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DraftKings CFL: Week 2 Value Plays

Juan Carlos Blanco

Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for close to 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, and the NFL for, including serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beat writer. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports.


Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY vs. OTT ($10,400): If not for Ricky Ray's jaw-dropping 506-yard explosion in Week 1, Mitchell would have been the most prolific quarterback to start the 2017 campaign. As he did during last year's Grey Cup, he carved up the Redblacks' secondary, throwing for 376 yards and two touchdowns in last week's road opener. Therefore, his outlook is certainly favorable heading into a Week 2 rematch on his home turf, especially considering that Mitchell did not throw for less than 361 yards and two touchdowns in any of his last four meetings against Ottawa. He was able to find a talented receiving corps helmed by Marquay McDaniel with ease in Week 1, and running back Jerome Messam should also be a help in providing balance and serving as an extra safety valve out of the backfield.

Ricky Ray, TOR vs. BC ($8,800): Ray's Week 1 yardage total ranked as his personal best in what has been a Hall of Fame career, so expecting the same caliber of production in Week 2 is likely not advisable. At the same time, his 506 yards through the air is one of those numbers that has to be given some credence, particularly since Ray appeared extremely comfortable running offensive wizard and new Toronto head coach Marc Trestman's scheme. He remains priced below the top tier as well, and draws a matchup against a Lions secondary that was carved up by the Eskimos' Mike Reilly in Week 1. Ray also has the benefit of what looks like a highly competent quartet of pass catchers, led by S.J. Green -- who played under Trestman from 2008-12 in Montreal -- and that also includes DeVier Posey, Jeff Fuller and Armanti Edwards, who all spent time on NFL rosters at some point over the last several years.

Matt Nichols, WPG at SSK ($7,700): Nichols and the Blue Bombers will be making their season debut against the Roughriders, who gave up a pair of touchdowns to former teammate Darian Durant in Week 1 and surrendered the most scores through the air per game (2.06) in 2016 by a large margin. Nichols threw for an impressive 3,666 yards (588 yards in two games versus Saskatchewan) and 18 touchdowns over 15 games in his first extended stretch as a starter last season, and he looked very sharp in the Bombers' preseason finale on June 15 (19-for-24, 227 yards, two TD). In addition to versatile running back Andrew Harris, he will have a solid receiving corps at his disposal, including trusted 1,000-yard wideout Weston Dressler, the talented Darvin Adams and intriguing CFL rookie L'Damian Washington, who had an impressive preseason and amassed 100 receptions for 1,735 yards and 15 touchdowns over three college seasons at Missouri.

Running Back

Andrew Harris, WPG at SSK ($7,400): John White ($7,700) and Jerome Messam ($7,400) also makes for very viable options if you're spending up at running back in Week 2, but the versatile Harris could well provide the best fantasy-points-per-dollar value when it's all said and done. Harris was a force through both the ground and air during the regular season and postseason a year ago, racking up 1,035 yards rushing on an impressive 5.0 yards per tote while adding another 658 yards on 71 receptions. Those numbers are par for the course for Harris, who has been one of the CFL's more versatile weapons for a few seasons. His usage is all but guaranteed as well, as he logged double-digit carries in 13 regular-season games and rushed for at least 60 yards in 11 contests. The Roughriders allowed the Alouettes' Tyrell Sutton to rush for 68 yards on 5.2 yards per carry in Week 1, and Harris rushed for a combined 102 yards on 21 carries in two games versus Saskatchewan last season. If you're going the affordable route at QB with Matt Nichols, Harris makes for a highly appealing handcuff considering his passing-game involvement.

Cameron Marshall, SSK vs. WPG ($5,400): Marshall enjoyed a splashy CFL debut with an impressive 84 yards on only 11 carries (7.6 YPC), and another 17 yards on four receptions in the Week 1 loss to Montreal. The Blue Bombers were a stout unit against the run in 2016 (88.6 yards per game), but Marshall's price and projected usage should provide a solid return. He notably received all the running back touches in Week 1, and given his performance, should have the same lead role in Week 2. Those using Marshall should at least keep tabs on fellow Saskatchewan running back Kienan LaFrance (hamstring), however.

