidelined. Ryder Stone ($2,500) and Lawrence Pittman ($2,500) will divide up the workload in Stanback’s absence.
Stefan Logan, RB, MTL
The Alouettes will have running back/returner Stefan Logan ($3,342) back in the lineup in Week 12. Logan is slated to return kicks and could see an expanded role on offence with Stanback and Sutton sidelined. From a Fantasy perspective the Alouettes’ backfield is a complicated mess, but Logan’s special teams role could make him a sleeper this week.
Ryder Stone, RB, MTL
Despite being listed as the backup, national running back Ryder Stone ($2,500) should see an increase in touches in Week 12. Stone is behind rookie Lawrence Pittman ($2,500) but injuries to Stanback and Sutton could open up the door for more opportunities. Still, the Als haven’t been strong on the ground this year, and could be playing from behind early vs. Ottawa.
Lawrence Pittman, RB, MTL
Lawrence Pittman ($2,500) will make his CFL debut on Friday night in Ottawa, getting the start in place of the injured William Stanback ($4,000). It’s hard to turn down a cheap starting running back, but Pittman comes with a high degree of risk as he may not see much volume in his debut.
Darvin Adams, WR, WPG
According to TSN’s Darrin Bauming, Darvin Adams ($6,750) has a new position this week as he’s shifted to slotback during practice. That’s allowed Cory Washington ($2,500) to move into the boundary wideout spot. Washington could make his CFL debut this week.
Weston Dressler, WR, WPG
Weston Dressler ($4,661) continues to work his way toward a return, but is considered questionable for Sunday’s game. He’s the fifth-leading receiver all-time in the Riders-Bombers Labour Day matchup, but Fantasy players will need to check his status both on the depth chart and in the hours leading up to the game.
Ryan Lankford, WR, WPG
The Bombers may replace Ryan Lankford ($3,780) in their starting lineup this week, as Cory Washington ($2,500) has reportedly gotten time with the first-team in practice. Lankford’s speed is impressive but he’s not useful to Fantasy rosters unless he’s starting.
Marcus Thigpen, RB, SSK
No word yet on whether Marcus Thigpen ($5,190) will be in the lineup on Sunday when the Bombers and Riders play in the annual Labour Day Classic. Thigpen sat in Week 11 and those looking to play him should keep an eye on the depth charts when they come out on Saturday.
Cameron Marshall, RB, SSK
Cameron Marshall ($5,050) had some carries in his Riders rebut but is no certainty to play in Week 12, depending on the status of Marcus Thigpen ($5,190). Tre Mason ($3,590) is also in the mix for carries, but only two running backs are likely to get in the lineup so monitor closely when depth charts come out.
Tre Mason, RB, SSK
Despite a crowded backfield, Tre Mason ($3,590) appears to be the back to own for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Chris Jones told CFL.ca’s Jim Morris this week that he likes the progress Mason has made in his football comeback, and the usage throughout games seems to back that up. After averaging 6.0 carries per game through his first seven contests, Mason has hit double-digit rushing attempts in back-to-back outings.
Bryant Mitchell, WR, EDM
Despite a breakout game two weeks ago, Bryant Mitchell ($4,216) could still be behind Vidal Hazelton ($3,294) on the Esks’ depth chart this week. This speaks to the Eskimos’ embarrassment of riches at receiver because Mitchell is no doubt starting material. Either way, keep an eye on the Eskimos’ depth chart when it comes out on Sunday.
Vidal Hazelton, WR, EDM
It appears that Vidal Hazelton ($3,294) is in line to make a second straight start for the Eskimos when they take on the Stamps on Labour Day. It’s a tough matchup against the CFL’s No. 1 defence, but the value is hard to ignore.
Terry Williams, RB, CGY
The Stamps could be without Terry Williams ($4,420) this week after dealing with a shoulder problem. That could mean Romar Morris gets an opportunity to team up with Don Jackson ($6,424) in the Stamps’ backfield.
Jalen Saunders, WR, HAM
A late scratch in Week 11, Jalen Saunders ($7,214) has looked good in practice this week and is expected to play in Monday’s Labour Day Classic. Saunders should be a big part of the Ticats’ aerial attack against an Argo secondary allowing a league-worst 9.4 passing yards per attempt.
Duron Carter, WR, TOR
Duron Carter ($3,777) will have to wait to make his Argos debut. Head Coach Marc Trestman revealed this week that Carter will not play either of the team’s next two games.
Anthony Coombs, WR, TOR
It appears the Argos will be without Anthony Coombs ($2,916) for ‘the next few games’, Coach Marc Trestman has told TSN’s Matthew Scianitti. It’s a tough break for the talented Canadian, who’s struggled to stay on the field through his first five CFL seasons.