DraftKings CFL: Week 8 Value Plays
DraftKings CFL: Week 8 Value Plays

This article is part of our DraftKings CFL series.

Quarterback

Jeremiah Masoli, HAM at MTL ($11,000): Mike Reilly ($11,900) is always worthy of consideration for tournaments given his upside, but the matchup against the Roughriders' stingy defense may not allow him to maximize his production. Masoli makes for a nice pivot at almost $1,000 cheaper and in a tantalizing scenario versus the worst pass defense in the CFL. Additionally, the fact that Johnny Manziel draws the start on the opposite sideline could make things even better for Masoli, considering that the game should make the Alouettes more competitive. The veteran signal caller has passed for over 300 yards in five of his first six games, and Montreal has allowed the most net offensive yards per game (415.3), most passing touchdowns (16), most plays from scrimmage per game (61.7), second-most passing first downs (67), most passing yards per game (299.0), second-highest completion percentage (68.8) and highest quarterback rating (97.9). They even allow a healthy 121.3 rushing yards per contest, which dovetails favorably for fantasy purposes with Masoli's ability to compile yards on the ground.

Trevor Harris, OTT at TOR ($10,200): Harris had a rare game without a touchdown versus the Tiger-Cats last week, but he's otherwise been prolific against any team not named the Calgary Stampeders this season. The veteran has racked up a trio of 300-yard efforts against the Roughriders, Alouettes and Lions, and the matchup sets up for more of the same in Week 8. The Argonauts rival the Alouettes in ineptitude when it comes to pass defense, as they've allowed the second-most passing yards per game (284.8), third-most completions (131) and highest completion percentage (71.2). They've also yielded the second-most touchdown passes (11) and logged the second-fewest interceptions (three), another pair of metrics that could help spell success for Harris.

Johnny Manziel, MTL vs. HAM ($9,400): Johnny Football's long-awaited CFL debut is confirmed for Friday night, and it will come against the team that served as the former NFL first-round pick's entry point into the league. Manziel should automatically make what has mostly been a dreadful offense better, and his ability to create with his legs should especially play well against a Tiger-Cats defense that's allowed 126.8 rushing yards per game and the highest rush yards per attempt (6.0). One the pass defense front, Hamilton's overall numbers look better, but they've also logged the fewest interceptions in the CFL and allowed opponents 10 completions of more than 30 yards. Manziel should get his opportunities to be aggressive downfield while playing under the head coach that recruited him to Texas A&M, Mike Sherman, and the game script should force Montreal to remain keep throwing.

Running Back

William Powell, OTT at TOR ($7,900): The Blue Bombers' Andrew Harris is off this week, making Powell the default top option. Not only has the veteran back proven capable of racking up plenty of yards on the ground on multiple occasions this season, he snagged a combined 10 receptions for 122 yards over the last two weeks as well. The matchup against the Argonauts is appealing all the way around, as Toronto has allowed the third-most rushing first downs (48), second-most rushing attempts (148) and a robust 126.7 rushing yards per game. Toronto has also proven highly susceptible to the pass, as detailed in Harris' entry, so Powell could be in for a big combined yardage total in Week 8.

Tyrell Sutton, MTL vs. HAM ($6,900): Sutton is one of the CFL's steadiest fantasy assets at running back, and the veteran admirably manages to get it done despite generally miserable circumstances around him. The Alouettes' bleak outlook is likely about to change – or be spiced up a bit, at minimum – with the onset of Johnny Manziel's starting tenure under center, a development that could also help Sutton considerably. Defenses will be forced to respect the Alouettes' passing game a bit more, and they'll also have to be wary of the quarterback's impressive mobility. Sutton – who scored between 15.6 and 18.5 fantasy points in his last three games – could therefore find running lanes a bit easier to come by. Moreover, given his excellent hands out of the backfield, he could also serve as a highly effective outlet option for Manziel in his first start.

Romar Morris, CGY vs. BC ($5,400): Morris is in line to play an expanded role for the second straight week, as Don Jackson figures to be listed as questionable at best with the hamstring injury that kept him out Week 7. It was notably Morris – and not Terry Williams – who took on lead-back duties in that contest, rushing for 41 yards and adding 11 more through the air on three catches. While those aren't earth-shattering totals by any stretch, his price remains very appealing, and the Lions also check in allowing the most rushing yards (135.0) per game, most rushes of more than 20 yards (seven), second-most rushing touchdowns (eight) and second-highest average yards per rush (5.8).

