With two strong weeks of XFL in the books, we have another exciting slate of matchups here for Week 3.
Here are the four games this weekend.
- Houston Roughnecks @ Tampa Bay Vipers: Sat., Feb. 22 – 2 p.m. ET (ABC)
- Dallas Renegades @ Seattle Dragons: Sat., Feb. 22 – 5 p.m. ET (FOX)
- New York Guardians @ St. Louis BattleHawks: Sun., Feb. 23 – 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- DC Defenders @ Los Angeles Wildcats: Sun., Feb. 23 – 6 p.m. ET (FS1)
Be sure to check out our Week 3 XFL fantasy projections, which will be updated based on injury reports and depth chart news as we head into the weekend.
PJ Walker – Houston Roughnecks ($11,500 DK; $23 FD): In Week 3, Walker gets the pleasure of taking on a suspect Vipers defense that has below-average marks with a 62.7 coverage rating and 59.7 pass rush rating (per Pro Football Focus). He leads the league in fantasy scoring (27.5 points) and should be able to find his bevy of talented receivers for multiple scores. He’s expensive, but his floor is incredibly high.
Cardale Jones – DC Defenders ($10,800 DK; $20 FD): Jones leads the XFL with a 90.6 PFF pass rating, and in Week 3, he faces a Wildcats team that has given up 31 points per game, ranks dead last with a 54.6 PFF defensive grade and might be without starting cornerbacks Jaylen Dunlap (thigh) and Harlan Miller (thigh).
Jordan Ta’amu – St. Louis Battlehawks ($10,100 DK; $21 FD): After two weeks, Ta’amu finds himself No. 2 among all quarterbacks in passing yardage (493), passing touchdowns (4) and PFF pass rating (77.8). He also is No. 1 at the position with 109 rushing yards. In Week 3, he gets a Guardians squad with a bottom-two run defense grade (56.6), league-worst tackling grade (29.2) and third-worst coverage grade (55.5). As the No. 2 scoring quarterback (25.3 points), he offers lots of value on DraftKings, where he’s priced as the No. 4 quarterback.
Check out our Week 3 XFL Bargain Ratings piece, which highlights the players who offer the most value on DraftKings and FanDuel.
XFL Running Backs
Cameron Artis-Payne – Dallas Renegades ($8,300 DK; $18 FD): After a disappointing Week 1, CAP showed XFL fans that his preseason hype was deserved in Week 2. His 14-99-2 rushing and 5-32-0 receiving effort propelled him to a position-high average of 18.7 DraftKings and 16.5 FanDuel points per game. In Week 3, he gets a Dragons team that allowed 141 yards on the ground last week to the struggling Vipers. Teammate Lance Dunbar will also be involved, but CAP should once again lead the backfield in snaps. If you’re spending up at running back, he’s a strong option.
Matt Jones – St. Louis Battlehawks ($7,500 DK; $16 FD): Jones has been one of the most reliable producers at the position through two weeks, leading the league in carries (37) and yardage (129). In Week 3, he has an enticing matchup against the Guardians, who have the league’s second-worst PFF run defense grade (56.6) and tackling grade (29.2). As 10-point favorites, the BattleHawks could have a run-heavy game script, giving Jones the opportunity to accumulate extra carries, especially in the second half.
Donnell Pumphrey – DC Defenders ($7,000 DK; $13 FD): Pumphrey is too cheap on FanDuel, where he’s priced as the No. 11 running back despite having one of the slate’s best matchups. He faces a Wildcats team with the league’s lowest run defense grade (35.2) and tackling grade (33.6). He’ll split work with teammate Jhurrell Pressley, but he has proven to be the more effective player so far.
XFL Wide Receivers
Cam Phillips – Houston Roughnecks ($11,100 DK; $21 FD): Phillips is the top receiver in a Renegades offense poised to exploit a suspect Vipers secondary. He unsurprisingly led the position with his 8-63-3 receiving performance last week, and he has the potential to go off again in Week 3. While he’s unlikely to have multiple touchdowns, Phillips was targeted three times inside the 10-yard last week, so he should get opportunities to score. He’s expensive, but he also has position-leading upside.
Nelson Spruce – LA Wildcats ($10,900 DK; $20 FD): Spruce leads the XFL in targets (24), receptions (17), receiving yards (181) and PFF receiver rating (79.8). In Week 3, he faces a Defenders defense that leads the XFL with an 84.7 PFF coverage rating, but he should have a steady dose of targets, and Spruce’s matchup in the slot against cornerbacks Tyree Kinnel and Shamarko Thomas is advantageous.
