Anyone who has followed me on Twitter for any period of time is well aware of my desire to throw out the bold claim. We’re in the business of fantasy football, which requires the ability to predict and forsee. There’s a time and a place for practicality, sure. But as a sports guy, there’s nothing that feels better than to hang yourself out over the ledge and take a peek.
The fun part of it all? Bold claims can either leave you looking like a genius, or a complete tool.
I’ve been involved with CFL fantasy football for about 5 years now, so naturally along with that comes the desire to forecast. I won’t bore you with statements I’ve made in the past, but every year I like to make bold predictions on Twitter. If you simply browse the #BoldPrediction hashtag, you can see for yourself. So rather than tweet, why not keep them all organized in one spot!
Here we go…
1 – The Montreal Alouettes will win the East Division in 2017, led by Vernon Adams and a totally revamped receiving corps.
Maybe the most believable one in some people’s minds, or the most ridiculous in others. If Jim Popp does the right thing and steps away from the team, this unit could challenge for a Grey Cup next season. They’ll want to surround their young QB with guys who can make plays, because believe it or not they actually aren’t too far off. Poor decision making is destroying their team, not necessarily personnel. Nik Lewis probably has a year left in him. SJ Green has one year on his fat contract, and likely his final one in Montreal. If Nik decides to retire, Montreal may look at Chad Owens and his 12 games a year. He fits into the style of offense the Als run, and they’ll want a guy who knows how to win. Either way you look at it, its been publicity stunts that have killed this team for years and its the only thing holding them back from winning.
2 – The Toronto Argonauts will fire everyone from top to bottom, and hire Duane Forde as their GM.
Bold, right!? If there’s one team in the CFL that beats the Montreal Alouettes in the poor decision category, its the Toronto Argonauts. And I say this will all due respect to Scott Milanovich. I think he’s an absolute mastermind in the CFL, an absolute genius. He’s done some great things with QB’s over the years. But, word on the street is the Argos had a quick year end meeting at the hotel in Edmonton and he took a separate plane home from the team. Four very talented receivers were released and signed within a matter of days (Hazelton, Gurley, Elliott, Bates). They released Keon Raymond, a future CFL hall of famer and went 1-10 in the following weeks. Lets not forget giving up the CFL leader in interceptions (TJ Heath) and the 1st overall pick in the 2017 draft, for a QB that needs AT LEAST 6 months of intense coaching to become a starter again (Drew Willy). Lets face it, this is the biggest nightmare the Argos could have ever imagined in their BMO debut season. So who knows CFL in Ontario better than Duane Forde? He’s a familiar face, a brilliant football mind and would be absolutely fantastic for the team who desperately needs hope. Forde certainly has his skeptics on his ability to articulate his thoughts while wearing a headset, but he is what Toronto needs to redeem their franchise. Easiest way to describe them? They are the Edmonton Oilers, pre-2016. It will take time, but I firmly believe he’s the right man for the job.
3 – Darian Durant will leave Saskatchewan, and head East.
When Chris Jones took over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, what’s the first thing he did? Cleaned house. John Chick, Weston Dressler, Ryan Smith the most notable names. He did that to make a statement to the province, showing he wanted to rebuild the unit and do it his way. Now, you can make wholesale changes in most CFL cities and people will eventually get over it. Many still hold it against Jones, but if the Riders made the playoffs this year nobody would complain. So yes, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock; Darian Durant’s contract is up at the end of this season. Almost everyone in Saskatchewan, many media included; believe Darian Durant literally can heal the sick with his smile. And we all know how Riders fans hate to be challenged on their views when they think they are right about something (said with a smile). Yes, the league needs Darian Durant. He’s an ambassador for work ethic, he actually genuinely cares about the game and the fans. No doubt about that. But when the Riders are down by 7 in the fourth quarter, and Durant goes down with another injury? A picture of him in a pool of puppies won’t win you a Grey Cup. He’s only played 2 full seasons in his 9 year CFL career, and his 500 k salary in 2016 is FAR BEYOND what he’s worth at aged 35 (next year). Chris Jones likely wants him in the area of 100 k so he can use that money to find, oh, I dunno, IMPACT RECEIVERS AND A DYNAMIC RUNNING BACK AND A QB WHO’S GOING TO PLAY 18 GAMES! Its time to let go, Saskatchewan. If you really want to be a dominant franchise in the future, letting Durant go is the best thing. James Franklin, Cody Fajardo, even Rakeem Cato. It doesn’t matter if its the right move or not, Darian Durant won’t be back in Saskatchewan. Not if he still thinks he’s worth more than 200 k a year.
Alright, those are loaded with info. How about 7 more in brief description to make this a perfect 10? Sounds good
4 – This one is a no brainer, but Derel Walker is gone to the NFL on December 1st. Nowhere near my usual wheelhouse of bold, but someone else will throw it out there as “bold” and claim they are so smart. So why not drop that one in there, too.
5 – Jamaal Westerman will fall into the Bombers dog house, and Kyle Walters will look to find him a new home. Lets be honest, he’s not what Bomber fans expected in 2016 after an incredible rookie season. He takes too many dumb penalties, and Trent Corney is ready to take his job. Also, apparently Shayon Green has compromising videos of someone in Winnipeg management, because no one really knows how he still has a job (said with sarcasm. But, no really!)
6 – Bo Levi Mitchell will start to believe his own press about how good everyone says he is, and look for an NFL team. He’s a perfectionist with no margin of error. Sure, its what made him so successful. But look at the great CFL legends (Ricky Ray, sure Sask fans even Darian Durant). Do you see those guys snapping on receivers when they make a mistake? Nope. The Stamps are on the cusp of a meltdown, and it could be with BLM heading south. Leaving the team in the hands of Drew Tate? Eek.
How about finish these off with a positive spin? Sounds good.
7- Bryan Burnham will lead the CFL in receiving.
8 – Jonathan Mincy lead the CFL in interceptions.
9 – Henoc Muamba will lead in tackles.
10 – We’ll see the return of the run game after a much anticipated call for clarity of pass interference rules. 5 CFL teams will feature new starting RB’s in 2017.
How about some honorable mentions for 2017?
Adarius Bowman will play 5 games or less due to injury. Zach Collaros will face early retirement due to concussion problems. The CFL will adopt the “1 division” format for playoffs, and the Bombers will finally win the Grey Cup.
There you have it. Rather weak in the grander scheme of things, but I’m sure I’ll have another installment in the future.
I welcome criticism from all comers, because that’s what happens when you hang yourself over the ledge. And truth be told, I’d rather walk the fine line between looking like a genius or a tool.
That’s fantasy football.
Questions or comments? Follow me on Twitter @davedawson7 or @CFLFantasyFTB
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org