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.
Diontae Spencer, WR, OTT
With the division already clinched, the Ottawa REDBLACKS will sit a number of starters for their season finale vs. the Argos, including Diontae Spencer ($10,527). Spencer hit the 1,000-yard mark last week for the first time in his career, and Head Coach Rick Campbell will want to keep him fresh for the Eastern Final.
Trevor Harris, QB, OTT
Rick Campbell wasted no time announcing that Trevor Harris ($9,492) will sit for the team’s regular season finale Friday night. Despite the long layoff, the REDBLACKS aren’t taking any chances with their top players in a meaningless game. Dominique Davis ($5,000) and Danny Collins ($5,000) will both handle snaps in Harris’ absence.
William Powell, RB, OTT
William Powell ($8,722) will miss his second straight game for the REDBLACKS. Powell could lose out on the rushing title as a result, but this team has bigger fish to fry, just one win away in the Eastern Final from playing for the 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw. Mossis Madu ($5,412) is likely to get the call.
Brad Sinopoli, WR, OTT
With a new single-season receptions record under his belt, Brad Sinopoli ($7,754) has no reason to play in the REDBLACKS’ season-ender vs. the Argos Friday night. Rick Campbell is getting all his top players two weeks to get healthy and re-energized ahead of the Eastern Final on Nov. 18.
Greg Ellingson, WR, OTT
After breaking out with a two-touchdown game vs. Hamilton, Greg Ellingson ($7,554) will not play in Week 21 vs. the Argos. It’s been an up-and-down season for Ellingson, but the numbers are still strong with 1,086 yards and five touchdowns on 91 receptions.
Mossis Madu, RB, OTT
The REDBLACKS will start Mossis Madu ($5,412) at running back this week when they take on the Argos. They want to give William Powell ($8,722) another breather before the post-season, and with Madu being the only other international back available, he should see a heavy workload vs. Toronto.
Noel Thomas, WR, OTT
With their top receivers sitting, the REDBLACKS have activated Noel Thomas ($2,500), who will start vs. the Argos. Thomas flashed potential earlier in the season but couldn’t crack Ottawa’s talented receiving corps after Week 5. There will be plenty of opportunities for him, though he won’t have Trevor Harris ($9,492) throwing him the football.
Dexter McCluster, RB, TOR
The Argos will be without Dexter McCluster ($3,500) vs. the REDBLACKS, after the running back was placed on the injured list to end the season. He’ll be replaced in the lineup by Travon Van, though Branden Burks ($4,200) should get the majority of touches vs. Ottawa.
Travon Van, RB, TOR
With Dexter McCluster sidelined, Travon Van will make his Argos debut vs. the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Don’t expect a heavy workload for the running back and returner, who returns to the place his CFL career began.
Duron Carter, WR, TOR
Argos receiver Duron Carter ($3,128) is listed as a backup for Friday’s contest in the nation’s capital. It’s a concerning development for Carter, who’s failed to catch more than two passes throughout each of his first six starts.
Jimmy Ralph, WR, TOR
The Argos have activated national pass-catcher Jimmy Ralph ($2,500), who will start at field wideout in the team’s finale vs. the REDBLACKS. Though he’s got a reliable set of hands, he is not considered a viable Fantasy option at this time.
Myles White, WR, TOR
One player who could benefit from Duron Carter’s demotion is Myles White ($2,500), who’s starting at boundary corner in Week 21. The twin brother of Mitchell White, Myles has his best opportunity yet to make an impact and is an intriguing sleeper catching passes from James Franklin.
Mike Reilly, QB, EDM
Eskimos head coach Jason Maas says Mike Reilly ($12,812) will play Saturday’s season finale from start to finish vs. the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Despite recently being eliminated from playoff contention, Reilly is likely the most reliable quarterback in a week with a lot of uncertainty.
Kenny Stafford, WR, EDM
Kenny Stafford ($3,909) will draw out of the Esks’ lineup for the last game of the season. Recently-added Kevin Elliott ($3,428) will make his Eskimos debut instead.
Kevin Elliott, WR, EDM
Kevin Elliott ($3,428) will make his Eskimos debut in the team’s final game of 2018. Elliott was signed recently and is taking the place of Kenny Stafford ($3,909) in the lineup. With Mike Reilly ($12,812) slated to play all game, Elliott is one of many intriguing X-factors for Week 21.
Andrew Harris, RB, WPG
Fantasy users are advised to avoid Andrew Harris ($7,921) this week, as the Bombers’ bell cow running back will barely play, if at all. Harris is a handful of yards short of the rushing title, but the Bombers are more concerned with their playoff game on Nov. 11. Rest is the only logical option if you’re Mike O’Shea.
Chris Streveler, QB, WPG
Chris Streveler ($7,741) has split first-team reps behind centre this week in Winnipeg and is listed as the starting quarterback for Saturday’s game. Streveler would be a Fantasy goldmine if he plays from start to finish, but alas, he’s a risky proposition with playing time up in the air, as Bryan Bennett ($5,000) is also expected to take snaps.
