June 2, 2023

Fantasy: A survival guide to steer you through 2023


The eight teams seeking to overthrow the Argonauts from atop the Grey Cup mountain weren’t the only ones making interesting changes this off-season, as the CFL Fantasy game was revamped for the sole purpose of adding more fun and entertainment for both veteran players and newcomers.

Not only has the salary cap increased from $40,000 to $70,000, this year’s version has also added a captain’s selection that results in double the points for the player fantasy users choose to pave the way for their respective lineup for the week. Also new this year is our partnership with Genius Sports, who has given the game an uptempo look and a stat-heavy presence that includes projected scores for each player.

Changes aside, the intent remains the same: we want you to have fun with your family and friends while using CFL Fantasy as a foundation for your passionate love of the game. Here’s a guide to help you do just that.

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Pivot Wisely

With defences carrying more weight this season, the salary cap impact won’t be as heavy as previous campaigns. Still, the value of a good quarterback is going to make the difference between owning bragging rights in your league or looking up at the fantasy users having good-natured fun at your expense.

To no surprise, Winnipeg’s Zach Collaros ($14,100) will be among the most expensive pivots coming into the season, but the dual threat skills of Montreal’s Cody Fajardo places him atop his peers at $12,000. Calgary’s Jake Maier and Toronto’s Chad Kelly — both of whom will be the focus of considerable attention this season — each come into the 2023 season with salaries of $13,500 and $10,300, respectively.

Don’t get too fixated on playing the same quarterback each week. Sure, there’s going to be that pivot who sports an extended hot hand, but blindly pressing your luck will eventually get you burned. Be patient and crunch the numbers in order to find the quarterback who has the ideal matchup each week. It’s not rocket science, yet assumption can (and will) leave you looking up at the rest of your league mates if you squander the most important position in the game.

Caring is Pairing

Taylor Cornelius has a very high end target to work with this year in Eugene Lewis (GoElks.com)

Simple but effective, the pairing of a quarterback and their favourite target can take your scoring off the charts. The pairing of Collaros and National standout Nic Demski ($13,100) will cost $27,200; if you’re looking to get a huge Bombers stack and add Rasheed Bailey ($11,000) expect to commit $38,200 of your salary into the investment.

The off-season brought us new pairings that can deliver for fantasy users. Hamilton signed Bo Levi Mitchell ($13,000) before adding the explosive Duke Williams ($9,000) to enhance an already solid receiving corps while budding star Taylor Cornelius ($12,000) was gifted All-Star Eugene Lewis ($14,100) as the Elks seek to return to contention in the West.

Information is your friend

There’s no excuse for not being informed. CFL.ca website is the mothership of breaking news and there are a host of reliable sources on a variety of social sites who are deserving of must-follow status. As mentioned, the addition of Genius Sports adds to the wealth of information that will bring insight toward building a winning team each week.

Being informed can be the difference between being able to make the last minute adjustment to a lineup or experiencing the groan that comes when finding out a member of your starting lineup is in street clothes.

Be Willing to gamble

Argos’ running back A.J. Ouellette was a quietly productive player last year that’s poised for a bigger 2023. Who is this year’s sleeper? (Argonauts.ca)

A $70,000 salary still assures you can’t put together an All-Star team, so fantasy players must accept the reality of going off the grid in order to find a gem or two that can carry their team over the top.

Finding sleepers is great, but don’t overdo it. You will need an elite player or two, so whistling in the dark across the board will leave fantasy players feeling foolish (and the focus of ribbing from fellow league members). Maximize the salary cap because it’s not like the $2,800 left over is going to wind up in your bank account.

Have fun

Winning is a beautiful thing (ask any Argonauts fan). The goal is to outscore the pack, but remember that this is a game. The world won’t end if the quarterback you started threw three interceptions or the highest-salaried player on your roster was injured on the first series of the night. Yes, neither scenario is unwanted and a low scoring week can hurt.

Veteran fantasy players will continue to enjoy the process, yet it’s also a great way for a CFL novice to be introduced to the game while also learning about the league’s top stars. Every week will be an exciting ride, so buckle up and enjoy the ride that will conclude in Hamilton on November 19.

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