August 28, 2019

Fantasy Strategy: Powell reigns supreme among running backs

Arthur Ward/

With just three games on tap for Mark’s Labour Day Weekend, beggars can’t be choosers, and the options at some positions are pretty thin. It may be a good week to just lock down some of the top options where they can be found and punt the rest of the roster spots where uncertainty abounds.


Trevor Harris, EDM – $12,117

Chris Streveler, WPG – $6,840

Cody Fajardo, SSK – $7,710

Nick Arbuckle, CGY – $7,244

Trevor Harris again struggled to turn long drives into touchdowns versus Winnipeg as the Eskimos settled for another seven field goal outing versus the Blue Bombers. Harris still had a serviceable Fantasy outing with a second straight game with over 400 yards passing, leading to a total of 23.2 points. The Eskimos project for the most total plays from scrimmage this week (61.7) and the most pass attempts (39.4) versus a Stampeders defence that has allowed the second-most plays per game to opposing offences this season (60.7). Calgary allows just 7.43 yards per pass attempt – third-fewest in the league – but allows passing TDs at a near league-average rate. Harris had one of his better games of the season versus Calgary in Week 8 with 373 yards passing and two TDs, so it’s not unreasonable to hope for similar production if they can find ways to finish drives more consistently.

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Canada’s answer to Tim Tebow faces off with the Riders in the Labour Day Classic this Sunday in Regina. For Fantasy purposes, using Streveler is more like rostering an extra running back that may get some passing yards rather than a QB with rushing upside, so normal stacking strategies go out the window. Streveler had nearly as many carries as he did pass attempts in Week 1 (14:17) and more rushing yards than passing yards (95:89). For interests sake, the Riders defence allows just 7.5 yards per pass attempt and a league-average rate of passing TDs per attempt, but the rush defence may be more relevant in this case where they allow the second-fewest yards per carry (4.83) and the lowest rate of rushing TDs per attempt with just two total scores allowed on the ground this season. Minus the receiving threats of Darvin Adams and Chris Matthews, and now down the option of Andrew Harris as a check down route, Streveler may be in for a difficult week but still could produce reasonable value at his low salary.

Streveler’s opponent on Sunday, Cody Fajardo, has shown similar ability in the running game but his passing ability gives him upside that the Winnipeg QB doesn’t have. Fajardo has over 300 yards passing in three of his eight starts and faces a Winnipeg defence that has allowed over 300 yards passing in five of ten games this season. The yards per attempt average is still formidable at just 7.38 – second lowest in the CFL – but the big plays are still there to be had as Winnipeg has allowed the third-most pass plays of 30+ yards this season (14).

Nick Arbuckle had one of the best Fantasy outings of any QB this season in Week 10 versus Montreal with 370 yards passing and four scores. Unfortunately for him, he’ll face a much stiffer test versus an Eskimos defence that allows the fewest offensive plays per game to opposing offences (48.4) – Calgary projects for the fewest plays this week at 51.6. The Eskimos also allow the fewest yards per pass attempt (7.03) and lead the league in sacks (33) so it may be a difficult return to earth for Arbuckle and the Stamps passing attack in Calgary on Monday.


William Powell, SSK – $9,363

CJ Gable, EDM – $8,436

Chris Rainey, TOR – $5,961

Punt Single:

Johnny Augustine, WPG – $4,500

John Santiago, WPG – $3,500

Picking a pair of RBs this week may be difficult as they highest projected players at the position are significantly overpriced given their matchups and the lower-priced RBs are expected to be in timeshare situations. Unless Fantasy players have a really solid conviction on Powell or Gable, it may be wise just to punt the RB position with some of the cheapest options to pay up for more reliable production elsewhere.

William Powell leads all RBs in Week 12 projections, but his lack of consistent carries and yardage make him a volatile option. Powell has been over 100 rushing yards just twice this season, while he’s been held to 51 rushing yards or fewer on five occasions. He’s also been held to two receptions or fewer in six of nine games, so his Fantasy production is heavily touchdown-dependent. The Bombers defence allows the third-fewest yards per carry (4.9) and has surrendered the third-fewest TDs per carry as well with just five total allowed. Powell is likely to be the highest scoring RB this week but his ability to get in the endzone will determine whether it’s at a reasonable value or not.

