August 28, 2019

Fantasy Strategy: Posey presenting great value

The Canadian Press

For the first time this season, the QB spot might not actually be the best place to start lineup construction as there are actually six very usable QBs this week that span the full breadth of pricing options. Fantasy players might be better starting their lineup construction process at other positions and then slotting in the QB that best fits the salary they have remaining.

QUARTERBACK

Vernon Adams Jr., MTL – $9,545

Cody Fajardo, SSK – $7,899

Trevor Harris, EDM – $12,370

McLeod Bethel-Thompson, TOR – $8,289

Punt Single(s):

Chris Streveler, WPG – $6,600

Dane Evans, HAM – $5,579

Vernon Adams Jr. sits on top of the projections largely buoyed by his huge 35.4 overtime aided Fantasy performance in Week 10 and a matchup with an Argos defence that allows the most yards per pass attempt (9.12), yards per rush attempt (5.86), and the second-most passing TDs per attempt. The Toronto defence is almost bizarro matchup-proof in that they can take nearly any opposing passer and turn them into the top Fantasy option of the week. Adams’ dual-threat ability, teamed with his matchup, and the highest implied team total on the slate (30.5) make him a solid option in Week 11 despite his rising salary.


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Coming off the bye week, Cody Fajardo and the high-flying Riders passing attack which lead the league in yards per pass attempt (9.2) find themselves in a rematch with a Redblacks defence which yielded 360 passing yards and pair of TDs to them in Week 2. Ottawa, however, has managed to stem the flow of opposition scoring over the past month as they have averaged just 20.5 points allowed in their past four games despite allowing a league-high 62.9 plays per game and the third most yards per pass attempt (8.54) in 2019. Ottawa does allow the second-highest rate of rushing TDs per attempt though, so it may be a week in which Fajardo’s running abilities can be used to their best extent. His moderate salary is still far lower that what it could be given his ceiling.

The Eskimos passing attack had become somewhat blasé over the past month and a half with Trevor Harris amassing just four passing TDs in six games, but as mentioned earlier, there’s nothing quite like a matchup with Toronto to boost the production of a passing offence. Harris erupted for 420 yards through the air along with three passing TDs and two more scores on the ground for a total of 42.1 Fantasy points. This week’s matchup with Winnipeg won’t be nearly as easy but it’s also far from disastrous. Apart from two matchups with Ottawa and one versus one-legged Mike Reilly, the Bombers defence has been vulnerable through the air. In Week 3, Harris passed for 345 yards versus Winnipeg but settled for seven field goals.

The premiere Fantasy matchup of the week will feature two East teams in what’s expected to be a shootout in Toronto on Sunday. Despite shouldering the blame for much of Toronto’s struggles, McBeth has passed for over 300 yards in four of his past six games, with multiple passing TDs in four of his past five. Their offensive scheme and game scripts have led to Toronto leading the league in percentage of pass plays run (68.6%) and the most projected pass attempts this week (38.7). The matchup with Montreal is also appealing as they allow the second-most passing yard per attempt (8.69). McBeth is a Fantasy option despite the Argos’ real-world struggles.

If Fantasy players are looking for punt options at the QB position, the rash of injuries at the position has yielded two sub-$7K options as well. Chris Streveler will get his first start of 2019 on Friday in Edmonton following the injury to Matt Nichols which will likely keep him sidelined for a month and a half. The Eskimos defence allows just 48.4 plays per game to opposing offences (league average is 56.8) and the second-fewest yards per pass attempt (7.15). Streveler’s saving grace may be his Tim Tebow like running ability which saw him average over 7 carries per game as a starting QB. Edmonton allows the third most yards per carry in the CFL so Friday night football may be a throwback to the option and single-wing offence of years gone by.

Dane Evans is also a very reasonable option at QB with a bargain bin salary of just $5579 despite passing for 260 yards and pair of TDs versus BC just two weeks ago. The Lions continue to allow the most total passing TDs and most TDs per attempt in the CFL in 2019 and are worth targeting with opposing passing games on a weekly basis.

