Week 1 of the XFL season is finally here, and there’s a sense of stability with this league as opposed to last year’s AAF. With the funding of WWE’s Vince McMahon, it appears we’ll get a full season out of this league and will be able to enjoy three months of spring football — and three more months of daily fantasy football with FanDuel and DraftKings XFL DFS contests.

Given the size of the league (eight teams) there will be just four games each week. This seems to cater more toward GPPs rather than cash games, but we’ll still offer up a cash game lineup every week for Fantasy Alarm subscribers. It’s hard to tell what we’re getting in Week 1, as most of these guys are pure mysteries to a lot of folks. Here’s a breakdown of the best DFS plays for the first week of XFL action in nearly two decades.

MORE: Free one-week trial of Fantasy Alarm’s PRO tools

Editor’s Note: This is a FREE preview of Week 1’s Fantasy Alarm’s XFL DFS Playbook. For full analysis and example lineups, check out Fantasy Alarm’s great season-long and DFS tools available to subscribers.

Week 1 XFL DFS Picks: Quarterback

Josh Johnson, Los Angeles Wildcats @ Houston Roughnecks (DraftKings: $10,700; FanDuel: $21). Unfortunately, Johnson (thigh) hasn’t practiced much this week, and he’s listed as “questionable” for Saturday’s game against Houston. Johnson’s last appearances in the NFL weren’t great, but he did showcase his running ability. He turns 34 in May and might not be as good of a runner as he once was. Wildcats offensive coordinator Norm Chow has worked with mobile quarterbacks in the past, such as Steve McNair and Vince Young, but Johnson has bounced around the NFL enough to where he could be a pretty productive quarterback in the XFL. He has some decent weapons in the receiving game, but if he’s healthy I’d expect him to run more and put the team on his back.

Cardale Jones, D.C. Defenders vs. Seattle Dragons (DraftKings: $10,200; FanDuel: $20). Given the injuries to a couple other quarterbacks at the moment, Jones might be the best/safest quarterback option on the slate. Jones has an abundance of talent at his disposal (Jhurell Pressley, Donnel Pumphrey, Rashad Ross, Eli Rogers, Malachi Dupre) so this could be one of the more explosive offenses in the league. Head coach Pep Hamilton has experience working with talented quarterbacks, such as Andrew Luck, and the Defenders have a favorable matchup against the Dragons, who project to be one of the weaker teams in the league. He’s going to be chalky, but even with no games played yet, he looks to have a pretty safe floor.

Landry Jones, Dallas Renegades vs. St. Louis Battlehawks (DraftKings: $9,200; FanDuel: $20). Jones is currently “questionable” for Sunday’s game against St. Louis after receiving a four-to-six-week time frame to return from a knee injury. Bob Stoops has said that he’ll likely be ready for Week 2, but his status for Week 1 is up in the air. Jones and Stoops go back to Oklahoma together, so there’s familiarity in this relationship. If Jones is a full go, then he’s an appealing price down as the fifth-most expensive quarterback on the slate. The downside is he’s in the last game of the weekend, so if he turns out to be a game-time decision then pivot to Philip Nelson at $8,300. Nelson is capable of running the offense. He did well enough in last year’s AAF with San Diego before being put on the shelf with an injury. I’m a bit concerned about game flow, as the Renegades are massive favorites to win the XFL Championship while the Battlehawks are kind of in the middle-of-the-pack. So, if Dallas gets out to a sizable lead they may not be as aggressive. However, it’s Week 1, and I’ll try not to rely on game flow too much.

Aaron Murray, Tampa Bay Vipers @ New York Guardians (DraftKings: $9,000; FanDuel: $18). The price tag for Murray is a little surprising. Given that the Vipers are projected to have a pretty loaded offense with a pass-happy head coach like Marc Trestman. Murray looked pretty competent last season in the AAF once he relieved Matt Simms, so there’s plenty of passing upside for Murray. The Vipers have some really solid weapons even with Antonio Callaway landing on injured reserve. I’m hoping that Johnson and Jones can find their way on to the field so that may open up ownership on Murray. Regardless, Murray’s a fantastic GPP play with potential for cash games, as well.

