DraftKings CFL Week 1 Overview & Picks

DraftKings CFL Week 1 Overview & Picks

Welcome to our first CFL article ever! I have actually covered fantasy CFL for the past three seasons with The Daily Audible and Fantasy Football Freaks, and have now taken my talents to Hello Rookie.

For those of you not familiar with the Canadian version of football, here is a Wikipedia article explaining the differences between the game the NFL plays and the game played up North.

Basically it’s a 110 yard field, there are 10 players on the field for each team, receivers can run toward the line of scrimmage before the snap, teams get 3 downs to get a first down, and you can score 1 point for landing a kick in the end zone… or something like that.

A lot happened this offseason. Too much to recap, but if you didn’t follow the CFL last season then it’s pretty much irrelevant. Just imagine half the league was put into a hat, then drawn at random and put on a different team. That is pretty much how this offseason went in the CFL.

Finally, let’s get into week one and build some winner. Here is a look at the top Vegas implied totals for this week:

TeamOpponentImplied Total
EdmontonMontreal31
CalgaryOttawa30
BCWinnipeg27
WinnipegBC25
HamiltonSaskatchewan25

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CFL Week 1 QB Picks

Mike Reilly

Quarterback | BC Lions | $11,500

I feel guilty making Mike Reilly my first player recommended for 2019. It’s like leading off the NFL season by saying you should start Pat Mahomes… kind of stating the obvious. Millions, if not billions, of CFL fans around the world have been waiting all offseason to put Reilly back into their DraftKings lineups. If you need more than just a name, let me explain my reasoning for liking Reilly in week one. He shouldn’t be heavily owned. Winnipeg was the top pass defense in the CFL in 2018. However, I happen to think their defense took a step back this offseason, see Zach Collaros shredding them in the preseason as example A. I also think Reilly and the Lions have something to prove in week one… that his signing makes them a force to be reckoned with this season.

Trevor Harris

Quarterback | Edmonton Eskimos | $9,800

The former Ottawa QB moves over to the Eskimos this offseason and he brought his favorite receiver, Greg Ellingson with him. While this combo certainly isn’t Reilly/Walker, we think both guys will thrive in the Edmonton system. The receivers surrounding Harris are arguably the best and deepest group in the CFL, and the defense is much improved from last season, particular at LB so possession will not be an issue for Edmonton this season. As far as the matchup, Montreal was the worst pass defense in the CFL last season and they looked even worse this preseason.

CFL Week 1 RB Picks

Andrew Harris

Running Back | Winnipeg Blue Bombers | $8,600

While we typically do not pay up at the running back position in DraftKings CFL contests, this is a rare occasion where we will. This is the league’s best running back facing the league’s worst run defense. Harris averaged 31 DraftKings PPG in two games against BC in 2018, this was nearly double his season average against all other teams. Combine that with the amount of value that is available at receiver, and we think you would be a fool to not pay up for Harris at RB in week one.

Sean Thomas-Erlington

Running Back | Hamilton Tiger-Cats | $4,800

In the little bit of starters vs starters we saw out of Hamilton, Thomas-Erlington was an extremely busy man. He took almost every snap with the starters, and was active in both the run and pass games. The matchup is not great as Saskatchewan was arguably the best run defense in the CFL in 2018, but we think Thomas-Erlington gets enough volume to make the matchup irrelevant here. He is our favorite value play at RB and could finish the week as one of the top overall RB’s for week 1 and he’s priced at under $5,000.

CFL Week 1 WR Picks

Bryan Burnham

Wide Receiver | BC Lions | $8,700

Burnham is a guy that popped anytime I watch BC play in 2019. Despite a really bad BC offense and some really poor QB play, Burnham was consistently open and made big plays for the Lions. I think he will quickly become Mike Reilly’s favorite target in BC, and could be a top 5 fantasy receiver by the end of the year. Winnipeg is an above average pass defense, but it’s too tempting to jump on the Reilly to Burnham combination before his salary blow up north of $10k.

Greg Ellingson

Wide Receiver | Edmonton Eskimos | $8,500

Edmonton may have lost Walker to Toronto, but this receiver group is absolutely loaded. I think Ellingson, who has a ton of familiarity with Harris from Ottawa, will emerge as the top target. While Daniels, Collins, and even Stafford are big play guys, Ellingson is a high target number one receiver that knows how to get open and catches everything. We already saw this preseason that he was Harris’s top target when it was starters vs starters. Should be open often in phenomenal week one matchup with a really bad Montreal secondary.

Bralon Addison

Wide Receiver | Hamilton Tiger-Cats | $6,700

Addison is my favorite dark horse sleeper to lead the CFL in yards in 2019. Really only played in 2 games in 2018, but put up 250+ yards on 17 receptions. Was Masoli’s favorite target this preseason, and is a matchup nightmare for CFL secondaries. Banks and Tasker will likely be popular plays given their work of body last season, but I think Addison is the best leverage play of the group and he is considerably cheaper.

Juwan Brescacin

Wide Receiver | Calgary Stampede | $6,400

Between the Kamar Jorden injury and DaVaris Daniels leaving for Edmonton this offseason, the Calgary receiving corps is wide open. Who will get the targets? There are really only a few names worth noting in Rogers, Ambles, Begelton, and Brescacin. It was Brescacin that looked like Mitchell’s go-to weapon this preseason, and of the group I would certainly think he is the top red zone target. We know Mitchell and the Stampede are going to be able to throw the ball, and I think a good bit of the production will come through Brescacin in 2019. Ottawa’s defense was solid in 2018, but had some turnover this offseason, looks extremely beatable on paper, and struggled this preseason.

Tevaun Smith

Wide Receiver | Edmonton Eskimos | $3,900

Originally a top CFL prospect, Smith has spent the past few seasons in the NFL, and will try to make the move to the CFL… one that does not always go smoothly. This is a particularly risky play given the depth Edmonton has at the WR position, but given Smith’s upside and this matchup, it’s near impossible to pass on him at $3,900. The Edmonton staff recently said they think he could put up 1,300 yards, and if they do intend to target him in week one he should have his way given Ellingson and Daniels will both draw plenty of attention.

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