September 26, 2018

CFL Fantasy Podcast, Week 16: The other Johnny Football

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — With all eyes on  Johnny Manziel, there was a different ‘Johnny Football’ owning the spotlight in Week 15.

Jonathon Jennings looked like his old self on Saturday night in Vancouver, leading the Lions to a stunning overtime win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats that included a game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion on the last play of regulation.

Once considered one of the league’s brightest young stars, Jennings fell out of favour in BC, becoming a backup to Travis Lulay. But with Lulay injured, Jennings made the most of his opportunity for redemption, throwing for 347 yards and three touchdowns vs. the league’s top pass defence.

The hot topic on this week’s podcast: Was it a mirage, or is the old Jonathon Jennings back for real?

“Jennings has talent that is through the roof,” said Steinberg. “In terms of his ability and what he’s capable of doing, there are very few guys in this league that can do what he does. Vintage Jonathon Jennings in that game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but I am scared to put him in a lineup right now.”

The entire podcast can be heard below:

You can listen to previous episodes and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play or Spotify.

For Steinberg, as enticing as Jennings may seem from a Fantasy perspective, he’s taking a wait and see approach.

“It’s a scary proposition because of how inconsistent he’s been,” said Steinberg. “I can’t sit here and confidently say that Jonathon Jennings is back because, as outstanding as he was, those performances have been few and far between.”

Nordman, on the other hand, is all in on Jennings, making the Lions’ quarterback her lock of the week.

“In the past three games, coming in cold two games in a row, picking up the wins, and then what he does with his first full game, putting up nearly 30 points in Fantasy . . . I feel good about this, especially considering he’s one of the cheapest quarterbacks out there.

“I know it’s going to be tougher at Tim Hortons Field, but I’m feeling really good about it and I think people should at least consider him.”

For Krever, the ability isn’t in question with Jennings — instead the concern is whether he’ll continue to be aggressive like he was late in the Hamilton game. Through much of the first three quarters, the Lions’ pivot took a conservative approach. Meanwhile, in 2018, his average yards per attempt is a career-low 6.7.

In his first two seasons in the league, Jennings averaged 9.3 and 9.4 yards per attempt respectively.

“The case of Jonathon Jennings is a very curious one because when he came into the league, part of what made him so good was his fearlessness,” said Krever. “There was not a throw on the field that he wouldn’t try to make.

“In the fourth quarter [vs. Hamilton], all of a sudden there was a bit of urgency. That’s when we saw the old Jonathon Jennings — when he was throwing down the field. Are we going to see that Jennings? Or are we going to see the conservative Jonathon Jennings that we saw through the first three and a half quarters of that game?”

The podcast crew also discussed the Tyrell Sutton trade; Manziel’s first three games; Duron Carter‘s first start and more in the latest from the CFL Fantasy Podcast.