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November 15, 2021

Start vs Sit: Finding fantasy gems in Week 16

Photo: The Canadian Press

The road to the Grey Cup is all but set, yet there’s still plenty for fantasy users to play for in this week’s oversized regular-season finale. It all kicks off on Tuesday with Edmonton at Toronto, as the Elks will play twice this week after COVID-19 caused the postponement of their August 26 matchup against the Argos.

A possible theme of Week 16 will be how many playoff-bound teams choose to keep pushing forward instead of resting starters (ask Winnipeg how that worked out on Saturday) for next week’s Semi-Finals. Rather than making foolish assumptions, we’ll work with the mindset that (almost) everyone is going to play.


PLAY CFL FANTASY 
» Set your lineup for Week 16
» CFL Fantasy: Who won Week 15?
» Landry’s 5 takeaways from Week 15


Edmonton (2-10-0) at Toronto (9-4-0)
Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Line: Toronto (-3.5)
Over/Under: 49.5

Start: James Wilder Jr. RB, Elks, $7,848 salary

Wilder was a depth chart surprise for the Elks on Monday morning, after sitting out the past two games. Using him in Toronto makes sense, though, when you consider the team is in the middle of three games in a seven-day span. While his production has tailed off as the Elks’ season got away from them, his freshness should be an advantage, especially against an Argos’ team that locked up the East Division with its win on Friday against Hamilton.

Fletcher could factor back into the Elks’ season-finale in BC on Friday. At $6,000 he’s pricier than he has been in recent weeks, but given that he’s been good for 37.6 fantasy points in his last two games, could be worth the investment.

Sit: Elks Receivers

Greg Ellingson ($8,222) and Derel Walker ($5,816) have missed the past two games and with the focus on the future, it’s unlikely we’ll see much of them again in 2021, though Walker will get the start on Tuesday in Toronto. That said, Cornelius hasn’t found a consistent target outside of Fletcher, which means the Elks’ passing game could come down to an assortment of youngsters like Earnest Edwards ($3,500), Shai Ross ($3,961), and Jalen Tolliver ($3,791).

All three come with value, but since you’d have to rely on them twice, there’s a good chance any of them could come up with a 4-25-0 line that would scorch your roster’s potential. It’s best to stay away rather than throw darts in hopes said darts land favourably.

Ottawa (2-11-0) at Montreal (7-6-0)
Friday, 7:30 p.m.ET

Line: Montreal (-12.5)
Over/Under: 45.5

Start: Reggie White, Jr. WR, Alouettes, $2,525 salary

Let’s go off the grid and run with the rookie that has become an integral part of the Alouettes’ offence. Since being activated three games ago, White has caught 14 of his 16 targets for 144 yards and has scored majors in each of his past two games. Eugene Lewis ($10,200) might be too steep for fantasy users, especially since the Alouettes’ offence is more run-centered and Jake Wieneke ($7,851) has seen his fantasy star dim over the last month.

White is also a sure bet to get snaps if the Als do decide to either sit or reduce the role of their starters on Friday. Facing the league’s worst defence in the REDBLACKS presents an excellent opportunity to benefit from a minimal salary performer while focusing the rest of your salary on upper-floor talent.

Sit: Trevor Harris, QB, Alouettes, $9,863 salary

This isn’t a complete indictment on Harris, although we haven’t seen a vintage Harris performance since he put up 31.9 fantasy points on Calgary’s secondary in Week 4. While Harris did throw three majors in Saturday’s win over Winnipeg, he managed just 144 yards and attempted only 25 passes, averaging a mere 5.8 yards per attempt.

As mentioned in the Reggie White, Jr. selection, the Alouettes will not be pass-happy so long as William Stanback ($9,229) remains in the backfield. Montreal won’t need Harris to tee off on his old REDBLACKS teammates and while it wouldn’t be surprising to see him record multiple touchdown passes, just don’t expect gaggles of yardage behind them.

