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Following the Thanksgiving Monday doubleheader, there’s a smaller three-game slate set for Week 11 in CFL Fantasy. Two of the three games are rematches from Week 10 and the third meeting this season for Winnipeg vs. Edmonton and Montreal vs. Ottawa. There’s a good data set to draw from in projecting outcomes this week, but as is the nature of football, no two games ever look alike.
Caleb Evans, OTT – $5,000
The top projected passer on the slate is the Lions’ Michael Reilly, but just by a hair over the rest of the pack. His salary, however, is about 25 per cent higher than the rest of his competitors, which makes him a pretty difficult spend to justify. Adding to the hesitancy around Reilly is the loss of his top 2021 receiver, Lucky Whitehead. Whitehead is likely to miss a month of football due to his wrist injury. It’s not like Bryan Burnham is a disappointing option, however, despite his lacklustre 2021 campaign.
The Lions own the leagues’ second-most explosive passing game so far and project for the second-most yards per pass attempt (9.14) of any offence in Week 11. That Calgary secondary looked significantly improved over that past two weeks against Saskatchewan, but a lot of that may have to do with the Riders’ lack of passing ability rather than the improvement of the Stampeders. Reilly is likely to be the top QB on the slate and it’s just the matter of deciding whether it’s worth the enormous investment with other similarly projected and much cheaper options available.
It’s always complicated to project backup quarterbacks thrust into a starting role as most of the team rates skew towards the starter’s production. Matt Shiltz’s passer rates are about 10 per cent lower than Vernon Adams Jr.’s career rates, but his rushing rates are nearly identical. Backup QBs rarely become fantasy stars in the short term, but a matchup with the Ottawa defence is always hard to pass up. The Als continue to be the league’s top offence in terms of yardage and points scored per game and Shiltz has the advantage of having been in the Montreal system for over three seasons already.
If there’s a concern on Shiltz, it’s his career 1:2 TD to INT ratio. Ottawa is far from a ball-hawking defence, but that kind of turnover ratio can be crippling to an offence. There’s certainly some risk here, but the rates, context, matchup and salary all point to a risk worth considering.
After eclipsing 300 yards passing for the first time in his Bombers’ tenure in Week 9 against BC, Collaros had a much more pedestrian fantasy outing against the Elks in Week 10, with just 10.3 points as Winnipeg ran Edmonton into the ground. With Edmonton set to turn to Taylor Cornelius at quarterback in Week 11, there’s not much reason to believe Winnipeg’s game plan will be much different. The Elks’ defence is still a top-three unit against the pass in 2021 and not worth picking on, especially in a game script that screams “run-heavy blowout” in favour of Winnipeg. Collaros is difficult to get excited about this week.
After blowing the doors off of Edmonton in the first five minutes of his debut in Week 9, Caleb Evans has seemed much more mortal in his following two performances versus Toronto and Montreal. He averaged just 10.1 fantasy points in his two Week 10 appearances, while throwing four interceptions and no touchdowns. Given his struggles, there’s reason to believe it may even be Taryn Christion or Devlin Hodges that gets the start in Week 11 in Ottawa.
The Als’ defence is eminently beatable, ranking in the bottom third of the league in terms of yards and TDs allowed per pass attempt. The only defence more porous versus the pass is his own, so this is as good an opportunity as Evans will likely get to prove he deserves to hold on to the starting job for the REDBLACKS.
De’Lance Turner, OTT – $4,000
The health of starting running backs in Week 11 will likely determine a lot of which players wind up being the most used this coming weekend. With William Stanback out with a rib injury, the Alouettes running game looked as good as ever with the dual-threat talents of Cameron Artis-Payne carrying the ball.
