Week one of the CFL season was a release almost two years in the making for fans of the Northern version of the game of football. It featured many exciting performances from veterans and youngsters alike. Hopefully you were able to participate in a fantasy football contest or two to add to the fun. If you didn’t, the good news is you get another shot this week as the week two slates are live. This week, the Montreal Alouettes will play their first game of the season. The Ottawa Redblacks will sit this week out on a bye.
The following players are suggestions for each position (except defense), for the second week of play. Feel free to mix and match to find a final roster that is best for you. Also this week, many of the players that work on the CFL’s official fantasy game also work for your DraftKings lineups. So because of that, player prices will be listed by their CFL value first, and their DK price next. Many of the fade options this week also serve as great flex options, so you can feel comfortable loading them in those spots as well. Hopefully, you have fun this season watching the CFL and of course, playing fantasy football along with it.
Pay Up For: Vernon Adams Jr. – Montreal Alouettes (CFL: $10,686; DK: $10,200)
The 2019 CFL season saw three quarterbacks top the 4,000-yard mark. Just below them with 3,942 yards was Vernon Adams Jr. That season, his efforts helped Montreal post a winning record for the first time since 2012. In that span, he posted five games in which he threw for more than 300 yards. Twice he topped the 400 yard mark. On eight occasions, he produced multiple major scores. As effective as he was in the passing game though, where his fantasy boost comes is in his legs.
Adams Jr. registered 88 total carries in 2019 between the regular season and the Als lone playoff game. He gained 451 yards with them including a 57 yard game in the East semifinals against Edmonton. Even more impressive were his rushing touchdowns. As a quarterback, Adams Jr. finished the 2019 season with 12, tied for first in scores on the ground. Montreal keeps their starting quarterback on the field in short yard goal-to-go situations which leads to multiple touchdowns.
This week, he’ll face an Elks team that just allowed Ottawa to sneak a win past them. Adams Jr. and his team should be up to the task to prove that last season was not a joke. He will certainly be a fantasy gold mine this week for those willing to pony up the cost.
If You Must Fade: McLeod Bethel-Thompson – Toronto Argonauts (CFL: $8,672; DK: $8,000)
Last week, McLeod Bethel-Thompson made the quarterback situation a bit more interesting in Toronto. Nick Arbuckle was signed in the offseason with the intent on earning the Argos starting job. Arbuckle came into camp with a hamstring injury. It paved the way for Bethel-Thompson to start again for Toronto when it was determined that Arbuckle could not play. The 2019 league leader in touchdown passes did not waste his opportunity. Instead, he achieved top fantasy performance at his position while beating a Western opponent in the process. By outdueling Bo Levi Mitchell, MBT earned himself a week two start.
This week, he’ll draw another opponent from the West division in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. They are coming off an emotionally charged win in their opening night Grey Cup rematch with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The Bombers defense allowed Jeremiah Masoli to get off to a hot start, but cooled him off some as the game progressed.
That said, Masoli was still able to accumulate 242 passing yards and a touchdown by the end of the game. This could very well be the floor for Bethel-Thompson this week. Top options on this slate are expensive and pricing hasn’t caught up to MBT yet. It’s a perfect week to take advantage of it.
Pay Up For: William Stanback – Montreal Alouettes (CFL: $7,176; DK: $8,300)
While Vernon Adams Jr.’s legs did a lot of the heavy lifting in 2019 for the Alouettes, it was William Stanback who carried most of the load. Stanback continued to build on his first year success in his second season with the CFL on his way to a 1,048 yard 2019 campaign. That season culminated with a two touchdown outing in the East semifinals. If there is one downside to him, it would be his touchdown potential. Given Adams Jr. gets a majority of the goal line work, Stanback must break one for a major if he hopes to score at all. That said, he does see some usage in the passing game, so that helps to cushion that blow.
Edmonton managed to bottle up the Ottawa rushing attack last week. Although to be fair, Stanback presents a different challenge than did Timothy Flanders. Montreal is one of the few teams in the CFL that is not afraid to establish the run early. That’s not hard to do considering the talent in their backfield. Stanback will get plenty of opportunities to produce this week and the price is right for you to load him into your lineup.
If You Must Fade: Brady Oliveira – Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL: $4,500; DK: $6,300)
Another player that benefited from injury was Brady Oliveira, the Bombers backup running back. Winnipeg was without the services of the reigning Grey Cup MVP Andrew Harris for their debut. While many expected Johnny Augustine to pick up the start, it was Oliveira, the Manitoba native who took the snaps. His performance in relief of Harris was stellar and for a moment, made fans all but forget he wasn’t the long time starter. Winnipeg did not change a thing about their offense and Oliveira did not make them regret that decision. He ended the night with 22 carries and 126 rushing yards and one catch for 21 yards.
Harris has been limited in practice again this week and all signs are pointing to Oliveira making his second career start. This week, Winnipeg welcomes the Boatmen to IG Field. The Argos allowed 100 total rushing yards last week against the Stampeder running back position. When Oliveira lines up to take them on this week, he won’t be splitting touches. This will give him the opportunity to repeat his opening day numbers. Oliveira’s salary is an absolute steal should he start. Keep an eye on the injury reports for this one and be ready to roll him out if he does.
Pay Up For: Kamar Jorden – Calgary Stampeders (CFL: $9,904; DK: $6,200)
Everyone was excited to have the Canadian Football League back on the field this weekend. Although, Kamar Jorden had even more reason to be excited to put pads back on and play the game. Twelve games into the 2018 season, Jorden suffered a knee injury that put an end to a blistering campaign. With six games left to play, he had amassed 944 yards and six touchdowns. He spent the rest of the year watching his team go on to win the Grey Cup.
He’d spend the entire 2019 season sidelined as well. Although, he did make an appearance in the Stamps Western semi finals loss to the Blue Bombers. Of course the 2020 season was unable to proceed, leaving Jorden once again not playing the game he loves.
Now though, he’s back and proved that by catching everything Bo Levi Mitchell threw at him. That included an 8-yard touchdown in the second quarter. With the Stamps losing many of their receivers in the offseasons, Jorden now becomes his quarterback’s favorite target. He’ll have a favorable matchup against a B.C. Lions defense that watched Shaq Evans catch ten passes for 69 yards against them. He’ll be a key building block for your fantasy lineup in week 2.
If You Must Fade: Quan Bray – Montreal Alouettes ($5,629)
It takes a couple of weeks from the start of a season for pricing to get dialed in when playing salary cap fantasy football. This is especially true in the CFL where sometimes teams do not play in the first week of the season. As such, many players are priced either far too high or far too low as compared to their potential. These price fluctuations make a player like Quan Bray a sneaky play. The Als drew the short stick and sat out the league’s opening weekend. That leaves many casual fantasy players and many who are new to the game unaware of players on the team. You can gain the edge here as Bray is vastly underpriced and not a household name.
In 2019, he played 15 games in Montreal. When the season ended, he had racked up 818 yards and six touchdowns. With B.J. Cunningham and Eugene Lewis grabbing the headlines, Bray managed to quietly put together a respectable season. He’ll carry the chemistry he built with Adams last season into the Alouettes season opener. He’s got lead wide receiver potential at a flex price. Take this deal and don’t look back.