Week 8 was tough on most #TotalPickEm players; first-place Winnipeg was stunned in the final minute by then-winless Toronto, while Ottawa pulled a road win out of a hat in OT at Montreal.
Like any good fantasy/pick’em player though, we’re back on the horse for a full slate of Week 9 games. Our record is still over 80 per cent on the season (25-6), and we’re still feeling good about our picks.
Thursday | Calgary at Winnipeg (8:30 p.m. ET)
Star Calgary QB Bo Levi Mitchell returned to full practice this week, but it’s likely we’ll see Nick Arbuckle once again under centre come Thursday.
Regardless, the Stamps (5-2) are in better form; Dave Dickenson’s team has won three straight with Arbuckle, while Winnipeg (5-2) is coming off a pair of losses out East.
It took just two losses for questions to pop up again around the Bombers offence — specifically QB Matt Nichols’ second-half performance in the loss at Toronto — and Winnipeg is suddenly facing serious pressure within the division.
PICK: Calgary, because coordinator Brent Monson’s defence has rounded into form and Winnipeg’s offence sputtered last week.
Friday | Saskatchewan at Montreal (7:00 p.m. ET)
An intriguing matchup sees the Riders (4-3) head to la belle province for a date with the Alouettes (3-3).
Saskatchewan’s won three in a row since being hammered at home by Calgary back in Week 4, while Montreal could be without starters QB Vernon Adams Jr. (doubtful) and RB Will Stanback (questionable) — both of whom were yet to practice as of Tuesday.
PICK: Saskatchewan, but it’s a toss-up. Both defences are sound, and both offences still have question marks. That said, ride the Riders’ hot hand.
Friday | Ottawa at Edmonton (10:00 p.m. ET)
You know this is a game Trevor Harris has had circled for a long time.
And boy, is it ever going to be a fun one.
Ottawa return man DeVonte Dedmon looks like the second coming of Pinball Clemons, while Edmonton’s offence will need to kick back into high gear after slumping to a loss in Calgary last week.
PICK: Edmonton, because that front seven could be in Dominique Davis‘ face all night long and it’s unlikely the Esks offence will struggle that heavily in back-to-back weeks.
Saturday | BC at Hamilton (7:00 p.m. ET)
Sitting three games back of everybody else in the West, the Lions (1-6) are in desperate need of a win.
Hamilton (5-2) is still a game and a half clear atop the East, but has questions of its own to answer: Is Dane Evans capable of generating offence for the medium-term future? What is the Ticats’ running back situation?
Veteran linebacker Simoni Lawrence returns to the Hamilton lineup after serving a two-game suspension (Geoff Robins/CFL.ca)
We’re starting to approach must-win territory for BC, but don’t discount the importance of getting back on-track for Saturday’s hosts.
PICK: Hamilton, because the Ticats are 4-0 at home and Evans should show some progression this week at QB. Will BC’s O-line be ready for a tough Hamilton front seven?
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