November 1, 2019

Fantasy Strategy: Bo, Begelton could have big days

Johany Jutras/CFL.ca

There has been a week with this many unknowns in playing time and offensive roles since Week 1 of the regular season. Some teams will be resting stars for the playoffs, other teams offering opportunities for new faces to prove themselves going into the offseason, while others will be going all out trying to lock up playoff seeding. Success in Week 21 is centred on keeping eyes and ears out for news going into the weekend and planning on setting lineups later on Friday when the most information is available.

QUARTERBACK

Cody Fajardo, SSK – $10,695

Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY – $9,998

Punt Single:

Dominique Davis, OTT – $5,190

Hayden Moore, HAM – $5,000

Cody Fajardo is one of two regular starting quarterbacks on the slate that is expected to play the full game. The Roughriders are in a spot to finish first in the West with a win, making their offensive pieces some of the most reliable to build around. Fajardo projects for the third most yards per pass attempt (8.61) and an average rate of passing TDs per attempt versus and Eskimos defence that may rest some veterans going into the playoffs. Most of his damage was done through the air in Week 20 with 429 passing yards and a pair of TDs but if the game plan changes to feature his running abilities a bit more, the Eskimos defence allows a league-high 5.59 yards per carry on the ground so he should be able to excel there as well.


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The other quarterback expected to see a full workload this week is the Stampeders Bo Levi Mitchell as Calgary can finish as high as first or as low as third depending on the outcomes of the West showdowns this weekend. After going over a calendar year without a game with over 300 yards and multiple TDs, Mitchell has accomplished that feat in back to back weeks versus Winnipeg. However, the BC defence has allowed a measly 226.8 passing yards per game this season despite allowing the third-highest rate of passing TDs per attempt. The Lions are much more beatable on the ground than through the air, but Calgary will likely force the passing game anyways as they run the second-highest percentage of passing plays in the league (65.7%). Given the uncertainty at the position across the slate, Mitchell is one of the safest options.

If Fantasy players have a lot of ground to make up in the final week of the season and are looking for a low owned option to get leverage over the competition, Dominique Davis is expected to return to the starting lineup for the Redblacks versus Montreal. He comes in at nearly half the salary of Fajardo and Mitchell and has flashed 30 Fantasy point upside at his best. Despite their best season in years, the Montreal defence is still quite porous and has allowed the third-most yards per pass attempt this season (8.99) – nearly identical to Ottawa and Toronto – along with an above-average rate of passing TDs per attempt. With the Als expected to rest a number of starters this week, it could be a great opportunity for Davis to salvage some value going into the offseason.

As has been the case all season, picking a quarterback versus the Argonauts is a pretty sound strategy. It looks even better when their opponent is a Hamilton offence that projects for the most offensive snaps (58.6), yards per pass attempt (9.89), and TDs per pass attempt this week. Dane Evans would be a clear top option, but if it’s Hayden Moore, David Watford, or some combination thereof, the choice gets much less certain. Hayden Moore is a bit more traditional pocket passer with some rushing upside, while Watford doesn’t have nearly as much passing pedigree and is more of a contributor with his legs. If Moore plays the full game, then he could be worth a shot versus Toronto at only $5K but any time he’d potentially lose to Watford in relief would make him a shaky option.

RUNNING BACK

Shaq Cooper, EDM – $5,780

William Powell, SSK – $7,551

Punt Single:

AJ Ouellette, TOR – $3,500

Shaq Cooper was unable to keep up his 20+ Fantasy points per game streak as a starting runner, but still put up a respectable 11.9 Fantasy points for his mid-tier salary. Unfortunately for him, the rest of the Edmonton offence may be getting the game off as Trevor Harris is expected to rest, while Ellingson and Collins both missed practice on Tuesday. If Kilgore uses Cooper as a consistent check down option, as he has before, Cooper could still have a nice day with PPR scores but the Eskimos offence overall will likely struggle and the Riders allow the second-fewest yards per carry in the league (5.06) spells trouble for Cooper.

On the other hand, the Riders are expected to play with a significant lead as nearly double-digit favourites over the Eskimos, leading to a positive game script for William Powell and the Riders running game. He wasn’t much of a factor in Edmonton, but the Eskimos do allow the most yards per carry in the CFL (5.59) so the matchup is there to be exploited. His being the most expensive active RB on the slate should also keep his ownership levels down for those looking for a leverage play.

