The Semi-Final Sunday edition of Grey Expectations arrives (remember to turn your clocks back on Saturday night) with rankings that will test the balancing act of putting together a $30,000 team.
Do you place your hopes at pivot or does a CFL All-Star receiver sound appealing? That will be one of the many scenarios that will result from generating a Grey Cup-level fantasy roster.
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1. Nathan Rourke, BC ($11,000 Salary): Had he played a full season, Rourke’s per game numbers were projected to have translated to 6,028 passing yards, 45 touchdown passes along with 547 rushing yards and 12 rushing majors. In the one game he played against the Calgary Stampeders, Rourke racked up 36.3 fantasy points, a total that would have been higher had he not thrown a pair of interceptions. If you’re going to build a Semi-Final winner, a healthy Rourke is a decisive anchor.
2. Jake Maier, Calgary ($8,900): The BC Lions had the league’s top pass defence in the regular season yet Maier gave the Lions fits. In his two starts, Maier threw for 595 yards and three majors while not throwing an interception in 71 attempts. Maier isn’t going to offer as much as Rourke when it comes to rushing totals, yet he’ll save you salary while also having his favorite deep threat, Malik Henry ($9,000) back in the lineup.
3. Trevor Harris, Montreal ($9,509): Harris has started five post-season games and has averaged a staggering 385.6 passing yards per game and is the most accurate pivot (73.4 percent) in post-season history. Those numbers merit a higher ranking, but the presence of William Stanback ($6,500) will allow Harris to ease up on a Hamilton Tiger-Cats pass defence that allowed an average of 304.6 yards to him in three starts this season.
4. Dane Evans, Hamilton ($7,500): This will be just the second Eastern Semi-Final start for Evans, who comes into Sunday having thrown just one touchdown in his last five games. Those interested in starting Evans can rest on the knowledge that he averaged better than 10 yards per attempt in his two starts against the Montreal Alouettes. Keep in mind that Hamilton finished second only to BC (31) with 27 completions of better than 30 yards, which means the Evans who lit up the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for five touchdown tosses in Week 15 could easily resurface.
And Then There’s…
Tommy Stevens, Calgary ($5,901)
Matthew Shiltz, Hamilton ($7,000)
Vernon Adams Jr. BC ($8,086)
Dominique Davis, Montreal ($5,337)
Antonio Pipkin, BC ($4,947)
1. Ka’Deem Carey, Calgary ($9,500): The league’s rushing champion will not be intimidated by BC’s run defence, having generated 145 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries in the two games he faced the Lions. Carey finished second in the CFL with a 6.6 yards per carry average, and you know the Stampeders will involve him in the passing game. Count on 18-22 touches as a low water mark for Carey on Sunday.
2. William Stanback, Montreal ($6,500): Expect unlimited doses of Stanback, who is now ready to resemble the 2021 version of himself now that he used the past three games to shake off the rust that came from missing much of the season with an ankle injury. Hamilton allowed a league-low 82.4 rushing yards per game and limited runners to just 4.7 yards per tote, a healthy Stanback is a two-down equalizer whose impact in the passing game will be felt.
3. James Butler, BC ($9,000): Don’t consider this ranking a slight to Butler. After all, he did run for 144 yards and a pair of majors on 24 carries along with catching six passes for 34 yards in the two games he faced the Stampeders. Having his star quarterback in the lineup along with the expected return of receiver Bryan Burnham ($8,505) will take some of the pressure off Butler, who ran for 426 yards in Weeks 17-20.
4. Peyton Logan, Calgary ($4,500): A potential track meet against the Lions means more return opportunities for Logan, who finished his rookie season with a league-best 148.4 all-purpose yards per game. He also had eight plays of better than 20 yards which included a 122-yard missed field goal return for a touchdown, further highlighting his explosiveness.
5. Wes Hills, Hamilton ($6,000): An unsung reason for the Tiger-Cats’ late surge into a playoff spot, Hills had two games of double-digit fantasy production in four late season contests. He’s a sneaky good flex option who has shown he can handle a hefty workload when needed. Hamilton could turn to veteran Don Jackson ($6,250), but Hills has clearly been the most effective runner in the Ticats’ backfield this season.
