At FantasyLabs, Bargain Rating is a metric we use to compare the relative costs of players on DraftKings and FanDuel using percentile rankings. It features prominently in our large suite of analytical DFS Tools, most specifically our industry-leading FantasyLabs Models.
This week, I will be applying Bargain Rating concepts to the Week 1 XFL slate in order to identify the top values.
Be sure to check out the XFL rules you need to know for DFS as well as our Week 1 XFL fantasy projections, which are free and will be updated based on injury reports and depth chart news as we head into the weekend.
You can bet on the XFL at FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Top DraftKings Bargain: Phillip “PJ” Walker (DraftKings: $7800, 11th percentile. FanDuel: $18, 44th percentile.)
Excluding Josh Johnson (thigh) and Landry Jones (knee), who both look iffy to play at the time of this writing, Walker has the highest DraftKings Bargain Rating of the remaining six projected starting quarterbacks. This makes some sense, as Walker was not named the Week 1 starter for the Roughnecks until after DraftKings released its pricing. After beating out ex-Oakland Raider Connor Cook for the starting job, Walker presents major upside in a June Jones offense that is expected to be one of the top scoring units in the league. Additionally, Walker will likely factor into the Roughnecks’ ground game after rushing for 771 yards during his four years at Temple.
Top FanDuel Bargain: Aaron Murray (DraftKings: $9000, 56th percentile. FanDuel: $18, 44th percentile.)
Working under “quarterback whisperer” Marc Trestman, Murray will lead a Vipers offense expected to lean on the pass this season. Murray spent 2019 in the AAF playing for the Legends, finishing with 1,048 passing yards and a dismal 3:7 touchdown to interception ratio while splitting time with Matt Simms.
Murray beat out QB/RB Quinton Flowers among others for the starting job this winter, although Flowers will still have a role in the offense according to Trestman: “Quinton’s going to play in each and every game in some capacity whether it be quarterback or another position.” Given Murray’s questionable performance last year and the threat of Flowers vulturing some of the workload, Murray is a risky play in Week 1, but that risk is more palatable on FanDuel, where he is meaningfully cheaper.
XFL Running Backs
Top DraftKings Bargain: Andre Williams (DraftKings: $3800, 50th percentile. FanDuel: $19, 94th percentile)
The ex-New York Giant is not known for his receiving chops after totaling only 19 receptions in his 41 games at the NFL level. Williams’ lack of receiving upside does make him less appealing in DraftKings’ full point-per-reception format, but the massive price discrepancy is tough to look past. The Roughnecks do not have a single tight end on their roster, and the team will likely deploy a pass-heavy attack, but Williams remains the favorite to lead the team in total rushing attempts and goal-line opportunities.
Top FanDuel Bargain: Christine Michael (DraftKings: $8400, 100th percentile. FanDuel: $18, 88th percentile)
The most expensive running back on DraftKings by a healthy $500 margin, Michael is tied with Jhurell Pressley as the fourth-most expensive running back on FanDuel. You generally don’t want to make a habit of paying top dollar for running backs whose teams are double-digit underdogs — the BattleHawks are 10-point underdogs to the Renegades on FanDuel Sportsbook at the time of this writing — but Saint Louis could catch a break if Landry Jones (knee) is unable to go for Dallas.
While Michael’s 99th percentile SPARQ-x score as a prospect never translated into sustained production at the NFL level, he’ll have a chance to be a men among boys in the XFL if the BattleHawks — currently listed with the second-longest XFL championship odds on FanDuel Sportsbook — are able to stay competitive in 2020.
XFL Wide Receivers
Top DraftKings Bargain: Jordan Smallwood (DraftKings: $3000, 0th percentile. FanDuel: $19, 98th percentile)
If you’re going to play Smallwood in DFS this weekend, please, for the love of Vincent K. McMahon, make sure you play him on DraftKings, where he is priced at the stone minimum for wide receivers. On FanDuel, Smallwood has the second-highest mark at the position with his $19 salary, trailing only Sammie Coates.
With Tre McBride (thigh) uncertain to play in Week 1 after missing Wednesday’s practice, Smallwood is listed as a starter on the Wildcats’ depth chart. Even if starting QB Josh Johnson (thigh) is unable to play, Smallwood’s minimum salary will make him a viable option on DraftKings as long as McBride is also inactive.
Top FanDuel Bargain: Keenan Reynolds (DraftKings: $8100, 94th percentile. FanDuel: $13, 74th percentile)
Described by HC Jim Zorn as the team’s “secret weapon,” Reynolds is Seattle’s X-factor and an intriguing mid-range play on FanDuel. Listed as a starter at wide receiver on the Dragons’ official depth chart, Reynolds is also a passing and rushing threat, as evidenced by his performance at Navy, where he set the NCAA Division I record for rushing touchdowns as the team’s quarterback. Reynolds has big play upside at an affordable price tag on FanDuel and makes for a great one-off play due to his gadget potential.
Pictured: Aaron Murray
Credit: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images