Week 8 of the regular-season will see CFL Fantasy users facing a three-game schedule that starts on Wednesday and ends with a Friday twin-bill. What also makes this week unique is the number of players who are quietly emerging as solid fantasy options, which present solid value plays.
Similar to Week 7, receivers are front and centre. There are two good plays at both pivot and running back, while the league’s hottest player will have to be downgraded due to an issue of the rowdy Roughriders paying a visit to Vancouver.
Hamilton (3-3-0) at Ottawa (1-4-0)
Wednesday | 7:30 p.m. ET
Line: Hamilton (-10.5)
Start: Tiger-Cats defence, $3,925 salary
This isn’t as promising a fantasy-friendly game as it appeared when the regular season began. Wednesday’s game features the league’s two worst offences, as Ottawa’s 287.4 yards per game is eighth overall. Not to be outdone, Hamilton ranks last with just 266.7 yards per outing. Both teams are averaging less than 15 points per game, which makes the over/under of 41.5 much higher than it should be.
That said, someone has to start here, and it should be the Tiger-Cats defence. Hamilton’s D has produced 14 fantasy points in two of their past three games, a span that has seen the Ticats record five interceptions and two defensive majors. Hamilton has recorded just 10 sacks thus far but will face a REDBLACKS offensive line that has allowed 18 sacks, second only to the 22 the Ticats’ o-line has permitted. This is a value play that should pay off well.
Sit: Any Ottawa receiver
Despite the recent surge of pivot Dominique Davis ($6,861), the REDBLACKS receiving corps has been the league’s least productive unit, averaging just 3.6 points per game. Ottawa also has a league-low 1,129 receiving yards and has managed only three passing majors. This plays well into the strength of the Hamilton defence, which ranks second with 238.5 passing yards allowed per game.
If one has to choose an Ottawa receiver, Ryan Davis ($4,128) is the best play. Davis had nine targets in the Week 6 loss to BC that included a 33-yard major. His return skills will also enhance his value.
Montreal (2-3-0) at Toronto (3-3-0)
Friday | 7:30 p.m. ET
Line: Toronto (-0.5)
Start: Eric Rogers, WR, Argonauts, $8,561 salary
We have yet to see a huge outing from Rogers, yet he’s been fairly consistent this season, recording at least 9.6 fantasy points in each game. He’s stepped it up recently, recording games of 16 and 19.7 fantasy points in Weeks 5 and 7, respectively, while scoring all three of his touchdowns in those two matchups.
Rogers hasn’t been heavily targeted, averaging just over five targets over the past three weeks. Expect that total to change in what should be a high-scoring affair. Quarterback Nick Arbuckle ($10,020) has plenty of targets to distribute among the Argos’ receiving corps, but with the season beyond its halfway point, it stands to reason the two former Stampeders come together more often than they have been.
Sit: B.J. Cunningham, WR, Alouettes, $6,390
The veteran receiver hasn’t scored since Montreal’s opener against Edmonton in Week 2. He had gone four straight games of fewer than 59 receiving yards before producing 76 yards in last week’s loss to BC. Cunningham still gets his share of targets, ranking 10th in the league in that category (38), yet he feels like the third option behind Eugene Lewis ($8,880) and Jake Wieneke ($8,073).
Toronto has allowed a league-high 10 passing majors and is eighth in points allowed per game at the position (10.0). Cunningham is certainly capable of proving this prediction wrong, yet the numbers point toward him being an odd receiver out.
Saskatchewan (4-2-0) at BC (4-2-0)
Friday | 10:30 PM
Line: BC (-1)
Start: Kian Schaffer-Baker, WR, Roughriders, $3,249 salary
At his current pace, Schaffer-Baker won’t be available at such a bargain. Friday’s win over the Argos might have been a coming-out moment for Saskatchewan’s fourth-round pick in the 2020 CFL draft, as the Guelph standout caught nine of 11 targets for 99 yards, including his first receiving major. Schaffer-Baker has caught 21 of his 25 targets for 254 yards in his first three games and has quickly become a favourite option for pivot Cody Fajardo ($11,908).
The win over Toronto highlighted the youth of Saskatchewan’s receiving corps, with Schaffer-Baker, Mitchell Picton ($2,500), and Brayden Lenius ($3,318) combining to catch 14 of Fajardo’s completions. However, it’s Schaffer-Baker who’s holding the hot hand and the value to allow flexibility for fantasy users.
Sit: James Butler, RB, Lions, $3,593 salary
Even if Shaq Cooper ($5,003) comes off the 1-game injured list, stay away from BC’s ground game, which ranks seventh in the league with a mere 74 yards per game. The lack of a running attack has opened the door for quarterback Michael Reilly ($11,824) to record three straight games of at least 300 yards, along with tossing seven of his eight touchdowns in the same span.
There’s little question the Roughriders will be all-in toward slowing down BC’s passing attack. Don’t be shocked if Saskatchewan does everything possible to make the Lions use their ground game to defeat them and with the way that has gone so far, counting on the run may be the last thing BC’s offence wants to do.
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