Back for part 3!!! I know that 2016 seems like a decade ago, hell March 11th feels like a century ago at this point but that’s what brought all this on. It’s no surprise that Wide Receivers put up some gaudy totals in this league, it’s a pass heavy league afterall, but it also helps that a bunch of them are super versatile and can return kicks aswell to add to their totals. No repeats in this top 5, but there is a few omissions that didn’t quite crack the top 5. Maybe it’s just surprising because they’re household names now but Adarius Bowman, Derel Walker, Bryan Burnham, and DaVaris Daniels all failed to crack to top 5 in 2016. Bowman may be the biggest surprise as he lead the league with 1761 yards on 120 catches and added 9TDs (T-5th). Derel Walker was 2nd in the league with 1589yds in his first full year in the league. He only played 12 games in 2015 but still managed 1110yds so you could really call either season his coming out party. It definitely was Bryan Burnham’s coming out party. He had 1392 yards and added 3TDs, his first 1000 yard season in his first full season. This included a 9 catch, 208 yd game against the Bombers, but even that performance couldn’t crack the top 5. DaVaris Daniels had a career year in 2016, which also happened to be his rookie year. 885yds, 9TD on 51 catches in 11 games. He hasn’t played more than 13 games in a season which doesn’t help with his receiving totals and he hasn’t been able to return to those 2016 numbers
Full disclosure, before we get too far into this, in 2016, the CFL Fantasy game WAS NOT a PPR game (points per reception). Once that changed in the coming seasons, I made the changes to my stats sheet to incorporate the receptions for the sake of keeping fantasy scores up to date (career averages, averages vs opponent) to show the true numbers. With PPR being introduced, numbers obviously took a jump which altered the scores for a stat that was already part of the league, its not a made up stat…like saves. So although in 2016, receptions weren’t worth points, I added them in to count so we could get a true score and average for each player based on the model they now use.
#5 Clarence Denmark, WPG, Wk 8 @ Toronto, 38.5pts
On top of the #5 WR performance, the defence for Winnipeg showed up in a big way in this one. Kevin Fogg had 2INT and a FR, Mo Leggat had 2INT, one for a TD. Denmark would catch a 29yd TD pass from Matt Nichols midway through the 2nd quarter and added a 79yd strike early in the 4th quarter for his 2nd TD of the contest. All in all, he ended up with 195yds on 7 catches, which was the 3rd highest receiving game of the year in the CFL. He was targeted 10 times in this one, which was double the closest WPG receiver, while Andrew Harris ran for 123yds and a TD to seal the victory for the Bombers 34-17.
#4 Terrence Toliver, HAM, Wk 10 @ Calgary, 39.3pts
Not only did Toliver have an absolute monster of a game, Zach Collaros held is own too. 34/53 for 439yds, 3TD, not a bad outing at all. His favourite target of the day was actually Luke Tasker, not sure if you knew this but he is the son of Buffalo Bills great Steve Tasker, with 10 catches on 14 targets for 100yds. Toliver went 9/11 for 183yds and 2TDs. The first TD came late in the 1st quarter to give the Ti-Cats the lead before Calgary would respond on the next play with a DaVaris Daniels touchdown. His 2nd TD would come late in the 4th as Hamilton tried to climb back into the football game down 27-10 at the time. The Ti-Cats would get it back to 27-24 before a Paredes FG with 37 seconds left would seal the victory for the Stamps.
#3 Brandon Zylstra, TOR, Wk 20 Vs. Toronto, 39.6pts
I think the biggest surprise with Zylstra being 3rd on this list is the fact that Mike Reilly didn’t play a single down in this game. With the Esks having a playoff spot wrapped up, they elected to rest many of their starters and we got a glimpse of what Brandon Zylstra was capable of. 9/11 for 186yds and 2TDs would help power the Eskimos to a win over the Argos in a game that was basically over at halftime with the score 28-14. His first TD catch would come midway through the 1st quarter to tie the game at 7 and the esks wouldn’t look back after that. He would add another one late in the 2nd quarter to make it 28-7. The Esks would only allow 3pts in the 2nd half and win the game 41-17.
#2 Emmanuel Arceneaux, BC, Wk 20 Vs. Saskatchewan, 40.0pts
A week after ruing the the farewell game at old Mosaic, the BC lions made sure to announce their presence and secure a home playoff spot with a 41-18 win over the Riders in BC. It truly was “The Manny Show” in this one. 11 targets, 10 catches, 180yds, and added 2TDs. Midway through the 1st quarter, he would open the scoring with a 4yd TD catch from Jon Jennings and added his 2nd late in the quarter to extend the lions lead. After 3 quarters, the Lions would have a 33-4 lead and basically have the game put away. The Riders would outscore them 14-8 in the 4th but the damage was done and Manny had put up the 2nd best fantasy performance of the year.
#1 Chris Williams, OTT, Wk 3 Vs. Calgary, 41.3pts What if I told you that the 36th highest receiving yard game in the CFL in 2016 would produce the highest fantasy score of the season? Would you call me a liar? Foolish? Idiot? You could, but just know, you’d only be correct on 66.67% of those comments, but hey, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. Chris Williams was targeted 13 times, made 10 catches for 130yds and came away with 3TD, t-1st for a single game in the 2016. Keep in mind this is an Ottawa offense that had Greg Ellingson, Brad Sinopoli, and Ernest Jackson. Trevor Harris had some weapons at his disposal but on this particular day, Williams made the most of his opportunities. Both he and Ellingson had over 100yds but the TDs really put him over the top, that’s and extra 18pts. In literally the closest game of the year, Williams had a monster of a game and the RedBlacks still couldn’t pull out a victory, as he score their only 3 TDs of the game. The game ended 26-26, the only tie in the CFL that year, which don’t get me wrong, I hate, but maybe for arguments sake, Williams efforts didn’t go down in vain.