For sustainable success in the CFL, a team needs its star players, or ‘Big Dogs’, to lead the charge and play with ruthless aggression. Teams rely on these big dogs to come up with big moments when they don’t have the momentum. Some of them cost a pretty penny in fantasy, but they are well worth the cost for the production they can create. In CFL Fantasy Week 9, we’ll look at some of the Big Dogs you’ll have to consider, whatever their cost.
CFL Fantasy Week 9: Big Dogs
Bo Levi Mitchell, Stampeders Quarterback ($10,570)
Last year’s Most Outstanding Player isn’t racking up the same numbers as in 2017. He’s only hit 20 points in Fantasy once the last five games. It’s understandable to hesitate when deciding if he should be your quarterback this week.
But this week might be a great time to pick him. This is the game where Bo Levi Mitchell can show the CFL that his still the biggest dog up north. The B.C. Lions defence has struggled this season in a couple of big categories. They allow opposing quarterbacks to complete 70% of their passes, and they’ve given up the most 30-plus-yard completions in the league. The front seven’s inability to create pressure is giving the secondary trouble defending against the pass. The Lions rank dead last in quarterback pressures with 39. This pattern will most likely continue, since the Stamps offensive line sits first in fewest pressures allowed at 29.
This is a formula for Mitchell to put up insane numbers. He’s fairly cheap in fantasy compared to other starting pivots.
Andrew Harris, Blue Bombers Running Back ($7,877)
The Blue Bombers are 5-2. There are a lot of positives underlying this number, but the one consistent theme on the offensive side of the ball is Canadian back Andrew Harris. He the very definition of bell cow, affecting the game on the ground and in the air. Harris sits third in the league in rushing yards and fifth in receptions. He’s racked up 729 total yards and the CFL season isn’t even at the halfway point.
It’s true that the Eskimos held opposing starting running backs to a total of 7.4 fantasy points the previous two games, but Harris will be a handful. When Winnipeg is at their best, the 30-year-old is a focal point. He can take over games and slowly wear down the defence by moving the chains.
Not many star backs have been able to trounce Edmonton’s defence in 2017. This is a perfect time for Harris to reveal his inner ‘Big Dog’ and push his team closer to first in the West Division.
Ernest Jackson, Alouettes Wide Receiver ($5,819)
The Grey Cup hero for the Redblacks got off to a very slow start with his new team. He mustered only seven grabs for 67 yards and a touchdown in his first three games for the Alouettes. In fantasy terms, he posted a total of 12.7 points.
It’s normal for athletes to start off slow in a new situation. Learning a complete new playbook and building chemistry with a new quarterback from square one. With that being said, great players don’t stay in this sort of funk for long and Ernest Jackson has busted out in a big way.
The veteran receiver has snatches 20 balls for 359 and two touchdowns in the last four games. During this run, Jackson has allows hit double-digit points in fantasy. He’s starting to look like the same player who put up back-to-back 1000-yard seasons in the nations capital. The 30-year-old is turning heads with highlight real catches and big play abilities. His five plays of over 30 plus yards sits fourth most among receivers.
The man that was known for his reliable hands is slowly displaying the big dog mentality that got him to this point.
Greg Ellingson, Redblacks Wide Receiver ($6,749)
When Jackson and Chris Williams left the Redblacks last off-season, some thought Greg Ellingson wasn’t ready to be the number one target. But he guy who attains most of the defence’s attention is somehow still able to produce at an ultra high level.
The 28-year-old has destroyed all of the doubts. He hasn’t just turned into the best receiver on in Ottawa, but arguably in the entire league. He went from a third wheel in the previous two seasons to the Big Dog on campus.
Ellingson is first in receiving yards, touchdowns, and plays of 30-plus yards. He’s second in receptions, only trailing teammate Greg Sinopoli. In recent weeks opposing defences have been able to slow down the Florida Atlantic product’s yardage a little, holding him to an average of only 55 yards in the past three contests. But even with defences containing him in that realm, they still have trouble keeping him out of the end zone. Ellingson recorded a touchdown in four straight games, and five of the last six.
Quarterback Trevor Harris completely trusts his number one target. At times, he’ll throw a 50-50 ball because he knows Ellingson will come down with it more times than not. And don’t forget he’s lining up against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who rank last in majority of defensive stats.
Honourable mention: Kenny Shaw ($4,252)
In last week’s article, Redblacks receiver Kenny Shaw’s name popped up. Unfortunately he didn’t play, but has practiced with the first team this week and will most likely dress in Friday’s game against Hamilton. He’s a cheap option who could see a ton of balls thrown his way right from the start.
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