Falling leaves and cooler temperatures aren’t the only things changing as Week 18 approaches. TSN CFL Fantasy football users will also have to adjust to the changes at quarterback in both BC (Travis Lulay) and Toronto (James Franklin) while the Lions continue their window dressing with the addition of running back Tyrell Sutton to the starting lineup.
With only two playoff spots left, don’t expect Week 18 to be as defensive-minded as Thanksgiving weekend was. For teams like the reeling Eskimos, the postseason begins now. A week of change also means there will be a host of new players worth adding to Fantasy lineups and some that won’t make the cut, regardless of past success.
It’s the home stretch for Fantasy leagues, so let’s get to it and find a gem or two.
Fantasy users not willing to invest $12,001 for Ticats receiver Brandon Banks can save a few bucks by playing Tasker against the league’s second-worst pass defence. Tasker has scored majors in four of his last six games and comes into Week 18 with a streak of six straight games of at least 12 Fantasy points. He’s owned the Argos secondary this season, scoring a combined 50.3 FP in two games against them this season, putting up a composite 15 catches for 234 yards and two scores. Although rarely used deep downfield, Tasker has caught six of his nine targets beyond 20 yards, a great percentage considering the Argonauts have given up a league-high 31 completions of more than 30 yards.
After consecutive weeks of double-digit Fantasy production in Weeks 14 and 15, Edwards has a combined six catches for 72 yards in the last two weeks. Perhaps the change at pivot could help Edwards, but with Duron Carter ($3,738) catching his first touchdown in a Toronto uniform last week, the bet here is that Franklin will utilize Carter more than McLeod Bethel-Thompson ($7,891) was able to before his benching last week. On the surface, Edwards’ 51 catches for 694 yards and three touchdowns has constituted a good season, but the struggles of the Argonauts passing attack has made him more inconsistent than he was during last season’s run to the Grey Cup title. Perhaps Edwards (with help from Franklin) can prove this wrong on Friday, but the numbers suggest otherwise.
The former 1,000-yard receiver has established a rapport with quarterback Zach Collaros ($6,033) in his first two games, catching a combined 10 passes for 145 yards. The Riders don’t have a true go-to target, but as the team gears up for the postseason, Shaw is currently the hot hand in the Saskatchewan receiving corps. The Bombers have allowed just 13 passing touchdowns, yet they are seventh in both passing yards allowed per game (272.8) and opponents’ completion percentage (65.8). Few Fantasy users are counting on a big game from Collaros, but Shaw’s experience and playmaking skills should produce a third straight game of double-digit Fantasy points.
Last week’s 23.1 Fantasy point outburst from Dressler was a pleasant surprise, but it’s more of a random peak on the roller coaster. Prior to last week, Dressler had not recorded a double-digit FP outing since Week 6 against Toronto and it marked only the third time this season he caught at least five passes. Saskatchewan is third in the league in passing yardage allowed (255.1) and is tied for second with 17 interceptions – numbers that make it harder to buy into Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols ($6,556) putting together a second straight solid outing that includes Dressler as a focal point of his success.
Harris has three straight games of more than 300 passing yards to go along with six touchdowns and only one interception in that span. He hung tough in the Week 15 win over the Eskimos, throwing for 315 yards and a touchdown despite being sidelined briefly due to a series of hits. Harris rarely offers anything in terms of rushing yardage but won’t need to against a slumping Edmonton defence that is giving up 8.7 yards per pass – ranking eighth in the league. They’ve also surrendered 29 completions of more than 30 yards. Last week’s three-touchdown effort in the overtime loss to Winnipeg could be repeated if Harris can get going early and take the crowd out of the game.
The league’s third-leading rusher with 853 yards, Gable hasn’t offered much sizzle to his steak this season. He has rushed for over 100 yards just once and has only three games of better than 69 yards rushing. Most of all, he has not been a frequent visitor to the end zone, managing only three majors in 155 attempts. Much of his lack of scoring can’t be put on him since quarterback Mike Reilly ($12,802) has scored 12 touchdowns, yet with the Eskimos offence in the deep freeze in its last three games, Fantasy users would be taking a huge risk banking on Gable to thaw them out.
BC (7-7-0) at Calgary (12-2-0)
Saturday | 8:00 p.m. ET
Start: Stampeders Defence, $5,845 Salary
The Stamps’ D has scored 17 points in two of the last three games, including the Thanksgiving Monday win over the Alouettes that saw them record a season-high six sacks and a pair of turnovers. With BC going back to Lulay ($6,304) at quarterback in a bid to spark an offence that is seventh in both total yardage and points per game, the recipe is set up for another big evening for Calgary, which is tied with Winnipeg with a league-high 41 forced turnovers. The pass rush has been on point of late, having recorded at least two sacks in six straight games.
The Lions added Sutton from the Alouettes last month and will give him his first start as they seek to breathe life in a ground game that is managing only 95.3 yards per game. Sutton should be effective for BC but not on Saturday. No one runs on the Stampeders and lives to tell about it because Calgary allows a stingy 78.1 yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry, both of which lead the league. Sutton might find some success as a receiver out of the backfield, but Fantasy users should steer clear of him completely.
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