July 25, 2023

Fantasy Projections: Flying the friendly passing skies

Brett Holmes/CFL.ca

With the status of BC’s Vernon Adams Jr. ($13,500) uncertain, Week 8 will likely be defined by backup pivots. If the Lions go with Dane Evans ($7,500), it will mark the second consecutive week in which each game will have at least one quarterback filling in for an injured starter. CFL Fantasy users will have to look for consistency as they build lineups while also hoping at least one of the new starters will emerge as a solid fantasy option.

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1. Chad Kelly, Toronto, $14,500 salary (26.4 projected fantasy points): Expect another week of high-end production from Kelly, who has scored 31.3 and 27.8 fantasy points in his last two games. Saskatchewan’s defence has held its own much of the season yet will be challenged to stop the league’s most efficient attack.

2. Dustin Crum, Ottawa, $7,500 salary (16.5): The Tiger-Cats have allowed a league-high 28.5 offensive points per game and now that we’ve seen how effective Crum can be as a passer, his dual threat skills make him a strong bargain play who will produce at least 25 FP for a third straight game.

3. Jake Maier, Calgary, $15,000 salary (17.2): Air Canada now resides on the right arm of Maier, who has thrown for 765 yards and four majors in his last two games. His fantasy production would be stronger if he could avoid the turnovers (three interceptions the last two games).

4. Cody Fajardo, Montreal, $13,000 salary (19.6): A slugfest against the Stampeders looks good on paper considering that Fajardo has averaged 280.2 passing yards per game. However, the fact the Alouettes have scored a league-low eight offensive touchdowns tends to damper hopes of Fajardo having a monster outing.

5. Taylor Powell, Hamilton, $5,000 Salary (7.7): Putting up 18.7 FP against a tough Toronto defence in his first career start shows that Powell is quite capable of putting up bigger numbers. Facing the league’s worst pass defence in Ottawa, along with getting wide receiver Tim White ($12,000) more involved puts Powell in position to be a solid value play this week.

Running backs

1. Shaun Shivers, BC, $5,500 salary (9.1): Forget that Shivers had just 4.3 FP in Week 7. Nothing spells “fantasy rebound for RBs” better than facing Edmonton’s run defence, which gives up 144.9 yards per game at 5.8 yards per carry. Make sure he’s in your lineup.

2. William Stanback, Montreal, $8,000 salary (10.6): Speaking of rebounds, Stanback is long overdue for a breakout performance as he has yet to cross more than 13.6 FP in a game this season. Calgary’s run defence has struggled of late, presenting Stanback an excellent opportunity to reestablish himself as an elite back.

3. AJ Ouellette, Toronto, $12,300 salary (14.9): As mentioned in the opening, it’s about consistency. Look no further than Ouellette, who is bidding for a fifth straight game with at least 11.6 fantasy points.

James Butler made an impact catching the ball in the Ticats’ Week 7 battle with the Argos (Kevin Sousa/CFL.ca)

4. James Butler, Hamilton, $11,000 salary (16.0): Despite being held in check on the ground, Butler still finished with 13.2 fantasy points. He’s a threat for a big gain anytime the ball is in his hands, so as long as the Ticats keep him involved, he’ll produce.

5. Dedrick Mills, Calgary, $12,900 salary (13.8): No way Mills finishes with a second straight fantasy dud. The 5.0 FP outing he had in Week 7 was a blip. Regardless of how much the Stamps are thriving with the increased passing game, Mills remains a vital part of the offence.

6. Jamal Morrow, Saskatchewan, $12,700 salary (14.0): Morrow has the second-highest projection among backs this week. The Riders will have to do a better job of opening running lanes for him than they did in Week 7, where he managed a mere 11 yards on 12 carries.


1. Austin Mack, Montreal, $12,000 salary (17.6): Keep in mind that Mack’s 14.0 FP outing in Week 6 was his lowest fantasy point total of the season. Eventually, the Montreal offence is going to start scoring majors, which means Mack’s fantasy numbers have room for improvement.

2. Kaion Julien-Grant, Montreal, $12,400 salary (14.2): Fantasy users of Julien-Grant have received at least 12.6 FP from him over the past four games. The one fault with Julien-Grant, who leads the league with 209 yards after the catch, is that for all his big play potential, he has yet to score a touchdown this season.

3. Tre Odoms-Dukes, Calgary, $10,700 salary (12.8): Did you know he and Ottawa’s Justin Hardy ($11,000) are tied for second in the CFL with 50 targets? Now that you do, you can understand why we feel he can come close to equaling his 22.1 FP total from Week 7, especially against the REDBLACKS and their suspect secondary.

4. Dominique Rhymes, BC, $13,700 salary (15.8): Yes, it feels strange to not rank Rhymes among the top-three this week. We’ll have to wait and see how well Dane Evans fares if the Lions do indeed start him against the Elks on Saturday.

5. Justin Hardy, Ottawa, $11,000 salary (11.8): Hardy leads the league with 32 receptions and has become the one target Dustin Crum turns to in tight situations. He lacks big play upside (6.8 average depth yards), but his efficiency rate has taken a steady climb the past few weeks.

Tevin Jones has been a consistent fantasy producer this season, whether his quarterback has been Trevor Harris or Mason Fine (Arthur Ward/CFL.ca)

6. Tevin Jones, Saskatchewan, $12,700 salary (16.3): Clearly the best fantasy option among the Riders receivers, Jones has scored at least 14.5 fantasy points in five of his six games this season. He’ll continue to be the top target for Mason Fine ($5,500).

7. Reggie Begelton, Calgary, $12,000 salary (15.4): The fantasy production is coming together for Begelton, who has scored at least 12.2 fantasy points in three of his last four games.

8. Tim White, Hamilton, $12,000 salary (10.2): We’ll boldly predict White gets at least 10-12 targets against Ottawa as the Tiger-Cats focus on getting their All-Star receiver back into the fold after a three-game stretch in which he had just three receptions.

9. Kurleigh Gittens Jr., Toronto, $9,900 salary (8.8): Last week’s 18.9 fantasy points in the win over Hamilton is a sign that Gittens is going to be featured more often in the Argos’ passing attack.

10. Duke Williams, Hamilton, $10,000 salary (12.3): Boom-or-bust exists each week with Williams, but he’s been the one Ticats receiver that has thrived since Taylor Powell ($5,000) took over the starting job.

11. Alexander Hollins, BC, $13,800 salary (12.6): One could make an argument that Hollins deserves to be a few spots higher. However, with the quarterback situation in BC uncertain entering the week, this is a safe spot to rank him.

12. Shawn Bane Jr., Saskatchewan, $12,900 salary (12.8): Bane pulled in 10 passes in Week 7 and has worked his way among the most productive receivers in the league.


1. BC, $11,000 salary (12.9): The Lions allow just 13.5 offensive points per game and face an Elks’ offence that has struggled in almost all facets of the game, so of course you’re starting them.

2. Toronto, $9,200 salary (12.9): After scoring before projection the past two games, count on the Argos to step it up at Touchdown Atlantic.

3. Ottawa, $9,200 salary (9.8): Facing a Hamilton offence that continues to rank near the bottom of the league in most categories is a good foundation to gamble with the REDBLACKS’ D.

4. Calgary, $9,900 Salary (9.2): The Stampeders may give up a lot of yards but keep in mind they’re facing a Montreal offence that has scored just eight offensive majors.

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