Wide Receiver/Slotback

Marquay McDaniel, CGY vs. OTT ($8,400): Although Adarius Bowman ($9,600) is very likely due to bounce back after a disappointing Week 1 performance, McDaniel offers much of the same upside at a significantly lower cost, and he should see even more targets with fellow starter DaVaris Daniels (shoulder) out for Week 2. As Bo Levi Mitchell's top target, McDaniel was one of the few top-tier receivers not to disappoint in Week 1, picking up right where he left off in 2016 with 114 yards on 10 receptions . He draws the same Ottawa secondary he tormented in Week 1, and in a game projected to be the highest-scoring of the week, he makes for an excellent play if spending up.

Brandon Zylstra, EDM vs. MTL ($6,100): Zylstra was the hero of the Eskimos' Week 1 victory over the Lions, totaling 152 yards on seven receptions, including a back-breaking 76-yard grab in the final minute that set up the game-winning field goal. While some may have been surprised that it was Zylstra - as opposed to Adarius Bowman -- seemingly taking up the big-play mantle in Edmonton's first game without the departed Derel Walker, a closer look reveals that the 24-year-old was already flashing big-play potential last season by totaling 34 receptions for 508 yards and three scores over just six games. That stretch included 104-and-186-yard efforts, and given his spectacular 2017 debut, he certainly seems to have the confidence of quarterback Mike Reilly. Facing an Alouettes secondary that surrendered 298 yards passing and a 70.5 percent completion rate to Kevin Glenn in Week 1, Zylstra and the Eskimos passing game could be in for a prolific Week 2 performance.

Armanti Edwards, TOR vs. BC ($5,400): Although teammates S.J. Green ($6,700) and DeVier Posey ($6,000) certainly hold appeal as well, Edwards checks in notably cheaper than both, and with a chance at seeing more targets. While the aforementioned pair did plenty of damage in the downfield passing attack in Week 1, Edwards was a trusted mid-range option for Ricky Ray, snaring six receptions for 78 yards. All Edwards has done since entering the CFL with Saskatchewan last season is produce, as he compiled 231 yards and a touchdown on 19 receptions over five 2016 games before a hand injury curtailed his season. If Week 1 is any indication, it may be tough to pin down who Ray's top targets might be each week, but Edwards appears to already have a strong rapport with the veteran signal caller and is priced reasonably relative to his upside.

Nic Demski, SSK vs. WPG (4,300): Jeff Fuller ($4,200) is also worthy of attention in the affordable tier, but Demski offers a nice combination of price and expected usage. Speaking of the Roughriders' success against the Montreal secondary in Week 1, Demski was a primary catalyst, leading his team with seven receptions for 87 yards. He figures to be in for another starting assignment in Week 2, considering Chad Owens is on the six-game injured list and Rob Bagg (ankle) remains doubtful to play. The Blue Bombers allowed a robust 335.1 yards per game through the air last season, and with one of the lower price tags for a projected starting receiver in Week 2, Demski makes for a low-risk tournament play who should see his fair share of targets. If Bagg somehow plays, though, Demski would likely be forced to give up his starting spot.

Team Defense

Edmonton Eskimos vs. MTL ($4,600): The Eskimos-Alouettes tilt is currently projected to be the lowest-scoring of the Week 2 slate, and the way the improved Edmonton defense stymied Jonathon Jennings and the Lions for the majority of last week's game likely has a part to play. The Montreal offense was serviceable but not spectacular under veteran signal caller Darian Durant in Week 1 despite a fairly favorable matchup, and Edmonton's new-look secondary gave Jennings and the BC receivers fits, while an aggressive front recorded four sacks on the elusive quarterback. The matchups appear to line up well for the Eskimos in their home opener, and as the biggest favorite of the week, that could well lead to ample opportunities for sacks and interceptions in the second half.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.