CFL Pass

TSN CFL Pick ‘em, Week 2: On small sample sizes, wounded quarterbacks

Going into week two of my first-ever season of CFL Pick ‘em, the problem is obvious: Sample size. Amazing how knocking out 17 or so first- and second-string QBs can completely change the complexion of the league, isn’t it? Can we blame last week’s 1-3 showing put in by the majority of Pick ‘Em players on the new rules? If not, why not?

But enough with the rhetorical and not-so-rhetorical questions: It’s time to plunge into predictions for week two. We can take away at least one strategy from week one, however: Setting the “confidence level” at less than 100% is pointless, particularly at this point if you’re 1-3 like around 90% of us are now. So assume the CFLpass picks are all set on full, even though this strategy requires new defining of the word “confidence.”

Winnipeg Blue Bombers over Hamilton Tiger-Cats; pick trend 61% to Hamilton, total points scored 54. So the Blue Bombers offence is no longer a surprise, but it probably doesn’t matter. Drew “Free” Willy probably won’t produce the ridiculous, essentially perfect stat line of last week – 22-of-25, 325 yards, 3 TDs, zero interceptions – nor will Paris Cotton run quite so rampant as he did running up 167 all-purpose yards last week. No matter; this sweet-looking 1-2 punch should torment the still-holey Tiger-Cats defence.

Calgary Stampeders over Montreal Alouettes; pick trend 96% (!) to Calgary, total points scored 35. Really? In the week of #LoveWins, essentially unanimous sentiment against Michael Sam’s Alouettes? Malheureusement, oui.

Last week against Ottawa, the Alouettes offence may as well never have taken the field in the second half except to have two QBs knocked out; the D meanwhile allowed three long drives controlled by Henry Burris. Sure, Montreal will get the debut of Brandon Bridge as a starter, but this poor guy might just have one eye on his shaky offensive line after every snap. Calgary may have been involved in a nail-biter last week, but the Stamps certainly showed the weaponry capable of scoring at least 20 points against the Als this week – and the defending champs probably won’t need much more than that.

BC Lions over Ottawa RedBlacks; pick trend 73% to BC, total points scored 42. How much of the RedBlacks’ first-ever away win was due to the Alouettes’ disappearance (see above)? Too much for CFLpass to be confident – there’s that word again – in picking them over an unknown quantity like the transitional Lions. The line for this game has BC as 3½-point favourites, but a better wager might be the over/under on number of quarters Travis Lulay lasts; that one should be set at 2½…

With four days to go before kickoff on this one, CFLpass reserves the right to change, but right now the pick is Toronto Argonauts over Saskatchewan Roughriders; pick trend 53% to Toronto, total points scored 57. At least two of their CFL compatriots wouldn’t mind having the Roughriders’ veteran QB Kevin Glenn to start in a pinch, and here’s to thinking that Saskatchewan’s offence will prove competitive this season; Glenn could even getting the scoreboard spinning a bit in this game.

But whoa – and yeah, it’s only been one game – did Toronto look good last week: Trevor Harris spread the wealth of his masterful 24-of-27, 347-yard, 3-TD performance to eight different receivers (more than any QB in week one); Brandon Whitaker was a workhorse; the rookies generally looked great on both sides of the ball; and the coverage in the secondary frustrated Mike Reilly all day until he was taken out altogether.

Ricky Who…?

Good luck, everyone! (And Happy Canada Day!)

– written by Os Davis