RUNNING BACK

Andrew Harris, WPG – $11,289

Jeremiah Johnson, MTL – $6,128

William Powell, SSK – $9,309

John White, BC – $7,626

Punt Single:

John Crockett, OTT – $4,897

Andrew Harris left practice early on Monday with an apparent arm issue, but Head Coach Mike O’Shea didn’t appear concerned about it. Unfortunately, Week 10 Fantasy owners might be a little more concerned as Harris was held without a reception for the first time in 2019 after having no fewer than 7.7 Fantasy points as a receiver in any game this year up to that point. It may have just been a case of workload management in a blowout scenario but the situation bears watching for Fantasy players. His Week 11 matchup is also somewhat concerning as the Eskimos have allowed the fewest plays per game to opposing offences (48.4) and only two total rushing TDs this season despite allowing the third-most yards per carry (5.26). If Harris is going to pay off his immense salary though, he will have to contribute heavily as a receiver.

With William Stanback out injured the past two weeks, Jeremiah Johnson has filled in admirably in one of the most run-heavy offensive attacks in the CFL. The Als project for 24.1 rush attempts this week versus an Argos defence that is allowing the most yards per carry (5.86) and third-most TDs per carry in 2019. If Stanback returns to the lineup he projects similarly to Andrew Harris with significant savings in salary, while if Johnson remains the starter, he’s the top value at the position. Either way, Fantasy players will want the starting Montreal RB in their lineup.

William Powell is significantly overpriced given his workload and goal-line carry split with his QB, but the Ottawa defence has allowed the most rushing TDs this season along with the second-highest rate of rushing TDs per attempt. It’s most likely that Powell ends up with about 10.5 Fantasy points with 15 carries for 70 yards, a couple of receptions, and another ho-hum kind of performance, but his upside in this matchup could certainly include multiple TDs like his Week 7 output versus BC. There are much more probable candidates for Fantasy purposes in Week 11 but Powell is certainly a volatile contrarian option.

Since the departure of Brandon Rutley from the active lineup in BC, John White’s workload has stabilized somewhat and made him a weekly Fantasy option. It would make sense for the Lions to lean heavily on the rushing attack with Mike Reilly limited due to injury versus a Hamilton defence that allows the second-most yards per carry and the highest rate of rushing TDs per carry in 2019. In games where White has had at least 15 touches, he has averaged 29.6 Fantasy points and he projects for 16.5 opportunities this week. He’s certainly been a boom or bust option this season but the situation and matchup all point to it being a good week for White.

John Crockett is probably not a good fantasy option in Week 11, but that being said, he’s one of the few options for salary relief at the position. Right now, Ottawa is a bad offence that projects to run the second-fewest offensive plays and rushing attempts on the slate versus a defence allowing the third-fewest rushing yards per carry and that has allowed only two rushing TDs all season. There is a ton working against Crockett’s success. His slight glimmer of hope is the return of Joe PaoPao to the helm of the Ottawa offence. When he led the Renegades in 2005, Ottawa was second in the league in rush attempts (22.1/game) – rushing on 41.6% of offensive plays. The struggles of Dominique Davis under centre may lead to a “four yards and a cloud of dust” type offensive attack not seen since The Little Ball of Hate – Josh Ranek – was used as an interminable battering ram in the early 2000s.

WIDE RECEIVER

Brandon Banks, HAM – $13,723

Bralon Addison, HAM – $6,376

Greg Ellingson, EDM – $9,072

Bryan Burnham, BC – $9,180

Kyran Moore, SSK – $7,235

Ricky Collins, EDM – $7,606

Derel Walker, TOR – $8,307

Shaq Evans, SSK – $6,467

Armanti Edwards, TOR – $7,300

DaVaris Daniels, EDM – $7,244

Lemar Durant, BC – $5,535

DeVier Posey, MTL – $6,268

Punt Single(s):

