This article is part of our DraftKings CFL DFS Picks series.
The CFL is set for its first full 20-week season since 2019, which means the DFS excitement begins Thursday night and runs clear into late November's Grey Cup title game. It should be another exciting campaign north of the border, with the Blue Bombers going for a three-peat and plenty of contenders, including the Roughriders, Tiger-Cats and Argonauts, aiming to upend those plans.
Without further ado, let's jump right into some of the best plays at each position for the opening week of CFL action:
DraftKings CFL Plays- Week 1
Vernon Adams, MTL at CGY ($9,900): Adams is a legitimate dual-threat quarterback that was fantastic with his first extended opportunity in 2019 and put together a solid 19.6 DK points per game last season in eight games. Adams was particularly good on the road, where he put up 23.7 DK points per contest in five outings. He also put up 23.9 DK points against the Stampeders in Week 2, and his ability to supplement his production on the ground should given him a strong chance of delivering on his salary.
Zach Collaros, WPG vs. OTT (9,600): Collaros leads the Blue Bombers into their second consecutive title-defense season with a highly favorable matchup out of the gate, as the Redblacks were one of the league's most generous defenses a season ago. While Ottawa was very active in free agency, there are inevitably going to be some growing pains as the new pieces acclimate and the Redblacks allowed a league-high 374.2 total yards per game, including 272.3 passing yards per contest at a league-high 72.9 percent completion rate.
Nick Arbuckle, EDM at BC ($8,500): Arbuckle will have a chance to prove he can be a full-time starter, and he'll get a potentially favorable matchup through the air in his first game of the season. The Lions allowed 270.9 passing yards per game last season while giving up a league-high 320 completions. Arbuckle showed some upside in four starts last season, scoring 18.3 to 25 DK points in three of those contests. That sample included 300-yard efforts against eventual playoff contenders Toronto and Saskatchewan, making Arbuckle an intriguing value play in a game during which he'll have some solid firepower to work with in Derel Walker, and newcomers Kenny Lawler, Caleb Holley and Emmanuel Arceneaux.
Ka'Deem Carey, MTL at CGY ($9,500): Carey was a legitimate dual threat over his first two CFL seasons, and he finished 2021 averaging a solid 15.1 DK points per game. He also posted 22.1 against the Alouettes in Week 3, and Montreal finished last season allowing 5.2 yards per carry and a CFL-high 14 rushing touchdowns. Carey had four 20-plus DK-point tallies last season as well, giving him the upside to justify his salary.
James Butler, BC vs. EDM ($8,400): Butler showed promise as both runner and receiver in his own right last season, and he averaged 13.8 DK points across his 11 games. The then CFL rookie averaged 4.9 yards per carry and added 39 receptions while also amassing 325 kickoff return yards. Butler finished the season with at least 21 DK points in each of his last three games, including a 21.6 tally versus the Elks in Week 16. Edmonton had trouble slowing down the run all season, yielding the second-most rush yards per game (118.0) at the second-highest yards per carry (5.6)
Brady Oliveira, WPG vs. OTT ($7,000): Oliveira should have solid volume at minimum, if not the clear-cut lead role, with Andrew Harris now in Toronto. Oliveira did generate three double-digit DK-point totals in nine games last season, including a 126-yard effort in the opener versus the Ti-Cats in Week 1 with Harris injured. Meanwhile, the Redblacks allowed a CFL-high 118.6 rushing yards per game last season, adding to Oliveira's appeal as a value play in a game that Winnipeg is heavily favored in.
ALSO CONSIDER: James Wilder, EDM at BC ($8,700)
Lucky Whitehead, BC vs. EDM ($10,300): Whitehead will be working with a relatively inexperienced quarterback in Nathan Rourke, but the speedster's explosiveness and the matchup against a questionable Elks defense puts him in play at his five-figure salary. Whitehead averaged 17.8 DK points per game last season and exceeded 20 DK points in half of his 12 games, including 25.2 against Edmonton in Week 16. The Elks also conceded an elevated 8.0 yards per attempt, 21 completions of 30 or more yards and the third-highest passer efficiency rating (94.1).
Bralon Addison, HAM at SSK ($9,000): Addison had an outstanding 2019 where he established himself as a true dual threat, compiling nearly 1,500 yards from scrimmage. Injuries limited the versatile speedster to only three games last season, yet Addison still offered a reminder of his upside an average of 14.5 DK points per contest. The high-upside pass catcher is now fully healthy according to head coach Orlondo Steinauer, and he'll have a chance to get matters off on the right foot against a Roughriders defense that allowed a CFL-high 273.6 passing yards per game while tying with the Argos for most completions of 30 yards or more allowed (24).
Greg Ellingson, WPG vs. OTT ($8,500): Ellingson will be making his Blue Bombers debut, and at his salary, he should have a good chance of offering a strong return as he helps Winnipeg make up for the free-agent departures of Darvin Adams and Kenny Lawler. The five-time 1,000-yard receiver gets a crack at his old Redblacks team right out of the gate, and as already detailed in Collaros' entry, Ottawa was one of the league's most generous defenses against the pass a year ago. Ellingson was partly responsible for their poor numbers as well, as he produced a 7-126-1 line that netted 27.6 DK points against the Redblacks back in Week 9.
Duke Williams, SSK vs. HAM ($6,700): Williams returned to Canada late last season after a couple of seasons in the NFL with the Bills and made a solid impact with the Roughriders, putting together a pair of 100-yard efforts in his last three games, including the West Division Final against the Bombers. The Auburn product showed off plenty of big-play prowess during his last full season north of the border in 2018 when he produced an 88-1,579-11 line for Edmonton, making him a very worthwhile value play to roll out to open the new season. The opposing Tiger-Cats are admittedly far from a defense to pick on for fantasy purposes, but they did give up the third-most completions (310) in the league in 2021.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers ($5,500) vs. Ottawa Redblacks: The Bombers are the most expensive defensive unit for good reason, as they averaged a CFL-high 12.7 DK points per game in 2021 and return the majority of their key players on that side of the ball. Jackson Jeffcoat's questionable status due to an ankle injury isn't ideal, but the Redblacks figure to need some time to gel after trying to almost completely make over their skill positions in one offseason. Jeremiah Masoli, Jaelon Acklin and Shaq Johnson will eventually improve the offense, but with William Powell already ruled out with an Achilles injury and the Bombers having allowed a league-low amount of points (13.4) and yards per game (281.3), Winnipeg is firmly in play in Week 1 on its home field.