2016 CFL Fantasy All Stars – Defense

If we get enough positive feedback from it, we’d even consider doing the 2016 “biggest disappointment” team. Those guys we all drafted with super high hopes, and they cost us a number of weeks in our “season long format” drafts.

But the 2016 All Stars are guys who were consistent week in and week out to their specific position. Again, we could very easily grab the top 3 LB in tackles and points, the top 5 DB’s in interceptions and call them “All Stars.” But these are specific to each position played, just like on Offense.

As advertised, here are our 2016 CFL Fantasy All Stars on Defense:

(Full breakdown available on Episode 27 of our podcast)

DEFENSIVE END:

WINNER: CHARLESTON HUGHES – Calgary Stampeders

We confess, we bought the hype that the 32 year old was at the end of his career and his numbers would plummet significantly. But, he proved his doubters wrong piling up a CFL high 16 sacks. Add on 47 tackles and 3 forced fumbles, if your friends laughed at you when you took him in the 5th round of your draft? You were likely laughing all the way to the finals.

WINNER: JOHN CHICK – Hamilton Tiger Cats

Boy oh boy, the ultimate “I told you so!” Right, Saskatchewan fans? Rightfully so, when Chick was released by GM Chris Jones in January 2015. Alright, I will briefly come to the defense of Jones. Chick’s numbers had plummeted significantly, and Jones wanted to make his stamp on the team. I’d argue (with great inside info) that Chick left because he wanted to play for Kent Austin. ANYWAY. His stats: 14 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and 40 tackles. He’s still got it!

Runner ups: Adrian Tracy – Hamilton Tiger Cats, Alex Bazzie – BC Lions

Honorable Mentions: John Bowman – Montreal Alouettes, J’Gared Davis – Calgary Stampeders.

MIDDLE LINEBACKER:

WINNER: SOLOMON ELIMIMIAN – BC Lions

Not as tight of a race as the other two spots, we’ll say. Solly is in a rare crowd of his own, as a guy who usually goes in the top 3 rounds of your “season long format” draft. Often teams choose a QB, then RB then WR. With the new CFL rules, teams have been going with impact WR first. But his positioning hasn’t changed, he always ends up as the first defensive player picked, and here’s why: 129 tackles, 8 sacks, 1 INT and 1 forced fumble in 2016. He’s a human point machine!

Runner up: Bear Woods – Montreal Alouettes

Honorable Mentions: JC Sherritt – Edmonton Eskimos, Khalil Bass – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

WILL LINEBACKER:

WINNER: ADAM BIGHILL – BC Lions

The other half of team 100, and amassing 100 tackles is something he has no problem achieving. This race was SO CLOSE, we even debated it until the final second. What gave Adam the nod over Simoni were his tackle numbers, and lets not forget a major factor in these awards is consistency. Bighill brought you that, week in and week out.

Runner up: Simoni Lawrence – Hamilton Tiger Cats

Honorable Mentions: Deon Lacey – Edmonton Eskimos, Ian Wild – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

SAM LINEBACKER:

WINNER: CHIP COX – Montreal Alouettes

No one, I repeat no team was deeper at all 3 LB positions starting the 2016 campaign than the Montreal Alouettes. Chip Cox is another guy we scratched our heads over and wondered if he still had it, and positive fantasy stats-wise he definitely did. His receiver completion rate was among the highest in the CFL, but your “season long format” drafts don’t factor that in. Through 18 games in 2016: 77 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT, 4 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries and 1 went for a TD. Boom. One would argue the CFL leader in INT deserves this award, but again, Cox was week in to week out consistent. Leggett was top heavy in a few weeks, then silent in a few others.

Runner up: Maurice Leggett – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Honorable Mentions: Kenny Ladler – Edmonton Eskimos, Joe Burnett – Calgary Stampeders

BOUNDARY CORNERBACK:

WINNER: TOMMIE CAMPBELL – Calgary Stampeders

While the Stamps didn’t necessarily clean up in offensive awards, they’ve turned heads on the other side of the ball. TC was making noise on the first day of training camp, and he continued it throughout the 2016 season. He almost eliminated that entire part of the field due to not only his coverage, but his appetite for the football. 18 games played, 71 tackles and 3 interceptions. Congrats, Tommie!

