A number of superstar names come to mind for any offensive position. The bright light that shines on these stars, though, cast an even bigger shadow on the players around them, which means they may go unnoticed when creating a fantasy team. When shadows are cast, others find themselves hidden in the darkness. For CFL Fantasy Week 8, we’ll touch on individuals who are in – or might soon create their own – shadow.
CFL Fantasy Week 8: New Shadows
Darian Durant, Alouettes Quarterback ($9,582)
Durant had an impressive run in Saskatchewan before Chris Jones decided to go in a different direction. When the Alouettes signed him, many thought his previous success would easily transfer over to weapons like B.J Cunningham, Nik Lewis, Tiquan Underwood, and newly-signed Ernest Jackson. It actually took the 12-year veteran a couple of games to get comfortable with the new system.
He did not throw over 300 yards in the first four contests. But before Montreal went on their bye week, the league started to see flashes of the pivot who led the Roughriders to a Grey Cup back in 2013. In his last two games, the North Carolina product completed 77.5% of his passes for an average of 400 yards, while tossing four touchdowns and three picks. Durant is slowly understanding the offence and building chemistry with his receivers. The bye week only helped that cause even more.
Opposing quarterbacks have recorded over 20 points against the Argos defence in the previous two weeks. Durant is one of the cheapest starting pivots in fantasy – maybe because he does toss an occasional interception.
LaDarius Perkins, Eskimos Running Back ($3,500)
It doesn’t seem to matter who lines up in the backfield with quarterback Mike Reilly: success quickly follows. The Eskimos are very deep at the position, and their offence is extremely potent under head coach Jason Maas. This sort of dominant running game helps Reilly stay upright, and keeps opposing defences honest.
In all of Edmonton’s games this season, except for when Travon Van left in the first quarter with an injury, the starting running back generated at least 10 fantasy points. When facing the Ticats in Perkins’ first start, he tallied 105 rushing yards on 19 carries and 17 additional receiving yards for a total of 12.2 points.
The 26-year-old will get his fair share of touches because of the scheme the Eskimos run. Considering this, Perkins is a complete steal for his asking price.
Kenny Shaw, Redblacks Wide Receiver ($4,320)
When the Redblacks lost two heads from their four-headed wide receiver monster in Chris Williams and Ernest Jackson, spots were opened. The team brought in former Argos Dionte Spencer and Kenny Shaw to fill the void.
Shaw has been sidelined since the opening week of the season with a lower leg injury. When a player arrives to a new franchise, he’ll take time to learn the system and get on the same page as the quarterback. The 25-year-old already has a good rapport with Trevor Harris. The two were on the Argos practice squad in 2015 and had opportunity to get to know one another.
Last year when Toronto’s season went up in flames, Shaw was one of the only bright spots. In his first full season, he snatched 77 balls for 1004 yards and five touchdowns. He did this with an offence that ranked second last in the passing.
At one point before the season began, TSN’s Milt Stegall said Kenny Shaw is best route runner in the CFL. That’s pretty high praise coming from a CFL Hall of Famer and one of the best to ever do it up north. Shaw is the perfect piece to complement leading receiver Greg Ellingson, and Brad Sinopoli, who sits fourth. With those two drawing most of the attention, the Florida State product will get his chance to get open and make something happen in Ottawa.
The team still hasn’t said if he’ll play this week or not, but if he does it’s worth the gamble. When Ricky Ray went down, Shaw still made numerous highlight catches with second-tier quarterbacks. Think what he can do with Trevor Harris and being the third option.
Ryan Lankford, Blue Bombers Wide Receiver ($4,365)
When the Blue Bombers placed Weston Dressler on the six-game injured list it opened the door for others to take the spotlight. Kick return specialist Ryan Lankford is one who benefited from it. In two games, Lankford made nine catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns. His receptions include a 79-yard bomb on Winnipeg’s first possession against Ottawa.
The speedster is showing everyone that he’s not just a one trick pony. It doesn’t matter where’s he lined up, when he has the ball in his hands, it can go the distance at any point. Lankford is only going to get better with more reps with the first team, while Dressler is out.
He’s very cheap, but offers big time points in the receiving and return game. Lankford is the perfect playmaker to save money on in order to purchase a top tier player at another position.
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