It’s the very last time CFL Fantasy line-ups will be set. The Grey Cup edition is probably the trickiest one to do, because of the high possibility of similar line-ups. This may cause some to panic and pick massive sleepers or go the unconventional route. The best bet is to be rational. Here are the players best suited to put up in numbers in the 105th Grey Cup in Ottawa.
CFL Fantasy Grey Cup Edition
QB: Bo Levi Mitchell, Stampeders Quarterback ($7,549)
All the Stamps that suffered the heart break lost in last year’s Grey Cup continuously tell the media it hasn’t been a motivator. Which could be true, but I believe for some like Mitchell, it’s been a driving force. Last year with 27 seconds left in the fourth, down by three on the on the goal line, he sat on the sideline as Andrew Buckley failed a QB sneak. The Stamps settled for the field goal to go into overtime and the Redblacks won. He stated his displeasures of the call afterwards.
A year later the 27-year-old gets another opportunity at the ultimate prize and erase the demons of last year’s upset loss.
The pivots’ 2017 numbers took a hit in all categories compared to last year. Which some may point to as reasons why he won’t do well on Sunday. Can’t one argue though, head coach Dave Dickenson asked Mitchell to do a lot less? Last year’s MOP attempted 60 fewer throws and his deep threats, Kamar Jorden and DaVaris Daniels missed significant amounts of time. Of course one’s numbers will dip and don’t forget the amount of drops Stamps receivers committed.
This is a reason why Mitchell should be your starting pivot instead of Ricky Ray. All the stars are align for the redemption story to be completed. Mitchell holds the best winning percentage in the history of the CFL. He’s behind an offensive line that’s given up the second least amount of pressures (30) and sacks (78). In the pair of meetings against the Argos, the Eastern Washington Product put up over 20 fantasy points. The Stamps’ quarterback is ready to unleash and silence everyone in the process. Don’t bet against Bo Levi Mitchell, since 9 out of 10 times you’ll come out on the losing end.
Compared to Ray, who’s struggled when defenses get consistent pressure. Last week’s East Final against the Saskatchewan Roughriders being a perfect example. The Stamps D-line is the best in the league. They are tied for first with the Argos in sacks (50); lead in pressures (150) and opposing QB ratings are a league-low (55.3). At times, Toronto has struggled to keep the 38-year-old up right.
RB: James Wilder Jr., Argonauts’ Running Back ($7,306)
The turning point of the Argos season is when Wilder was unleashed in Week 13. He tallied outrageous numbers for a rookie back in a pass heavy league. The Florida State product transformed the one dimension offence into a duel threat, with majority of the attention attracted to number 32.
Wilder always ended up with double digit fantasy points. He’s currently averaging over seven yards a carry and ran for over 750 yards in just seven contests. The 25-year-old also impacts the game in the aerially attack. He’s recorded seven or more catches in the last four game for an average of 79.25 yards. He’s more of a duel threat than Andrew Harris was in the ladder part of 2017.
The only way Toronto’s offense will be success against the league-best defense is if Wilder is a beast. To add for reason, his Dad, James Wilder is making the trip to Ottawa to witness his son’s first live CFL game. Additional motivation.
WR: Marquay McDaniel, Stampeders receiver ($4,131)
Many forget one of the major reasons why the Stamps offence took a step back in last year’s final was McDaniel’s injury. The receiver made a huge 51-yard grab, but later left with a shoulder injury in the first quarter. Mitchell turns to him when all else fails. He’s the definition of security blanket
The savvy veteran doesn’t contain the top end speed he once had, but the mental side grown instead. The 33-year-old can dissect any defensive coverage and find the open areas. He’s the short yardage specialist. The Hampton product is a receiver that can be forgotten at times.
Two of his best games this calendar year came against the Boatmen, including a pair of touchdowns in Week 7.
FLEX: Jerome Messam, Stampeders Running back ($5,012)
When you have a minute, go through your previous 20 Weeks plus playoff fantasy line-ups and count the amount of times a running back was placed in flex. Probably not many times. This time the unconventional route should be considered. A big reason why is the motivation and health of Messam.
Ahead of the Conference finals, TSN’s Matt Dunigan ranked the remaining backs in order. The Canadian landed number three, which didn’t sit well with him. He steam rolled through the Eskimos defence for 17.5 fantasy points. After the contest, his emotions erupted as he pulled a ‘Henry Burris‘ on the TSN panel. Even Mitchell saw a difference in how Messam practiced after Dunigan’s segment.
The Graceland product emitted he was battling an injury that hindered his running ability. A major reason his numbers and explosive abilities took a hit. In last week’s West Division final, Messam was the back that led the league in rushing and captured 2016’s Most Outstanding Canadian.
The matchup this Sunday is better than some may think. Some Stats say the Argo are good against the running allowing a league-low 82.8 yards per game. That could be a misconception because other stats show the same defence faced the second fewest rush attempts and gave up 5.3 yards a carry. It’s an area the Stampeders can expose and open things up for Mitchell. Also if short yardage situations appear near the goal line, you can beat Dickenson will call a play for the 6’3 225 pound back instead of going another route.
The 32-year-old understands his career is near the end. This will give him the extra motivation to leave his heart and soul on the grandest stage. Messam is also rumbling against his hometown team.