CFL Daily Fantasy DraftKings Week 7 – Sir Duke
This week has been all about the Johnny Manziel hype train pulling up in Montreal but the truly important arrival this week is Duke Williams and the Eskimos. Duke Williams has accrued 27 targets in the past two weeks and is the most dominant force at receiver since the storied run of 2016 Chris Williams. I truly hope to see a number of folks with Manziel in their CFL daily fantasy lineups in contests as they chase the dream while he won't even be the most productive quarterback this week on the Als roster. Given the excitement though, we have an exciting offer for you of our own.
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Implied Team Totals
Winnipeg – 32
Hamilton – 29.25
Edmonton – 27.5
Calgary – 27
Ottawa – 25.25
Toronto – 21
Saskatchewan – 20.5
Montreal – 20.5
All week I've been running with the expectation the relatively conservative expectation that Edmonton would be about a 12 point favourite versus the Alouettes with an implied team total over 30. Then the line was finally released this morning following the Montreal depth chart and low and behold Edmonton is only a -7 favourite with an implied team total of only 27.5. That's ridiculous folks. For the sake of our projections here I'm working with an implied team total of 32 for Edmonton. That is a very soft line.
Speaking of soft lines Winnipeg -10.5 seems like an overreaction to last weeks' windy affair in Toronto. I don't think the Argos are actually that bad and will have a chance to redeem themselves this week in Winnipeg. A double digit spread seems like a lot in the second half of this home and home series.
On the weather front, there's nothing too much of not this week as the forecasts for Montreal, Winnipeg, Hamilton and Regina all look warm, dry and calm for game times.
Mike Reilly, EDM - $11600
Jeremiah Masoli, HAM - $10600
Matt Nichols, WPG - $9200
Vernon Adams Jr., MTL - $6200
Everything felt much more chaotic last week at the position with the Eskimos on bye but Week 7 seems to have put everything to rights again. This is Reilly's highest projected point total this season in a season in which he has been projected 30% higher than the rest of the field every week. Montreal has allowed the highest rate of plays per game to opposing offences at 62.8, while the Eskimos have run the third most plays per game at 59.2 – only 1.6 behind league leading Ottawa. Reilly is second in the league with nine touchdown passes while the Als have allowed a league leading 12 which on a per attempt basis is nearly double the league average. These two things together mean Reilly will be on the field a lot and has a better than double the league average chance of throwing a touchdown on each attempt. There's a lot of reasons to roll Reilly versus the Als.
Jeremiah Masoli on the other hand is coming off of two fairly disappointing performances versus the Riders but most QBs have been underwhelming versus the Riders and their terrifying defensive line this season. The RedBlacks allow the third most passing yards per attempt this season while Hamilton passes for the second most yards per attempt. This leads to the highest projected yards per pass attempt on the slate at 9.4 yards per attempt for Masoli. The TDs still haven't come yet and this matchup doesn't help that, but with this group of receivers it has to turn around at some point.
The Bombers are primarily known for their dominating rushing attack this season with Harris and Streveler leading the charge but if players are looking to save some salary at QB this week, the matchup with the Argos is a great opportunity for Nichols to have some big plays. The Argos allow the most yards per pass attempt at 9.3 – a full yard and a half over league average – while also allowing the second highest rate of passing TDs per attempt. The 50 km/hr winds in Toronto last week led to an emphasis on the run game but conditions should be beautiful in Winnipeg on Friday night. Nichols may finally get a chance to shine.
If players want to pay up at RB and WR then there is a total punt option available this week as news broke that Vernon Adams will start at QB for the Als on Thursday night. Adams is primarily known for his rushing ability but in three starts in 2016 he actually threw for four touchdowns as well. Even with Manziel likely to see some playing time, Adams doesn't have to do much to pay off a $6200 price tag versus an Eskimos defence allowing the second most yards per pass attempt and third most passing touchdowns per attempt in 2018.
Andrew Harris, WPG - $8800
William Powell, OTT - $7800
C.J. Gable, EDM - $6800
John White IV, HAM - $4800
Andrew Harris is the Mike Reilly of running backs. Every week Harris will top the projections due to his work as a receiver and usage in the redzone. He has put up quarterback time scores weekly despite being priced as a running back. Harris is averaging a stellar 6.4 yards per carry and the Argos are a below average rush defence. It's unlikely he gets 27 carries again this week – nearly double his season average – so it's wise to temper expectations somewhat if hoping for another 33 point outburst.
The Hamilton defence is allowing over 6.5 yards per rush this season but one run 80 yard run last week by Marcus Thigpen inflated that number nearly a full yard from the 5.7 it would have been otherwise. It's still a really high number but not even worst in the league. Powell is second in the league in carries and has had an increasing role as a receiver over the past two weeks but the Hamilton defence allows the second fewest plays per game to opposing offences so his touches may be fewer that what he's been used to.
