With only Saturday night’s Calgary at BC winner-take-all the only game with playoff implications, the final week of the regular season will have some Fantasy users feeling as if the best way to put together an effective lineup will be by random dart throwing or pulling names out of a hat. Week 21 has already been impacted by the news of Ottawa sitting out its key offensive weapons and wouldn’t come as a shock if any of the other playoff-bound teams followed suit.
Consider this week’s start/sit as a pleasant surprise filled with faces that may not have appeared here in the previous 20 weeks of play.
With the REDBLACKS announcing many of their starters will be given Friday off, the opportunity for QB James Franklin opens up to put up some serious numbers against a potentially spotty Ottawa defence. (Johany Jutras, CFL.ca)
With much of the REDBLACKS defence slated to sit, this is a game where Franklin can establish his 2019 credentials. He has just eight touchdown passes this season, but his running ability enhances his Fantasy value. Friday gives Franklin his final opportunity to break the league’s single-season record for rushing majors by a quarterback, as he remains tied with Hall of Famer Doug Flutie with 14 scores. Ottawa has allowed just 14 rushing touchdowns this season, but this feels like the type of game where Franklin will rush for 50 or more yards and find the end zone with his legs. He could pay off huge for Fantasy users should he use his arm to deliver a major or two for the Argos.
Sit: Mossis Madu, RB, REDBLACKS, $5,412 Salary
Madu rushed for only 26 yards on 11 carries in his 2018 debut last week. He will get another start in the absence of William Powell ($8,722), who gets a second game of rest and will go into the East Final with three weeks of healing. The REDBLACKS will split time at pivot, with Dominique Davis ($5,000) starting and Danny Collins ($5,000) playing the second half, which means the offence probably won’t be in a consistent groove. Madu does face the league’s worst run defence, but as tempting as it looks to play him, Fantasy users will be best off not taking the risk on Madu.
Yes, this week offers a lot of bargains at receiver, but Fantasy users looking to close the regular season on a strong note will turn toward Mitchell, who comes into the finale with seven straight games of at least 12 Fantasy points. He’s been lethal in his last two games, having put up a combined 61 FP on 19 catches for 300 yards and two touchdowns. Finishing the season at .500 is a reason for motivation, and with the Bombers likely to sit a handful of their defensive starters, playing Mitchell — one of the few sure things available at the position this week — could translate into another impressive afternoon.
Nichols has thrown six touchdowns in his last three games and appears to be hitting his stride at the right time. However, chances are good that Nichols will see limited action here, as Winnipeg will likely give him a few series just to keep the batteries charged for next week. With talented rookie Chris Streveler ($7,741) in the fold, the Bombers will not risk Nichols. If the game had meaning, Nichols might have been a potential must-start considering he would have had ample opportunities to light up an Edmonton defence that has allowed 35 passes of better than 30 yards.
The Tiger-Cats defence allows 5.4 Yards Per Carry. Stanback averages 6.8 per tote and has three runs of better than 20 yards. He’s also due for a rushing touchdown and is within striking distance of finishing in the Top 10 in rushing despite not earning the starting job until late September. Hamilton does top the league in Fewest Passing Yards Allowed Per Game (244.1) yet will have their hands full with Stanback’s pass-catching skills. He scored his first two career touchdowns via the airways in last week’s win over Toronto and as his 10.5 Yards Per Catch attests, he can cause damage as a receiver.
Jones did set a season-high with six receptions last week, but the passing game will focus on attempting to find someone who can at least give a mild scare to opposing secondaries as it looked very ordinary without Brandon Banks ($12,471). The only receiver who can come close to that is Terrell Sinkfield ($4,972), who also caught six passes last week; while Jones has shown his big-play skills at times this season, it’s Sinkfield and his blistering speed that will look to be more involved against a Montreal defence allowing more than 304 Passing Yards Per Game.
Morris has scored touchdowns this season as a runner (four), receiver (two) and return specialist (one). Starter Don Jackson ($6,693) hasn’t scored a major since Week 3 and has struggled upon his return from the Injured List. In a game that will determine whether Calgary hosts the West Final or must head to Saskatchewan, expect Morris to be used in a variety of ways, but it’s his explosive skills in the return game that puts him into must-start consideration.
Aside from his four-TD outing against Edmonton in Week 19, Lulay has been a below-average Fantasy producer, managing just one other game with at least two passing majors. He also comes off a brutal week that saw him score a paltry 3.8 Fantasy points and comes into Saturday having committed five turnovers (four interceptions) in his last two games. Going up against the Stampeders defence is not an ideal way for any Fantasy user to find scoring from the pivot and with other low-end options with better matchups, Lulay is not a great choice to plug into the lineup.
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