AJ Ouellette was a somewhat unexpected start for the Argos in Week 20 with both Wilder and Rainey inactive, but he filled in the role admirably posting 21.8 Fantasy points including five receptions and a TD. His college pedigree shows this kind of production isn’t a fluke either as he averaged over 6.1 yards per carry, 10.1 yards per reception, and a TD per game in his senior year for the Ohio Bobcats. This week’s matchup versus Hamilton isn’t terrible either as they allow above average rates of yards and TDs per carry and may be resting some veterans on the final week of the season. At a near-minimum salary, Ouellette is a solid option again if he gets the Argos backfield all to himself for the second week in a row.

RECEIVER

Brandon Banks, HAM – $14,000

Bralon Addison, HAM – $9,167

Reggie Begelton, CGY – $9,940

Bryan Burnham, BC – $9,925

Geno Lewis, MTL – $7,103

Quan Bray, MTL – $5,346

Eric Rogers, CGY – $8,294

Chandler Worthy, TOR – $2,500

Shaq Evans, SSK – $7,193

Greg Ellingson, EDM – $7,488

Kyran Moore, SSK – $6,913

DaVaris Daniels, EDM – $5,523

Just as determining the usable quarterbacks this week was tricky, the usable receivers are also a bit of a toss-up at this point. Normally Banks and Addison would rightfully be two of the most highly used WRs on the slate given the matchup with a Toronto defence that allows the second-most yards per target (9.0) and the highest rate of TDs per target in the league. If Banks and Addison both rest it would open up playing time in a premium matchup for some very reasonably priced receivers. Rookie of the year candidate, Jaelon Acklin could see a bump in his market share of targets, as could Luke Tasker if he still plays. If Jalin Marshall ($2500) is given another start, his downfield speed could make him a high ceiling play in the matchup as well. As with just about everything this week, it would be pretty unwise to set a lineup before depth charts are released in full on Friday.

The Stampeders are one of two teams with everything to play for this weekend and are likely to give their usual starters full run if they’re healthy. Reggie Begelton should be ready to go and is probably the top WR option on the slate, but Eric Rogers missed practice on Tuesday and is questionable heading into the weekend. If Rogers were to miss the game, Begelton would get a further bump in value while supporting cast members like Huff and Mayala may also get a bump in opportunity at relatively low price tags. The Lions are one of the more stingy pass defences in the league in terms of yardage but have allowed the third-most receiving TDs per target this season making Calgary receivers worth special attention for Fantasy purposes.

Bryan Burnham will be facing those Stampeders on Saturday night in Vancouver but has a lot more working against him at a similar salary to Begelton. The Lions are expected to start Danny O’Brien at QB again, but he has just 274 passing yards with one TD to two INTs in his combined two starts this season. To make Burnham’s job even more difficult, the Stamps allow the fewest yards per target this season (7.22) and the second-lowest rate of receiving TDs per target as well. The Lions offence is expected to struggle overall, and Burnham is an unlikely candidate to pay off a near $10K price tag.

With all the uncertainty around playing time for Alouettes starters, it’s a reasonable consideration to avoid Geno Lewis and Quan Bray altogether at their full rated salaries. The matchup with Ottawa is one worth trying to exploit given they project the Als for the second-most yards (9.51) and TDs per target on the slate but Lewis and Bray may not play the full game, Matt Shiltz and Antonio Pipkin may get time at QB and the whole offence may suffer from inefficiency as a result. Cheaper options like rookie of the year candidate Jake Wieneke and veteran Chris Matthews may be better targets in the matchup as they carry lower points per dollar risk and are more likely to play the full game.

Toronto gets the unenviable task of finishing up the season versus the top team in the league, but their passing attack hasn’t missed a beat throughout most of the season despite what their record shows. While Derel Walker is likely to sit out again, Chandler Worthy has had a TD in two straight weeks since returning to the starting lineup and remains at minimum price while veteran Armanti Edwards ($7355) may get more than his normal share of targets if the Argos are intent on getting him his first 1000 yard season in the CFL. The Hamilton defence isn’t one to target given they allow the second-fewest yards per target (7.52) and the fewest total receiving TDs this season (16) but if some usual starters are rested, the Argos receiving corps may have a little more room to work.

Both Greg Ellingson and Ricky Collins missed practice for the Eskimos on Tuesday and given the Eskimos plan to rest a number of regulars this week, there’s a good chance they miss Saturday’s game versus the Riders. The Edmonton receiving corps consisted of Daniels-Adjei-McMaster-Elliott-Smith in practice and that unit led by Logan Kilgore instead of Trevor Harris doesn’t present a lot of Fantasy appeal. This is probably a group left out of consideration in Week 21 versus a stout Riders defence with a first-round bye on the line.

