CFL Daily Fantasy DraftKings Week 5 – Praying the Llevi Holds
In Week 4, the projections were exceptional again but our big swing and miss was using return specialists as value plays in a week they all bust. Sometimes you know better but still make a terrible decision. That was a terrible decision. The two game slate went exceptionally well however as value plays like Noel Thomas II and Llevi Noel opened up late values through watching the depth charts. This week again doesn't offer many clear values so we are just going to hunker down and hope the Llevi doesn't bust in CFL Daily Fantasy Week 5 on DraftKings.
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Implied Team Totals
Winnipeg – 30.75
Edmonton – 30.5
Calgary – 30.25
Ottawa – 27.25
Toronto – 23.5
BC – 23.5
Week 5 is a real oddity as a third of the league is on a bye week - Montreal, Hamilton, Saskatchewan - leaving only three games on the slate. Making it stranger yet is that five of the six teams face the exact same team they did in their previous game. It's exceptionally tough to win back to back matchups in professional football but the projections wind up being pretty similar to the week before. As of publishing, there still isn't a line posted for the Winnipeg versus BC game on Saturday night, so the team totals are simply my best guess.
On the weather front, there is a chance of minimal rain and light winds in Edmonton Friday night but nothing that should affect the matchup for fantasy purposes.
Mike Reilly, EDM - $11500
James Franklin, TOR - $8000
Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY - $9900
Things didn't all go according to plan for Mike Reilly and the Eskimos in Week 4. The yardage was all there as expected with 370 yards through the air, but he lacked his normal floor of rushing yardage to pad his fantasy stats. Reality is, if Derel Walker had managed to stay on his feet in the endzone on a play which resulted in an interception, that would have been another six points for Reilly, seven points for the Eskimos, and a totally different ball game. Yardage is one of the fantasy stats that correlates most closely with scoring touchdowns, so expect the Eskimos offence to put a few more scores on the board this week while Reilly projects for 12.4 yards per pass attempt versus the vulnerable Argos secondary.
It's always nice when the best value play of the week is one of the top projected players of the week as well. That said, the second highest projected quarterback this week only projects for two thirds the production of Reilly. Franklin and the Argos offence came out of the gate on fire with two touchdowns in the first quarter last week but really struggled to sustain production throughout the rest of the game. Franklin's two touchdowns – one rushing and one passing – led to a fine fantasy day for his price tag, but the Argos will need more than 20 points in Week 5 to win in Edmonton. The Eskimos have allowed the second most yards per pass attempt in 2018 at 8.74 and the second most passing TDs at 7, so this is as good an opportunity as Franklin will find for success.
The rest of the QB group all project within a couple points of each other and all cost a lot more than Franklin, so it's tough to justify the spend. The best contrarian pick of the bunch is likely Bo Levi Mitchell as Calgary has passed at the second highest yards per attempt rate this season at 9.35. Eric Rogers, DaVaris Daniels, and Kamar Jorden all have big play ability so there is a chance for Mitchell to be a low owned alternative to the top two options.
Andrew Harris, WPG - $8100
James Wilder Jr., TOR - $7700
Jeremiah Johnson, BC - $6900
William Powell, OTT - $7800
Andrew Harris didn't get a ton of work down the stretch in a blowout last week versus the Lions, but he did more than enough through the first three quarters to make fantasy players happy. A return matchup with the Lions should hopefully yield similar results, but with 60 minutes of playing time. In PPR scoring formats, pass catching backs are fantasy gold and Harris' 20 targets through four games is tops at the position. If the Week 5 matchup with the Lions is a little more competitive Harris will have ample opportunities for receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
As noted here last week, the Eskimos defence has not shown any ability to stop the run since the beginning of the 2017 season and James Wilder Jr. gets to be the beneficiary of that matchup for a second week in a row (allowing 6.1 yards per attempt). He hadn't shown much through his first two games, but “Team Math” was rewarded for their faithfulness to him with a 120 rushing yard effort to go along with three receptions for 27 yards and a touchdown for a total of 23.7 fantasy points. Week 5 offers no good reason to believe Edmonton will have found a solution to stop him.
