William Stanback looked like he did when he was an all-star in 2021, Taquan Mizzell played great coming off the injured list. CFL running back rankings ahead of week 9 as well as the 3 Stars of the Week for week 8.
Stars of the Week:
1st Star: Taquan Mizzell (BC)
22 carries for 117 yards, 5.3 yards per carry, and 2 receptions for 23 yards and a touchdown.
2nd Star: William Stanback (MTL)
15 carries for 86 yards, 5.7 yards per carry, and 3 receptions for 18 yards.
3rd Star: Devonte Williams (OTT)
8 carries for 53 yards, 6.6 yards per carry, and 2 receptions for 43 yards.
Honorary Mention: A.J. Ouellette (TOR)
Ouellette might not have blown up the stats sheet with his 3.8 yards per carry but he had 2 plays in which he broke a tackle and made another player miss on the same play.
CFL First Period All-Star Team (Weeks 1-7)
Previous Running Back Rankings
1. A.J. Ouellette, Toronto Argonauts, Previous Ranking #RB1
A.J. Ouellette was somewhat limited compared to his normal level of production this season. Saskatchewan did a good job limiting openings to run through up the middle and Ouellette was sometimes caught in a sea of green. Ouellette rushed 9 times for 34 yards (3.8 average) and also added 35 receiving yards on 3 catches.
Ouellette did break off some nice plays such as early in the 2nd quarter he broke a tackle before making another miss as he bounced outside for 15 yards. On another play, he picked up 22 yards during which he made a player miss before stiff-arming another one out of his way.
2. Brady Oliveira, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Previous Ranking #RB2
On the bye week in week 8.
3. Taquan Mizzell, BC Lions, Previous Ranking #RB4
Mizzell played very well in his first game back since going on the injured list after week 4. Mizzell rushed 22 times for 117 yards (5.3 average) and caught 2 passes for 30 yards and a touchdown. He was the only running back this week with over 100 rushing yards against an Edmonton defense that has been very susceptible to the run. Mizzell did a good job picking up yards after the initial contact and on all 3 of his first runs he gained roughly 3 yards after the initial contact. Edmonton did at times have good run stopping but often times Mizzell was presented with good holes to run through at the line. The touchdown was a 23-yard reception which is Mizzell’s first career CFL touchdown.
4. Dedrick Mills, Calgary Stampeders, Previous Ranking #RB3
Dedricks Mills was running uphill this past week. Calgary only handed Mills the ball 5 times on the road in Montreal and the Alouettes defense demonstrated good run stopping. I still fault the Calgary play calling to give up on the run so easily in a game in which Jake Maier desperately needed some run support in the rain. Mills had 16 rushing yards on his 5 carries (3.2 average). He did have some nice receptions as he caught 3 passes for 20 yards all of which were YAC.
5. William Stanback, Montreal Alouettes, Previous Ranking #RB8
Montreal finally committed to establishing the run and Stanback had a great game. The offensive line also looked a lot better for Montreal as they had a greater variety of pass-and-run plays in their play calling. Stanback actually had more yards per carry (5.7) than Cody Fajardo had per pass attempt (5.44 per attempt) in Montreal’s win over Calgary. Stanback rushed 15 times for 86 yards and also had 3 receptions for 18 yards. He looked like the 2021 Stanback that was a CFL all-star this past week as he broke a lot of tackles and was often a real challenge to stop.
6. Jamal Morrow, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Previous Ranking #RB7
Jamal Morrow rushed 10 times for 41 yards (4.1 average) and also caught 3 passes for 2 yards. He did have a fumble on the goal line that was recovered by Toronto as he was hit as he stretched attempting to score. Toronto was playing pretty well at stopping the run in the game so it’s not a bad result.
7. Devonte Williams, Ottawa Redblacks, Previous Ranking #RB9
His longest run of the night was a 19-yard run in which there was not a big hold on the line but he had some room to run after the defensive line. Williams ran 8 times for 53 yards (6.6 average) and caught both of his targets for 43 yards. Williams also had a big reception for 38 yards that was all YAC as Dustin Crum checked down to him to start Ottawa’s final drive inside 2 minutes as they pushed for a comeback.
8. James Butler, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Previous Ranking #RB5
James Butler on a screen play early in the game followed a couple of good blocks and ran hard for an 18-yard gain in which he gained 7 yards before the would-be tackler was able to bring him down. Butler had some trouble again getting the run game going as he rushed 6 times for 12 yards (2.0 average). He also had 2 receptions for 30 yards.
9. Kevin Brown, Edmonton Elks, Previous Ranking #RB6
There was not much on paper to like in the Elks’ loss to BC this past week. Brown rushed 5 times for 5 yards and caught 5 passes for 27 yards. Despite not having a good day on the statsheet at times Brown did make good plays. Such as his first play in which he caught a short pass before breaking a tackle by Marcus Sayles and picking up 6 yards. In another play, he had a good run reversing the play from the right to the left side to make it back to the line of scrimmage. It was one of those days where you had to work hard just to tread water for the Elks as they were up against a BC defense that was playing very well and dominating the battle at the line.
10. Andrew Harris, Toronto Argonauts, Previous Ranking #RB10
Andrew Harris had the most rushing yards for Toronto as he rushed 7 times for 41 yards (5.9 average). He became the CFL’s 5th all-time leader in rushing yards after he rushed for 10 yards. Harris had some success running down the middle which is where Saskatchewan got some stops on A.J. Ouellette. 4 of Harris’ rushes were for 7 yards or more while the others were for 3 yards or less as Saskatchewan did make quite a few good run stopping plays against Toronto.
(IR) Ka’Deem Carey, Calgary Stampeders, Previous Ranking #RB1
Had only 7 carries for 43 yards (6.1 average) before suffering an injury in week 1. He was limited in practice leading up to the game in week 8 and could soon return.
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