Quan Bray, MTL – $3,751

Rodney Smith, TOR – $2,956

The projections at WR are interesting this week as four of the top six projected receivers depend on either the highest of lowest-priced amongst the starting QBs. If players are depending on Brandon Banks or Bralon Addison it makes little sense to go anywhere other than with Dane Evans at QB. The Lions allow the most fourth-most yards per target, have allowed the most completions of 20+ yards (22), and give up the most receiving TDs per attempt in 2019. Banks’ Week 9 34.7 point performance versus BC is evidence it’s a matchup worth picking on again. Addison has averaged nine targets a game since Evans took over at QB, making him one of the best values at WR this week. His 4.7 carries a game in the rushing attack in that same span only help to solidify his floor.

All of Ellingson, Collins, and Daniels topped 100 receiving yards in Week 10, but their price tags reflect their workloads accordingly. Stacking any of them with Trevor Harris – the most expensive QB on the slate – will be a difficulty given the lack of reliable cheap options at RB and WR. The matchup with Winnipeg isn’t reason to shy away from the Edmonton passing attack altogether, but it’s certainly enough reason to dampen expectations of a repeat Week 10 performance. Winnipeg allows the fewest yards per target (6.96) and second-fewest receiving TDs per target in the CFL. All three of Ellingson, Collins, and Daniels are worth consideration given they each average about eight targets per game, but there are more probably sources of Fantasy production in Week 11.

The Lions passing attack continued to struggle in Week 10 as Burnham posted just four reception for 46 yards as BC had just 177 yards passing versus Winnipeg. He put up 149 yards and two TDs on seven receptions just a couple weeks ago versus Hamilton, but Reilly’s health wasn’t nearly as much of a question mark in that game. Burnham has averaged over seven targets per game, is second in air yards (244), and leads the league in aDOT (14.2) over the past three weeks so there’s still significant upside for him despite an overall bleak outlook versus a Hamilton defence that allows just 7.66 yards per target and the lowest rate of receiving TDs per target this season. Lemar Durant has also seen a significant uptick in targets the past few weeks, with nine in each of his past two contests. He’s an interesting mid-tier option for salary relief.

The production per target rates for Kyran Moore and Shaq Evans are both in the top four at WR this season amongst receivers with at least 25 targets. They are elite fantasy options with big play and TD scoring potential on a weekly basis that are held back in the pack only due to the Riders penchant for spreading targets throughout the entire offence rather than condensing targets to their most efficient playmakers. If they were to get the eight targets per game allotted to other receivers in the top 10 of the projections, they would both be top 3 options behind only Banks. They are both that good. Unfortunately, they both each receive fewer than six targets per game, making them less reliable Fantasy options. The Redblacks allow the third most yards per target in the CFL, so if either receiver has a ceiling game in terms of targets (8), they could easily be the top WR on the slate.

Folks looking to take advantage of the enormous 55 point O/U in the tilt between Montreal and Toronto will have receivers available at all pricing tiers available to them. Derel Walker leads the Toronto receiving corps versus an Als defence allowing the second-most yards per target to opposing receivers this season (8.69) but also has the highest price tag of any receiver in the game. SJ Green is the most targeted receiver on the team, but his production per target rates are the lowest on the Argos and amongst the lowest in the league this season. Fantasy players looking for cheaper options on Toronto could go with Armanti Edwards or Rodney Smith. On the Montreal side of the ball, each of Geno Lewis and DeVier Posey received double-digit targets versus Calgary in Week 10 and are solid options versus a Toronto defence allowing the most yards per target and second-most TDs per target this season. Quan Bray also figures to be one of the best values as he continues to average over seven targets per game.

DEFENCE

Hamilton Tiger-Cats – $3,933

Edmonton Eskimos – $4,680

The Tiger-Cats are the top option on defence this week regardless of price and it’s an added bonus that they are also one of the most affordable units. The TiCats are second in the league in sacks (25) and forced turnovers (25) and face a Lions team allowing a league-high 36 sacks this season. With Reilly limited due to injury, it could be another long day for him and the BC offence.

