September 11, 2019

Fantasy Strategy: Stanback returns to the top

Johany Jutras/

With the Eskimos, Blue Bombers, and Argonauts all on bye, it’s a shorter slate of players to pick from but it shouldn’t be short on action. There are a number of matchups featuring highly efficient players in good matchups and struggling players seeking redemption that should make for great theatre in Week 14.


Vernon Adams Jr., MTL – $10,490

Cody Fajardo, SSK – $7,870

Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY – $9,106

Mike Reilly, BC – $9,164

Vernon Adams didn’t have one of his better passing weeks versus BC in Week 13, but two rushing TDs — for a league-leading 10 on the season — more than salvaged his fantasy value. As the de facto red zone running back in the Als offence, he had double-digit points as a rusher for the fourth time this season. This week’s matchup versus the Roughriders in Regina on Saturday night will prove to be a stiff test for his rushing totals as they have allowed just five rushing TDs this season despite Chris Streveler bullying them around for much of the Banjo Bowl. The Riders’ pass defence has also been improving as of late and allows the second-fewest yards per pass attempt on the slate (7.55). If Adams is going to pay off his price tag, he’ll likely have to score at least once on the ground again this week.

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Despite garnering a reputation as one of the most exciting young passers in the league, Cody Fajardo has thrown for over 300 yards just twice and eclipsed 20 fantasy points only three times since Week 3. Like Adams, his rushing totals have helped keep his fantasy prospects high though as he has had double-digit fantasy points as a rusher three times in that span. The matchup versus Montreal should help to bump his passing numbers in Week 14 though as the Riders pass for the most yards per target in the league (8.67) and the Alouettes allow the most yards per pass attempt to opposing defences (8.79). If there were any week for Fajardo, Evans, and Moore to return to their high-flying ways of Weeks 2-3, it’s this one at home versus the Alouettes. The potential addition of Jordan Williams-Lambert to the active roster this week only further improves Fajardo’s prospects.

Bo Levi Mitchell, the real-life quarterback, is unquestionably one of the best players at his position this decade. Bo Levi Mitchell, the fantasy quarterback, has often underwhelmed from a statistical standpoint as the Stampeders defence often dominates games. This season, Mitchell has surpassed 20 fantasy points only once in four games and has yet to crack 300 yards passing in any game this season. The matchup versus Hamilton isn’t particularly enticing either as they allow a below-average rate of passing yard per attempt (7.80) and the lowest rate of passing TDs per attempt, having given up just eight scores through the air all season. If Mitchell doesn’t throw multiple TDs this week it will be nearly impossible for him to pay off his price tag, especially given he has no rushing points to prop up his totals like Adams or Fajardo.

If folks are looking for a contrarian option to differentiate their lineups on a short slate this week, it may be time to kick off your shoes and party like it’s 2018. After losing to the 1-9 Argos in Week 13, the Redblacks now fly west to face the 1-10 BC Lions as -7 underdogs. The Ottawa defence allows the second-most yards per pass attempt on the slate (8.55), have allowed an average of 319.75 passing yards per game over their past four contests, and have given up over 40 points in consecutive weeks. The Lions project for the most offensive snaps this week (58.3), so Reilly may finally get the opportunity to return to fantasy glory.


William Stanback, MTL – $8,346

William Powell, SSK – $8,905

Ka’Deem Carey, CGY – $5,163

Brandon Rutley, BC – $4,749

With Jeremiah Johnson lost indefinitely to injury, the Alouettes are likely to return most of the workload in the backfield to William Stanback while Ryder Stone will likely only see the field if he’s in need of a breather. The Als’ rush for the second-most yards per carry in 2019 (5.82), while Stanback himself averages over 6.4 yards per carry. The tackling by the Riders rush defence was suspect at best versus Winnipeg and now allow an above league average 5.23 yards per carry after being one of the staunchest rush defences in the league to begin the season. They’ve still been stingy at the goal line, however, allowing just five rushing TDs to this point. The matchup isn’t ideal, but Stanback with a full workload always carries a solid probability of being the top scorer on the slate.