Rashad Ross – DC Defenders ($9,400 DK; $17 FD): Ross has been highly efficient on his targets this season, leading all starting wide receivers with 3.13 yards per route (per PFF). As he becomes more comfortable with the offense — he was traded to the team (by the opposing Wildcats) late in training camp — his low target share should steadily increase. With starting cornerbacks Jaylen Dunlap (thigh) and Harlan Miller (thigh) uncertain, Ross could go off against backups Arrion Springs and Roman Tatum.
DeAndre Thompkins – DC Defenders ($5,700 DK; $19 FD): Thompkins has the same beneficial matchup as Ross, but he’s significantly cheaper on DraftKings. After missing Week 1, Thompkins led the team with nine targets in Week 2 and looks like the team’s real No. 1 receiver.
Nick Holley – Houston Roughnecks ($4,400 DK; $15 FD): As a possession receiver in a pass-heavy offense, Holley is a bargain on both sites. With four targets in Week 1 and five in Week 2, he has a reasonable target floor this week against a poor Vipers secondary, and as a college quarterback, he’s always a threat to be involved in a trick play.
XFL Tight End
Donald Parham – Dallas Renegades ($5,300 DK; $16 FD): Parham leads the position in targets (17), yards receiving (116) and PFF receiving rating (74.8). In Week 3, he faces a Dragons defense with the second-worst PFF coverage grade at 53.7. Despite his position, he looks like the No. 1 receiver in the Renegades’ Air Raid offense.
XFL Defense/Special Teams
St. Louis BattleHawks ($3,700 DK): The BattleHawks defense struggled last week against the high-scoring Roughnecks, but in Week 3 in their home opener they face a struggling Guardians offense. The BattleHawks are No. 3 with a 72.8 PFF defense grade, and they held the Renegades to nine points on the road in Week 1. As 10-point home favorites, they could get out to a big lead, which would likely lead to lots of pass-rushing opportunities and resultant sacks, turnovers and defensive touchdowns. At $3,700, they’re underpriced as the third-cheapest defense.
Cash Game Strategy
At quarterback, P.J. Walker ($11,500 DK; $23 FD) and Cardale Jones ($10,800 DK; $20 FD) both have safe floors and slate-leading ceilings because of offenses and matchups.
Running back pricing has tightened, but the most consistent option this season has been Matt Jones ($7,500 DK; $16 FD). He should take advantage of a strong matchup and positive game script. Cameron Artis-Payne ($8,300 DK; $18 FD) proved last week that he has the ability to lead the position on a weekly basis.
Nelson Spruce ($10,900 DK; $20 FD) has been the most consistent option at wide receiver. His matchup isn’t easy, but he should still get his targets. Also look for strong usage out of DeAndre Thompkins ($5,700 DK; $19 FD) and Nick Holley ($4,400 DK; $15 FD), two lower-priced options on DraftKings.
While it’s not necessary to roster a tight end, Donald Parham ($5,300 DK; $16 FD) is my preferred option at the position. His price point will allow you to pay up elsewhere.
We’re going to see high ownership on both P.J. Walker ($11,500 DK; $23 FD) and Cardale Jones ($10,800 DK; $20 FD), so I prefer to pivot to Jordan Ta’amu ($10,100 DK; $21 FD) in GPPs. He provides position-leading upside with his rushing ability and is cheaper than both on DraftKings.
Even after a strong Week 1, Matt Jones ($7,500 DK; $16 FD) was rostered at less than a 6% ownership rate in the Week 2 DraftKings Saturday Special GPP. He’ll be more popular this week, but he still might have a lower ownership rate than CAP, who went off last week.
At wide receiver, Cam Phillips ($11,100 DK; $21 FD) is avoidable in tournaments: Touchdown regression is all but guaranteed. I’d rather pivot to Rashad Ross ($9,400 DK; $17 FD), who might have single-digit ownership in an enticing #RevengeGame matchup. L’Damian Washington ($8,000 DK; $16 FD) showed his big-play ability last week and could also go under-owned in a good spot.
DC Defenders: Cardale Jones (QB)-Rashad Ross (WR)-DeAndre Thompkins (WR) – Cash or GPP. The matchup is strong. WR Eli Rogers is also an option.
Houston Roughnecks: PJ Walker (QB)-Cam Phillips (WR)-Nick Holley (WR) – Cash. Lock up the Roughnecks pass attack against a struggling Vipers secondary. WR Khalil Lewis is also a good option given his role and production thus far.
St. Louis BattleHawks: Jordan Ta’amu (QB)-De’Mornay Pierson-El (WR)-L’Damian Washington (WR) – GPP. This BattleHawks pass attack could be contrarian given the strong matchups elsewhere. Ta’amu and team are more than capable of leading the slate in an enticing spot.
Ric Tapia/XFL via Getty Images
Pictured: Nelson Spruce