What is the Game Rule Ratio and why are CFL rosters and depth chart so important and so much up to date and accurate than NFL depth charts? Why are they released 24-hours before game time?

CFL teams have a rule called the Game Rule Ratio and it requires each team to have at least 21 Nationals (Canadian citizen – classified in a few ways but let’s just say citizen) players on the active roster for each game and start 7 Nationals.  The QB position is exempt and you can have 2 reserve players (either Canadian or International).  Therefore, minimum 21 Canadians, maximum 20 International players, 3 QB, and 2 Reserves.

Roster Breakdown
Nationals Internationals Quarterbacks Reserve Total
Min. 21 Max. 20 3 2 46

24 starters on a team, a minimum of seven starters will be Nationals players. When applied to a starting roster of a team it breaks down as follows:

  • 1 QB
  • 16 international players
  • 7 starting national players

Therefore, the depth charts are very important and a great way to get sneaky CFL fantasy and DFS players.  Changes are made due to injuries and other reasons.  There are not many Canadian RB, so much of the Nationals part of the Game Rule Ratio is made up of lineman.  The CFL also has a practice squad and an 1 game injury list and a 6 game injury list.

How do you read CFL Depth Charts?

  • The top is defense, or as you can in Canada, defence.  The bottom is offence.
  • * Means international player, meaning not Canadian.  See Game Rule Ratio above as to why this matters.
  • This is a depth chart so the top player on each position is the starter, second is backup, third is third string.
  • QB = Quarterback.  Pretty obvious if you know fantasy football but in the CFL many teams will swap out starting QB in goal line and short situations.  Three QB can be carried so these backups often are used to get the first down in short situations and will vulture away starting rushing touchdowns.
  • FB = Fullback.  Not always used in every play in the CFL as they can be swapped out for another WR.  Often the fullback in the CFL is very similar to the fullback in the NFL and used mostly for blocking.  Typically ignored in fantasy football.
  • R = Not all depth charts have these but as mentioned before, you can have 2 Reserves.  R stands for Reserve, not Returner.
  • RB = As in American Football, RB is the running back but they will not be used the same way as the NFL as only 3 downs are used, instead of 4.  RB can be used for short passes and the passing game but can be often used to pickup the defence rush.
  • WR = Wide Receiver.  They can go in motion.  Actually, in many cases it is a running start and timed to go across the line at the time of the snap.  New rules put in place, benefit the offence and the WR.  This allows the defensive player to contact a receiver that is in front of him within five yards of the line of scrimmage, but it will not allow either player to create or initiate contact that impedes or redirects an opponent beyond five yards.
  • SB = Slot Backs. Really these are more receivers than they are backs.  Compared to the wide receiver, you can consider this position as the inside receiver.  They can go in full motion and often run straight towards the line, timed to the snap of the ball.  These motion has been coined as Waggle.
  • K/P = K is the kicker for kickoff and P is the Punter for punts.  Not really a factor in Daily Fantasy Sports, unless you include a Rouge, which can be a missed field goal.
  • PR = Punt Returner.  Useful for CFL daily fantasy because of DraftKings inclusion of fantasy points for kick return yards.  +0.05PT per yard is awarded on DraftKings daily fantasy for the CFL.
  • KR = Kick Returner.  Same as kick returns.  DraftKings awards +0.05PT per yard on punt returns.  Look to find returners that are also included in the offense at WR or SB.
  • LS = Not a consideration in fantasy football but it stands for long snapper.  Usually, the special teams are in the bottom left area.

CFL Depth Charts for Week 20 2017

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Depth Chart (Week 20 at Montreal Alouettes)


Montreal Alouettes Depth Chart (Week 20 at Hamilton Tiger-Cats)


Winnipeg Blue Bombers Depth Chart(Week 20 at Calgary Stampeders)

Calgary Stampeders Depth Chart (Week 20 at Winnipeg Blue Bombers)


Toronto Argonauts Depth Chart (Week 20 at  BC Lions)


BC Lions Depth Chart (Week 20 at Toronto Argonauts)


Edmonton Eskimos Depth Chart (Week 20 at Saskatchewan Roughriders)


Saskatchewan Roughriders Depth Chart (Week 20 at Edmonton Eskimos)


The depth charts will be out the day before the game.