CJ Gable managed just 44 yards from scrimmage on eight carries and five receptions versus Calgary in Week 8. Given that the Eskimos average the second-fewest yards per carry (4.63) and the Stampeders allow the fewest yards per carry (4.29), that shouldn’t be surprising. If Gable is going to pay off his over $8K price tag, it will have to be as an option in the passing game along with a trip to the endzone for just the fourth time this season. Gable is a difficult spend to justify this Mark’s Labour Day Weekend.

Chris Rainey leads the group of RBs in timeshare situations primarily due to his contributions on special teams. The absence of James Wilder from the Argos lineup has led to a near 50/50 split in the Toronto backfield between Rainey and Brandon Burks, with Rainey garnering more carries and Burks leading in receptions. Any RB versus Hamilton is an interesting option given they allow the second-most yards per carry (5.56) and second-most TDs per carry this season. The issue for Rainey and Burks will be uncertainty around their workload given the split in opportunities and the fact that Toronto the lowest percentage of running plays in the league (25.8%).

If Hamilton were to have a reliable option at RB they would likely lead all RBs in projections versus a Toronto defence that allows the most yards per carry (5.64) and third-most TDs per carry this season. However, the multi-player split between Cam Marshall, Anthony Coombs, Bralon Addison, Brandon Banks, and David Watford getting goal-line carries, makes it nearly impossible to play either Marshall or Coombs with any confidence.

That leaves the Winnipeg backfield as remaining options for Fantasy players to sort through in the wake of Andrew Harris’ PED suspension. Johnny Augustine has been the primary backup to Harris this season, but the release of WR Chris Matthews coupled with the introduction of Daniel Petermann to the starting lineup makes room for a potential move to International RB John Santiago. Both Augustine and Santiago have appealing price tags but a potential committee approach versus a Riders defence that allows the second-fewest yards per carry (4.83) and just two total rushing TDs all season makes them both shaky options. If either one becomes the clear front runner for the majority of touches this week, they will likely be among the most rostered players at the position. They both however also hold a significant bust risk in the matchup and in an offence now down its top passer, top rusher, and two top receivers. Santiago will not be available in the player pool until he is officially added from the practice roster.


Brandon Banks, HAM – $12,432

Bralon Addison, HAM – $6,077

DaVaris Daniels, EDM – $7,996

Reggie Begelton, CGY – $9,305

Greg Ellingson, EDM – $8,581

Ricky Collins, EDM – $7,438

Derel Walker, TOR – $8,861

Eric Rogers, CGY – $7,233

Shaq Evans, SSK – $6,339

Kyran Moore, SSK – $6,493

Punt Single:

Rodney Smith, TOR – $4,141

Jaelon Acklin, HAM – $2,989

Brandon Banks may be the most dangerous offensive player in the league but just 10 points total over his past two games, coupled with his enormous salary, likely keeps him out of consideration for everyone this Mark’s Labour Day Weekend. He’s had just five receptions for 62 yards in the past two weeks while Bralon Addison has become the much more heavily targeted receiver in the offence. This is fine for Addison’s mid-tier price tag, but the passing attack as a whole has really struggled with Evans under centre, with him having yet to pass for over 300 yards in any game. With Masoli at QB, the TiCats averaged 37.4 points per game while under Evans guidance they have averaged just 22. If there’s any team to break an offensive slump against, it’s the Argos, as they allow the most yards per target (9.48) and most TDs per target this season. Without any significant signs of life to this point though, the Hamilton passing game is a gamble. Jaelon Acklin may be a punt option at the position given his near-minimum salary and his having led the team in receiving yards in Week 11 with 91.

DaVaris Daniels leads the Edmonton top trio of receivers in projections this week versus Calgary. Daniels has been targeted relentlessly in the past two weeks, leading to 15 receptions for 362 yards. The journey to Roberson island in Calgary on Monday afternoon though may slow his pace. This is one of the rare times that matchups may override the math and lead players to look at Ricky Collins over Daniels. Collins had six receptions for 148 yards and two TDs versus Calgary in Week 8. Ellingson is also an option given his upside (two games over 38 Fantasy points this season), but his production has also been very volatile this season, making him a risky spend. Calgary allows the third-fewest yards per target (7.43) and the fewest plays of 30+ yards this season (5), so Eskimos players will likely have to grind out value through volume rather than expecting fireworks.