Jordan Ta’amu, St. Louis Battlehawks vs. Dallas Renegades (DraftKings: $8,700; FanDuel: $17). Ta’amu has some upside after beating out Taylor Heinicke for the starting job in St. Louis. Ta’amu has a solid college resume under his belt throwing to the likes of D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, and Dawson Knox. He also had some success running the ball, which makes him a very intriguing GPP play. I briefly mentioned game flow in the Landry Jones section, and I think this may benefit Ta’amu and the Battlehawks later in the game, so I’ll definitely be plugging Ta’amu in some GPP lineups and I’ll have one or two St. Louis stacks.

Phillip Walker, Houston Roughnecks vs. Los Angeles Wildcats (DraftKings: $8,300; FanDuel: $18). Full disclosure, I wasn’t going to include the Houston QB if Connor Cook won the job. However, Walker presents a pretty affordable option, and under June Jones, the Roughnecks should be throwing quite a bit. Walker also makes for a really good GPP play if playing FanDuel’s Saturday slate of games. I don’t know how crazy I’d go with Houston stacks. You can either play Walker naked or pair him with Sammie Coates.

MORE:  Free one-week trial of Fantasy Alarm’s PRO tools

Week 1 XFL DFS Picks: Running back

Jhurell Pressley, DC Defenders vs. Seattle Dragons (DraftKings: $7,900; FanDuel: $18). Pressley’s listed atop the running back depth chart for the Defenders and should see a healthy amount of touches. On paper, it’s a really good matchup, as the Dragons don’t project to be very good. This is also supposed to be one of the better offenses in the league, so it makes sense to get some exposure to Pressley. He led the AAF in rushing through eight games before the league was shut down, and he could get off to a hot start this weekend.

Elijah Hood, Los Angeles Wildcats @ Houston Roughnecks (DraftKings: $7,500; FanDuel: $20). He comes with a heavy price tag, but with good reason. The offense should be pretty good, and he’s in line to get the starting touches. Dujuan Harris is listed as his backup, but he’s more of a third-down/change-of-pace running back. Hood is bigger and can physically handle a heavier workload over Harris, who is just 5-7. Hood’s a pretty good play in both cash and GPP contests.

Cameron Artis-Payne, Dallas Renegades vs. St. Louis Battlehawks (DraftKings: $6,800; FanDuel: $19). This is a slightly surprising price tag for a guy who could lead all running backs in scoring this weekend. He has the NFL experience, and for whatever reason, Lance Dunbar was left off the Renegades’ depth chart. Only Artis-Payne and Marquis Young are listed as the running backs for Dallas, and Dallas hasn’t really listed any details on their injury report. I’ll have plenty of exposure to CAP since he looks to be in line for a big workload, and $6,800 on DK is not an awful price at all.

Nick Holley, Houston Roughnecks vs. Los Angeles Wildcats (HOU; DraftKings: $5,800; FanDuel: $8). I prefer the price on FanDuel over DraftKings, however, the format is better-suited for Holly over on DK. Holley is eligible at running back for both sites although Houston’s depth charts list him as a wide receiver, and a first-team wideout at that. It is a little surprising he’s the eighth-most expensive RB on DK’s slate so that is a bit of a turn off, but it’s quite likely Houston will be throwing it quite a bit if they fall behind to Los Angeles. The downside is there are a lot of mouths to feed in Houston’s offense where they run four-wide receiver sets, but he could get a lot of targets out of the slot.

Andre Williams, Houston Roughnecks vs. Los Angeles Wildcats (DraftKings: $3,800; FanDuel: $19). Williams’ price is way too good to ignore. He’s a former Heisman trophy finalist and is listed as the starter on Houston’s depth charts. The downside is that he could run into some problems with the Wildcats defensive line. They’re massive (scroll down to the D/ST section to find out how big they are). So, it could be a rough matchup if the Wildcats offensive line can’t create any holes. If Houston falls behind, the game flow may not benefit Williams, but it’s awfully hard to pass on a guy that could excel in this league at such a budget-friendly price.

Darius Victor, New York Guardians vs. Tampa Bay Vipers (DraftKings: $3,700; FanDuel: $13). This past Wednesday it was reported that Victor and Tim Cook split carries during practice, despite the fact Cook is listed as the starting running back. So, we’re taking that with a grain of salt and will get some exposure to Victor as an upside play if the carries truly are split. If they share the work then I’m not sure Cook provides any value at an elevated price tag. I’m not completely fading Cook, as he’ll crack a few lineups, but I do like the value we could get here with Victor and I’ll have a little more exposure to him.

