July 10, 2019

Start vs. Sit: Value at running back in Week 5

Geoff Robins/CFL.ca

The conclusion of Week 5 officially puts us at the quarter turn of the regular season, which also serves as a reminder that there’s still plenty of time to reverse the fortunes of TSN CFL Fantasy Football Presented by LeoVegas users.

That also means those off to great starts shouldn’t feel too confident, so knowing who to start during an intriguing slate of games this week goes a long way toward maintaining early success. As usual, a surprise or two (and a gamble) is in store.

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Edmonton at BC
Thursday | 10:00 p.m. ET

LeoVegas Odds
Line: BC (-2.5)
O/U: 55.5

Start: John White, RB, Lions, $6,951 Salary

Yes, the Eskimos are third in the league in run defence at 90 yards allowed per game, but peek out the yards per carry average. Edmonton’s 5.6 yards allowed per rush is second-worst in the league, and that sets up well for a resurgent White, who has averaged 5.3 yards per carry in the past two weeks.

The BC offensive line is playing at a far higher level than they did in Week 2 when White was held to 27 yards rushing and with Mike Reilly ($12,287) elevating his game since that loss, the Eskimos will have to stretch themselves on the defensive side of the ball. Another plus for playing White is his pass catching, as he has caught 13 passes for 115 yards and a major over the past eight quarters.

Sit: Any Lions receiver not named Bryan Burnham or Lemar Durant

Although Duron Carter ($4,117) leads the team with 33 targets, there’s no question the Lions passing game begins and ends with Burnham ($7,768) and Durant ($6,620). Burnham, who returns after missing last week with an upper body injury, has accounted for three of the team’s five completions of better than 30 yards while the red-hot Durant has scored in each of the team’s games this season.

Shaquille Johnson ($2,658) is the only other receiver that is averaging better than 10 yards per catch, and while the Eskimos lead the league in pass defence (180 YPG allowed), it will not stop Reilly from taking his share of downfield shots to his best game-altering receivers.

Toronto at Winnipeg
Friday | 8:30 p.m. ET

LeoVegas Odds
Line: TBD

Start: Llevi Noel, WR, Argonauts, $5,772 Salary

Few receivers are a surer bet than Noel, who has caught 19 of his first 21 targets (90.4%). He has become the top option in a receiving corps that has gotten little from All-Stars S.J. Green ($6,356) and Derel Walker ($6,805) and will continue his strong start with McLeod Bethel-Thompson ($5,765) frequently looking in his direction.

With Toronto struggling to give Bethel-Thompson time to throw, Noel’s presence underneath has become a valued asset to the offence. Opposing teams have attempted an average of 43 passes per game against the Blue Bombers (highest in the league), and with the Argos expected to play catch-up, look for Noel to at least maintain his average in targets and catches.

Sit: Derel Walker, WR, Argonauts, $6,805 Salary

We suggested sitting Green last week. It’s Walker’s turn, as he has managed just three receptions for 72 yards over the past two games, with 56 of those yards coming on one catch. Walker is one of the best receivers in the league, but the former Eskimos All-Star isn’t even getting attention, having been targeted a mere 13 times. Eventually (we hope), Walker breaks out of his early season slump, but Friday is not the night to buck the trend and start him.

After his early-season struggles, this isn’t the week to take a gamble on Derel Walker (Shannon Vizniowski/CFL.ca)

Montreal at Ottawa
Saturday | 4:00 p.m. ET

LeoVegas Odds
Line: TBD

Start: Brad Sinopoli, WR, REDBLACKS, $8,130 Salary

Sinopoli is fourth on the team with 19 targets. That has to change. If the REDBLACKS’ offence wants to be consistent, that means getting their All-Star slot involved in a big way. Saturday presents a golden opportunity to get Sinopoli in gear as Ottawa meets a Montreal pass defence that has allowed a league-high 421.7 YPG.

In order for them to maximize a Sinopoli revival, that requires the good Dominique Davis ($6,073) that lit up Saskatchewan in Week 2 instead of the bad D-Squared that managed all of 5.6 Fantasy points in last week’s loss to Winnipeg. A productive Sinopoli means extended drives that usually amount to points. It translates to great numbers from his Fantasy users as well.

Sit: Ottawa Defence, $4,215 Salary

A strong argument can be made for starting the REDBLACKS D against an Alouettes offence averaging just 22.3 points per game. However, Montreal’s success in last week’s victory over Hamilton may have been the first indication the Als are turning the corner offensively. Ottawa’s pass defence allows 313 yards and a 71 per cent completion rate and the run D has given up six majors. That type of imbalance means Montreal pivot Vernon Adams Jr. ($7,000) can use a controlled passing game to set up a heavy dose of William Stanback ($9,087) on the ground. If so, don’t be shocked if this becomes an offensive slugfest.

Calgary at Hamilton
Saturday | 7:00 p.m. ET

LeoVegas Odds
Line: TBD

Start: Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Stampeders, $4,500 Salary

Carey rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and added two receptions for 25 yards in his CFL debut in last Saturday’s win over the Roughriders, and while he will likely share carries with Terry Williams ($5,176), the feeling here is that Carey will emerge as the lead back for Calgary while Don Jackson ($5,934) remains sidelined. The Tiger-Cats allow a league-high 144 YPG on the ground and could still be reeling from the pounding it took from the Alouettes, who ran for 258 yards last week. An effective Carey means an effective Stamps passing game, which makes Nick Arbuckle ($5,729) an intriguing pairing for Fantasy users.

Sit: Any Hamilton RB

Without Sean Thomas Erlington ($6,738), the Tiger-Cats running game projects to be a committee comprising of rookie Maleek Irons ($3,000) and second-year back Jackson Bennett ($2,500). Keep in mind its says Hamilton RB, which means rolling the dice on receiver Anthony Coombs ($3,890) will be the better play. Coombs led the team with 51 yards rushing last week and caught five passes for 61 yards, so look for his versatility to be counted on to help keep the Stamps defence honest.