Matt Nichols, WPG vs. BC ($10,300): Nichols makes for a GPP pivot off top options Mike Reilly ($10,900) and Ricky Ray ($10,500), considering he seems to be recovered from the hand injury that prompted his early exit from last Friday's contest versus the Tiger-Cats. The Lions also check in allowing 301.9 passing yards per contest, along with a 67.2 percent completion percentage, 98.9 percent passer efficiency rating, the second-highest average yards per pass (8.5) and the third-most completions of over 30 yards (29). The fact that Nichols also compiled a season-high 29.26 fantasy points on the strength of a three-touchdown effort in Week 5 against this same defense only serves to further his case.
Jonathon Jennings, BC at WPG ($9,500): Speaking of the Bombers-Lions tilt, Jennings, who's been drastically improved over his last two games, makes for an appealing cost-savings option for those who can't afford five figures at the position. Jennings has scored 28.2 and 29.2 fantasy points, respectively, over the last two games, throwing for 720 yards and generating a 4:1 TD:INT ratio in the process. The Bombers could well facilitate a third straight prolific performance, considering they check in allowing the second-most passing yards (323.0), third-highest average yards per pass (8.4) and second-most completions of over 30 yards (eight).
Jeremiah Masoli, HAM vs. CGY ($8,500): The matchup is admittedly far from ideal, but Masoli's bargain price makes him worthy of consideration for those looking to spend up elsewhere. Much like Jennings, the mobile signal caller has left past struggles behind recently, as he's scored between 23.72 and 31.32 fantasy points in three of his last four games. He's fired multiple touchdowns in three straight contests as well and has between 32 and 62 yards rushing on three occasions over the aforementioned four-game stint. Moreover, despite their strong defense, the Stampeders have been middle-of-the-pack or below league average in terms of completions allowed (342) and completion percentage (67.5 percent).
William Powell, OTT at SSK ($7,500): Powell continues to offer one of the safest fantasy floors of any CFL running back, as he's now scored between 17.4 and 26.8 fantasy points over the last four games, with the high end of that range having come just two games ago against this same Roughriders squad on the strength of a career-high 187 rushing yards. Partly due to that contest, the Roughriders allow the third-most rushing yards (105.0) and fourth-highest yards per carry (5.3) in the league, furthering Powell's case.
C.J. Gable, EDM vs. TOR ($7,400): Gable shined in his first game at the head of the Eskimos backfield, posting 27.0 fantasy points courtesy of a 111-yard performance on the ground. That effort followed tallies of 25.2 and 31.7 fantasy points in two of his last three games in a Tiger-Cats uniform, with the higher total having come versus this same Argonauts squad. Toronto allows a healthy 5.3 rushing yards per contest and Gable should once again see the lion's share of backfield touches in Week 16.
Brandon Whitaker, TOR at EDM ($5,900): With James Wilder, Jr. out in Week 17, Whitaker will be poised to wreak some havoc against an Eskimos squad that's allowed the second-most rushing yards (108.8), highest yards per rush (6.4), most rushes of over 20 yards (13) and most rushing touchdowns (16). Whitaker is able to contribute through both the ground and air, and with the volume of work he's likely to see, he's priced right at under $6K.
Martese Jackson, TOR at EDM ($4,600): For those looking to punt the running back position, Jackson could be a sneaky play, particularly considering the fact that the Eskimos have given up the most return touchdowns (eight) in the CFL, along with the third-highest punt return average (12.1). Jackson has managed to score between 17.05 and 19.45 fantasy points in three of his last four games based largely on his excellent production on special teams, and in his last contest, due partly to a receiving touchdown on a pair of receptions. He seems to be earning a slight bump in playing time from scrimmage and makes for what will likely be a very low-owned tournament option.
Brandon Zylstra, EDM vs. TOR ($9,600): Zylstra continued his incredible late-season run with a 201-yard receiving effort that netted 37.35 fantasy points against the Alouettes in Week 16, marking his sixth straight game with double-digit fantasy points and third with more than 30 over that span. Zylstra got into the end zone when he faced the Argonauts in Week 13 as well, and while Toronto has been relatively stingy through the air this season, they're only league average in terms of passing touchdowns (23) and completions of over 30 yards allowed (24).
Naaman Roosevelt, SSK vs. OTT ($8,000): Roosevelt has eclipsed 20 fantasy points in four of his last six games and takes on a Redblacks defense that's allowing 304.6 passing yards per game, along with the most pass attempts (600), second-most completions (394) and most completions of over 30 yards (31). Roosevelt's teammate Duron Carter ($8,300) also makes for a viable play for the same reasons, but Roosevelt has been the steadier of the two in terms of recent production.
Emmanuel Arceneaux, BC at WPG ($7,800): Arceneaux posted his second 100-yard effort over the last four games in Week 16 against the Redblacks, leading to a season-best 31.2 fantasy points. The matchup against the Blue Bombers secondary is a prime one as detailed earlier in Jonathon Jennings' entry. Beyond the numbers cited previously, the fact that they yield the third-most passing touchdowns in the CFL (26) certainly also plays in Arceneaux's favor.
Marken Michel, CGY at HAM ($7,300): Michel has flashed plenty of big-play upside this season, as his CFL-best 19.2 YPC attests. He could hardly draw a better matchup, considering the Tiger-Cats check in allowing the most passing yards (341.6), most passing touchdowns (28), third-most completions (384), highest completion percentage (71.9) and highest average yards per pass (9.0). Hamilton has also allowed 27 completions of over 30 yards, while the speedster has over 20 fantasy points in two of his last three and scorched the Hamilton secondary for a career-best 34.7 fantasy points on the strength of a six-catch, 190-yard receiving effort in Week 6.
Shamawd Chambers, HAM vs. CGY ($3,300): Those in need of some serious savings could do a whole lot worse than Chambers near the bottom of the receiver pool, as the wideout is bargain-priced given his production since arriving in Hamilton. Chambers has scored 11.7 and 15.1 fantasy points, respectively, in his first two games in a Tiger-Cats uniform, upping his receptions and receiving yards in his Week 16 contest after a solid Week 15 debut. Even against a tough Stampeders defense, Chambers could easily exceed value with a just a handful of receptions and allow you to spend up plenty elsewhere.
Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Ottawa Redblacks ($4,500): It's tough to peg a clear-cut defense this week, as even the elite Stampeders are taking on a very improved Tiger-Cats offense on the road. The Roughriders make for intriguing candidates, however, considering they've been much better at home (8.3 fantasy points per game), where they've amassed 17 sacks, eight interceptions, three fumble recoveries, three safeties and one defensive touchdown, all while allowing a respectable 21.8 points per contest over six games. They also stymied the Redblacks on the road to the tune of 13.0 fantasy points in Week 15, although that was partly made possible by Ottawa trotting out Ryan Lindley at quarterback in that contest. Nevertheless, the Roughriders have proven stingy against the pass - boasting the lowest completion percentage allowed (64.0), as well as surrendering the second-lowest pass efficiency rating (91.4) and average yards per pass (7.8). They also sport an impressive +12 turnover ratio and rank second in both turnovers forced (32) and points off turnovers (91), while the Redblacks have committed the third-most miscues in the league (27).