On the other side of the field, William Powell has the second-highest projection at the position, but carries a lot more risk due to his volatile workload. Powell has had double-digit carries just once in his past four games. Like Mitchell at QB, Powell’s talent can’t be questioned, but for fantasy purposes, volume is King and spending nearly a quarter of the salary cap on a player that has scored over 15 fantasy points only three times this season is tough to justify. He’d be a fine risk to take at $7K, but $9K is just too steep a price to pay. The Alouettes defence allows an above-average rate of yards per carry (5.21) and a below-average rate of TDs per carry, making the matchup unexciting as well.

Ka’Deem Carey seemed to be in an ideal spot for another big game on the ground versus an Eskimos defence allowing the most yards per carry in the CFL to that point (5.81), but he managed just 24 yards on 11 carries for 2.2 yards per tote. He should get a chance to redeem himself however versus a TiCats defence that allows the most yards per carry (5.41) and second-most TDs per carry of any team on the slate. He continues to be priced below his potential production and is one of the best values at RB again this week.

Whether it’s Brandon Rutley again this week, or a returning John White, the starting RB for the Lions will be worth rostering versus a Redblacks that has allowed 19 rushing TDs this season – a rate 62% higher than the league average. With Rutley’s low price tag, fantasy players would likely be fine with John White taking an extra week for recovery, but either back should be in fantasy lineups once depth charts reveal which one is likely to carry the load as the Lions project to get the most offensive plays in this week (58.4).


Reggie Begelton, CGY – $10,621

Brandon Banks, HAM – $12,591

Bralon Addison, HAM – $7,775

Bryan Burnham, BC – $9,413

Shaq Evans, SSK – $6,364

Eric Rogers, CGY – $7,289

Dominique Rhymes, OTT – $6,637

Kyran Moore, SSK – $6,358

DeVier Posey, MTL – $6,326

Brad Sinopoli, OTT – $6,880

Punt Single(s):

Chris Matthews, MTL – $2,675

Josh Huff, CGY – $2,500

Colton Hunchak, CGY – $2,500

It’s somewhat odd to have the three top projected receivers on the slate from teams facing two of the top three most difficult receiving matchups on the slate. What sets them apart from the rest of the pack though is the consistently high market share of targets – volume matters.

For the first time this season, Brandon Banks is active but not the top projected receiver as Reggie Begelton is in the middle of a three-game streak that includes 25 receptions for 399 yards and six TDs. The TiCats have been allowing an increasing amount of receiving yards per game with Delvin Breaux lost to injury and Begelton’s workload has been unmatched over the three weeks, leading the league in targets (35), receiving yards (399), touchdowns (6), and WOPR (0.78). Weighted Opportunity Ranking is a metric that combines market share of targets and air yards to express the opportunities a player is actually getting to produce. Thanks for for all their analytics data. Calgary has the highest implied team total this week (29.25) and is playing in the game with the highest over/under (52), so the opportunities should continue to be there for Begelton. Other Calgary receivers are worth consideration for different reasons as Eric Rogers red zone usage has led to a league-high seven TD receptions. Josh Huff and Colton Hunckak are also worth of consideration as punt plays at minimum salary.

The only other player that has come close to Begelton’s workload over the past three games has been Hamilton’s Bralon Addison, with 33 targets for 26 receptions and a similar 0.75 WOPR in that span. Brandon Banks is still the most dangerous receiver in the league, but Dane Evans has certainly targeted Addison more in his stint as the TiCats starting QB and Addison’s salary has yet to adjust for that change. A salary savings of nearly $3-5K over Begelton and Banks make him a much easier spend to justify, even in a matchup versus a Stampeders defence allowing the lowest rate of yards per target (7.33), and the second-lowest rate of TDs per target on the slate. The uncertainty at the RB position for Hamilton will likely continue to lead to multiple carries in the run game for Addison as well.

Fantasy players banking on a Mike Reilly resurgence this week should be budgeting for Burnham’s over $9K salary. Duron Carter has somewhat inconceivably garnered a higher market share of targets over their past three games but has only managed to turn those 19 targets into nine receptions for 72 yards. If there is to be a Lions offensive resurgence, as the odds suggest (-7 favourites with an ITT of 28.75), Burnham will have to be central to the offensive attack versus a Redblacks defence allowing the second-highest rate of yards per target on the slate (8.55).