Ja’Quan Gardner, Seattle Dragons @ D.C. Defenders (SEA; DraftKings: $3,600; FanDuel: $9). Gardner gets some recognition because he is listed atop the Dragons depth chart. Keep in mind, this backfield could be a two-headed or three-headed dragon, but Gardner did average 4.9 yards per carry last year in the AAF before getting hurt. It’s a tough matchup against my favorite defense on the slate, but if you need a cheap FLEX, he is tabbed to get reps, albeit for one of the worst teams in the league.

Others to watch: Donnel Pumphrey, Quinton Flowers, Tim Cook, De’Angelo Henderson, Marquis Young

Editor’s Note: This is a FREE preview of Week 1’s Fantasy Alarm’s XFL DFS Playbook. For full analysis and example lineups, check out Fantasy Alarm’s great season-long and DFS tools available to subscribers.

Week 1 XFL DFS Picks: Wide receiver

Rashad Ross, D.C. Defenders vs. Seattle Dragons (DraftKings: $10,400; FanDuel: $15). I’d feel like an idiot if I didn’t roster the most expensive RB/WR on the slate. Ross was traded back in January from the Wildcats to the Defenders and now looks like a focal point for a stacked Defenders offense. Prior to the AAF being shut down, Ross led the league with seven touchdowns and 36 receptions for 583 yards. He’ll be a big-play threat in Washington, and it would be surprising if Ross didn’t get a healthy amount of targets since Washington made the effort to acquire him a month ago. He’s a fantastic play on FanDuel where he won’t be as costly on your budget as he is on DraftKings. I will have a little exposure to Eli Rogers, as well. His absence from this list doesn’t mean that he’s a fade because I’m building about four or five different D.C. stacks and he’ll be in a couple.

Mekale McKay, New York Guardians vs. Tampa Bay Vipers (DraftKings: $9,900; FanDuel: $17). We haven’t touched on too many Guardians yet, but McKay is probably the second-best wideout in the league. I’m not completely sold on Matt McGloin, but McKay does boast a big frame at 6-4, so the size and length are in his favor. Aside from Colby Pearson and E.J. Bibbs, it just feels like McKay should get most of the targets in New York. Teo Redding and Tanner Gentry might also get some targets, but I feel like game flow could be in McKay’s favor if Aaron Murray can get Tampa out to a big lead.

Sammie Coates, Houston Roughnecks vs. Los Angeles Wildcats (DraftKings: $9,300; FanDuel: $20). Coates will cost a pretty penny, but he seems to be a ball hawk in the Roughnecks offense. As mentioned earlier, the Roughnecks should throw the ball quite a bit, and Coates stands to get a large amount of the targets. He’s fast and could possibly lead the league in yards per catch this year. The Roughnecks don’t even appear to have a tight end on their roster, and while there are complementary pass-catching options in this offense, Coates should be a focal point. The more I look at Coates’ situation, the more he’s becoming my favorite pass-catcher this weekend.

Jeff Badet, Dallas Renegades vs. St. Louis Battlehawks (DraftKings: $8,800; FanDuel: $19). Yes, there is still some trepidation with Dallas’ quarterback situation. Landry Jones has gotten in some work in a knee brace, but even if Nelson is the starting QB you should feel good about Badet. The latest depth chart floating around on social media does not have Jazz Ferguson working with the starter,s as he’s been dealing with a hand injury. If that’s the case, Badet seems like an even safer bet for a solid game. Badet has some familiarity with head coach Bob Stoops. He played at Kentucky under Stoops’ brother and even transferred to Oklahoma but never actually played for Bob Stoops until now.

Nelson Spruce, Los Angeles Wildcats @ Houston Roughnecks (DraftKings: $8,500; FanDuel: $14). The price tag on FanDuel is actually very tempting. Even on DraftKings the price is reasonable for the WR1 in an offense that should be airing it out a lot. Spruce proved to be a pretty reliable pass-catching option in last year’s AAF. Despite the shortened season, he ranked in the top five in targets, catches, and receiving yards, and with Rashad Ross now with the Defenders, it looks like he’ll be the primary pass-catching option for the Wildcats, just ahead of Brandon Barnes.