Reggie Begelton is coming off the best game of his career with eight receptions for 173 yards and four TDs versus Montreal in Week 10. The Eskimos defence will do their best not to allow a repeat performance, and they’re allowing the fewest yards per target (7.03) and second-fewest plays of 30+ yards (10) this season makes that a relative certainty. Begelton is still an option worthy of consideration on a small slate with few reliable options, but this is not a matchup that players would hope to target. His teammate Eric Rogers is much more affordable but is also extremely TD dependent for scoring as he averages just 50 receiving yards per game. If Ambles returns from injury, he’s a decent mid-tier option, while if it remains Josh Huff at boundary WR, he’d be one of the better punt options at the position this week.

Derel Walker leads Argos receivers in projected scoring, but he has just two games of 15 Fantasy points or more this season. Toronto’s is a very pass-heavy attack but the top targeted receiver changes on a weekly basis, making the top-priced receivers in the offence volatile options. The Tiger-Cats allow a below-average rate of yards per target (7.78) along with the lowest rate of receiving TDs per attempt and total receiving TDs this season (6). If Fantasy players really set on using McBeth at QB, the best stacking option may just be going cheap with Rodney Smith and spending up elsewhere.

Despite giving up 430 yards passing to Trevor Harris in Week 11, the Bombers defence still only allows the second-fewest yards per target (7.39) and the second-fewest receiving TDs per target this season. If the Riders are to have success through the air this week, Shaq Evans and Kyran Moore will have to return from a couple of consecutive sub-par outings. Evans is likely the one to target as he’ll line up at boundary WR where DaVaris Daniels did most of his damage last week versus Winnipeg.


Hamilton Tiger-Cats – $4,325

With few appealing cheap options at other positions this week, some players may be tempted to just forgo the defence position altogether, but the TiCats defence is certainly worthy of consideration. They are second in the league in sacks (32) and forced turnovers (28) and face a Toronto offence that has allowed the second-most sacks (28) and turnovers (30). It’s as good a defensive matchup that players could hope for and at the second-lowest salary at the position. It’s not crazy to think that the TiCats defence could outscore any similarly priced RB or WR this week.


Trevor Harris > Ricky Collins Jr.

There are few obvious matchups to exploit this week so simply rolling the most consistent options regardless of price is a reasonable strategy. Edmonton’s is the highest volume passing attack in the league and Collins is one of the most consistently targeted receivers.

Cody Fajardo > Shaq Evans

DaVaris Daniels had a field day from the boundary WR position versus Winnipeg a week ago and if the Riders are going to have success this week versus the Bombers, Evans will have to be at his best.

Week 12 Projections


Name Position Salary Team Opp Projection Points Per Dollar Pass Attempts Rush Carries
Trevor HARRIS QB $12,117.00 EDM CGY 23.37 1.93 39.4 4.4
Chris STREVELER QB $6,840.00 WPG SSK 22.48 3.29 21.9 12.6
Cody FAJARDO QB $7,710.00 SSK WPG 22 2.85 29.6 6.3
Nick ARBUCKLE QB $7,244.00 CGY EDM 20.23 2.79 32.6 2.5
Mcleod BETHEL-THOMPSON QB $9,061.00 TOR HAM 20 2.21 39.5 2
Dane EVANS QB $5,485.00 HAM TOR 17.48 3.19 34.8 3.2


