Weekly Predictor: Nye makes his Week 1 picks

Total CFL Pick ‘Em is back for 2019, allowing fans to pick a winner and set their confidence level in every game this season. It’s free to play, and with weekly winners and a season-long prize of your name etched on the Grey Cup Fan Base and $1,000 in cash, there’s nothing to lose. *View rules regarding streaks and prizing.


Get your picks in!

Yes, CFL Pick ‘Em is back again.

So get your football family together in groups and compete for – well you set the parameters there – but also with CFL Pick ‘Em, you’re playing against the entire CFL family for $250 bucks at your favourite team’s store.

Week 1 offers up so many challenges as you’re picking somewhat blind after over 600 days away from seeing our beloved three down game. So don’t feel bad if you don’t get off to a poor start but brag away if you hit it out of the park as a CFL Nostradamus.

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Note: Confidence index is where the game is won and lost. Are you extremely confident in your picks? If so, slide that index over to 100, though get ready to take the -100 if you get your pick incorrect. That being said, the pay off is huge if you go perfect in the week with a high confidence index!

Hamilton at Winnipeg
Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET

Zach Collaros will hope to lead his Bombers to a win in their season opener on Thursday (Dave Chidley/CFL.ca)

The Grey Cup rematch starts the season and we know Jeremiah Masoli has won the starting job over Dane Evans. We also know Andrew Harris is trending toward missing the opener. That’s not exactly the way the defending champs want to start the season: without the Grey Cup MVP.

Both teams return a lot of their starters from their tremendous seasons in 2019, but a reminder that the Bombers got hot at the right time, while the Tiger-Cats are returning a 15-win team.

The Tiger-Cats are coming in with the most to play for in Week 1, as the game may be over 600 days ago but the wound feels just as fresh after losing the Grey Cup.

I’m picking the motivated group from the Hammer to drop the hammer and take a little excitement out of the IG Field crowd on Thursday night.

PICK – HAMILTON (Confidence index set at 50)

BC at Saskatchewan
Friday, 9:30 p.m. ET

Can Cody Fajardo and the Riders defeat Michael Reilly and the Lions? (Arthur Ward/CFL.ca)

The reigning first place finishers in the West take on the team that finished in the CFL West basement in 2019.

The teams on the field in Week 1 tell a lot of the story from those finishes as the Riders are extremely similar to the 13 win team, while a new head coach and a restructured defence in BC are hoping to improve on their poor 5-win season.

Michael Reilly is also nursing a bit of a shoulder issue as he’s been limited in practice coming in, though there isn’t much concern on his ability to get the ball down field to an extremely talented receiving corps.

A sold out Mosaic Stadium will bring the noise, so I’ll be interested to see how the Lions get rolling on offence without a lot of work being done with noise to practice a silent count.

The biggest question is if the Riders rebuilt offensive line can protect Cody Fajardo against a completely revamped Lions front four.

My bet … Riders aren’t going to disappoint the packed stadium in Regina.

PICK: SASKATCHEWAN (Confidence index set at 100)

Toronto at Calgary
Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET

Can Ryan Dinwiddie lead the Argos to a win against his former team? (Argonauts.ca)

How about a bit of the pupil vs. the master?

Ryan Dinwiddie’s first game as a head coach is against Dave Dickenson, the same man who helped groom the young coach into a coach worthy of getting his own gig.

Now, Dinwiddie has some work to do with a roster that is slammed with talent. The problem is it looks like a bit of an All-Star team with no cohesion within the group, as they brought in great players from across the league.

In Calgary, they do what they do. Most of their changes come from within as General Manager John Hufnagel and Dickenson have faith they can groom the next guy up to take over from a player like Eric Rogers or Cordarro Law, who they traded to Toronto.

Picking against the Calgary Stampeders at home is never a safe bet, and I’m not going to go against the grain without seeing how Toronto can gel early this season.

PICK: CALGARY (Confidence index set at 100)

Ottawa at Edmonton
Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET

Trevor Harris and the Elks will hope to win their home opener against the REDBLACKS in the final game of Week 1 (GoElks.com)

This is the debut of the Elks in what will be an impressive crowd at Commonwealth Stadium. Trevor Harris has an impressive group of talent on offence to spread the ball around.

Jaime Elizondo is making his CFL head coach debut, while the man across the field makes his debut with the Ottawa REDBLACKS.

Paul LaPolice has his work cut out for him in Ottawa to get the team back to contender status. LaPolice will bring in a highly successful offensive strategy from his days as offensive coordinator with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. And he gets to work with the quarterback he had as his QB 1 for many of those seasons, Matt Nichols.

Both teams have questions on defence to begin the season but the Elks returning players were far more productive on defence than their Ottawa counterparts.

I’ve got the Elks offence exploding out of the gate with all that talent, in a favourable matchup!

PICK: EDMONTON (Confidence Index set at 100)

CFL FANTASY VALUE PICKS

I love me some fantasy football and in the CFL game, you need to be smart with your budget so make sure you take advantage of some value picks early in the season that might start to increase in price as the season progresses.

Here are my favourite value picks for Week 1!

Ka’Deem Carey
Calgary RB
$5,124

How will Ka’Deem Carey do as the No. 1 running back for the Stampeders this year? (Stampeders.com)

The Calgary running back could be set up for breakout season if he can hang on to his spot through the start of the season. But as the only American on the roster, things look good for a great start to the season for Carey, who had a decent 5.6 yards per carry in 2019.

Anthony Coombs
Ottawa RB
$3,400

You might be able to take advantage of a positional quirk in Week 1 as Coombs will likely line up more at the receiver position. The multi-talented Coombs can run the ball, but as a national pass-catcher, he could benefit from the retirement of Brad Sinopoli. That will be a lot of targets for him. Keep in mind Paul LaPolice’s offence likes to take advantage of players like Coombs who can run and catch to add an extra dimension.

Brady Oliveira
Winnipeg RB
$3,000

This is the man tasked to start in place of Andrew Harris. The Bombers aren’t going to deviate too far from their run-heavy and running back-heavy offensive game plan so Oliveira could be busy in his CFL starting debut on Thursday night against Hamilton.

Shaq Evans
Saskatchewan WR
$6,809

Shaq Evans is likely to be Cody Fajardo’s favourite target once again this season (Matt Smith/CFL.ca)

I know that may seem a little expensive for a value pick but Evans is in my lineup this week because at that price, you’re getting a $9,000+ receiver for fraction of the cost. He and Cody Fajardo were one of the top QB/WR combos in 2019 and don’t expect them to slow down in 2021 with a new more pass oriented Jason Maas offence.

Jordan Williams-Lambert
Saskatchewan WR
$3,978

The 2018 West Division nominee for Most Outstanding Rookie didn’t return to much production in 2019 after a try out in the NFL but Williams-Lambert has come to training camp looking like an ideal slot receiver option for Fajardo in 2021. He has 1,000 yard potential and could provide some excellent value early this season.

Marcus Tucker / Jaelen Acklin
Hamilton WR
$4,081/ $3,953

With DeVier Posey already ruled out and Bralon Addison not practicing all week, Tucker and Acklin are sneaky plays. Look for Wednesday’s depth chart to see where everyone lines up. My first play would be Tucker but Acklin is a great hunch play for the Tiger-Cats as all the targets can’t go to Brandon Banks.

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