And Then There’s…
Walter Fletcher, Montreal ($4,000)
Sean Thomas Erlington, Hamilton ($3,163)
Jeshrun Antwi, Montreal ($3,479)
Bruce Anderson, BC ($3,500)
Felix Garand-Gauthier, Hamilton ($2,500)
1. Eugene Lewis, Montreal ($10,000): Lewis had 23 catches for 305 yards and two touchdowns in three games against the Ticats and has scored majors in six of his last seven games. He’s produced at least 12.8 fantasy points in 10 of his last 12 games, including five games of better than 20 fantasy points.
2. Tim White, Hamilton ($10,000): Defenders knew White would get the ball and were still helpless to slow him down as he tallied five games of better than 100 yards in his last eight games before sitting out the regular season finale. White comes into Sunday having caught at least six passes in seven of his previous eight games in a remarkable second season that has established him as one of the league’s elite pass catchers.
3. Dominique Rhymes, BC ($8,948): Speaking of breakout receivers, Rhymes’ numbers would have been even more impressive had Nathan Rourke stayed healthy. Rhymes has a pair of touchdown receptions against the Stampeders in the regular season and had four games of at least 23 fantasy points with Rourke as his starting pivot.
4. Malik Henry, Calgary ($9,000): A healthy Henry is a game-altering presence to a Stampeders offence that has lacked a big-play threat without him. Not only is Henry one of the league’s most efficient receivers, he’s also accounted for 35 percent of the team’s big plays through the passing game. In two games against the Lions, Henry has 13 receptions for 195 yards that includes a 77-yard touchdown catch.
5. Bryan Burnham, BC ($8,505): Burnham would have given the Lions four 1,000-yard receivers (a feat that’s happened just four times in league history) had injuries not sidelined him for nine games. He’s healthy, which means fans get their first post-season taste of Burnham since 2016.
6. Keon Hatcher, BC ($6,661): A mark of consistency, Hatcher had at least three receptions in all but two games this season. The Lions will have more than enough targets available to make Hatcher a factor.
7. Steven Dunbar Jr. Hamilton ($6,613): Dunbar has quietly become a solid tag-team partner for White. Dunbar hit 1,000 yards on the nose and should be a good bet for seven to 10 targets with the Alouettes putting much of their focus on White.
8. Jalen Philpot, Calgary ($4,511): The post-season always supplies us with someone who comes out of nowhere and puts up All-Star numbers. My bet this season will be Philpot, who averaged 18.5 yards every time he touched the ball in his rookie campaign.
And Then There’s…
Reggie Begelton, Calgary ($6,500)
Terry Williams, BC ($3,800)
Jake Wieneke, Montreal ($5,008)
Chandler Worthy, Montreal ($3,978)
Kamar Jorden, Calgary ($5,517)
Tyson Philpot, Montreal ($3,931)
Luther Hakunavanhu, Calgary ($3,644)
Jevon Cottoy, BC ($3,677)
Kaion Julien-Grant, Montreal ($3,551)
Lemar Durant, Hamilton ($3,370)
Terry Godwin, Hamilton ($2,500)
Richie Sindani, Calgary ($2,500)
1. Montreal ($4,000)
2. Calgary ($3,500)
3. BC ($3,500)
4. Hamilton ($3,000)
Calgary: Ka’Deem Carey ($9,500), Jalen Philpot ($4,511). You know what you’re going to get with Carey, but Philpot is the show stealer in this $14,011 stack.
Montreal: Trevor Harris ($9,509), William Stanback ($6,500). Yes, this is a steep stack at $16,009. However, Harris’ post-season track record and the potential of a Stanback breakout can make this money well spent.
Hamilton: Tim White ($10,000), Steven Dunbar Jr. ($6,613). This duo is Hamilton’s passing game. Don’t be surprised if this duo teams up for 25+ touches, which makes this a sound $16,613 investment.