Jeremiah Johnson continues to put up solid fantasy scores each week despite the struggles of the BC offence. William Powell gets the headlines for his yardage but Johnson's involvement as a receiver and his nose for the end zone have seen him post fantasy scores near Powell's while at a significant discount in salary in the past two weeks despite BC's struggles. If the Lions are going to get on track this week it will be through feeding him the ball and keeping the high scoring Bombers offence on the sidelines. Powell unfortunately gets very few targets as a receiver and Ottawa has a penchant for scoring their TDs through the air. If Powell can manage a score he's off to the races, but versus Calgary that will be a tall order as they've allowed only two rushing TDs and three total TDs so far this season.
Eric Rogers, CGY - $7900
Duke Williams, EDM - $9000
Derel Walker, EDM - $9100
Kamar Jorden, CGY - $8500
Greg Ellingson, OTT - $8600
Diontae Spencer, OTT - $7500
Kenny Stafford, EDM - $6700
Darvin Adams, WPG - $7300
Llevi Noel, TOR - $3800
It was hard to know exactly how long it would take Eric Rogers to round back into form after a couple years away from the game while recuperating from injury. The answer was about one week. Rogers has quickly shown the big play ability and scoring prowess that made him a fantasy stud in 2015. The RedBlacks defence has shown significant improvements this season with Noel Thorpe at the helm, but Rogers torched them for 16.7 fantasy points in the first half of their Week 3 matchup before rain put a damper on everything. He and teammate Kamar Jorden make interesting albeit expensive plays this week.
Duke Williams had an extraordinary Week 4 game versus Toronto rolling, but injury slowed him down the stretch. He's had three straight games over 100 yards and Toronto is the best matchup an opposing receiver can hope for. He still comes at a discount to teammate Derel Walker, but Walker will likely be the lower owned option allowing players to gain leverage on the field. If not for Walker's unfortunate slip and fall in the endzone, he would have put up over 20 fantasy points as well. There's no reason to believe Edmonton will look worse than they did in Week 4 and plenty of reasons to expect improvement.
Ottawa's speedy duo of Ellingson and Spencer were somewhat silent last week versus Montreal scoring a combined 15.3 DK points while teammate Brad Sinopoli stole the show with 11 catches for 148 yards and a score. Outlier performances shouldn't fool fantasy players into chasing points though. Ellingson and Spencer both project near the top of the pack, but the matchup with Calgary should make players proceed with caution as the Stampeders are allowing a measly 6.46 yards per pass attempt this season – only 0.2 yards more per attempt than they are allowing per rush. Ottawa's reliance on the pass to score doesn't bode well for them this week.
Kenny Stafford has flashed potential in previous stops, but nothing matching the consistent production he's had with Mike Reilly this season. He's averaging over seven targets per game - well over his career average of just under four - while he's also been more efficient with those targets averaging a career best 16.3 yards per catch. Another matchup with Toronto makes him a viable option.
On the other end of the spectrum, Darvin Adams was nearly a forgotten man with Chris Streveler under center averaging only 3.6 targets per game while he averaged 8.2 targets per game in 2017 through 14 full games with Nichols as his QB. It didn't take them long to hook up for a touchdown last week, so Adams' best days are right in front of him this season. The Lions look totally lost right now, but if they can make even a slightly better showing at home in Vancouver this weekend it may keep Adams involved in the script deeper into the game making him a lower owned option.
If fantasy players need significant salary relief this week, the best bottom of the barrel bargain is Llevi Noel in Toronto. The career special teams player got his first start of last week, and although he isn't a great physical talent, James Franklin seemed to look his way often enough to make him a viable option leading to two receptions on four targets for 81 yards. I wouldn't expect another 50 yards bomb from him again this week, but in a slate in need of salary relief options he may be the best one.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers - $5100
Calgary Stampeders - $4700
None of the cheap defences look very enticing this week, while the top two priced options represent a volatile option in a good matchup and a consistent producer with a difficult matchup. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have a well-earned reputation for giving up a lot of yardage but can be a fantasy relevant defence due to their ability to create turnovers as evidenced in Adam Bighill's interception returned for a touchdown last week in Winnipeg. Whether it's Jonathan Jennings or Cody Fajardo under centre on Saturday, the opportunities should be there again. The Stampeders on the other hand give up much fewer yards than Winnipeg but draw a much more polished Ottawa offence in their matchup. Calgary may be a safer route than Winnipeg as they have not had worse than an eight point fantasy outing this season, but they also have a lower ceiling.
Enjoy the weird Week 5 slate for what it is and good luck in all your contests!
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