CFL Pass

Start vs. Sit: Which starting QB is the best bet?

Chapter 1 of the real road to the Grey Cup begins with Semi-Final Sunday. Both games are filled with interesting storylines, but the one that matters here is how it helps the chances of Fantasy users of TSN CFL Fantasy Football Presented by Leo Vegas.

A quick reminder: Fantasy users are working with only $30,000 of salary in the postseason, making who to start and who to sit just a tad more important that it might have been a week ago.

» Play TSN CFL Fantasy presented by LeoVegas» DailyRoto: Division Semi-Final Fantasy Rankings

Edmonton at Montreal

Sunday | 1:00 p.m. ET

Line: Montreal (-1)
O/U: 50

Start: Trevor Harris, QB, Eskimos, $9,805 Salary

Hidden underneath the warm fuzzies that is the Alouettes is a pass defence that was last in yardage allowed per game (316.1), completion percentage (73.6) while allowing 25 touchdown passes. A healthy Harris can do more than exploit the soft underbelly of the Montreal defence, having thrown for a combined 718 yards in two games this season. The return of RB C.J. Gable ($7373) will open up the offence while an Eskimos receiving corps that has been nearly dormant since Harris was injured early in Week 13.

The Eskimos will be counting on Harris to rediscover the groove he had before facing his Calgary Kryptonite in Week 12 &13. Prior to meeting the Stampeders, Harris had thrown for at least 298 yards in five straight games, including a pair of 400-yard outings. How Harris solves a potential fourth meeting against Calgary can be discussed if necessary. For now, the Harris who looked like a West Division All-Star before getting injured would be a welcome sign for Edmonton.

Sit: Vernon Adams Jr., QB, Alouettes, $10,169 Salary

Experience has to count for something. Of the four projected starting pivots on Semi-Final Sunday, Adams will be the least-experienced. Oh, there’s also the fact the Alouettes will have to throw the ball against the league’s best pass defence (222.9 yards allowed per game) and a pass rush that tied for the league lead with 56 sacks. The Eskimos also topped the league with 102 two-and-outs, giving Fantasy users another daunting number to ponder if considering Adams.

Adams, who was named the East Division All-Star pivot on Wednesday, was not effective in his only start against the Eskimos, throwing for 191 yards and a touchdown during the Week 7 matchup along with adding 44 yards on seven rushes. Numbers similar to that on Sunday will result in disappointment not only for Alouettes fans, but also for Fantasy users who invested a third of their salary on Adams.

Winnipeg at Calgary

Sunday | 4:30 p.m. ET

Line: Calgary (6.5)
O/U: 49.5

Start: Hergy Mayala, WR, Stampeders, $5,533 Salary

The big rookie pass-catcher has become a favourite for quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell ($9,566) over the past six weeks, catching 27 of his 38 regular-season receptions in that span along with recording all five of his majors. Mayala has also recorded a pair of 100-yard games since Week 15 and has become the third option behind West Division All-Star receivers Reggie Begelton ($9,624) and Eric Rogers ($8,294).

The Bombers defence is second in completion percentage allowed (63.2%) but the secondary has given up a league-high 32 completions of better than 30 yards along with giving up 25 touchdown passes. No team yielded more completions on passes of 20 yards of depth than the 52 Winnipeg allowed. Considering the Stampeders had the league’s worst running game, expect Mayala to benefit from favourable matchups downfield while Begleton and Rogers take much of the attention of the Bombers’ secondary.

Sit: Darvin Adams, WR, Blue Bombers, $6,096 Salary

Injuries to both himself and pivot Matt Nichols ($7378) conspired to hit Adams with a disappointing 13-game total of 47 receptions for 549 yards and five touchdowns, a far cry from earning West Division All-Star nods the previous two seasons. Winnipeg is uncertain on who will get the start at quarterback, but Adams’ value takes a hike up if Zach Collaros ($5647) gets the nod on Sunday afternoon.

The Stampeders defence was first in the league in QB efficiency on passes of 10-19 yards downfield (51.4) and second in passes of 20-plus yards downfield (77.6), recording 22 of their 26 interceptions in the process. Winnipeg needs Adams to have a legitimate shot at an upset, but if the Calgary secondary takes Adams out of the game with blanket coverage, then Adams and the Bombers will have a lot of free time on their hands come Monday morning.


More on this: 3 stories