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Week 9 of TSN CFL Fantasy Football Presented by Leo Vegas offers some intriguing start opportunities that will be bargains along with a sit or two that will be glaringly obvious. The week does see the return of the Lions from their open week, which means hope springs eternal for Fantasy users waiting for the league’s most disappointing offence to come to life.
Calgary at Winnipeg
Thursday | 8:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Winnipeg (-8)
Start: Reggie Begelton, WR, Stampeders, $7722 Salary
Fantasy users want dependability, and Begelton has provided a lot this season, recording double-digit Fantasy points in four of his last five games that include a pair of 100-yard outings. The Stampeders also offered a glimpse in expanding Begelton’s value by lining him up as a running back at times during last week’s win over the Eskimos and gave him a carry that resulted in an 11-yard run. Scoring will be hard to come by for the Stamps considering that the Blue Bombers have allowed a league-low nine offensive touchdowns and while Begelton has just one major thus far, his ability to make plays will be bolstered by the fact pivot Nick Arbuckle ($5,797) has completed a league-best 59.1% of his pass attempts of 20 yards or longer. In what shapes to be a low-scoring affair, Begelton is in a position to make an impact for his users.
Sit: Any Blue Bombers receivers
Quarterback Matt Nichols ($8,794) struggled in his first game without All-Star Darvin Adams, throwing for just 161 yards and three interceptions in last week’s loss to the Argonauts. Winnipeg’s receivers accounted for 15 catches yet managed only 116 yards and two plays of more than 20 yards. The Stampeders’ secondary looks to rebound after Trevor Harris ($11,655) lit them for 373 yards and the first three completions of better than 30 yards they have allowed all season and should get their chance to cut into the heart of what the Bombers like to do: throw the ball 10-19 yards downfield. Calgary has allowed a 52% completion rate with seven of their 14 interceptions coming from that depth. Unless someone steps up, the Bombers will have to rely on a lot of swing passes to Andrew Harris ($11,765).
Saskatchewan at Montreal
Friday | 7:00 p.m. ET
Line: Saskatchewan (-2.5)
Start: Cody Fajardo, QB, Roughriders, $8,491 Salary
The Alouettes defence has improved since an 0-2 start but still rank eighth in total yards allowed (415.8), plays from scrimmage (60 per game) and yards per play allowed (6.8). Those are ideal numbers for Fajardo, who leads the league with 14 completions of better than 30 yards and his fleet game-altering duo of Shaquelle Evans ($7,348) and Kyran Moore ($7,436), who have combined for 12 of those big plays. Fajardo remains a very dangerous threat near the goal line, having scored in six of the team’s seven games. Projecting Fajardo for 30 Fantasy points may be a low water mark because the opportunity is there for a monster performance.
Sit: Jeremiah Johnson, RB, Alouettes, $6,079 Salary
As of Wednesday, the availability of William Stanback ($9,014) remains in question. If the Alouettes are without their chief offensive weapon, expect a considerable drop in production. Don’t take this as a knock on Johnson, who has averaged 6.1 yards per carry in his eight attempts, but the big veteran cannot provide the same element to the passing game that Stanback and his 10.7 yards per catch brings to the party. Without Stanback, Montreal’s eighth-ranked passing game and its league-low 60.3% completion rate will have to brace for a long evening of Saskatchewan’s pass rush introducing itself to Antonio Pipkin ($6,663) early and often.
Ottawa at Edmonton
Friday | 10:00 PM
Line: Edmonton (-8.5)
Start: Tevaun Smith, WR, Eskimos, $2,605 Salary
The trade of Kenny Stafford ($4,936) to the Roughriders opens the door for the talented rookie, who has quietly caught 10 passes for 117 yards in the last two games. Smith will also benefit from the return of Greg Ellingson ($8,459) to the lineup, which will present favourable matchups for Smith. The REDBLACKS have been very vulnerable against the pass, allowing 8.7 yards per pass along with giving up 11 completions of better than 30 yards. Those looking to roll the dice will receive a nice payoff here.
Sit: Dominique Rhymes, WR, RedBlacks, $4,995 Salary
Rhymes is among four receivers tied for the league lead with 13 receptions on second down, but his efficiency rating of 58.5 ranks near the bottom of the league’s top 50 leaders in yardage. Much of this can’t be pinned on Rhymes as the Ottawa passing game is last with 217.6 yards per game and sports a league-low 6.5 yards per completion. The REDBLACKS are also last in completions of better than 30 yards (five) and completions of passing of at least 20 yards in depth (10). Oh, yeah: the Eskimos still lead the league in fewest passing yards allowed (179.4).
BC at Hamilton
Saturday, 7:00 PM
Line: Hamilton (-10.5)
Start: Anthony Coombs, WR, Tiger-Cats, $4,284 Salary
If Maleek Irons ($4,500) isn’t available, then Coombs becomes the lead back for Hamilton. Coombs rushed for 21 yards on nine carries in last week’s loss to the Roughriders but gets a weaker Lions run defence to run through. BC is sixth in rushing yards allowed (108.7), yet what makes Coombs more interesting is that the Lions allow a league-high 74.1% completion rate to opposing quarterbacks. Dane Evans ($5,831) may also be without receiver Brandon Banks ($14,000), so Coombs — who caught a 13-yard major on last week — should become a solid target if Evans has to spread the ball around.
Sit: Ryan Lankford, WR/RS, Lions, $5,365 Salary
Lankford produced 277 return yards and scored on a missed field goal return and a kickoff return in the Week 7 loss to the Roughriders. Don’t count on him duplicating the feat, as the Tiger-Cats have one of the best coverage units in the league. Hamilton is third in fewest yards per punt return at 9.8 yards and third in kickoff returns (21.3). Lankford is expected to be more involved in the offence, but until BC learns to keep Mike Reilly ($10,753) upright, it’s best not to get excited about that piece of news.