October 20, 2023

From the Editor’s Desk: Shouting out some Edmonton Elks

Paul Swanson/CFL.ca

Well folks, this is the last weekend we get to watch the Edmonton Elks play in 2023 (they’re on a bye next week and unfortunately have not qualified for the post-season).

I had a lot of fun watching Edmonton this season, especially in the second half when a certain Canadian took over under centre (more on that in a second).

I found myself rooting for them to make the playoffs because what a fantastic turnaround story that would have been!

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In honour of the final week of action for the green and gold, I’m going to shine a light on a few players that I really enjoyed watching this year before we say, “see you next year!” to the squad after this week.

TRE FORD | QB

 

This one should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been watching the CFL this year. The excitement factor is always on 100 when Ford is on the field, making brilliant play after brilliant play. Ever-dangerous with his legs, Ford has racked up 608 yards on the ground to go along with three rushing touchdowns. I can’t count the amount of times he did something and I said, “how???” I was in Toronto to witness the scramble to Gavin Cobb touchdown pass and my jaw hit the floor of the stands at BMO Field. I can’t wait to see what he does this weekend against Winnipeg.

KEVIN BROWN | RB

What a season Kevin Brown has had. We got a preview of what the 27-year-old could do in seven contests in 2022, but this year we’ve been treated to the entire show. Brown’s third in rushing yards right now (1,100) and he’s scored four touchdowns on the ground and one through the air. If you’re looking for big plays, look no further than Brown who’s leading the league in yards per carry (6.1) and is tied for the league-lead in 20+ yard rushes (nine). His 175-yard performance in Week 15 is also a single-game, season-high among all running backs. Here’s hoping we can see something similar this weekend.

AC LEONARD | DE

Anyone who knows me knows I love a defensive lineman and I especially love when they do things other than rush the quarterback (side note: my favourite play in football is a big man dropping into coverage and don’t get me started on him hauling in an interception when he’s out there). Leonard’s 12 sacks on the year should be shouted out, he’s tied for second in the league in that category, but I really want to mention two short-yardage plays he’s been involved in this season. The one-handed catch on a trick QB sneak was brilliant and he also scored a touchdown on the same play a few weeks later. Slow claps to you, AC.

KRISTINA’S CFL FANTASY TEAM

QB – Vernon Adams Jr. ($13,800) CAPTAIN
RB – Brady Oliveira ($13,500)
RB – JaQuan Hardy ($4,000)
WR – Kenny Lawler ($9,300)
WR – Shawn Bane Jr. (12,500)
Flex – Dominique Rhymes ($11,000)
Defence – Saskatchewan Roughriders ($5,300)

Vernon Adams Jr. has been playing some excellent football over the last few weeks and going against a Stampeders defence that gives up 237.3 yards per game, I’m thinking he’s in for a big game.

At running back, I went with Brady Oliveira and JaQuan Hardy. Hardy was my value pick this week. I know the Lions don’t run the ball that often, they average 78.4 yards per game on the ground, but at $4,000, I couldn’t resist picking him. Oliveira has only scored under 23 FP one time in his last six games. The Elks give up a whopping 135.5 yards on the ground, so I can see the Bombers running back having another big fantasy point performance.

Kenny Lawler and Shawn Bane Jr. are my receivers. Without Dalton Schoen in the lineup, Lawler is likely going to be heavily relied upon by Zach Collaros. Despite having an excellent defence, Toronto does give up a lot of yards through the air (291.3 per game, second most in the CFL) so I wanted to take a Riders receiver. It was between Bane and Samuel Emilus for me and I don’t have any stats to backup my decision to go with Bane, it was just a gut instinct that he’s going to have a big performance in the Riders’ must-win game.

Dominique Rhymes is my FLEX player. He’s hit double digits in fantasy points in two of his last three games and I like the stack of him with VA on my team.

And finally, I went with the Riders defence, picking an inexpensive team that I didn’t start any players against.

KRISTINA’S PICKS

Calgary at BC
Friday, 10:00 p.m. ET

The BC Lions are the stronger team, in my opinion, and while both of these clubs are fighting for playoffs (Calgary needs a win to get in and BC needs a win to stay alive in the hunt for first in the West) I think the home team will walk away victorious.

PICK: BC

Toronto at Saskatchewan
Friday, 4:00 p.m. ET

The Saskatchewan Roughriders haven’t won a game since Labour Day Weekend, and even if Toronto rests some of their starters, I don’t think the defending champs lose this week.

PICK: Toronto

Winnipeg at Edmonton
Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET

My heart says Edmonton but my head says Winnipeg.

PICK: Winnipeg

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