Gable has had a disappointing fantasy season thus far with only one game over 100 yards rushing and only one touchdown to this point. However, as noted earlier Montreal allows opposing offences to stay on the field a ton and if the game is as lopsided as many believe, Gable may get a lot of opportunities to run in the second half while the Eskimos try to control the clock much as they did versus the Lions in Week 3. The rates don't look great for Gable but the volume should be there.
Maybe the best source of salary relief on the slate in John White from Hamilton. I was wrong last week when I assumed Hamilton would continue the three-person committee approach to carries. Whitlock and and Timmis still got some snaps but White received all the carries out of the backfield. His matchup versus Ottawa is only slightly more forgiving than the one with Saskatchewan last week but a $4800 salary for a starting RB is always worth considering.
Duke Williams, EDM - $9500
Derel Walker, EDM - $8600
Brandon Banks, HAM - $9100
Brad Sinopoli, OTT - $8500
Luke Tasker, HAM - $7800
Eric Rogers, CGY - $8700
Diontae Spencer, OTT - $7400
Terrence Toliver, HAM - $6800
Chris Harper, MTL - $4700
Rodney Smith, TOR - $4200
Duke Williams has seen his salary increase significantly from the $7400 he began the season at but he still represents the best value at WR on the slate. Through the first three weeks of the season Williams and his teammate Walker were dead even in targets but 27 total targets over the past two weeks makes him the most reliable fantasy option at the position. It's unlikely he sees 17 targets again this week but with projections for a more moderate 10 he's still far and away the top projection for any receiver. Edmonton projects for 40 pass attempts this week so Williams opportunities to compile yards and scores will be plentiful. Meanwhile Walker is slowly becoming a somewhat forgotten man in this offence despite his exceptional talents. At some point he's going to have a breakout week again, it's just unlikely to be this week where he'll likely see a hefty dose of Tommie Campbell across from him.
The Hamilton receiving corps led by Brandon Banks has had a rough go of it versus the Riders defence the past two weeks with Banks essentially being held in check by shadowing Ed Gainey. The Ottawa pass defence is a significantly more appealing matchup though allowing the third most yards per pass attempt in 2018 while also allowing the third most passing TDs. It may be the week the Hamilton offence finally starts to score through the air so Banks and teammates Tasker, Toliver and Saunders are all options.
The Ottawa passing game on the other hand has caused fantasy players fits over the past three weeks as 2017 fantasy stars Ellingson and Spencer have disappeared like Thanos snapped his fingers in TD Place Stadium leaving Sinopoli as the only receiver Harris can see on the field. It's pretty unlikely Sinopoli has another game of double digit targets as he's had only eight such games in his 82 career games with significant playing time. The matchup is also difficult as Hamilton has allowed the second fewest total passing yards and third fewest passing yards per attempt this season. This added to having allowed less than one passing touchdown per game and it's difficult to expect huge days from any of the Ottawa receiving corps.
It's fair to say that the Stampeders offence took its foot off the gas and went into ball control mode in the second half versus the Alouettes but even still Eric Rogers had another great game with 29.3 points. This week's matchup versus Saskatchewan is significantly more difficult though as they allow the third fewest passing touchdowns per attempt and have forced the most two and outs by opposing offences thus far. Rogers has as much upside as any receiver on the slate but if what Ed Gainey did to Banks production over the past two games is any indication, Rogers may have a tough go of it. Marken Michel represents a reasonable mid-tier value at a significantly lower price tag.
If looking to scrape the bottom of the bargain barrel there are a number of minimally priced receivers available as punt options. Shaq Evans and Williams-Lambert both draw the toughest receiving matchup in the league versus Calgary which makes them risky plays while Harper gets an easier matchup versus Edmonton but is held back by instability at quarterback. Rodney Smith has got the starting opportunity for the Argos the past couple games at boundary WR and at only $4200, he doesn't need to do too much to return value.
Calgary Stampeders - $5400
Saskatchewan Roughriders - $4100
The top two options at defence face off against each other Saturday evening in Regina in what could be a pretty low scoring affair. The Vegas over/under line sits at 47 points which is very low by CFL standards. Calgary leads the league in sacks, turnovers and time of possession while they are second in forced two and outs behind only Saskatchewan. The Riders on the other hand have thrown the most interceptions in the league while being third in the league in offensive two and outs at 30. There's a lot of good reasons to pay up for the Stamps defence if you can afford it.
At a slight discount, the Riders are a reasonable second option as Bo Levi Mitchell appeared to lack mobility at QB last week versus the Als and the Riders tenacious pass rush could certainly put him on the ground a lot if he is unable to avoid the rush. They don't have as much turnover or sack upside but they also are $1300 cheaper.
Enjoy the weekend of football and good luck in all your contests!
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