Edmonton is a slightly higher priced option but is worthy of consideration as Streveler has been somewhat turnover prone, averaging an interception per game in four games of significant action. The Eskimos also lead the league in sacks (30), so it could be a game in which Streveler’s relative inexperience is put heavily to the test.

STACKS

Vernon Adams > DeVier Posey, Geno Lewis, Quan Bray

The Toronto defence is worth picking on each week and Fantasy players rolling out Adams at QB would be wise to stack two of Posey, Lewis, or Bray with their signal-caller.

Cody Fajardo > Shaq Evans, Kyran Moore

As noted earlier, Evans and Moore are among the most efficient receivers in the game in 2019. Either are exciting plays in Week 11, but Ottawa’s struggles on the boundary side may make Evans the better choice.

Dane Evans > Bralon Addison

Brandon Banks is just too expensive to be worthy of consideration, but Addison is getting a similar workload and has proven he has big-play ability. The matchup with BC only further solidifies his value.

WEEK 11 PROJECTIONS

QUARTERBACKS 

Name Position Salary Team Opp Projection Points Per Dollar Pass Attempts Rush Carries
Vernon ADAMS JR QB $9,545.00 MTL TOR 24.78 2.6 31.7 6.9
Cody FAJARDO QB $7,899.00 SSK OTT 24 3.04 30.6 6.8
Trevor HARRIS QB $12,370.00 EDM WPG 21.93 1.77 37.4 4.4
Mcleod BETHEL-THOMPSON QB $8,289.00 TOR MTL 19.82 2.39 38.5 1.9
Chris STREVELER QB $6,600.00 WPG EDM 19.61 2.97 25.2 7.1
Dane EVANS QB $5,579.00 HAM BC 18.69 3.35 33.7 3.2
Dominique DAVIS QB $6,531.00 OTT SSK 15.38 2.35 33.4 3.6
Mike REILLY QB $9,565.00 BC HAM 15.06 1.57 33.2 3

RUNNING BACKS

Name Position Salary Team Opp Projection Points Per Dollar Rush Carries Receiving Targets Punt Returns Kick Returns
Andrew HARRIS RB $11,289.00 WPG EDM 19.88 1.76 14.2 5.5
Jeremiah JOHNSON RB $6,128.00 MTL TOR 17.68 2.89 15.4 3.4
William POWELL RB $9,309.00 SSK OTT 17.66 1.9 15 3.4
John WHITE RB $7,626.00 BC HAM 17.22 2.26 13 3.5
CJ GABLE RB $8,512.00 EDM WPG 16.21 1.9 15.8 4.1
Chris RAINEY RB $6,288.00 TOR MTL 12.5 1.99 6.4 2.7 5 3
Cameron MARSHALL RB $5,505.00 HAM BC 9.15 1.66 9.8 2
John CROCKETT RB $4,897.00 OTT SSK 8.87 1.81 13.3 2 0 0
Marcus THIGPEN RB $4,341.00 SSK OTT 7.7 1.77 4.1 1.9 2.5
Christion JONES RB $2,838.00 EDM WPG 6.28 2.21 0 0 5 3
Branden BURKS RB $3,683.00 TOR MTL 5.97 1.62 6 2.2
Wayne MOORE RB $2,500.00 BC HAM 2.22 0.89 2.4 0.5
Ryder STONE RB $2,500.00 MTL TOR 1.67 0.67 1 0.6 0 0
Brendan GILLANDERS RB $2,500.00 OTT SSK 0.72 0.29 1 0.5

