July 9, 2019

CFL Fantasy Podcast, Ep. 33: Big play VA!

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Montreal Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. came through as a value play in Week 4, producing 20-plus points as one of the low-cost options in TSN CFL Fantasy.

The question moving forward is whether it’s sustainable, as Fantasy players have plenty of cost-efficient options at the position including Dominique Davis, Nick Arbuckle and McLeod Bethel-Thompson in Week 5.

From Adams moving the offence to William Stanback‘s 200-yard, three-touchdown performance, the Alouettes certainly opened eyes in their recent upset of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

» Subscribe to the CFL Fantasy Podcast
» Sign up and set your lineup for Week 5!
» Make your predictions with CFL Pick ‘Em

“They’re not the doormat anymore,” said Pat Steinberg, who joined Hannah Nordman and Jeff Krever in the CFL Fantasy Podcast presented by LeoVegas. “This is an Alouettes team that suffered a big kick in the gut to start the season when they had a coaching change, I think it was natural for them to have some growing pains early on.

“I think they’re a factor in the East. I still think Hamilton’s the best team by a significant margin, but I think Montreal’s going to be a factor and if they can be a .500 or above .500 team, that’s going to be a rousing success for them this year.”

The debate can be heard in its entirety below, as the podcast trio discuss all of this week’s hot topics from the emergence of Nick Arbuckle to the second round of battle between Mike Reilly and Trevor Harris:

No one had the Alouettes on their radar a week ago, with not a single Montreal player falling inside the 20 most-picked players in Fantasy. While Stanback came through with a 44-point outing — the highest single-game Fantasy total of 2019 — the debate this week surrounded the quarterback.

With Antonio Pipkin sidelined, Adams is attempting to lock down the starting job and become the franchise quarterback the Alouettes have longed for ever since Anthony Calvillo last took a snap in 2013.

This season Adams has completed 59 per cent of his passes with two touchdowns and two interceptions, compiling a quarterback rating of 84.6. He’s also rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

“He’s been effective,” said Steinberg. “Am I ready to sit here and say he’s a number one Fantasy target for me? No, but he’s in that group of quarterbacks that from a value standpoint you can wrap your head around.

“I still see a lot of issues in terms of decision making and just the overall passing game, but he’s got big play ability, we know that. We know he can bust it, we know he’s got speed. He had a good week. Over 20 points for that dollar figure, you’re not going to be mad at that.”

In Week 4, Adams threw for 202 yards on 14-of-25 passing, with 60 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

“Pat, what did you call it? Big play ability? I think that’s why they call him big play VA,” said Krever. “He’s done a nice job through two weeks. Hasn’t been a superstar but running for 40, 50 yards each week, has the big arm, likes to go downfield.

“The thing I’ve noticed with him, he’s not taking off right away. He doesn’t have happy feet in the pocket where he’s running after that first read. A little bit more patience, a little more maturity.”


Adams will try to continue his success in a key divisional battle with the REDBLACKS, a team that could present some opportunities downfield having averaged 313 passing yards against per game — the third most in the CFL.

For Krever, the arrow is only pointing up for the Alouettes.

“You like the weapons in that offence,” he said. “A lot of receivers — it’s not just Stanback. The offensive line . . . that O-line needed to be better. It’s a young group, they’ve had their growing pains.

“They’re used to being the nail,” he added. “They were the hammer in that game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. We’re not used to saying that, but it’s true. I’m liking the Montreal Alouettes right now and I think there’s something there.”