- Free Agency
The best part of the final week of the regular season was watching the cavalcade of backups and practice roster call-ups get their one moment in the lights. It also made for interesting lineup combinations as TSN CFL Fantasy football players looked to put together the most reliable Week 21 roster possible. In the end, though, the week’s best player was one familiar with heavy usage during the previous 20 weeks.
CJ1K: Eskimos running back C.J. Gable was 13th in player usage and number one for the 2,106 who had him on their Week 21 rosters, as he finished with Week 21-best 26.9 Fantasy points in Edmonton’s win over Winnipeg. Gable ended his 2018 season in impressive fashion, rushing for 112 yards and two touchdowns to finish over the 1,000-yard mark (1,063) for the first time in his career.
Fantasy Analysis: Gable had three games of least 20 Fantasy points and scored four of his seven rushing touchdowns in the last three weeks. There’s little reason to think he won’t enter 2019 among the league’s top rushers and a popular source of production for Fantasy users.
Because 31 Fantasy Users Can’t Be Wrong: There were 111 players with more Fantasy usage than Alouettes quarterback Antonio Pipkin, but only Gable outscored him. By the thinnest of margins, Pipkin finished second with 26.8 Fantasy points as he put together two rushing touchdowns and a 75-yard scoring strike to Eugene Lewis in Montreal’s win over Hamilton. Only 31 Fantasy users selected Pipkin to their lineups, which meant either they were family and friends of Pipkin or they were inside the mind of Als coach Mike Sherman.
Fantasy Analysis: Saturday was a reminder as to why the Alouettes think Pipkin could eventually become the starting pivot. Even if Johnny Manziel returns next spring, Pipkin showed enough to merit a chance to win the starting role, and if Montreal can improve its offensive fortunes, Pipkin could have sleeper potential.
Ah, to be 17: Winnipeg’s Chris Streveler put together an entertaining 25.2 FP outing against Edmonton that included an 80-yard scoring lob to Corey Washington and a 29-yard rushing major that was one of the week’s more exciting plays. He placed third overall, not too bad at all for a player who was 11th overall in usage.
Fantasy Analysis: Streveler accounted for 20 regular season touchdowns (11 passing) and will have support for Most Outstanding Rookie. He will be a factor for the Bombers in Sunday’s West Semi-Final against Saskatchewan but may not merit a lot of Fantasy usage as the backup to Matt Nichols.
Those Pesky Picks: BC quarterback Travis Lulay had one of the worst Week 21 totals, finishing with a mere 0.3 FP in the Lions’ loss to the Stampeders. Lulay threw two interceptions, marking the third straight game in which he has thrown a pair into the wrong hands.
Fantasy Analysis: Lulay is going to be a risky pick (no pun intended) for Fantasy users come Sunday’s East Semi-Final against Hamilton. Only four of his 13 touchdown passes came against East teams and he’ll be going against the league’s top pass defence in the Ticats. While he knows a thing or two about November magic, Lulay’s recent struggles aren’t making Fantasy users feel magical about him.
Robert Drummond Would Be Proud: Montreal running back William Stanback was the second most-used player in Week 21 and didn’t disappoint his 4,444 users by putting up 18.4 Fantasy points in the win over Hamilton. Most of his production came from his pass catching, where Stanback accounted for 15.3 of his FP by catching four passes for 100 yards.
Fantasy Analysis: Stanback put up 34.5 FP in receiving in the last two games of the season, averaging 22.1 yards per catch and scoring two touchdowns. He will be poised to take the next step toward stardom in 2019 and could become one of the more consistent performers in Fantasy play should the Alouettes upgrade the offence.
The Kids Are Alright: Hamilton’s trio of slotback Bralon Addison (23.3 FP), running back Sean Thomas Erlington (19.5) and quarterback Dane Evans (19) made strong impressions in Saturday’s loss to Montreal. Addison scored his first CFL touchdown while putting up 101 receiving yards, while Erlington amassed 95 yards from scrimmage and a rushing major and Evans threw for 315 yards and two scores. All three ranked among the Top 10 scorers of the week, along with Ticats receiver Mike Jones, who had 22.4 Fantasy points on the way to his fourth 100-yard game of the season.
Fantasy Analysis. Only Jones is projected to be a contributor for the East Semi-Final against BC, but the Tiger-Cats showed their depth in a competitive game against the bulk of Montreal’s regular starters. Only 10 Fantasy users had Addison in their lineups, easily making him the best bang for the Week 21 buck.
All He Does Is Score Touchdowns: Stampeders receiver Markeith Ambles continued his impressive late-season run with a touchdown catch from Bo Levi Mitchell in Saturday’s West Division-clinching win over BC, giving the rookie from the University of Houston his fourth straight game with a major. Ambles finished 16th overall with 15.6 Fantasy Points, a nice payoff for the fifth-most used player in Week 21 (3,235).
Fantasy Analysis: He’s become a welcomed presence for Mitchell, as Ambles has caught 24 passes for 237 yards in his last four games. The bargain salary and increased usage in the Calgary passing game make him a strong Fantasy play when the Stamps host the West Final on November 18.
Sharing History: Toronto pivot James Franklin had only one carry in Friday’s loss to Ottawa, leaving him tied with Hall of Famer Doug Flutie for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in one season (14). Franklin finished with 7.3 Fantasy points before giving way to McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who finished the game for the Argos.
Fantasy Analysis: It was an up-and-down season for Franklin, who struggled after replacing the injured Ricky Ray in the starting lineup only to regain the role when Bethel-Thompson hit a wall. The duo will probably compete for the starting job next spring if Ricky Ray decides to press the forward button on his eventual induction into the Hall of Fame and call it a career.
Long Time Coming: REDBLACKS running back Mossis Madu scored his first touchdown since Week 10 of the 2017 season when he crossed the goal line in the final minute of Friday’s win over the Argonauts. Madu finished with 78 yards on 14 carries and totalled 13.8 Fantasy points.
Fantasy Analysis: Ottawa must be pleased in knowing Madu can still be a dependable source of production when William Powell is not available. Where he fits into the scheme of things for the East Final on November 18 remains in doubt, but Madu’s experience and track record suggests he will have a role.