CFL Fantasy Week 15: The Matchup

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REGINA, SK - JULY 08: Bakari Grant #81 of the Saskatchewan Roughriders catches a first half touchdown pass in the game between the Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium on July 8, 2017 in Regina, Canada. (Photo by Brent Just/Getty Images)

Our previous fantasy articles touched on specific themes from the big dogs running wild again to individuals bouncing back from tough outings. CFL Fantasy week 15 is staying simple. It strictly comes down to the quality of the matchups for these players.

CFL Fantasy Week 15: The Matchups

Bo Levi Mitchell, Stampeders Quarterback ($9,258)

Mitchell continues to be efficient for the Stamps, but hasn’t been asked to take over contests week-to-week because how dominant the team is at the other two phases. This week he may be in a position to remind everyone why he was last year’s Most Outstanding Player.

The Alouettes offence has been obsolete in the previous few weeks. They’ve lost six in a row and been blown out in five of them. Quarterback Darian Durant hit a wall, too, throwing three picks last week; he was benched after just six passes against Ottawa. Now reports have surfaced that Durant’s hamstring will keep him out this week, which means Drew Willy. It’s hard to imagine Willy doing anything efficient especially in Calgary against their excellent defense.

This gives more opportunities to Mitchell to put up big fantasy numbers. The Alouettes defense is good enough to make sure it doesn’t turn into a blow out. It’ll force the 27-year-old to create plays in front of the home crowd. Last time these team squads meant Montreal handed Calgary their only loss on the season. Everyone knows how negative memories motivate Bo.

Alex Green, Tiger-Cats Running Back ($3,500)

June Jones is all about establishing the run, and this strategy was on display in Alex Green’s debut. Green tallied 14 carries for 140 yards and added a pair of receptions for 15 yards on the Lions. It would usually be difficult to top a debut like that, but his matchup against the Argos may help him continue this success.

In the past three weeks, opposing running backs put up at least 10 fantasy points, and all of them found the end zone. Green is a versatile back with acceleration and good elusiveness. The 29-year-old looked right at home in the CFL: his skill set matches the speed and the additional space the league offers. If his shoulder injury forces CJ Gable to miss another week, Green should be a great option to start.

Brandon Zylstra, Eskimos Receiver ($6,518)

Even though the 24-year-old missed two games due to an injury, Brandon Zylstra still ranks third in receiving yards (982) and top 10 in catches (66) and targets (86). In seven of his 10 games this season, Zylstra registered double-digit fantasy points. Ever since he entered the league late last season, Mike Reilly has often looked his way. In 11 of his 16 career games, the receiver made at least five grabs and put up over 100 yards in seven of those contests.

Zylstra possess the ability and intangibles to be a marquee name in the CFL for a long time. This week against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, he’ll likely make an even stronger case. So far the Bombers secondary has given up the second most passing yards and receiving touchdowns. Winnipeg’s top corner T.J Heath will most likely line up across from Eskimos’ Derel Walker. The attention Walker attracts opens one-on-one coverage for Zylstra. And he exploited exactly this weakness with his 46-yard touchdown reception in Toronto two weeks ago.

Bakari Grant, Roughriders Receiver ($5,204)

Naaman Roosevelt is out for Friday’s night contest in Ottawa after suffering a concussion last week. It was a pretty devastating hit, so don’t be surprised if he misses a couple of weeks. So all those targets have to shift to other players. Most of the opposing defensive backs will be looking for big-play Duron Carter. So that leaves another receiver to pick up the slack.

Bakari Grant is among the most dominant receivers in the league. He ranks second on the team in catches, yards and plays of 30 plus yards. Most of the time the 30-year-old lines up in the slot, a perfect security blanket for Kevin Glenn. Grant’s talent has never been questioned, instead it’s his ability to stay on the field in recent years. He’s only dressed in 20 games the past two seasons. With him healthy again, knock on wood, he’s on pace to break his majority of his career highs. The matchup is too good to pass up, especially with the Redblacks having the league’s worst pass defence.

Honourable Mention: Travon Van, Eskimos Running Back ($6,012)

Travon Van made his presence known in his first game back since suffering a shoulder injury back in Week 6. He made something happen in every facet of the game, with rushing, receiving, and punt and kick return yards. The 26-year-old accounted for 215 total yards plus found the end zone on the ground and in the aerial attack. A major reason why Edmonton lost five straight games is the lack of a true running game. No defence was threatened by it after Van got hurt.

When the Eskimos run for over 100 yards in 2017, they’re 4-0 compared to 3-5. So expect Van to take a leading role this week.

 

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