Is there currently a better pivot-receiver combo than Ottawa’s Caleb Evans ($8,000) and Jaelon Acklin ($7,907)? There are several pitch-catch candidates worthy of mentioning, yet over the past three weeks, fantasy users who’ve paired these two have received a combined 151.2 fantasy points.
Pitch-catch pairs is one of the themes for the Week 9 edition of Grey Expectations that also welcomes the Elks back from their bye week for the purpose of putting together one of the more intriguing value stacks of the season.
A dual threat quarterback that’ll likely test Calgary’s run defence, Caleb Evans is quietly becoming a reliable fantasy pick (Kevin Sousa/CFL.ca)
Caleb Evans, Ottawa ($8,000) — He’s accounted for 81.7 fantasy points in his three starts and while facing the Stampeders looks daunting on the surface, keep in mind Calgary is seventh in passing yards allowed per game while also yielding 11 passing majors. Running on the Stamps — evidenced by Winnipeg in Week 8 — is fruitful these days, as they’re sixth in rushing yards allowed. Evans’ running skills will test the 5.0 yards per carry Calgary’s allowed thus far.
Nathan Rourke, BC ($13,974) — Don’t bank on Rourke repeating his 43.1 FP performance against the Elks in Week 1. He scored his first rushing major since Week 4 in BC’s win over the Roughriders and with the possible return of Bryan Burnham ($8,226), the investment of Rourke should pay off handsomely despite the fact he’s a tough fit when it comes to stacking.
Zach Collaros, Winnipeg ($9,674) — Four straight games of at least two passing majors is on the line against an Alouettes’ pass defence that ranks second in lowest opponents’ average pass. Montreal has allowed just eight passing majors this season, yet their suspect run defence (eighth in rushing yards allowed per game) will open the doors for Collaros to burn them with play-action.
Bo Levi Mitchell, Calgary ($8,118) — No defence is as pass-challenged as the REDBLACKS, who are last in yards allowed, majors given up and opponents’ pass efficiency. Mitchell should be ranked higher, but the Stamps have averaged under 8.0 yards per pass in four of their six games while Mitchell has yet to top 20 fantasy points. The opportunity for big numbers is there, yet so is the opportunity for a huge letdown for fantasy users.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Toronto ($8,909) — McBeth has hit the 300-yard barrier in three of his last four starts and has re-established his rapport with Kurleigh Gittens Jr. ($7,129), who has tallied 43.1 fantasy points in his last two games. Hamilton is second in opponents’ completion percentage, yet considering the Argos and Ticats are 1-2 in plays from scrimmage, the pace of this game should yield solid results yet again for Bethel-Thompson.
And Then There’s…
Dane Evans, Hamilton ($8,677) — Only one game with multiple passing majors in the last four has offset his rebound from the turnover-plagued beginning of the season.
Trevor Harris, Montreal ($8,322) — The Als are last in plays from scrimmage (360) and have just seven passing majors to show for it.
Taylor Cornelius, Edmonton ($7,580) — Running skills are a bonus, so there’s that.
Bombers RB Brady Oliveira is looking to add to the one rushing TD he has this season and hopes to do it on Thursday against Montreal (BCLions.com)
James Butler, BC ($9,041) — The Elks are giving up nearly six yards per carry along with a league-high 13 rushing majors. Butler will carry fantasy users this week if BC gives him 18-20 touches from scrimmage.
Ka’Deem Carey, Calgary ($8,921) — Four straight games of at least 91 rushing yards entering a contest against the third-worst run defence in the league? If the hamstring that’s kept him out of practice this week allows, he’s definitely a fantasy anchor this week.
Brady Oliveira, Winnipeg ($5,273) — Week 8 finally gave us the Oliveira we’d been looking for all season. There’s still upside with Oliveira, who is sitting on just one rushing major this season. Count on that total to increase this week.
Andrew Harris, Toronto ($8,665) — We warned about starting Harris in last week’s edition of GE and were proved right, as he was held to just 17 yards on nine carries by an inspired REDBLACKS defence. Hamilton is a tough out when it comes to defending the run, yet, like the aforementioned Oliveira, Harris is sitting on just one rushing touchdown and is long overdue for a visit to the end zone.
Jeshrun Antwi, Montreal ($5,158) — There is a monster game awaiting inside Antwi, who averages 6.6 yards per carry and comes off a season-best 9.9 fantasy points via his receiving. Winnipeg yields 5.1 yards per carry. Antwi just needs consistent touches, something that’s challenging when the Alouettes run so few plays from scrimmage.
William Powell, Ottawa ($6,148) — Are we seeing a decline from Powell? After all, we did see a lot of Jackson Bennett ($2,500) in the second half of Sunday’s win. He has been under 15 carries in all but one of his starts this season and is no longer a factor in the passing game.
And Then There’s…. Don Jackson, Hamilton ($6,456) — Hard to invest in him when he’s third in rushing behind the Ticats’ two pivots.
Maleek Irons, Edmonton ($2,500) — He’s one of two backs on the Elks roster coming into the week.
Ante Milanovic-Litre ($2,500) is the other back, but there’s also the chance Devin Wynn ($2,500) is promoted off the practice roster.
