August 28, 2023

Start vs. Sit: Hatcher stays productive

Jimmy Jeong/

The Week 13 edition of Start vs. Sit centers on CFL fantasy players who have been hotter than Texas weather over the past several weeks, including one pivot who is primed to make OK Tire Labour Day Weekend feel wonderful for the fantasy users who’ve stuck with him recently.

Keep in mind there are no games Thursday or Friday. We’ll get through. Somehow.

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» Landry’s five takeaways from Week 12

BC (7-4-0) at Montreal (6-4-0), Saturday, 7:00pm (Eastern)

Line: BC (-3.5)
O/U: 45.5

Start: Keon Hatcher, WR, Lions, $12,000 Salary

Thankfully, August ends for the Lions, who lost three of their four games in the month. However, Hatcher’s fantasy users may not want it to end considering he averaged 21.75 FP per game. He’s scored at least 21.4 FP in his last three games and has scored at least 11.4 FP per contest since his return to the lineup in Week 4. The Alouettes gave up two receptions of 40+ yards in the Week 12 loss at Winnipeg, which plays well with Hatcher’s big play potential.

Sit: Cody Fajardo, QB, Alouettes, $13,000 Salary

Fajardo was flat in his return to the lineup, scoring just 2.8 FP in the Week 12 loss to the Blue Bombers. He had not been playing well prior to coming back to guide the Als, having scored just a combined 22.2 FP in his previous two starts. Montreal has scored a mere 17 offensive touchdowns this season, with just one of those coming in a Week 5 loss at BC. The Als have been able to stretch the ball downfield, yet Fajardo has been unable to turn those big plays into majors on a steady basis.

Winnipeg (9-2-0) at Saskatchewan (5-5-0), Sunday, 7:00pm

Line: Winnipeg (-7.5)
O/U: 46.5

Start: Brady Oliveira, RB, Blue Bombers, $13,000 Salary

Zach Collaros ($15,000) has company when it comes to Most Outstanding Player candidates in the Bombers locker room. Oliveira continued to run from the pack in the CFL rushing title race, racking up 119 yards and a major in the Week 12 win over the Alouettes. He scored 25.5 FP last Thursday, marking the third time in the last four games he has scored at least 20.4 FP. He comes into Week 13 having scored in double figures in eight straight games for his fantasy users. Ignore the 5.6 FP he scored in his previous meeting against the Roughriders in Week 2; with the diversity of firepower in the Winnipeg offence, count on Oliveira to continue getting his share of high-end production that comes from coordinator Buck Pierce.

Sit: Tevin Jones, WR, Roughriders, $14,000 Salary

It would have been unthinkable to consider sitting Jones a few weeks ago, yet here we are. Jones, who at one point led the league in receiving yards, has hit the skids in his past three games, scoring a combined 12.1 FP in that span. His slide comes after a run in which Jones had opened the season with six straight games of double-digit fantasy production. It’s not all on Jones as the resurgence of Samuel Emilus ($11,000) and the return of star pass catcher Kian Schaffer-Baker ($10,000) meant someone in the Riders receiver corps would eventually get the short end of the stick. Right now, it’s looking like Jones.

Toronto (8-1-0) at Hamilton (4-6-0), Monday, 3:30pm

Line: Toronto (-8.5)
O/U: 47.5


Start: James Butler, RB, Tiger-Cats, $10,000 Salary

Butler is the Tiger-Cats offence. Be it by air or land, Butler has become the workhorse of the Hamilton attack, having scored at least 23.6 fantasy points in each of his last three games, including a 30.4 FP outing in the Week 12 win over BC that saw Butler generate 154 yards from scrimmage and a pair of majors. Stopping opponents from scoring has been an issue for the Argos, who have allowed 31 points in consecutive games, so no matter what the rest of the Hamilton offence does, be assured that Butler will continue his recent run of fantasy brilliance.

Sit: Taylor Powell, QB, Tiger-Cats, $6,200 Salary

The good news is that Powell finally threw his second touchdown of the season in Saturday’s win over the Lions, yet it still doesn’t improve his standing as a viable fantasy pivot. Powell scored 13.2 FP in Week 12, his second highest total this season, and while facing a Toronto pass defence that allowed Calgary’s Jake Maier ($12,500) to score 31 FP last week offers some sleeper potential, fantasy users would be wise to not expect Powell to deliver similar numbers.

Edmonton (2-9-0) at Calgary (3-8-0), Monday, 7:00pm

Line: Calgary (-5.5)
O/U: 46.5

Start: Tre Ford, QB, Elks, $11,000 Salary

Ford has averaged 23.1 fantasy points in his three starts, including a 29.4 FP performance in Sunday’s home (yes, home) win over the REDBLACKS. Edmonton has averaged 27.7 points per game since installing Ford into the lineup as the pivot continues to improve upon his average yards per throw. He averaged 17.6 yards per attempt in Week 12 and the trend should continue with the likes of Eugene Lewis ($10,000) and Steven Dunbar Jr. ($11,000) capable of stretching defences. The Stamps were torched for 361 passing yards from Toronto’s Chad Kelly ($13,800) in Week 12 and will be challenged to slow down the increasingly confident Elks offence. Good luck.

Sit: Both Defences

Neither unit should be considered as a fantasy option this week as we expect this game will keep the scoreboard busy at McMahon. Calgary has allowed at least 37 points in two of their last three games and while Edmonton comes in with a two-game win streak, the defence is still last in yards allowed per game and rushing yards allowed per contest. Fantasy users who love to stack might want to consider an old Vanessa Williams song and save the best for the last game of Week 13 by loading up on this game.

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