Welcome to the XFL! The purpose of this article is to point out the top plays at each position, a value play, and top stacks to use in your DFS contests. This article will also be focused on Draftkings because their slates include all games where Fanduel is only including 2 games on their slates. I would encourage you to focus your play on Draftkings on the hope that Fanduel takes notice and includes all 4 games in their slates next week. The information is limited at this point with the XFL, so if you uncover something that might not be widely owned, don’t be afraid to apply that to your lineups! Let’s get to it!
Worth Paying Up For:
- Cardale Jones (DC Defenders) $10.2K: Jones was a monster at Ohio State. Jones led the Buckeyes to a win in the 2014 National Championship. He’s a big guy at 6’5 250 and has the ability to run if needed. He’s coached by Pep Hamilton who was most recently with Andrew Luck and the Colts. During that time, the Colts were top 11 in passing. The Defenders are built for the passing game just by looking at their WRs and their trade for NFL Preseason/AAF darling Rashad Ross. Joining Ross, is DeAndre Thompkins (4.33 speed), Malachi Dupre (4.52 speed 6’2) and Eli Rodgers (former Steeler, slot monster). Both his RBs (Pressley and Pumphrey) are passing catching/multi-talented backs. Tyree Jackson is behind him at QB, so I expect him to be focused and determined to keep the job.
- Phillip Walker (Houston Roughnecks) $7.8K: Walker beat out Connor Cook (Michigan St, Raiders) and that is part of the depressed price. Cook being a former NFL draft pick and “Name” player, Draftkings assumed he would be the starter ($9.4K). June Jones is the Head Coach. He invented the Run and Shoot (Hawaii, SMU) offense and doesn’t even have a tight end on the roster! Walker is Temple’s all time leader is pass completions, attempts, passing yards, TD passes, total offense, and was the first Temple QB to lead his team to multiple bowl games. With a completion percentage of nearly 59% over the last two preseasons with the Colts, I have comfort in Walker’s ability to get his guys the ball. Sammie Coates (former 3rd round pick of the Steelers) who has an average of 18 yards per catch and is a great athlete. Expect him to be his main guy.
Keep An Eye On
- Josh Johnson (LA Wildcats) $10.7K: Could be the XFL’s version of Lamar Jackson. Has tons of NFL experience, and most recently played well for the Redskins in the final few games of the 2018 season. Has been a little banged up, so make sure he starts.
With the limited information we have on how the usage will be dispersed, I believe that it’s best to go in the mid range and lower at running back. Paying up for a running back in what we think will be a pass heavy league, could be a problem. It remains to be seen what will work for these teams, but paying up will be contrarian in my opinion.
IF Paying Up
- Christine Michael (St. Louis Battlehawks) $8.4K: Michael was a fan favorite if you’ve been following the NFL for the last 5 years or so. His athleticism is off the charts, but was never able to be consistent in the NFL. He has had some good games though. He will likely be popular, at least to causals, because of his name and how high he is on the RB list. Matt Jones is also on this roster, so he’s a risky play. St. Louis isn’t expected to be very good, and if he doesn’t get passing down work, he could bust.
- DeVeon Smith (Tampa Bay Vipers) $6.3K: the biggest thing here is Marc MF Trestman. Try to think back to the Bears and Matt Forte. Remember when Forte was the top fantasy runningback? Yeah, that was Marc Trestman’s offense. Smith is NOT Forte, but he will be used in a similar fashion. Trestman is a very good offensive coach, and has done well in multiple levels of football. Trestman has never been one to use a committee and I expect that to remain the same here in the XFL. At this price, Smith is a fantastic play.
- Cameron Artis-Payne (Dallas Renegades) $6.8K: If you are playing the XFL, there’s a high chance that you are a huge NFL fan. If that’s the case, you know CAP. CAP played a few seasons for the Panthers behind Johnathan Stewart. He’s had success when he was there and being on the leagues projected top team, he should have heavy usage. Stoops has had success with running backs, Adrian Peterson and Demarco Murray.
Keep An Eye On
- Elijah Hood (LA Wildcats) $7.4K: expensive, but can do multiple things in a pass heavy offense
- De’Angelo Henderson (Houston Roughnecks) $4.5K: cheap and had NFL experience. Has the D1 football record for touchdowns in consecutive games at 35 games.
Worth Paying Up For
- Sammie Coates (Houston Roughnecks) $9.3K: I wanted to write up Ross, but reports are that he is still learning the offense. So my top play is Sammie Coates. As mentioned with Phillip Walker, and the run and shoot offense, this will put Coates in position to succeed. The volume should be higher than other offenses, and with the combo of his size/speed/athleticism/experience, makes Coates my favorite target on the slate.
- Honorable Mention: Rashad Ross (DC Defenders) 10.4K: still learning the offense, but if he starts, I expect a full go.
- Jazz Ferguson (Dallas Renegades) $4.2K: I’m not sure why they priced him so low. He nearly made the Seahawks roster this season, and did make the practice squad. He’s 6’5 and has 4.45 speed. He has amazing hands and has potential to be the Calvin Johnson of the XFL. He will have a former NFL Qb (and former QB under Stoops at OU) in Landry Jones, so this gives me confidence that he’ll get the ball. He injured his hand in practice to make sure he’s active.
- Honorable Mention: Teo Redding (NY Guardians) $3.2K: Redding is dirt cheap and has a John Gruden Favorite Matt McGloin throwing him the ball. He had success at Bowling Green and has really good athleticism. I’m not really high on NY overall, but at $3.2K, you don’t need a lot.