The receiver that makes big plays is going up against a defence that’s prone to surrendering them. Eugene Lewis will do his part to try to hand the Bombers their first L of the season (Chris Tanouye/CFL.ca)
Jaelon Acklin, REDBLACKS ($7,907) — The league leader with 687 receiving yards, Acklin bids for a fourth straight 100-yard game. He’s averaging eight targets per game and has already put up three games of at least 20 fantasy points. Add a solid 14.1 depth yards per target and what else do you need to add him to your lineup?
Dalton Schoen, Blue Bombers ($5,867) — Still a bargain despite ranking third in receiving yards (583) and leading the league with six receiving majors, Schoen also leads the CFL with 937 depth yards. Just give him Most Outstanding Rookie already.
Eugene Lewis, Alouettes ($9,550) — Montreal’s passing issues have nothing to do with Lewis, who has put up at least 12.8 fantasy points in five of seven games this season. Lewis has either gone over 100 yards or scored a major in all but two games thus far and facing a Winnipeg pass defence that’s given up at league-high 13 completions of better than 30 yards is a strong indication he might do both on Thursday.
Kurleigh Gittens Jr., Toronto ($7,129) — Gittens has improved his efficiency rate to 113.2 while taking his catch rate to 79.4 per cent. He’s caught 14 of his last 16 targets heading into Saturday’s home date against the Ticats.
Steven Dunbar Jr., Hamilton ($7,780) — Imagine how productive he’d be with an efficiency rate better than his 93.8? Dunbar is tied for second with five receiving majors, yet his 55.5 per cent catch rate is a clear sign Dunbar has a sick upside awaiting him once he and Dane Evans improve their accuracy.
Reggie Begelton, Calgary ($8,903) — Begelton is 19th in receiving yards (316), which is about 16-17 spots lower than what GE had projected for him. You know a Begelton surge is coming and this match-up against the REDBLACKS is a golden opportunity for him to reward faithful fantasy users in a big way.
Dominique Rhymes, BC ($8,404) — If Rhymes has five or more receptions, the results are obvious: he’s going to destroy defences. Big play potential awaits this week against the Elks, but with Bryan Burham’s return imminent, the pecking order among BC’s elite group of receivers will have to be readjusted.
Kenny Lawler, Edmonton ($9,115) — He’s been targeted 24 times in Taylor Cornelius’ first two starts. There’s no reason to feel the trend won’t continue in a game where the Elks will probably be playing from behind early.
Lucky Whitehead, BC ($8,802) — Facing the Elks will be a great opportunity for Whitehead to improve upon his 7.8 average depth of target. Don’t be surprised if Whitehead breaks off a play of better than 80 yards on Saturday night.
Malik Henry, Calgary ($6,607) — A pair of modest games against the Blue Bombers have offset the pair of monster outings he had against the Elks. Taking on Ottawa’s suspect pass defence will give fantasy users an idea as to whether Henry is emerging as an elite receiver or one who just took advantage of a bad defence.
Bralon Addison, Hamilton ($8,755) — Bonus points for the extra touches Addison gets moonlighting in the Ticats backfield. Tied with Kenny Lawler for the league lead with 40 catches, it’s hard to believe Addison has yet to score a major this late into the season.
Nic Demski, Winnipeg ($6,665) — The Bombers will be without Greg Ellingson ($8,447) a third straight game. No problem at all now that Demski’s versatility is back in the lineup.
BC ($4,561) — The Lions are third in forced turnovers and get a dilly of a matchup against an Elks offence that has committed 15 turnovers, including 12 interceptions.
Winnipeg ($4,650) — Second only to Saskatchewan with 20 forced turnovers, the Blue Bombers meet an Alouettes’ offence capable of hurting themselves as much as their opponents.
Calgary ($3,655) — The Stampeders have a solid plus-6 turnover ratio and while they’ve managed just 13 sacks this season, this is a streaky unit that has yet to play its best ball.
Ottawa ($3,767) — The REDBLACKS are second with 19 sacks and have been very aggressive in popping the ball loose from opposing players, recording eight fumble recoveries.
And Then There’s…
Ottawa — Caleb Evans ($8,000), Jaelon Acklin ($7,907), Nate Behar ($5,257). Don’t sleep on Behar, who has caught at least four passes in five of the REDBLACKS first seven games. Good investment at $21,164, although you could replace Behar with Ryan Davis ($4,713), edging it down to $20,620.
Edmonton — Kenny Lawler ($9,115), Derel Walker ($5,538), Kai Locksley ($3,294). Definitely boom/bust here, but this trio could see around 30 or so combined touches. Lest we forget, Locksley is tied for fourth in the league with five majors. At just $17,947, it’s an intriguing play.
Winnipeg — Dalton Schoen ($5,867), Nic Demski ($6,665), Brady Oliveira ($5,273). This is less expensive ($17,805) than the Elks’ stack and has far more upside. The only downside is whether Dakota Prukop ($4,732) vultures a major or two from Oliveira.
BC — James Butler ($9,041), Keon Hatcher ($5,576), Jevon Cottoy ($6,138). Attempting a stack with Nathan Rourke will force fantasy users into the bargain section, but this is a Lions stack that, at $20,755, can lay the foundation for Week 9 success.
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