Early this season it’s been my strategy to pick on the Edmonton Eskimos defense and start any opposing quarterbacks or receivers against them.
It may be time to re-think that strategy…
Through the first four games of the season, the Eskimos were giving up 417.3 offensive yards per game but in the last four games they’ve given up an average of 354.3 yards. That doesn’t mention an average of 181 yards through the air over the past two. It looks like Mike Benevides has gotten his defense to play as a unit and I want no part of that defense as they’re at home against Saskatchewan this week.
Here’s who I like this week:
Quarterback: Jonathon Jennings (BC $9,700) – Jennings had a poor showing against Calgary a week ago but the last time he had a poor game, he rebounded to throw for over 400 yards. Wally Buono will have his quarterback prepared for Ottawa’s 7th-ranked pass defense.
Running back: Andrew Harris (WPG $7,400) – Have the Bombers finally figured out how to win? They’re riding a three game winning streak heading into this week’s game in Montreal and Harris has had 37 carries in the past two games and touchdowns in three straight. He’s going to the get the volume and Montreal’s 9th ranked rush defense will have trouble handling Harris.
Wide receiver: Bryan Burnham (BC $6,100) – Everyone will be rolling with Derel Walker or Adarius Bowman against Saskatchewan this week (and for good reason) but I really like what the pairing of Jonathon Jennings have Bryan Burnham have done this season. This week’s game could be a shoot-out with Trevor Harris back at the helm in Ottawa and Burnham is making plays in BC. Four Montreal receivers made plays for longer than 23 yards against Ottawa a week ago and it just so happens Burnham’s specialty is the deep the ball. He’s averaging 18.4 yards per catch which is good enough for first in the CFL among players that have had 20 receptions of more. Look for a home run shot from Burnham.
Wild card: Shakir Bell (RB – EDM $4,200) – As of Tuesday, John White still hadn’t practiced for Edmonton and Shakir Bell was practicing with the first team offense. Edmonton’s offensive line has its groove back and if they’re able to lead Calvin McCarty to a stellar performance, there’s no reason Bell can’t do the same. Bell rushed for over 600 yards in 11 appearances year with 5.6 yards per carry. Saskatchewan’s defense isn’t exactly clicking right now so if Bell starts, he provided a great value at $4,200.
Some other notable names you will want to keep an eye on this week are Travon Van (OTT RB) and Tyrell Sutton (MTL RB). Both are back practicing and are looking to pick up right where they left off leading their respective teams’ backfields.