Keenan Reynolds, Seattle Dragons @ D.C. Defenders (DraftKings: $8,100; FanDuel: $13). For the record, I’m not incredibly high on Reynolds — or Seattle for that matter. However, Kasen Williams is inactive for Saturday, so this should present more targets for Reynolds. But again, I’m not sold on Seattle’s quarterback play and this is a tough matchup on paper against the Defenders’ secondary. Reynolds is worth mentioning as a decently priced option on a team that could be throwing a lot this weekend.

Colby Pearson, New York Guardians vs. Tampa Bay Vipers (DraftKings: $5,300; $13). Pearson isn’t a terrible GPP play considering it’s a mystery who will get targets following McKay as the WR1 in New York. Recent reports on Wednesday indicate that Pearson was getting first-team reps on offense, so that perks our ears up for DFS. As mentioned previously the door is still open for other wideouts like Redding, Gentry, and even Bibbs to get some targets, but with Pearson getting the first-team reps, we’ll invest a little more in him than his teammates.

Flynn Nagel (DraftKings: $3,900; FanDuel: $17) and Freddie Martino (DraftKings: $3,000; FanDuel: $14), Dallas Renegades vs. St. Louis Battlehawks. Based on that same depth chart listed in Jeff Badet’s write-up, Nagel and Martino are listed as starters on offense. Martino is recognizable from his time in the NFL, and he’s just 28. At $3,000 he offers a lot of upside if he can get enough targets. Nagel put up some solid numbers at Northwestern and could prove to be a reliable pass-catcher. Both are suitable for Dallas stacks.

Adonis Jennings (DraftKings: $3,300; FanDuel: $16) and Jordan Smallwood (LA; DraftKings: $3,000; FanDuel: $19), Los Angeles Wildcats @ Houston Roughnecks. As of this writing, it doesn’t look as if Tre McBride will suit up for Week 1. Now, anything could change and we’ll keep you posted with Friday’s injury report. However, as of right now, McBride isn’t practicing and that’s a bummer since he was the piece they received for Rashad Ross. Los Angeles is currently listing Jennings and Smallwood as starters in addition to Nelson Spruce. I wouldn’t go crazy with the exposure here, but it’s nice to squeeze in some starters at such a cheap price. I prefer Jennings over Smallwood a little bit if you’re having trouble deciding between one or the other.

Malachi Dupre, D.C. Defenders vs. Seattle Dragons (DraftKings: $3,000; FanDuel: $18). This section was initially dedicated to DeAndre Thompkins (foot), but he was declared out for Saturday’s game. To be honest, that also helps Rashad Ross since Thompkins was listed ahead of Ross on the depth chart, but Dupre is listed as a first-teamer, as well, and he’s dirt cheap on DraftKings. It won’t take much for him to return value. But this can’t be stressed enough: There are plenty of playmakers on DC between the running backs and wide receivers. But with Thompkins out, Dupre’s a great play in your DC stacks at the bare minimum on DK.

Others to watch: Seantavius Jones, Keith Mumphery, Jazz Ferguson, L’Damian Washington, Reece Horn.

MORE:  Free one-week trial of Fantasy Alarm’s PRO tools

Week 1 XFL DFS Picks: Tight end

This is kind of a tough section to gauge. For starters, DraftKings doesn’t offer a TE slot and FanDuel offers two WR/TE spots in their contests, and both sites employ two FLEX spots. And in the case of the Houston Roughnecks, they didn’t even break camp with a tight end on their roster. So, while you don’t need to roster a tight end for XFL DFS, there are a couple guys you should consider.

Nick Truesdell, Tampa Bay Vipers @ New York Guardians (DraftKings: $6,900; FanDuel: $14). Truesdell is easily one of the two best tight ends in the XFL. A lot of pundits think he’s the best tight end in the league. He boasts a big catch radius and his 6-5, 249-pound frame makes him difficult to tackle. His 24 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns doesn’t jump off the page, but he had an 89-percent catch rate in the AAF last season. He should be a chalky option and a lock in Tampa stacks with Aaron Murray. He’s the 10th-most expensive WR (yes, he’s listed as a receiver) option on DraftKings, and Murray would be wise to look his way once Tampa gets into the red zone.

Brandon Barnes, Los Angeles Wildcats @ Houston Roughnecks (DraftKings: $6,400; FanDuel: $13). Barnes was the only tight end to break camp with Los Angeles, so there’s the possibility that he’ll be in on most plays. He has experience in run blocking, and he’s not a terrible target in the passing game. He boasts a big frame like Truesdell and could be L.A.’s No. 2 option behind Nelson Spruce.

