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One player to keep an eye on for each CFL team in the 2024 season 

The new CFL season starts on the 7th June and the Montreal Alouettes will be hoping to defend their CFL crown that they won in dramatic fashion last year.

With nine teams in the running for CFL glory, we analyse each team’s star player who will be hoping to push their team over the line this season.

East Conference

Hamilton Tiger Cats 

The Hamilton Tiger Cats are looking to land their first CFL title since 1999. 

After struggling to an 8 – 10 season last year, the defensive side of the ball has overseen a host of changes. Star linebacker Simoni Lawrence has retired and three new defensive players have taken his place.  

The star man of the three is Jamal Peters. A former CFL All -Star he has recorded 11 interceptions in 36 games and fans of the Tiger Cats will hope he can add a new dimension to a previously porous Tiger Cat defense.

Montreal Alouettes

The Montreal Alouettes will be heading into their first season since 2010 as defending CFL champions. Much of their 2023 success was down to Grey Cup MVP Cody Fajardo.

Fajardo had his second best season as a professional and was magnificent in the Grey Cup as he threw for three touchdowns in the Alouettes narrow victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Fact: If the Alouettes are to defend their CFL crown they will need Fajardo to reproduce his magic.

Ottawa Redblacks

2023 was a miserable season for the Ottawa Redblacks. Marooned to the bottom of the East Conference having just won 4 games all season in 2023, fans will be hoping for a much better season this time around.

The defense has been revamped and there are high hopes that star defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin IV will return to the form that saw him earn the 2022 CFL Defensive Player of the Year award.

Having managed just a handful of sacks last year, the RedBlacks will be hoping for the return of his elite production and it seems that Mauldin is determined to prove himself. ‘The truth of the matter is Ottawa embraced me and my family, and that’s what Ottawa is to me: family.’

If Mauldin can produce like he knows he can, the Redblacks could be in for a special season.

Toronto Argonauts

For much of the 2023 CFL season it looked as if the Toronto Argonauts were on track to sweep all before them. However, a concussion to CFL MVP Chad Kelly proved decisive and the Argonauts were left beaten in the Eastern Conference finals. 

Coming off the back of a season where he threw for over 4,000 yards and for 23 touchdowns, if Kelly can reproduce his MVP form from last year the  Argonauts could be a tough team to stop. 

West Conference 

BC Lions

Fresh off the back of a 12-6 season the BC Lions will head into the season hopeful of making it all the way to this year’s Grey Cup.

Things won’t be easy and they will feel the loss of star defender Mathieu Betts who has joined the Detroit Lions. In Bett’s absence Jevon Cottoy will hope to make more strides at wide receiver. 

Fact: Cottoy is coming off a season where he recorded highs in receptions, touchdowns and yards. Having signed a new three year deal this offseason, look for Cottoy to be one of the CFL’s best receivers this year. 

Calgary Stampeders 

Following a disappointing season where the Stampeders could only finish 6-12, fans of the team will hope their side returns to form this season. 

With Reggie Begleton in their offensive lineup anything is possible. 

A two time CFL All-Star, Begleton has accrued over 3,300 yards in just 53 games and has scored nineteen touchdowns.

Begleton is keen to put last season’s poor showing behind them. ‘We have to prove ourselves, we aren’t the worst team in the league but we have to show up.’ acknowledging the Stamps’ 6-12 record last year.

If Begleton can produce like he has done previously, the Stampeders have a great chance of a positive season.

Edmonton Elks

The worst team in the CFL last year, very few pundits have the Edmonton Elks going all the way this year.

Despite a desperately disappointing 2023 season, the one shining star was Quarterback Tre Ford.

Taking over when the team was 0-8, Ford guided the team to all four of their victories and showed some nice flashes with both his legs and arm.

Yet to be officially awarded the Elk’s starting QB role, if Ford is given the starting nod he has the capabilities to surprise one or two teams. 

Saskatchewan Roughriders

2023 was a season of what might have been for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Only able to finish with a 6-12 record, the Roughriders season was disrupted by a cruel injury to starting Quarterback Trevor Harris.

With Harris due to return to full strength for the start of the new season, he and the Roughriders were able to work on a deal over the offseason which will keep him with the team until the end of the season. 

Having offered a glimpse of what he could do last year before injury struck, if Harris can play well, the Roughriders could be a team to watch with real interest. 

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Having lost in the final of the 2023 Grey Cup, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will hope to go one stage better this year.

One of the key reasons why they might return to their sixth Grey Cup is through the form of Brady Oliveria.

Oliveria is a fearsome running back who is coming off one of the greatest seasons in CFL history. 

Leading the league in touchdowns and total yards from scrimmage, Oliveria is a huge part of the Winnipeg offense and with him back for more, look for the Blue Bombers to enjoy another tremendous year.

With so many stars set to shine this season it isn’t a surprise that the CFL is growing in popularity each and every year. 

The revenue of the league is growing and blue chip sponsors such as FanDuel and other casino partners that operate sites to play with low minimum deposits are all coming on board to boost the league’s financial power. So if you’re no stranger to excitement either, choose any casino you like from the link and enjoy the game.

Every year a greater number of NFL teams are looking at the CFL in order to find players worthy of an NFL contract and there has been a significant rise in the number of CFL players who are finding a home within the NFL.

The 2024 CFL season is set to be one of the most competitive in memory. With a host of teams in with a real shout of victory each of the players we have highlighted in this article will need to shine in order for their team to get over the line. 

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Priyanka Chaudhary
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