Week 1 of the XFL was fantastic, and we have another great slate on the board this week.
Check out our Week 2 XFL fantasy projections, which are free and will be updated based on injury reports and depth chart news as we head into the weekend.
Here are the four games this weekend.
- New York Guardians @ DC Defenders: Sat., Feb. 15 – 2 pm ET (ABC)
- Tampa Bay Vipers @ Seattle Dragons: Sat., Feb. 15 – 5 pm ET (FOX)
- Dallas Renegades @ LA Wildcats: Sun., Feb. 16 – 3pm ET (ABC)
- St. Louis BattleHawks @ Houston Roughnecks: Sun., Feb. 16 – 6pm ET (FS1)
You can bet on the XFL at FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
P.J. Walker – Houston Roughnecks ($10,600 DK; $23 FD): The MVP frontrunner after Week 1, Walker led the position with 32.5 DraftKings points last week on the strength of 272 passing yards and four touchdowns and 26 yards rushing. Leading a pass-heavy offense, Walker doesn’t have a great matchup against the BattleHawks, who kept the Renegades in check last week, but Walker probably has the league’s best wide receiver unit, and in a base four-wide set, at least one of his receivers is likely to get open on most plays. And with his rushing ability, he has a high floor. He’s expensive, but he’s one of the safest options on the board.
Cardale Jones – DC Defenders ($10,200 DK; $21 FD): Jones did not disappoint in his XFL debut, passing for 235 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 28 yards. The Guardians surprised in Week 1 by holding the Vipers to just three points, that performance probably had less to do with the Guardians and more to do with the Vipers, who had a league-high 418 scrimmage yards but simply couldn’t convert yards into points. I don’t expect Jones to have that problem: He’s arguably the league’s most talented passer, and in Week 1, the Defenders easily had a league-high 9.0 yards per pass attempt.
Landry Jones – Dallas Renegades ($9,500 DK; $19 FD): Jones is expected to make his XFL debut this Sunday and has a great matchup against a Wildcats defense that just fired coordinator Pepper Johnson and released starting edge defender Anthony Johnson after giving up a league-high 37 points to the Roughnecks. The Renegades struggled last week, but that was with backup Philip Nelson, who refused to challenge the BattleHawks down the field. I expect Jones to utilize the full power of the Air Raid offense, and he offers significant savings relative to the slate’s highest-priced passers.
Jordan Ta’amu – St. Louis BattleHawks ($8,900 DK; $20 FD): Ta’amu exceeded expectations in Week 1 with a 20-of-27 passing performance for 209 yards and a touchdown, to which he added 77 yards rushing on nine carries. This week, he plays in a game with the slate’s highest over/under (49 points at FanDuel Sportsbook), so he could put up points, especially since the BattleHawks will likely need to throw in order to keep up with the high-scoring Roughnecks. He offers great value on DraftKings, where he’s priced as the No. 7 quarterback.
Check out our Week 2 XFL Bargain Ratings piece, which highlights the players who offer the most value on DraftKings and FanDuel.
XFL Running Backs
De’Veon Smith – Tampa Bay Vipers ($7,500 DK; $17 FD): Smith offers some value on FanDuel, where he’s priced as the No. 4 back despite being the highest-salaried player at the position on DraftKings. While the Vipers underwhelmed in Week 1, he managed to get 87 yards on 16 carries and a target, and with positive game script as a favorite in Week 2, Smith has the potential to get 20 touches against a Dragons defense that last week ranked No. 7 with a poor 29.9 tackling grade (per Pro Football Focus).
Kenneth Farrow – Seattle Dragons ($6,100 DK; $15 FD): Farrow is in an annoying timeshare with Ja’Quan Gardner and Trey Williams, but he led the backfield with 29 snaps, averaged 5.9 yards per carry and snagged all four of his targets in Week 1. The Dragons are making their debut in Seattle, where they’re expected to have the league’s best home-field advantage, and Farrow is likely to have an extremely low ownership rate because the Dragons are underdogs (+2.5 at FanDuel). If the Dragons are able to get out to a lead — it’s possible, as the Vipers scored just three points last week — Farrow could get a lot of action as a contrarian option in a run-heavy game script.
Lance Dunbar – Dallas Renegades ($4,600 DK; $15 FD): Dunbar wasn’t even on the Week 1 depth chart, but he led the Renegades last week with five carries and six targets, which he converted into 11.6 DraftKings points. With his playmaking ability and pass-catching role, Dunbar is exceptionally cheap on DraftKings, where he has a high floor and underappreciated ceiling and is priced as the No. 11 back.
XFL Wide Receivers
Nelson Spruce – Los Angeles Wildcats ($10,400 DK; $20 FD): He’s the most expensive receiver, but in Week 1, he had a slate-high 15 targets and 34.9% market share. He has a great matchup against Renegades slot corner Deshaun Phillips, who allowed a 5-65-0 receiving performance on five targets last week. In our consensus fantasy projections, Spruce is the No. 1 wide receiver.
Eli Rogers – DC Defenders ($9,700 DK; $17 FD): Rogers was listed as a third-stringer on the Week 1 depth chart, but in the game he had a team-high six targets, six receptions and 73 yards receiving. Rogers could very well have a similar performance this week against Guardians safety-turned-slot corner Dravon Askew-Henry, who last week yielded 58 yards and three receptions on four targets.
Austin Proehl – Seattle Dragons ($9,200 DK; $20 FD): Proehl led the position in Week 1 with 26.1 DraftKings points on 5-88-2 receiving and 1-3-0 rushing, but he’s only priced as the No. 6 wide receiver this week. He’s certain to experience touchdown regression, but with the 10 targets he got last week, he looks like the team’s No. 1 receiver. Starting quarterback Brandon Silvers (ankle) is uncertain to play, and if he’s out then Proehl might have a lower ceiling, but he’d also likely have a reduced ownership rate in tournaments.
