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 6 XFL slate in order to identify the top values.
Be sure to check out our Week 6 XFL fantasy projections, which we will update based on injury reports and depth chart news as we head into the weekend.
The pricing at quarterback this week is nearly identical on FanDuel and DraftKings. P.J. Walker is the most expensive player on both sites, Josh Johnson is No. 2 in salary and so on, with one exception. On FanDuel, B.J. Daniels is priced ahead of Cardale Jones as QB5, while on DraftKings, Jones is priced ahead of Daniels.
In Week 5, Jones was replaced by backup Tyree Jackson after throwing a first quarter interception, finishing with zero passing yards on two attempts. After the game, HC Pep Hamilton told reporters that it was his “plan all along” to switch to Jackson mid-game, implying that Jones was not benched for his poor play. Whether that’s actually true, Hamilton has already declared Jones his Week 6 starter. I certainly won’t be suggesting that you play Cardale this week, but for whatever it’s worth, he is a better buy on FanDuel than DraftKings in Week 6.
That leaves us with just one play at the position.
DraftKings: B.J. Daniels, Seattle Dragons ($8,500, 95% Bargain Rating)
After HC Jim Zorn refused to tip his hand by publicly naming a starting quarterback, it became clear shortly before kickoff that it was going to be the B.J. Daniels show in Week 5, as the Dragons listed Brandon Silvers among their inactives. Although Seattle was unable to steal a win in Houston, the Dragons competed with the league’s top team, even holding a lead into the fourth quarter before eventually losing by nine points. Daniels injected life into a Dragons offense that sleptwalk with Silvers under center, and it seems likely that Daniels will draw the Week 6 start against Los Angeles.
Daniels was unimpressive through the air in Week 5, throwing for only 114 passing yards on 22 attempts, but the majority of his fantasy value comes as a rusher. Although Daniels’ 30 rushing yards in Week 5 won’t pay the bills most weeks, it’s encouraging that he tied with running back Trey Williams for the team lead in both rushing attempts and rushing yards. Further, Daniels was not shy in calling his own number near the goal line, converting two rushing touchdowns, both from the one-yard line.
Pro Football Focus rates Houston as the XFL’s top defense, ranking the Roughnecks first in coverage and second in run defense. Daniels had a tough matchup last week. But the Wildcats have not been nearly as impressive, checking in as the No. 6 overall defense — ahead of only the Dragons and Vipers — and struggling specifically against the run, easily ranking last with a 52.4 PFF rush defense grade. If you’re going to play Daniels, it’s hard to imagine a much better spot than at home against this defense. Daniels’ rushing ability gives him a floor/ceiling combination that makes him playable in all formats on DraftKings, as long as Silvers remains on the bench.
XFL Running Backs
DraftKings: James Butler, Houston Roughnecks ($6,900, 83% Bargain Rating)
Coming off his two-touchdown performance against the Dragons, Butler is now $200 more expensive on DraftKings and $2 on FanDuel. Butler is now priced as the RB1 on FanDuel, while he trails De’Veon Smith, Matt Jones, and the two Renegades backs on DraftKings, checking in as RB5. With the Roughnecks listed as 6.5-point favorites in a game with a slate-high 47-point over/under, Butler is in an advantageous spot once again.
Andre Williams did cut into Butler’s workload in Week 5, setting season highs in snap share (37%) and rushing market share (34%), but it’s possible Williams’ involvement had more to do with Butler’s foot injury than with anything else. Butler was not pulled out of the game — he handled the team’s final three rush attempts, all within the final two minutes — but he was held out of Tuesday’s practice with the injury.
As long as Butler is on the field this Saturday, he’ll be an option to consider in all formats on DraftKings. On the other hand, if Butler is held out of Week 6, Williams will be an option on FanDuel, where he has a 72% Bargain Rating and benefits from the site’s scoring format, which places less of an emphasis on receptions.
FanDuel: Donnel Pumphrey, DC Defenders ($13, 97% Bargain Rating)
Pumphrey is coming off a disappointing performance with 3.7 fantasy points, but there are reasons to be optimistic heading into Week 6.
On the season, Pumphrey has generated 55% of his fantasy production through the receiving game, and last week against the BattleHawks, the Defenders had no receiving game to speak of. The quarterback duo of Tyree Jackson and Cardale Jones combined for an anemic 39 passing yards on 16 attempts as the team leaned heavily on the run. Even if you’re not bullish on Jones and/or Jackson, that type of production has to be considered an outlier. Before Week 5, DC’s season-low in pass attempts was 24.
Further, although Jhurell Pressley rose from the ashes to register 107 rushing yards on 15 attempts in Week 5, Pressley’s opportunity did not come at Pumphrey’s expense. Instead, it was Khalid Abdullah (inactive) and Nick Brosette (zero rush attempts) who were hurt by Pressley’s involvement. Pumphrey’s Week 5 snap share of 47% was right in line with his season average, as was his 43% rushing market share. What hurt Pumphrey in Week 5 was his lack of involvement in the receiving game, but that was more of a team issue than a player issue.
If you expect positive regression from the Defenders’ passing game in Week 6, there’s no reason to be down on Pumphrey, particularly at his RB13 price on FanDuel.
XFL Wide Receivers
DraftKings: Mekale McKay, New York Guardians ($6,500, 78% Bargain Rating)
As recently as Week 4, McKay stuck out as the top bargain on FanDuel, but following Week 5’s solid 11-point performance, the market has flipped and McKay is now much cheaper on DraftKings.
Based on usage alone, McKay is one of the true alpha receivers in the XFL. He has never played fewer than 87% of team snaps, he leads his team with a 28% market share of air yards, and he’s coming off a week in which he posted a team-high 25% target share. Despite coming off his best game in the XFL, McKay is now priced at a season-low $6,500 on DraftKings, down from a season-high $10,200 in Week 2.
If the Guardians are going to hang with the Roughnecks in Week 6, they’ll need to score plenty of points, and McKay should be heavily involved in the game plan. Houston has the league’s highest-rated PFF coverage unit, but a projected game script that calls for more passing from New York should offset the tough matchup. To that point, the Roughnecks have given up big receiving games to Jalen Tolliver (8-104-0), L’Damian Washington (6-77-1) and Flynn Nagel (6-76-0) in recent weeks.
FanDuel: Kahlil Lewis, Houston Roughnecks ($15, 86% Bargain Rating)
After watching teammates Cam Phillips, Nick Holley, and Sam Mobley all go off last week, Kahlil Lewis might feel like a forgotten man. That sentiment is reflected in his Week 6 salary for FanDuel, where he is a season-low $15 and priced as the site’s WR15.
There are reasons to be concerned about Lewis after he set season lows in snap share and target share in Week 5. But it’s important to remember that Lewis (groin) was questionable heading into last weekend after missing practice on Tuesday and getting in limited sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. Lewis’ status will be worth monitoring throughout the week, but he was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice. Hopefully, that means that Lewis will be back to his former self soon.
Excluding Week 5, Lewis actually has a higher target share on the season than Phillips. While Mobley could cut into his usage, it seems more likely that Mobley will push Sammie Coates (hamstring) to the sideline, even if Coates returns from his injury this week. While some uncertainty does exist, Lewis should be considered a top contrarian play in FanDuel tournaments, assuming he does not suffer a setback in practice.
XFL Week 6 Bargain Ratings
Credit: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
Pictured: Donnel Pumphrey