The Riders stable of receivers is expected to be at full strength on the other hand and it presents a number of boom or bust options as they project for the fewest pass attempts on the slate (29.1) but have receivers with rates near the top of the league. Shaq Evans had six receptions for 174 for 23.4 Fantasy points, while Kyran Moore had 10 receptions for 159 yards and a TD for 31.9 Fantasy points, however, both have seven games this season in single-digit Fantasy points. With relatively high salaries, both carry risk of significant letdowns in Week 21. Despite giving up 429 yards through the air last week, the Eskimos still allow well below average rates of yards (7.85) and TDs per target in 2019. Despite the potential for busts though, the Riders receiving options are some of the few this week with guaranteed playing time and well worth consideration for lineups.

DEFENCE

Calgary Stampeders – $4,410

Montreal Alouettes – $3,200

The Roughriders defence is largely priced out of consideration at $5472 but could be the top scoring option on the slate versus a turnover-prone Logan Kilgore led Eskimos offence. The Stampeders carry similar upside though versus a similarly turnover-prone QB in Danny O’Brien and come in at a much more affordable salary. Calgary is in the middle of the pack with just 35 sacks on the season but is second in forced turnovers (43) and certainly worth spending up a bit for.

The Alouettes defence, on the other hand, doesn’t have a lot going for it in terms of proven production this season as they have created a league-low 25 sacks and forced just 33 turnovers, but the matchup with Dominique Davis and a Redblacks offence that has allowed a league-high 50 turnovers along with the third most sacks this season (46) makes the minimum priced Als worth looking at as well.

STACKS

Bo Levi Mitchell > Reggie Begelton, Hergy Mayala

If Rogers misses the game on Saturday, Begelton and Mayala may see the biggest bumps in opportunity and are some of the few players with guaranteed playing time this weekend.

Cody Fajardo > Roughriders Defence

With the volatility of all the Riders receivers options in mind, it may be optimal to just run Fajardo out unstacked with a receiver and pair him with the Riders defence in a game they are heavy favourites.

Week 21 Projections

QUARTERBACKS

Name Position Salary Team Opp Projection Points Per Dollar Pass Attempts Rush Carries
Cody FAJARDO QB $10,695.00 SSK EDM 22.43 2.1 29.1 6.4
Hayden MOORE QB $5,000.00 HAM TOR 22.26 4.45 35.4 2.6
Bo Levi MITCHELL QB $9,998.00 CGY BC 18.59 1.86 35.3 0.2
Logan KILGORE QB $5,353.00 EDM SSK 14.42 2.69 35.2 3.6
Dominique DAVIS QB $5,190.00 OTT MTL 13.92 2.68 36 3.1
Vernon ADAMS JR QB $10,195.00 MTL OTT 12.5 1.23 14 2.4
Danny O’BRIEN QB $5,000.00 BC CGY 11.65 2.33 31.5 3
Mcleod BETHEL-THOMPSON QB $8,082.00 TOR HAM 10.38 1.28 20.5 1.4
Matt SHILTZ QB $5,167.00 MTL OTT 10.32 2 18.1 3.1
Michael O’CONNOR QB $5,000.00 TOR HAM 3.49 0.7 9 0.9
Dakota PRUKOP QB $5,000.00 TOR HAM 3.44 0.69 9 0.9
Nick ARBUCKLE QB $5,841.00 CGY BC 1.39 0.24 0 1.1

RUNNING BACKS

Name Position Salary Team Opp Projection Points Per Dollar Rush Carries Receiving Targets Punt Returns Kick Returns
Shaquille COOPER RB $5,780.00 EDM SSK 16.72 2.89 15.6 4.6 0 0
John WHITE RB $7,158.00 BC CGY 16.21 2.26 15 3.8
William POWELL RB $7,551.00 SSK EDM 15.41 2.04 12.1 2.5
A.J. OUELLETTE RB $3,500.00 TOR HAM 14.86 4.24 11.1 5.2
William STANBACK RB $7,044.00 MTL OTT 13.75 1.95 9.8 2.2
John CROCKETT RB $4,314.00 OTT MTL 9.43 2.19 13 2.7 0 0
Anthony COOMBS RB $3,400.00 HAM TOR 5.81 1.71 2 2.5
Maleek IRONS RB $2,500.00 HAM TOR 5.61 2.24 5.7 1.4
Cameron MARSHALL RB $4,942.00 HAM TOR 5.42 1.1 5.1 1.4
Marcus THIGPEN RB $3,065.00 SSK EDM 5.35 1.74 2.2 1.4 3
Brendan GILLANDERS RB $3,000.00 OTT MTL 3.09 1.03 1.1 2
Don JACKSON RB $5,555.00 CGY BC 2.81 0.51 2.3 1
Jamel LYLES RB $2,500.00 BC CGY 2.25 0.9 1.9 1.1