CAP exhibited the same all-around skill set that made him successful at Auburn, Carolina, and San Antonio and turned his 25 touches into 149 total yards and a touchdown. It was also the most receptions by an Als’ running back this season, as Stanback has struggled in that regard in 2021. If Stanback continues to be sidelined by injury against Ottawa in Week 11, CAP will have a good shot to be the top-scoring and top value running back on the slate versus a REDBLACKS’ defence that ranks in the bottom third of the league versus the run.
Andrew Harris had his best game of the season against Edmonton in Week 10, putting up 30.4 fantasy points on 174 total yards and two touchdowns. Fantasy players were certainly excited to see him getting a few red zone carries again instead of it just being the Sean McGuire show inside the five. If there’s any knock on him from a Fantasy perspective, it’s that his role as a receiver is vastly diminished with Collaros at quarterback, given his ability to throw downfield consistently instead of needing to check the ball down to his running back constantly.
The Elks’ defence has provided a pretty average matchup for opposing running backs, but as Week 10 showed, it’s nothing to be scared of. Harris may again be the top producer at the position this week, but spending up for his over $11K salary will be a difficult decision given the significantly less expensive options at the position.
In Wilder’s first matchup with the Bombers, he almost single-handedly willed them to victory. He found the going much more difficult in the second game and only managed 6.6 fantasy points instead of 25. It’s impossible to know which version of the Elks’ running game will show up Friday in Edmonton with Cornelius under centre. The Bombers’ defence has consistently been vulnerable against the run this season, but if the overall efficiency of the Edmonton offence craters as it did in Week 10, it’s difficult to justify spending up over $9K for Wilder.
The other cheap running back option worth considering in Week 11 faces CAP and the Als on Saturday afternoon in Ottawa. If not for Artis-Payne’s stellar performance, Turner’s 11.6 fantasy point performance at near-minimum salary would have been the story of the week. Turner’s 71 rushing yards were the most by any Ottawa RB this season and he remains a fine punt option versus Montreal in Week 11 if he garners another starting nod.
Jake Wieneke, MTL – $9,344
Eugene Lewis, MTL – $10,244
DeVonte Dedmon, OTT – $6,844
Kenny Lawler, WPG – $8,826
Bryan Burnham, BC – $9,912
Nic Demski, WPG – $8,137
B.J. Cunningham, MTL – $6,471
Derel Walker, EDM – $7,150
Markeith Ambles, CGY – $7,237
Rasheed Bailey, WPG – $5,176
Josh Huff, CGY – $6,935
Despite leading the league in yards and scoring, the Als’ passing game suffered an unexpected power outage in Week 10 against Ottawa as Wieneke, Lewis, Cunningham, and Bray had underwhelming performances. It remains to be seen how the multiple-week loss of Vernon Adams Jr. will affect their league-leading TD efficiency as well.
Both Wieneke and Lewis are priced fully for peak efficiency versus Ottawa and that makes them risky spends given the uncertainty around the effectiveness of the Als’ passing attack with Shiltz at the helm. Cunningham led the team in receiving yards in Week 10, but even that was only 50 on three receptions. Given the matchup, it’s still reasonable to consider having at least one Montreal receiver in lineups, but it’s riskier than it has been all season.
On the other side of the ball, Ottawa finally seemed intent on getting their most dangerous weapon involved in the game as more than a kick returner as Dedmon had four of his season’s 10 receptions in Week 10 versus Montreal. Unfortunately, those four receptions only amounted to 10 yards as the REDBLACKS again struggled to move the ball with any consistency. However, Dedmon did crack 200 return yards again for the fourth time in his past five games, which gives him a solid floor to build from fantasy-wise.
The Als’ defence is certainly one worth attacking with receivers and returners, given their struggles in the secondary and on special teams. Ryan Davis doesn’t project particularly well, but he may also be worth a flier in the matchup if he gets better than the single target he had in Week 10 versus Montreal.
After jumping out to a sizeable early lead versus Edmonton, the Bombers leaned heavily on their run game versus the Elks, and that may well wind up being the game script in Week 11 and making spending up on Bombers’ receivers a little risky. Kenny Lawler is expected to be back this week for Winnipeg and he projects well for an entire game of work. The issue will be whether or not his services are needed much in the second half.