Tre Mason, SSK at EDM ($4,700): With the sudden release of Jerome Messam, Marcus Thigpen ($6,800) figures to get a lot more work and could be an interesting option in the mid-tier, but it's still uncertain how he and Mason will split the carries. Either way, Mason stands to be one of the beneficiaries of Messam's release, making him an appealing play at a price that doesn't reflect the bump in workload he projects to see. The shifty back had already been logging an average of just under six rushing touches per game in a complementary role, posting an impressive 5.4 yards per rush. He will face an Eskimos defense that ranks last in the CFL in big plays (rushes of more than 20 yards and completions of more than 30 yards) allowed, and that's yielding the second-most rush yards per game (130.0), second-highest average yards per rush (5.8), most rushing first downs (54) and most rushing touchdowns (nine). Even if he does end up splitting a good number of carries with Thigpen, Mason's price is such that he won't need to produce otherworldly numbers to provide a nice return.

Wide Receiver/Slotback

D'haquille Williams, EDM vs. SSK ($10,100): Despite the matchup being less than ideal, it's hard to justify moving off Williams as the top-tier receiving option in Week 8. The emerging star has compiled five straight 100-yard performances, leading to fantasy-point totals of 23.5 to 31.9 during that stretch. That level of return makes his five-figure price tolerable, and his role as the No. 1 option for a quarterback like Mike Reilly in an offense like the Eskimos' gives him plenty of insulation against the Roughriders' stingy defense. It's also worth noting that while Saskatchewan's overall defensive numbers are impressive, they're about middle-of-the-pack in the nine-team CFL in most pass defense metrics, and they allowed eight completions of greater than 30 yards in their first six games.

Brandon Banks, HAM at MTL ($9,500): If Williams is the clear-cut No. 1 in Week 8, then Banks qualifies as 1A. Having now made a legitimate transition to full-time wideout after years of primarily making hay in the return game, Banks has been one of Jeremiah Masoli's most trusted targets since the latter half of the 2017 campaign. He racked up four 100-yard tallies in the last five games, eclipsing 20 fantasy points on each of those occasions. There's a good chance he makes it five out of six this week, considering the Alouettes' extensive struggles defending the pass that were enumerated in Masoli's entry earlier. In addition to the numbers previously cited, it's also worth noting that Montreal has already allowed 12 completions of more than 30 yards, second most in the CFL.

Brad Sinopoli, OTT at TOR ($8,900): For those needing to save a few hundred bucks, Jalen Saunders ($8,400) also looks very appealing at this level. However, while Sinopoli's price might be up, it's hard to argue with the increase given his excellent production this season. The veteran possession man has shown some downfield chops as well, tallying between nine and 11 catches in three of his past four games. Sinopoli even has two games with more than 30 fantasy points on his ledger this season on the strength of a pair of 11-catch efforts. Given the Argonauts' issues defending the pass discussed in Harris' entry, Sinopoli should be in for another night of heavy targets and production in Week 8.

Rodney Smith, TOR vs. OTT ($5,100): There's a few intriguing affordable options at receiver (Duron Carter and Mike Jones come to mind) in Week 8, but there's little reason to move off Smith, who has provided back-to-back solid games. The first-year player has eight catches for 112 yards over the past two games, even as quarterback James Franklin's play has been less than stellar. Franklin is being replaced by McLeod Bethel-Thompson in Week 8, but Smith will retain a starting role with which to pay off his modest price, and he could even potentially benefit from the change at quarterback.

Team Defense

Ottawa Redblacks at Toronto Argonauts ($4,900): Having just discussed Smith as a viable low-cost wideout, the Redblacks are still in play as a top defensive option in Week 8 and make for a nice pivot off the likely higher-owned Stampeders. Toronto ranks last in the CFL in big plays (rushes of more than 20 yards and completions of more than 30 yards), is tied with Montreal for lowest average yards per play (5.2) and has committed the most turnovers (18). They've also allowed the second-most sacks (15), and the 54 points they've allowed off turnovers are the most in the CFL. Meanwhile, the Redblacks have forced the fourth-most turnovers (11) and are tied for second with the Roughriders in sacks (12). They'll also be facing a quarterback in McLeod Bethel-Thompson that will be making his first professional start, which could allow them extra opportunities to force mistakes.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for close to 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, and the NFL for Rotowire.com, including serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beat writer. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports.
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