RECEIVERS

Name Position Salary Team Opp Projection Points Per Dollar Rush Carries Receiving Targets Punt Returns Kick Returns
Brandon BANKS WR $14,000.00 HAM TOR 28.11 2.01 0.8 9.9 1
Bralon ADDISON WR $9,167.00 HAM TOR 22.32 2.43 2.3 7.9
Reginald BEGELTON WR $9,940.00 CGY BC 19.06 1.92 0.3 7.9
Bryan BURNHAM WR $9,925.00 BC CGY 17.03 1.72 0.1 8.8
Eugene LEWIS WR $7,103.00 MTL OTT 16.7 2.35 0 7.9
Quan BRAY WR $5,348.00 MTL OTT 15.92 2.98 0.07 6.6 0
Eric ROGERS WR $8,294.00 CGY BC 14.69 1.77 0 7
Chandler WORTHY WR $2,500.00 TOR HAM 14.5 5.8 0.3 7.1 4 1.5
Shaquelle EVANS WR $7,193.00 SSK EDM 14.14 1.97 0.2 6.2
Greg ELLINGSON WR $7,488.00 EDM SSK 13.98 1.87 0 7.9
Kyran MOORE WR $6,913.00 SSK EDM 13.51 1.95 0.3 5.6 2
DaVaris DANIELS WR $5,523.00 EDM SSK 13.03 2.36 0 7.4
Jake WIENEKE WR $4,678.00 MTL OTT 12.97 2.77 0 5.1
Armanti EDWARDS WR $7,355.00 TOR HAM 12.11 1.65 0.1 6.7
Luke TASKER WR $5,799.00 HAM TOR 11.85 2.04 0 5.5
Ricky COLLINS WR $5,294.00 EDM SSK 11.77 2.22 0.1 6.7
S.J. GREEN WR $6,692.00 TOR HAM 11.54 1.72 0.06 8.4
Dominique RHYMES WR $5,687.00 OTT MTL 11.53 2.03 0 7.4
Jaelon ACKLIN WR $4,175.00 HAM TOR 11.05 2.65 0 4.4
Hergy MAYALA WR $4,518.00 CGY BC 11.01 2.44 0 4.6
Naaman ROOSEVELT WR $5,742.00 SSK EDM 10.49 1.83 0 6.7
RJ HARRIS WR $5,917.00 OTT MTL 10.36 1.75 0.1 7.5
Chris MATTHEWS WR $3,422.00 MTL OTT 10.33 3.02 0 4.6
Josh HUFF WR $4,349.00 CGY BC 9.74 2.24 0.11 5.4 0 0
Rodney SMITH WR $4,266.00 TOR HAM 9.33 2.19 0 5.4
Jevon COTTOY WR $2,500.00 BC CGY 9.05 3.62 0 5.4
Brad SINOPOLI WR $5,013.00 OTT MTL 8.45 1.69 0 7.2
Duron CARTER WR $4,829.00 BC CGY 7.87 1.63 0.1 6.3
Tevaun SMITH WR $4,282.00 EDM SSK 7.72 1.8 0 4.6
Cory WATSON WR $3,409.00 SSK EDM 6.98 2.05 0 3.7
Caleb HOLLEY WR $3,292.00 OTT MTL 6.67 2.03 0 5.9
Shaquille JOHNSON WR $3,575.00 BC CGY 6.55 1.83 0 3.6
Natey ADJEI WR $2,854.00 EDM SSK 6.29 2.2 0 4
Mario ALFORD WR $2,500.00 MTL OTT 6.07 2.43 0 0 4 3
Emmanuel ARCENEAUX WR $4,187.00 SSK EDM 5.87 1.4 0 3
Dante ABSHER WR $2,500.00 MTL OTT 5.63 2.25 0 3.8
Ryan LANKFORD WR $2,592.00 BC CGY 4.83 1.86 0 0 5 3
Richard SINDANI WR $2,706.00 CGY BC 4.63 1.71 0 2.7
Jimmy RALPH WR $2,500.00 TOR HAM 4.5 1.8 0 3.2
Mike JONES WR $2,937.00 HAM TOR 4.38 1.49 0 2.4
Nathaniel BEHAR WR $2,500.00 OTT MTL 2.96 1.18 0 3.3
Michael KLUKAS WR $2,500.00 CGY BC 2.6 1.04 0 2.2
Colton HUNCHAK WR $2,500.00 CGY BC 2.54 1.02 0 1.5
Rashaun SIMONISE WR $2,500.00 BC CGY 2.31 0.92 0 2.5
Kurleigh GITTENS JR. WR $2,500.00 TOR HAM 1.47 0.59 0 1 1 1.5