In Lawler’s absence, Demski had a solid outing, but many of his best games have come with either Lawler or Adams out of the lineup. With both expected to play on Friday night, $8K is a pretty steep price to pay for Demski’s services. The Edmonton defence has been in the top third of the league all season against the pass, so it’s not a matchup to exploit for the most part, either. Rasheed Bailey has a similar target share and red zone role to Demski, so with a salary of just over $5K, he may be the best option to stack with Collaros in Week 11.
While the fantasy community mourns the loss of Lucky Whitehead for a few weeks due to his wrist injury, the Lions’ offence should be just fine with Bryan Burnham as the lead receiver again. The biggest questions about their passing attack have much more to do with who will be starting alongside Burnham, as Durant and Rhymes should be nearing returns to health and the team having signed DeVier Posey during their bye week. Burnham projects well with even moderate expectations for his target share versus Calgary, but if he sees a significant increase in his role with Whitehead out, then he could easily be the top receiver on the slate.
The Stampeders’ defence has shown some propensity to give up big plays this season, despite being an average matchup for opposing receivers overall. Keon Hatcher has been a surprisingly efficient addition to the Lions’ receiving corps and could be one of the best value plays at receiver this week if he continues in his starting role. Other options for BC will only become apparent when depth charts are released on Friday.
It’s similarly difficult to know what to do with the Stampeders’ receiving corps, given 71 of their 227 receiving yards came on the first play of the game in Week 10, and seven different players saw targets in the game. Dan Williams was listed as a starter but didn’t receive a target. Nick Holley wasn’t even on the depth chart and saw five targets in the game. Kamar Jorden could also return at any time from the one-game injured list and change everything as well.
Ambles and Huff should see their five targets a game regardless and remain the safest options in the Calgary receiving corps, but the Lions aren’t a great matchup to attack either. If Holley gets to start at receiver, he’s worthy of consideration as a punt play, but otherwise, the entire Stampeders’ receiving corps is likely worth passing on.
As for the Elks’ receivers, they’d still be questionable spending in any other matchup given their offensive struggles and with Cornelius at quarterback. However, versus a Blue Bombers’ secondary that has surrendered just two receiving TDs all season and the fewest yards per target as well, it’s difficult to imagine worse fantasy player options beyond simply leaving all the roster spots empty.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers – $5,282
Montreal Alouettes – $3,200
Ottawa REDBLACKS- $3,200
It’s a mighty rare situation where spending up over $5K for a defence is an optimal decision. However, the Bombers put up 20 fantasy points in Week 10 without even scoring a touchdown on defence or special teams. Compiling three sacks, two turnovers, allowing just three points and having the opposing coach spot them six points on safeties was quite the showing for Winnipeg. There are no major reasons to believe their prospects in Week 11 should be much different.
If fantasy players are looking for less expensive options, the game between Montreal and Ottawa should result in multiple sacks and turnovers from both sides, given the propensities of each quarterback and offence involved. Montreal had eight points in Week 10 while Ottawa put up 13, and both are fine options again in the Week 11 rematch.
Matt Shiltz > Cameron Artis-Payne
The Montreal receivers are all extremely expensive, but the Als do have one of the highest implied team totals on the slate. The combo of Shiltz and CAP should get exposure to every score Montreal has versus Ottawa, and it comes at a lot more affordable price. The fact that CAP is as accomplished as a receiver as he is only further cements this as a solid stack to build around.
WEEK 11 PROJECTIONS
|Name||Postion||Salary||Team||Opp||Projection||Points Per Dollar||Pass Attempts||Rush Carries||Recieving Targets||Punt Returns||Kick Returns|
|Bo Levi MITCHELL||QB||$8,340.00||CGY||BC||15.52||1.86||38.7||0.3|