I’ve finally come to terms with one thing about my years of CFL fandom:
I absolutely love defensive backs. I tend to watch them more than anyone during a game, pick up on their tendencies (especially when it comes to fantasy football points) and overall just enjoy a good pick more than any other play.
I also do enjoy writing, so why not start a weekly segment of each position. Are you a “poser or a poster?” Do you put up points, or are you just playin? It may not be a DIRECT reflection of fantasy points, but it will translate into whether or not they are worth investing in and have the potential to break out.
As mentioned off of the top, why not start with my favorite position:
The Defensive Back.
So right now, heading into week 13 of the CFL season here are 3 of each:
Posters (post up points):
- TJ Heath, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Almost an obvious one, to be honest. Not because he’s got 5 picks so far this season, but because we at Onside have had our eyes on him since mid July (check the Twitter feed). He’s a consistent ball hawk. He may get beat in the red zone from time to time, but he’ll come back with a timely pick or knockdown.
2. Taylor Loffler, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
I think I can be forgiven this week going top heavy on a pair of teams who are just hungry for the ball constantly. Loffler keeps defying the odds of that often debated notion of “can Canadian DB’s survive in the CFL?” There are a handful who have made long pro careers, but others who get picked on and float around from team to team. The former UBC Thunderbird is off to a thunderous start, and too bad for Macho Harris who was having a nice bounce back season. This guy is only going to get better and better.
3. Thomas Gordon, Toronto Argonauts
The only thing that is unfortunate about Thomas Gordon’s 2016 CFL season, was that it began with him on the 6 game. He flat out beat two veterans for the starting safety position (injuries also helped….Black and Gabriel) but he’s got such a nose for the ball, when Keon Raymond was released they plopped him into Brandon Isaac’s WILL spot. A young baller who’s got such a nose for picks, that they wanted him around the ball more. Who does that sound like? Keon Raymond as a Stampeder. Converted from DB to SAM because of his nose for the ball. Thomas Gordon is also Canadian, and an absolute monster.
1. Patrick Watkins, Edmonton Eskimos
You know what the worst part about being a “fantasy football guy” is? I can’t really powder puff around an issue. People want to know, yes or no. Is this guy good or not? So Pat Watkins, I have nothing against you as a human. I’ve heard from many reliable sources that you’re a fantastic individual, absolutely. But when it comes to who gets beat week in and week out, continually. When the game’s on the line, who’s the guy chasing down numbers this season? Well, lots of guys. But someone who’s been an absolute stud so often in his career, Pat has turned into a bit of a fantasy bust in 2016. If not for his leadership in the locker room, I’d guess he may already be looking for work.
2. Kacy Rodgers, Saskatchewan Rough Riders
You want to know how many tackles Kacy Rodgers has in 2016? 15. For a weak side corner? 15 tackles. For as often as he sees passes come his way, the likes of: Duron Carter, Chris Williams, Derel Walker, Weston Dressler etc (you get the picture) he’s only tackled 15 times. He’s seen the backs of jerseys more than a stock person at a sporting goods store. Most weak side corners are all over your fantasy teams (Tommie Campbell, Johnny Adams etc) but Kacy isn’t. Again, probably a nice dude. But a poser when it comes to DB.
There were a number of players I wanted to drop in the 3rd spot, but frankly I can’t think of anyone worth completely avoiding at this point. The ones that I would, are more for reasons of they’d take penalties rather than get you fantasy points for tackles. Ottawa’s Abdul Kanneh is a case of that, but he’s been an absolute fantasy stud in years past. Injuries have hampered him this season. Justin Cox is a guy I’ve loved from the Riders, but over recent weeks he’s found himself in penalty trouble (yes I know, what is a penalty anymore????)
Despite it being a black eye type of year for officiating, and the multitude of DB’s we’ve seen get owned because of DPI calls. I’d have to say I’m loving this year’s core of ball hawks, as much as I have in any recent memory. Every team is capable of picking a ball off from any QB this year, and I can’t honestly say the last time I remember the league like that. They’ve always had teams who have risen to stardom and others who hadn’t had a pick all year. Even the Riders in their futility have Cox and Gainey. The Als secondary is bursting with your Jovon Johnson’s and Jonathan Mincy’s.
So either way you look at it, if you’re a fan of DB’s like I am? Anyone can criticize officiating, but its been fun to watch a great core of defensive studs emerge.
Questions or comments? Follow me on Twitter @davedawson7 or @CFLFantasyFTB
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