Cam Phillips – Houston Roughnecks ($8,400 DK; $19 FD): Phillips was a profitable play in guaranteed prize pools last week, when he had a team-best 4-67-1 receiving performance on eight targets and a 100% snap rate. The Roughnecks have a slate-high implied Vegas total of 28.5 points (per FanDuel Sportsbook lines), and Phillips enters the week looking like the No. 1 receiver on the league’s best offense. He’s too cheap priced as the No. 9 wide receiver on DraftKings.
Daniel Williams – Tampa Bay Vipers ($7,600 DK; $19 FD): Williams is priced as the No. 3 wide receiver on FanDuel but the No. 11 wide receiver on DraftKings, where he racked up 21.3 points in Week 1 with a team-high nine targets, six receptions and 123 yards. His preseason hype was clearly warranted, and now he faces a Dragons defense that last week had a league-worst 49.0 PFF coverage grade. Even with quarterback Aaron Murray (foot) out, Williams should still be one of the slate’s top receiving options.
Jalen Tolliver – Tampa Bay Vipers ($3,800 DK; $16 FD) – Tolliver offers a world of salary cap flexibility as one of the best bargains on DraftKings. In Week 1, he put up a modest 47 yards on three receptions, but he challenged for the team lead with eight targets, and he added a rush attempt for five yards. It seems as if head coach Marc Trestman wants to get him involved, and his matchup against the Dragons is elite.
XFL Tight Ends
Nick Truesdell – Tampa Bay Vipers ($6,700 DK; $14 FD): Truesdell had just 6.9 DraftKings points last week, but he had six targets, and he flashed his potential with one of the best catches of the slate. On the field for 69 of the team’s 72 snaps last week, Truesdell is an every-down player and was the team’s first-round selection in the draft. He’s going to be involved, and he has a good matchup against a Dragons defense that last week gave up a 39-yard touchdown to Defenders tight end Khari Lee. He’s in a better spot than he was last week, and he’s likely to have a lower ownership rate.
Donald Parham – Dallas Renegades ($3,200 DK; $13 FD): Parham is especially cheap on DraftKings, where he’s just $200 above the stone minimum salary even though last week he ran 31 routes and turned a team-high six targets into a respectable four receptions and 40 yards. With his massive size (6-foot-8, 257 pounds), he’s a significant scoring threat in the red zone, and he has a good chance to return value if his Week 1 target volume holds.
XFL Defense/Special Teams
Houston Roughnecks ($3,400 DK): The Roughnecks take on a BattleHawks team that surprised many with a 15-9 win last week, but the Roughnecks are significant home favorites (-8 on FanDuel Sportsbook), and if they get out to a big lead, they could have lots of pass-rushing opportunities, which would increase their odds of getting sacks, turnovers and defensive touchdowns. Last week, the Roughnecks had a league-high 37 pressures — more than double the number the No. 2 Guardians had at 18.
Cash Game Strategy
While we shouldn’t take too much away from Week 1, there are a few situations we can be confident in for Week 2.
At quarterback, we should be comfortable building around P.J. Walker ($10,600 DK; $23 FD) and Cardale Jones ($10,200 DK; $21 FD). They both offer safe floors with high ceilings.
Spending down at running back this week might be the way to go. Lance Dunbar ($4,600 DK; $15 FD) offers lots of value, and James Butler ($6,300 DK; $19 FD) is a strong option on DraftKings.
At wide receiver, Nelson Spruce ($10,400 DK; $20 FD) is once again my favorite option. He’s expensive, but he has an elite role within his offense. I’m also looking to Daniel Williams ($7,600 DK; $19 FD), given his matchup and price. And I am prioritizing Jalen Tolliver ($3,800 DK; $16 FD), whose low DraftKings salary allows us to pay up at other roster spots.
It’s not necessary to roster a tight end, but Nick Truesdell ($6,700 DK; $14 FD) has a good chance to lead the position in fantasy scoring. On DraftKings, Donald Parham ($3,200 DK; $13 FD) offers a lot of value and enables you to spend up at other positions.
People are likely to roster the players who scored the most points last week, and that gives us an opportunity to be contrarian.
Landry Jones ($9,500 DK; $19 FD) is expected to return from injury, and he may go overlooked as investors chase quarterbacks who topped the Week 1 leaderboard.
At running back, Lance Dunbar ($4,600 DK; $15 FD) and Kenneth Farrow ($6,100 DK; $15 FD) are guys who could see double-digit touches at low ownership.
At wide receiver, Austin Proehl ($9,200 DK; $20 FD) is someone I’m avoiding in tournaments: I’m betting on touchdown regression. Sammie Coates ($9,500 DK; $17 FD) disappointed in Week 1, but he had nine targets, five of which were 20-plus yards downfield, and he should have reduced ownership. De’Mornay Pierson-El ($8,000 DK; $16 FD) is the No. 1 receiver for the team that’s an underdog in what’s expected to be a shootout: He could have elevated volume at diminished ownership.
Houston Renegades: PJ Walker (QB)-Kahlil Lewis (WR)-Cam Phillips (WR) – Cash. They’re the top offensive weapons on the team with the highest implied total. This stack was very profitable in Week 1 and could be similarly productive in Week 2.
Dallas Renegades: Landry Jones (QB)-Jeff Badet (WR)-Flynn Nagel (WR) – Cash or GPP. Jones should do well in the Air Raid offense, which will benefit his receivers. Lance Dunbar could also be included if you really want to go heavy.
Pictured: P.J. Walker
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