Those targeting the matchup of the Riders passing attack (league-high 8.67 yards per target) versus an Alouettes secondary allowing 8.79 yards per target would be wise to slot big play Shaq Evans into lineups with Cody Fajardo at QB. The potential return of Jordan Williams-Lambert should only further open up space deep on the sidelines for Evans to run wild. It will be interesting to see how the market share of targets adjusts with JWL in the lineup, but it’s more likely his role in the offence takes looks away from Roosevelt, McInnis, and Arceneaux than Evans. Roosevelt lacks the big play potential of Evans, but his similar workload also keeps him in consideration.

Over the past month, the Redblacks passing game has become highly concentrated on Rhymes, Sinopoli, and whoever is playing RB. In their past three games, Rhymes (27) and Sinopoli (29) have become two of the most targeted receivers in the league. Some of this is due to playing from behind and some due to a concerted effort to re-establish Sinopoli in the passing attack after a very slow start to the season. The Lions allow the third most yards per target on the slate (8.38) and the highest rate of passing TDs per target this season, so folks leaning on Redblacks receivers will be hoping the Jonathan Jennings revenge game narrative develops into full effect.

None of the Alouettes receivers project very well this week due to a matchup with a Riders defence allowing a below-average rate of yards per target (7.55), accompanied by their QBs propensity for just running the ball into the endzone himself. It also remains to be seen how much the addition of Chris Matthews to the starting lineup will affect the workloads of Posey, Lewis, and Bray. Posey and Bray continue to be reasonable values – while Bray’s production is more volatile – but Lewis’s salary over $7K is a difficult spend to justify. If Matthews is indeed activated this week he would become one of the better values at the position.


BC Lions – $3,200

Ottawa Redblacks – $3,200

Maybe the two most reasonable options at defence this week face off against each other Friday night in Vancouver. The Lions have allowed a league-high 45 sacks to this point. Ottawa has struggled to put pressure on opposing QBs with only 18 sacks of their own this season, but this is as good an opportunity as they could hope for. The Lions’ defence, on the other hand, has produced a league lows in sacks (12) and turnover (14) to this point, but the matchup with a Redblacks offence that has turned the ball over a league-high 36 times is too interesting to pass up.


Cody Fajardo > Shaq Evans

Montreal has given up the second-most passing plays of 30+ yards this season (16) an allow the second-most yards per target in the league (8.79). Evans is in a great place to put up a big number.

Mike Reilly > Bryan Burnham

If the Lions are going to get their second win of the season it will have to go through Bryan Burnham. The Ottawa defence has been on it’s heels the past two weeks.

Week 14 Projections


Name Position Salary Team Opp Projection Points Per Dollar Pass Attempts Rush Carries
Vernon ADAMS JR QB $10,490.00 MTL SSK 24.3 2.32 29.2 6.6
Cody FAJARDO QB $7,870.00 SSK MTL 22.95 2.92 31.8 6
Bo Levi MITCHELL QB $9,106.00 CGY HAM 19.01 2.09 36 0.5
Dane EVANS QB $6,105.00 HAM CGY 18.3 3 34.8 3.3
Mike REILLY QB $9,164.00 BC OTT 16.43 1.79 33.6 4.1
Jonathon JENNINGS QB $5,581.00 OTT BC 14.79 2.65 35.3 2.9
Nick ARBUCKLE QB $6,289.00 CGY HAM 2.17 0.34 0 1.5


Name Postion Salary Team Opp Projection Points Per Dollar Rush Carries Recieving Targets Punt Returns Kick Returns
William STANBACK RB $8,346.00 MTL SSK 17.7 2.12 14.4 3.1
William POWELL RB $8,905.00 SSK MTL 16.47 1.85 13.5 2.8
Ka’Deem CAREY RB $5,163.00 CGY HAM 13.96 2.7 12.4 3.2 0 0
Brandon RUTLEY RB $4,749.00 BC OTT 13.62 2.87 12.7 3.6 0 0
Mossis MADU RB $6,816.00 OTT BC 11.4 1.67 12.7 5.2
Terry WILLIAMS RB $5,127.00 CGY HAM 10.72 2.09 2.1 1.2 5 3
Tyrell Sutton RB $6,541.00 HAM CGY 8.65 1.32 9.3 2.1
Anthony COOMBS RB $3,658.00 HAM CGY 6.35 1.73 4.5 2.8
Marcus THIGPEN RB $3,442.00 SSK MTL 5.64 1.64 3.1 1.4 3
Wayne MOORE RB $2,500.00 BC OTT 3.87 1.55 2.6 1.5
Ryder STONE RB $2,500.00 MTL SSK 1.55 0.62 1.2 0.6 0 0
Brendan GILLANDERS RB $2,500.00 OTT BC 1.26 0.5 1.1 1