Edmonton (2-10-0) at BC (4-9-0)
Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET

Line: BC (-2.5)
Over/Under: 48.5

Start: Dominique Rhymes, WR, Lions, $6,089 salary

Rhymes will look to close out his 2021 season on a high note after catching 15 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown in his last three games, including a 7-111-0 line in last week’s loss to the Stampeders. Bryan Burnham ($9,665) remains the featured receiver in BCs offence, yet Rhymes has grabbed the opportunity to become the complimentary piece to the Lions’ passing attack.

Edmonton allows just under 230 yards per game to opposing passers, but its 8.1 average per attempt puts them in the back row of defences. BC will go out of the 2021 season in typical pass-happy fashion, and if Michael Reilly ($9,924) continues his late-season tear (960 passing yards in his last three games), count on Rhymes to be a big part of it.

Sit: All Elks Receivers

See comment in Elks-Argos.

It’s taken a few weeks, but D’haquille ‘Duke’ Williams seems to be finding a big spot in the Riders’ offence (Matt Smith/CFL.ca)

Saskatchewan (9-4-0) at Hamilton (7-6-0)
Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET

Line: Hamilton (-2.5)
Over/Under: 40.5

Start: Duke Williams, WR, Roughriders, $9,826 salary

Saturday reminded us of why Williams was a CFL All-Star in 2018. Playing against his old Edmonton teammates, Williams caught 8 of his 12 targets for 146 yards and a touchdown, putting up one of the best fantasy outings this season by a receiver with 28.6 fantasy points. Don’t expect the good times to stop, even against a Tiger-Cats’ defence that has recorded 15 interceptions and allows just 7.3 yards per attempt.

Williams pulled in a 48-yard reception on Saturday, which is very encouraging for a Saskatchewan passing game that has lacked big-play potential all season. The presence of Williams should make Cody Fajardo ($11,219) more fantasy-viable than in recent weeks now that the Roughriders have finally found its quick-strike solution in Williams.

Sit: William Powell, RB, Roughriders, $8,330 salary

With the Roughriders set to host the West Semi-Final on November 28, this would be a good time to give the veteran workhorse a rest. Powell hasn’t put up numbers comparable to his previous three seasons, but his dual-threat ability makes him perfect for the grind-it-out style of the postseason.

If Powell sits, this could be the opportunity for Jamal Morrow ($2,500) to finally see a role in the offence. Morrow amassed 232 return yards in Saturday’s win over Edmonton that included an 82-yard kickoff return. If given a chance, the rookie from Washington State could be the hidden gem the Roughriders unveil for the playoffs.

Winnipeg (11-2-0) at Calgary (7-6-0)
Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET

Line: Winnipeg (-6)
Over/Under: 40.5

Start: Winnipeg defence, $5,142 salary

Starting the Blue Bombers’ D is perhaps the safest play here. At the very least, fantasy users can take comfort in Winnipeg amassing sacks, as they have recorded at least three sacks in seven of its past eight games. The Bombers handled the Stamps in Week 4 in an 18-16 victory in which Calgary managed only one touchdown despite then-starting pivot Jake Maier ($5,000) throwing for 307 yards.

Last week’s loss to Montreal marked the first time the Blue Bombers allowed more than 23 points this season. Consider that a speed bump and insert the league’s best unit into your lineup.

Sit: Bo Levi Mitchell, QB, Stampeders, $9,309 salary

Sure, we did see the best outing of the season from Mitchell in last week’s win over the Lions, but don’t press your luck when it comes to thinking Mitchell can put a dent into the league’s top defence.
Mitchell’s 22.6 fantasy points in Week 15 was the first time he crossed the 20 FP barrier this season. Remember that Bo Levi still has a 10:13 TD: INT margin with just two games of multiple TD passes. If it sounds like we’re saying Week 15 was an aberration for Mitchell, well, you’d be correct.

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