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Argos, Messam among CFL players to watch in Week 8

Scott Cullen
8/12/2014 11:43:28 AM
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Each week, we'll take a look at some top performers from the CFL, with an eye to looking ahead to some matchups that could be favourable for TSN Fantasy Football, CFL Edition, presented by Joseph Abboud.

Here are some of the best from Week Seven and players to watch for Week Eight:

TOP PERFORMERS

Bo Levi Mitchell, QB, Calgary (26-for-36, 289 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT vs. Ottawa) - Mitchell ranks fourth in the league in passing yards this season, but is tied for the lead with 11 touchdowns and has thrown only two interceptions, giving him the highest QB Rating among CFL starters. He took advantage against the expansion Redblacks in Week Seven, completing a season-high 72.2% of his passes in a 38-17 Stampeders rout.

Kendial Lawrence, RB, Edmonton (123 YDS, 1 TD, 13 touches at Montreal) - A smaller, speedy back out of Missouri, Lawrence is trying to break into the Eskimos' lineup and took advantage of the opportunity presented against the Alouettes when John White (who rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown on seven carries) suffered a finger injury. Lawrence was effective both on the ground and in the passing game, hauling in a 35-yard touchdown pass to get the Esks rolling early in the first quarter against Montreal.

Marquay McDaniel, WR, Calgary (9 REC, 117 YDS, 1 TD vs. Ottawa) - Someone has to benefit from Mitchell's passing productivity and it might as well be McDaniel, who had his first 100-yard receiving game since Week 14 last season. The veteran CFLer had a career-high 1047 yards and eight touchdowns last season, and he's not quite on pace for that yardage this year, but McDaniel is ninth in the league with 308 yards receiving, one yard ahead of teammate Jeff Fuller.

PLAYERS TO WATCH IN WEEK EIGHT

Since the Toronto Argonauts play twice in Week Eight, Tuesday against Winnipeg and Sunday against B.C., the logical choices to focus on for this week wear the Double Blue.

Ricky Ray, QB, Toronto - He's dealing with a depleted receiving corps, but Ray still ranks third in the league with 1687 passing yards and has the league's second-best QB Rating (96.0) behind Mitchell. Ray's productivity has dipped in the past couple games, at least in part because top receiver Chad Owens is out of the lineup, but two home games for Ray ought to provide more than enough production this week.

Maurice Mann, WR, Toronto - Injuries open up opportunities. That's standard football procedure, and it's given Mann -- who didn't play last season -- another chance. As much as his game had declined, putting up a total of 57 catches for 624 yards in 2011 and 2012, Mann has adjusted quickly to rejoining the Argonauts, catching 11 passes for 137 yards in two games.

Jerome Messam, RB, Saskatchewan - The latest in the line of ever-changing Roughriders runners, Messam rumbled for 126 yards on 19 carries at Winnipeg last week and should find an appealing matchup with the opportunity to face a Montreal team that has the league's worst run defence, allowing 115.8 yards per game on the ground. That Messam played for the Alouettes last season should only enhance his motivation for another big game.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.




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