Sean Price (DraftKings: $3,800; FanDuel: $12) and Donald Parham (DraftKings: $2,600; FanDuel: $11), Dallas Renegades vs. St. Louis Battlehawks. Dallas is going to have a pretty exciting offense to watch. Price is probably the better player overall than Parham, as he was a team captain in college (USF) and Dallas actually has him listed as a tight end/halfback since he’ll be in for run blocking, as well. But do not sleep on Parham either. He’s listed at 6-8 with a seven-foot wingspan, and he’s dirt cheap at $2,600 on DraftKings. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, which for a guy his size is pretty damn good. He probably won’t get anything close to the snap counts that Price gets, but he’s a huge red-zone target for Landry Jones or whoever is under center for Dallas in Week 1.

Khari Lee, D.C. Defenders vs. Seattle Dragons (DraftKings: $3,300; FanDuel: $11). With the Defenders waiving Adrien Robinson, it presents some opportunities for Lee as the premiere tight end in this offense. However, he still has a few other weapons to contend with. Even at his price, he’s a solid candidate for red-zone work. Derrick Hayward is in play a little bit if you’re looking for a cheaper D.C. target, but if playing him you’re really just hoping he can catch a touchdown.

Evan Rodriguez, Seattle Dragons @ D.C. Defenders (DraftKings: $3,100; FanDuel: $8). Rodriguez is an interesting value option. He doesn’t have the size that Truesdell or Barnes boast, but he caught three touchdowns last year with the AAF. The downside to Rodriguez is that there are other pass-catching options in Seattle’s offense. But if the secondary of D.C. shuts down the L.A. pass-catchers then it might create some short-yardage opportunities for Rodriguez across the middle, and he should get looks in the red zone, as well. Update: Colin Jeter is listed atop the depth chart and he’s actually cheaper than Rodriguez, so I’m probably going to be lighter on Rodriguez at this point. But I’ll sprinkle both these guys into my lineups to get a little exposure. I’m still not crazy about the matchup.

Editor’s Note: This is a FREE preview of Week 1’s Fantasy Alarm’s XFL DFS Playbook. For full analysis and example lineups, check out Fantasy Alarm’s great season-long and DFS tools available to subscribers.

Week 1 XFL DFS Picks: Defense

You can only use the D/STs on DraftKings and there are two I’m really keying in on (and they won’t be too surprising), but I’ll offer a third as a mid-range option. Remember, the XFL wants to see increased scoring, especially with their innovative point after attempts, so, I’m not going to recommend too many gambles for Week 1.

Dallas Renegades vs. St. Louis Battlehawks (DraftKings: $4,700). Dallas takes on St. Louis in Week 1, and while I’ll have some exposure to the Battlehawks on the offensive side of the ball, the Renegades defense has a pretty decent matchup, as well, if they can contain Jordan Ta’amu. The Renegades are big favorites with a decent defensive front looking to shut down what could be a run-heavy offense in St. Louis. They are the most expensive option on the slate, so if you need salary relief do not hesitate to pivot off of them.

D.C. Defenders vs. Seattle Dragons (DraftKings: $4,200). This will likely be the defense I’m heaviest on this weekend. The Defenders could arguably be the best team in the league, and they’re going up against possibly the worst team in the league. The Dragons have some decent pieces on offense, but the Defenders may have the best secondary in the XFL with Matt Elam, Shamarko Thomas, and Rahim Moore. At a $500 discount from Dallas, the Defenders will be pretty popular facing a Dragons team traveling across the country for this game.

Los Angeles Wildcats @ Houston Roughnecks (DraftKings: $3,500). If looking for a little salary relief, I wouldn’t venture any lower than Los Angeles. The Wildcats certainly have plenty of size on the defensive line. Former Baylor star Shawn Oakman stands at 6-9 and 280 pounds. Montori Hughes is 6-4 and 350 pounds, and Devin Taylor stands just an inch shorter than Oakman at 6-8 and 267 pounds. They will definitely not be pushed around by offensive lines. Houston may have a decent run game with De’Angelo Henderson and Andre Williams, but there are still question marks regarding the passing game. Los Angeles could come away with a healthy amount of sacks on Sunday.



[ad_2]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here