RECEIVERS

Name Position Salary Team Opp Projection Points Per Dollar Rush Carries Receiving Targets Punt Returns Kick Returns
Brandon BANKS WR $13,723.00 HAM BC 23.46 1.71 0.6 9.8 0
Bralon ADDISON WR $6,376.00 HAM BC 17.28 2.71 3 7.8
Greg ELLINGSON WR $9,072.00 EDM WPG 17.22 1.9 0 8.7
Bryan BURNHAM WR $9,180.00 BC HAM 15.86 1.73 0 8.8
Kyran MOORE WR $7,235.00 SSK OTT 15.76 2.18 0.5 6.1 2.5
Ricky COLLINS WR $7,606.00 EDM WPG 15.14 1.99 0 7.8
Derel WALKER WR $8,307.00 TOR MTL 14.77 1.78 0.3 8.2
Shaquelle EVANS WR $6,467.00 SSK OTT 14.68 2.27 0.3 6
Armanti EDWARDS WR $7,300.00 TOR MTL 14.54 1.99 0.3 6.5
DaVaris DANIELS WR $7,244.00 EDM WPG 14.18 1.96 0 7.9
Lemar DURANT WR $5,535.00 BC HAM 14.1 2.55 0 7.9
DeVier POSEY WR $6,368.00 MTL TOR 13.9 2.18 0 8.4
Eugene LEWIS WR $6,387.00 MTL TOR 12.07 1.89 0 6.9
RJ HARRIS WR $6,472.00 OTT SSK 12.01 1.86 0 8.2
S.J. GREEN WR $7,076.00 TOR MTL 11.84 1.67 0.11 8.8
Quan BRAY WR $3,751.00 MTL TOR 11.57 3.08 0.3 7.2
Dominique RHYMES WR $5,060.00 OTT SSK 10.56 2.09 0 7.1
Lucky WHITEHEAD WR $4,449.00 WPG EDM 10.32 2.32 0.7 4.3 0 1
Nic DEMSKI WR $5,433.00 WPG EDM 9.41 1.73 1.7 3.6
Brad SINOPOLI WR $6,450.00 OTT SSK 9.03 1.4 0 6.7
Luke TASKER WR $6,726.00 HAM BC 8.98 1.33 0 5.6
Rodney SMITH WR $2,956.00 TOR MTL 8.8 2.98 0 5.6
Naaman ROOSEVELT WR $4,912.00 SSK OTT 8.54 1.74 0 6.1
Natey ADJEI WR $3,949.00 EDM WPG 7.78 1.97 0 4.4
Cory WATSON WR $3,704.00 SSK OTT 7.64 2.06 0 3.9
Janarion GRANT WR $2,500.00 WPG EDM 7.38 2.95 0 0 5 3
Drew WOLITARSKY WR $3,860.00 WPG EDM 7.17 1.86 0 3.8
Caleb HOLLEY WR $3,577.00 OTT SSK 6.96 1.95 0 5.9
Jaelon ACKLIN WR $3,263.00 HAM BC 6.71 2.06 0 3.4
Duron CARTER WR $3,675.00 BC HAM 6.63 1.81 0 6.1
Jake WIENEKE WR $2,699.00 MTL TOR 6.61 2.45 0 3.3
Chris MATTHEWS WR $3,037.00 WPG EDM 6.6 2.17 0 3.7
Kenny LAWLER WR $2,616.00 WPG EDM 6.58 2.52 0 4.3
Shakeir RYAN WR $2,500.00 MTL TOR 6.41 2.56 0 0 5 3
Tevaun SMITH WR $2,500.00 EDM WPG 5.97 2.39 0 4.5
Kenny STAFFORD WR $4,883.00 SSK OTT 5.93 1.21 0 3.2 0 0
Jimmy RALPH WR $2,500.00 TOR MTL 5.88 2.35 0 4.2
Jevon COTTOY WR $2,500.00 BC HAM 5.4 2.16 0 3.2
Ryan LANKFORD WR $4,402.00 BC HAM 4.91 1.12 0 0 5 3
Shaquille JOHNSON WR $2,669.00 BC HAM 4.63 1.74 0 3.2
Anthony COOMBS WR $4,346.00 HAM BC 4.33 1 2 2
Mike JONES WR $3,137.00 HAM BC 3.32 1.06 0.01 2.5
Nathaniel BEHAR WR $2,500.00 OTT SSK 2.86 1.14 0 2.5
Felix FAUBERT-LUSSIER WR $2,500.00 MTL TOR 2.2 0.88 0 1.9