Name Postion Salary Team Opp Projection Points Per Dollar Rush Carries Recieving Targets Punt Returns Kick Returns
Reginald BEGELTON WR $10,621.00 CGY HAM 20.27 1.91 0.36 8.6
Brandon BANKS WR $12,591.00 HAM CGY 18.02 1.43 0.7 9.3 0
Bralon ADDISON WR $7,775.00 HAM CGY 17.61 2.27 2.1 8.6
Bryan BURNHAM WR $9,413.00 BC OTT 17.49 1.86 0 8.4
Shaquelle EVANS WR $6,364.00 SSK MTL 14.63 2.3 0.2 6.6
Eric ROGERS WR $7,289.00 CGY HAM 14.15 1.94 0 7.1
Dominique RHYMES WR $6,637.00 OTT BC 13.81 2.08 0 8
Kyran MOORE WR $6,358.00 SSK MTL 13.23 2.08 0.4 5.9 2
DeVier POSEY WR $6,326.00 MTL SSK 12.16 1.92 0 7.7
Brad SINOPOLI WR $6,880.00 OTT BC 12.02 1.75 0 8
Lemar DURANT WR $4,476.00 BC OTT 11.97 2.67 0 6.4
Quan BRAY WR $3,813.00 MTL SSK 11.82 3.1 0.13 6.5
Jordan WILLIAMS-LAMBERT WR $4,772.00 SSK MTL 10.8 2.26 0 5.1
Jordan Williams-Lambert WR $4,772.00 SSK MTL 10.8 2.26 0 5.1
Naaman ROOSEVELT WR $5,604.00 SSK MTL 10.47 1.87 0 6.8
Eugene LEWIS WR $7,137.00 MTL SSK 9.98 1.4 0 5.6
Colton HUNCHAK WR $2,500.00 CGY HAM 9.43 3.77 0 4.5
Luke TASKER WR $6,612.00 HAM CGY 9.03 1.37 0 5.6
Jaelon ACKLIN WR $3,334.00 HAM CGY 8.95 2.68 0 4
Jerminic SMITH WR $2,500.00 OTT BC 8.13 3.25 0.5 4.1
Chris Matthews WR $2,675.00 MTL SSK 8.03 3 0 4.6
Duron CARTER WR $3,652.00 BC OTT 7.16 1.96 0 6.6
RJ HARRIS WR $5,761.00 OTT BC 6.82 1.18 0 5
Jevon COTTOY WR $2,500.00 BC OTT 6.33 2.53 0 3.5
Hergy MAYALA WR $2,500.00 CGY HAM 6.1 2.44 0 3.8
Josh HUFF WR $2,500.00 CGY HAM 6.03 2.41 0 4.2 0 0
Shaquille JOHNSON WR $2,816.00 BC OTT 5.81 2.06 0 3.6
Ryan LANKFORD WR $3,916.00 BC OTT 5.69 1.45 0 0 5 3
Shakeir RYAN WR $2,500.00 MTL SSK 5.69 2.28 0 0 5 3
Justin MCINNIS WR $2,500.00 SSK MTL 4.63 1.85 0 3.2
Michael KLUKAS WR $2,500.00 CGY HAM 4.2 1.68 0.25 3.4
Nathaniel BEHAR WR $2,500.00 OTT BC 3.33 1.33 0 2.8
Mike JONES WR $3,103.00 HAM CGY 2.87 0.92 0 2.5
Jacob SCARFONE WR $2,500.00 OTT BC 1.46 0.59 0 1.1
Felix FAUBERT-LUSSIER WR $2,500.00 MTL SSK 1.34 0.53 0 1.1