Runner up: Patrick Watkins – Edmonton Eskimos

Honorable Mentions: Jonathan Rose – Ottawa REDBLACKS, AJ Jefferson – Toronto Argonauts

BOUNDARY HALFBACK:

WINNER: JOVON JOHNSON – Montreal Alouettes

Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans may laugh at this, as his days towards the end of his blue and gold career were less than perfect. Guess what? THOSE DAYS ARE LONG GONE. Jovon week in and week out, baited opposing QB’s into his area then BANG flew in and either picked the ball, or made a big play. What set him apart from the pack? 6 QB sacks on the season (more than Justin Hickman, Ricky Foley, Drake Nevis, AC Leonard…..) you get the picture. That’s what also distanced him from TJ Heath at this spot. That, and Heath played a number of different positions in 2016, while JJ was weak side DB for 18 games. Jovon had a stellar season, and our friend of the show we salute you!

Runner up:  TJ Heath – Winnipeg Blue Bombers/Toronto Argonauts

Honorable Mentions: Ed Gainey – Saskatchewan Rough Riders, Dom Ellis – Hamilton Tiger Cats

STRONG SIDE HALFBACK:

WINNER: EMANUEL DAVIS – Hamilton Tiger Cats

He often has his name spelled wrong, and QB’s often make the mistake of not putting vigor on a ball when attacking his side of the field. If you don’t, its likely going the other way for 6 (I dare you to watch the story CFL on TSN did about his life and not be completely moved by it). There’s only one term that usually describes him: Ball Hawk. Well after another solid fantasy season in 2016 with 55 tackles, 5 INT (one for a TD), 1 forced fumble and 3 fumble recoveries? You can now call him CFL Fantasy All Star.

Runner up: Kevin Fogg – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Honorable Mentions: Jamar Wall – Calgary Stampeders, Justin Cox – Saskatchewan Rough Riders

STRONG SIDE CORNERBACK:

WINNER: JONATHON MINCY – Montreal Alouettes

If you remember early in training camp, former GM Jim Popp turned a number of educated CFL fans’ heads by releasing Dom Ellis and field corner Mitchell White. “White Noise” as we dubbed him, was later signed by Ottawa and put together a nice looking season. But it was the play of Mincy, and something the Als brass saw in him that allowed them to make the move. Well Jon, you made your mark with a 2016 CFL Fantasy All Star season! 54 tackles, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles at a position that may not see a ball for 10 consecutive minutes in a game. Literally.

Runner up: Ciante Evans – Calgary Stampeders

Honorable Mentions: Brandon Stewart – BC Lions, Mitchell White – Ottawa REDBLACKS

SAFETY:

WINNER: TAYLOR LOFFLER – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

This should come as zero surprise to anyone, really. When four or five Winnipeg defenders went down with injury in a period of a week, the former Vanier Cup winning Safety with UBC Taylor Loffler made his mark, and in a big way. Not only did he attack the football, but he attacked your routine as a QB/Receiver/RB. You always had your head up, wondering where 16 was flying at you from (The stats say 17 games played, but it was 2/3 of that as a starter) 58 tackles, 1 sack, 4 INT and 4 forced fumbles. It was a Canadian sweep at this position!

Runner up: Courtney Stephen – Hamilton Tiger Cats

Honorable Mentions: Neil King – Edmonton Eskimos, Matt Black – Toronto Argonauts

__________________________________________________

There you have it, the 2016 CFL Fantasy All Stars on Defense. As we mentioned, the full break down is available right here:

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Questions or comments? Follow me on Twitter @davedawson7 or @CFLFantasyFTB

Send me an email at onsidepodcast@gmail.com

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