Name Position Salary Team Opp Projection Points Per Dollar Rush Carries Receiving Targets Punt Returns Kick Returns
William POWELL RB $9,363.00 SSK WPG 16.97 1.81 14.2 3.1
CJ GABLE RB $8,436.00 EDM CGY 16.58 1.97 16.2 4.1
Chris RAINEY RB $5,961.00 TOR HAM 12.39 2.08 6.6 2.5 5 3
Terry WILLIAMS RB $5,732.00 CGY EDM 9.94 1.73 2.1 1.3 5 3
Don JACKSON RB $6,303.00 CGY EDM 9.44 1.5 10 2.7
Cameron MARSHALL RB $5,407.00 HAM TOR 8.12 1.5 9.7 1.3
Anthony COOMBS RB $3,841.00 HAM TOR 7.64 1.99 4.3 3.2
Branden BURKS RB $4,078.00 TOR HAM 7.16 1.76 5.7 3
Marcus THIGPEN RB $4,146.00 SSK WPG 6.72 1.62 3.9 1.6 3
John SANTIAGO RB $3,500.00 WPG SSK 6.08 1.74 7 2
Christion JONES RB $2,910.00 EDM CGY 5.94 2.04 0 0 5 3
Johnny AUGUSTINE RB $4,500.00 WPG SSK 5.5 1.22 6.1 1.8


Name Position Salary Team Opp Projection Points Per Dollar Rush Carries Receiving Targets Punt Returns Kick Returns
Brandon BANKS WR $12,432.00 HAM TOR 21.58 1.74 0.6 9.6 0
Bralon ADDISON WR $6,077.00 HAM TOR 17.54 2.89 1.8 8.2
DaVaris DANIELS WR $7,996.00 EDM CGY 17.2 2.15 0 9
Reginald BEGELTON WR $9,305.00 CGY EDM 16.56 1.78 0.33 6.9
Greg ELLINGSON WR $8,581.00 EDM CGY 16.54 1.93 0 8.7
Ricky COLLINS WR $7,438.00 EDM CGY 14.41 1.94 0 7.5
Derel WALKER WR $8,861.00 TOR HAM 14.04 1.58 0.2 7.6
Eric ROGERS WR $7,233.00 CGY EDM 13.76 1.9 0 6.9
Shaquelle EVANS WR $6,339.00 SSK WPG 13.4 2.11 0.2 6.4
Armanti EDWARDS WR $7,337.00 TOR HAM 13.2 1.8 0.3 6.5
Kyran MOORE WR $6,493.00 SSK WPG 13.2 2.03 0.4 5.6 2
Rodney SMITH WR $4,141.00 TOR HAM 11.81 2.85 0 6.7
S.J. GREEN WR $6,972.00 TOR HAM 11.15 1.6 0.11 8.8
Luke TASKER WR $6,721.00 HAM TOR 10.11 1.5 0 5.6
Markeith AMBLES WR $4,619.00 CGY EDM 9.6 2.08 0.4 6.5
Jaelon ACKLIN WR $2,989.00 HAM TOR 9.56 3.2 0 3.8
Lucky WHITEHEAD WR $3,700.00 WPG SSK 9.19 2.48 0.6 3.9 0 1
Naaman ROOSEVELT WR $5,296.00 SSK WPG 8.69 1.64 0 6.1
Nic DEMSKI WR $4,588.00 WPG SSK 8.5 1.85 1.6 3.4
Natey ADJEI WR $3,311.00 EDM CGY 7.89 2.38 0 4.5
Cory WATSON WR $3,834.00 SSK WPG 7.88 2.05 0 4.1
Tevaun SMITH WR $3,311.00 EDM CGY 7.63 2.3 0 4.8
Janarion GRANT WR $2,500.00 WPG SSK 6.82 2.73 0 0 5 3
Jimmy RALPH WR $2,907.00 TOR HAM 6.01 2.07 0 3.8
Drew WOLITARSKY WR $3,653.00 WPG SSK 5.84 1.6 0 3.5
Kenny LAWLER WR $2,500.00 WPG SSK 5.5 2.2 0 3.8
Daniel PETERMANN WR $2,500.00 WPG SSK 5.17 2.07 0 3.5
Richard SINDANI WR $2,500.00 CGY EDM 4.72 1.89 0 2.9
Michael KLUKAS WR $2,500.00 CGY EDM 4.17 1.67 0 2.9
Hergy MAYALA WR $2,500.00 CGY EDM 4.08 1.63 0 2.5
Emmanuel ARCENEAUX WR $3,662.00 SSK WPG 3.99 1.09 0 2.7
Mike JONES WR $3,152.00 HAM TOR 3.21 1.02 0 2.5