For the first time since 2017, there will be a five-game schedule, as Week 10 begins on Wednesday and concludes with a Thanksgiving doubleheader that will go a long way toward deciding the East Division championship.
With Ottawa and Toronto kicking off the week, players from both teams will have double the value in CFL Fantasy football. That’s good news for those who might have become sudden converts to REDBLACKS pivot Caleb Evans ($7,500), who will get two chances to prove his Week 9 debut (25.9 fantasy points) was anything but beginner’s luck.
Oh, why not live a little on the wild side and play Evans, especially if you missed out on his stellar opening act at the expense of the Elks’ defence. Evans averaged a respectable 8.7 yards per pass with three majors and his mobility (seven carries, 59 yards) further opened up Ottawa’s offence.
Starting Evans means you’re playing him against both the Argos and Alouettes, yet it shouldn’t deter fantasy users, considering both teams are in the back end of points allowed. There’s plenty of risk investing in a pivot with four quarters of pro experience. However, Evans presents an opportunity to amp up a fantasy lineup with two top-end gems.
Sit: John White, RB, Argonauts, $10,000 salary
There are two running backs fantasy users would gladly pay up to use twice. Unfortunately, White isn’t one of them. White has just one rushing touchdown this season and has recorded only two games of better than 44 rushing yards. That’s not the type of production that justifies the high salary White will cost you this week.
Again, the mindset here is a two-game roll of the dice. If he’s playing just the REDBLACKS, then White is far closer to starting than sitting. However, he’s facing the Tiger-Cats’ defence on Monday. Hamilton did give up 84 yards on 12 carries to White on Sept. 10 but did limit him to 32 yards on nine carries four days earlier. Add the lack of majors into the fray and you have your ironclad reason not to use White this week.
Edmonton (2-5-0) at Winnipeg (7-1-0) Friday, 8:30 p.m. ET
Line: Winnipeg (-14)
Start: Zach Collaros, QB, Bombers, $8,621 salary
Collaros put up his best offensive game of the season last week in BC, going over the 400-yard passing mark for the first time since Aug. 28, 2016. There’s no guarantee that he’ll duplicate that this week against the Elks — a team that does possess the stingiest pass defence in the league (213.4 yards per game) — but keep in mind that at under $9,000 Collaros is productive and takes care of the ball. He’ll be without his top target, in receiver Kenny Lawler, but this Bombers team has flexed its adaptability through varying depths of adversity this season.
Even before the loss of starting quarterback Trevor Harris ($10,927), this has been a frustrating season for one of the league’s premier wideouts. Walker has yet to score on any of his 32 receptions, while his big-play potential has been few and very far between. Since showing signs of a breakout with five catches for 94 yards in Week 5, Walker has a combined 97 receiving yards in his last three outings.
Winnipeg’s defence has yielded just two passing majors. A pass rush that has recorded 20 sacks will make Elks’ quarterback Taylor Cornelius ($5,000) feel just as miserable as he was when he threw three interceptions against the Bombers in his first CFL start in Week 7. Outside of Greg Ellingson ($8,052), this is not the week to put trust in Edmonton’s passing game.
Calgary (3-5-0) at Saskatchewan (5-3-0) Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET
Line: Saskatchewan (-2.5)
Schaffer-Baker has produced at least 14.3 fantasy points in three of his past four games, including last week’s 15.7 effort, when he crossed the 100-yard mark for the first time. He’s averaging eight targets per game over the last three, so you know Cody Fajardo ($11,231) has gained trust in looking in the direction of Schaffer-Baker.
Those planning to use either an Ottawa or Toronto receiver would be wise to strongly consider Schaffer-Baker, who remains a solid value player who has consistently given fantasy users far beyond his current salary.
In the first quarter of last week’s win over the Roughriders, Mitchell’s two touchdown passes offered hope that the one-time fantasy behemoth would show signs of returning to his previous glory. Instead, it was only a flash, as Mitchell didn’t find the end zone the rest of the way while finishing with just 184 yards.
Mitchell is completing less than 59 per cent of his passes this season and has a disappointing 4:8 TD:INT margin. Much of this isn’t on Mitchell, as he has had to readjust to a new corps of young receivers while dealing with injuries to veterans Kamar Jorden ($9,896) and Josh Huff ($6,215). He also missed time with a broken tibia, so when it all adds up, this isn’t the time to hope Mitchell returns to his past standards.
The Alouettes have had their ups and down this season, but receiver Jake Wieneke has been a fantasy constant, week after week (Patrick Doyle/CFL.ca)
Ottawa (2-5-0) at Montreal (3-4-0) Monday, 1:00 p.m. ET
Line: Montreal (-6.5)
Jake From Montreal continues to be a beacon for fantasy users, scoring four majors in his last three games, including a 26-yard score that began the Alouettes’ stirring comeback at Hamilton. Wieneke has produced at least 17.1 fantasy points in four of his past six games, including a season-best 30.8 against (wait for it…) Ottawa in Week 5.
This game has the makings of a repeat of Montreal’s 51-29 win over Ottawa on September 3, so it’s wise to ensure having at least one Alouette in this week’s lineup and right now, there’s not a more sure fantasy play on the Montreal roster than Wieneke.
Yes, there’s reason to feel giddy about the direction of Ottawa’s offence. At the same time, it doesn’t mean going all-in, beginning with Flanders, who has shown some signs of turning things around. Flanders scored his first touchdown in a REDBLACKS uniform in last week’s win and the addition of Caleb Evans did offer better running lanes and a little more involvement in the passing game.
Remember earlier about how there are only two backs worth spending double-digits on in a two-game scenario? Well, Flanders isn’t one of those, either, which means back away despite the potential of a high-scoring affair.
Toronto (4-3-0) at Hamilton (4-4-0) Monday, 4;00 p.m. ET
Line: Hamilton (-4)
Start: Tiger-Cats Defence, $4,555 Salary
In a season filled with inconsistency, Hamilton’s D has been the one steady constant. Hamilton’s defenders have forced at least two turnovers in five straight games and scored at least 10 fantasy points in three of its last five. In three of those games, the Ticats have hit the daily double, with turnovers along with a defensive major.
Scoring isn’t Toronto’s strong suit, as the Argos enter the week seventh in scoring with just 142 points. There’s a good reason why the over/under is so low, and when you add a scoring-challenged offence against an impact-producing defence, it’s best to bet on the latter this week.
While it might be fun to poke at Toronto’s struggles on offence, it’s not as if Hamilton’s O is lighting it up. The Ticats inserted Masoli into the lineup against Montreal last week with mixed results. Although Masoli didn’t throw an interception, he also failed to toss a touchdown, still leaving him with one more major than fantasy users have thrown this season.
The Ticats have too much firepower to continue their offensive doldrums. Sooner or later, the offence that was once the scourge of the league will revert to its explosive ways. Right now, it feels more later than sooner, so look beyond Masoli for fantasy production at pivot.
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