Darvin Adams, WR, WPG
Bombers top receiver Darvin Adams ($7,029) will not play in the last game of the regular season. Without the playoff bye week, this is Head Coach Mike O’Shea’s best chance to give his top players a breather before what is sure to be a physical matchup in the semi.
Matt Nichols, QB, WPG
Matt Nichols ($6,665) will dress, but may or may not take snaps in the Bombers’ season finale vs. the Eskimos on Saturday. As the club gears up for what it hopes will be a long post-season run, it’s advised to avoid any regular starters in Winnipeg.
Weston Dressler, WR, WPG
Weston Dressler ($5,152) will sit the Bombers’ season finale vs. the Eskimos on Saturday. He’s a valuable part of the offence and the team needs him well-rested for Nov. 11, when it will take on either Calgary or Saskatchewan in the Western Semi-Final.
Kienan LaFrance, RB, WPG
Bombers running back Kienan LaFrance ($3,605) could be the biggest beneficiary of the Bombers’ decision to rest starters this weekend. The national running back should have the key to the Bombers’ backfield this week and could see a lot of touches, both on the ground and through the air.
Daniel Petermann, WR, WPG
It’s expected that rookie receiver Daniel Petermann ($2,500) will get some playing time for the Bombers as they rest many of their starters in Week 21. Petermann has flashed big-time potential and will be intriguing to watch if he gets an expanded role. Daring Fantasy owners could have something to gain here.
Jeremiah Masoli, QB, HAM
It’s unlikely Jeremiah Masoli ($10,510) plays much, if at all, in the Ticats’ regular season finale vs. the Alouettes Saturday. He’s listed third on the team’s depth chart. It’s a meaningless game, while June Jones says Masoli’s got a ‘bum knee’. He could probably use the rest before the Nov. 11 playoff game.
Alex Green, RB, HAM
Alex Green ($9,310) will not play Saturday vs. the Alouettes. Mercer Timmis ($3,000) and John White ($4,208) will likely get the touches instead. Either way, keep a close eye on the depth charts as Head Coach June Jones could opt to rest several starters.
Luke Tasker, WR, HAM
Luke Tasker ($8,700) won’t play in Saturday’s season finale vs. the Als. Tasker missed practice time this week and could use the game off to get ready for the Nov. 11 playoff game against the BC Lions. It’s been a long season filled with injuries for the Ticats, and they’re likely to play it safe here.
Dane Evans, QB, HAM
Dane Evans ($5,000) is listed as the Ticats’ starting quarterback Saturday against Montreal. No need to push Jeremiah Masoli ($10,510) into action in a meaningless game, especially with the playoffs fast approaching. This will be the first start of Evans’ professional football career.
John White, RB, HAM
John White ($4,208) is in the lineup but not listed as the starter against the Alouettes on Saturday. Mercer Timmis ($3,000) is the starter, but both could see touches as Alex Green gets some rest for the post-season.
Mercer Timmis, RB, HAM
The Ticats list Mercer Timmis ($3,000) as their starting running back for their season finale against the Als. It could be a time share situation, but it’s a good opportunity for Timmis to get plenty of touches in a starting role. Proceed with caution.
Johnny Manziel, QB, MTL
Alouettes quarterback Johnny Manziel ($7,511) missed practice earlier this week with what was reported to be a hand injury. He is listed as the team’s starting quarterback, but with Mike Sherman hoping to get a look at the other pivots, it would be unwise to pick any quarterback from Montreal this week.
Jonathon Jennings, QB, BC
The Lions could rotate quarterbacks in their season finale vs. Calgary, meaning Jonathon Jennings ($6,514) could get plenty of snaps against the Stamps. With a tough road trip to Hamilton for the Eastern Semi on Nov. 11, there’s no reason for Wally Buono to play his regulars.
Travis Lulay, QB, BC
Fantasy users should not expect to see much, if any, of Travis Lulay ($6,359) on Saturday night at BC Place, although he is listed as a starter. With the Lions looking to the playoffs, and having to face a Calgary team with plenty to play for, it’s probably best to avoid most of their starters altogether.
Chris Rainey, RB, BC
With Tyrell Sutton ($6,114) likely getting a breather, Chris Rainey ($6,318) has gotten plenty of reps at practice and could see a heavy workload vs. the Stamps on Saturday. Rainey has done well in these situations before, making him a very intriguing play for Fantasy users this week.
Eric Rogers, WR, CGY
Stamps pass-catcher Eric Rogers ($6,145) will not play on Saturday after being placed on the one-game injured list. It’s a bit of a surprise for a Stamps team in must-win mode, raising some cause for concern about Rogers’ status moving forward. Either way, forget about him this week, and double check that he’s not in your lineup.
Bakari Grant, WR, CGY
With Rogers sidelined, Bakari Grant ($3,454) will make his 2018 debut at BC Place Saturday night. Grant has had several weeks to get acclimated with his new surroundings, and should be able to make an impact in his first game — though it’s tough to choose between all the cheap Stamps receivers.