XFL Opening Lines

Los Angeles Wildcats (-7) at New York Guardians O/U 40; Saturday at 2:00pm EST
Seattle Dragons at St. Louis Battlehawks (-12) O/U 38.5; Saturday at 5:00pm EST
Houston Roughnecks (-1) at Dallas Renegades O/U 50.5; Sunday at 4:00pm EST
DC Defenders at Tampa Bay Vipers (-1.5) O/U 43.5; Sunday at 7:00pm EST


Phillip Walker, Houston Roughnecks ($12,000 DK; $23 FD). If you have been watching the XFL at all this season, there shouldn’t be much explanation needed here. If the league ended today, this guy is hands down the MVP. He has three passing touchdowns or more in each game, and has a running touchdown to boot. He has totaled 97 DK points in three weeks, and is nearly a sure thing. The only possible reason to not pick Walker would be that the Renegades are the top defense in the league, allowing only 15 points a game. Although I have a really hard time believing that they are going to be able to hold down Walker and the Roughnecks.

Josh Johnson, Los Angeles Wildcats ($10,200 DK; $21 FD). He missed the first week of the regular season, Week 2 was kind of a “kick off the rust” week where he was still pretty good, but Johnson showed what he was capable of last week as he carved up the Defenders. It is a funny nickname for the DC team because they certainly didn’t do any defending last week. Johnson will be without his top target in Nelson Spruce, but wide receiver Tre McBride showed that he was fully up to the job of being the top dog at receiver. Johnson has shown plenty of poise and should continue to excel in this league. He faces a Defenders defense that is totally out of whack, and has allowed 58 points in the last two weeks.

Cardale Jones, DC Defenders ($9,900 DK; $19 FD). Yes, he looked horrible last week. HORRIBLE! He was uneasy in the pocket, seemed to be doubting his decision making, and threw four interceptions. However, everyone has a bad game from time to time; don’t let this get you off the Cardale Jones bandwagon. The Defenders are loaded with talent on offense, and it would be hard to imagine them being shut down again. They play the Tampa Bay Vipers who have allowed the most points on defense through three weeks, and this should be just the remedy for Cardale’s trouble. He is actually a bit of a bargain this week after his benching in the end of the game last week.

Landry Jones, Dallas Renegades ($9,800 DK, $18 FD). Jones looked much better last week against a pretty tough Dragons defense when he threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns. He still has the turnover bug with four picks in two games, but he is clearly rounding into shape. Remember, Jones was hurt on the first day of practice of the XFL, and had no preseason so he should be getting better by the week. The Roughnecks defense is allowing the most passing yards per game, and third most points per game in the XFL, so this could be a decent game for Jones.

Jordan Ta’amu, St. Louis Battlehawks ($9,500 DK; $20 FD). Ta’amu is still probably my favorite player in the XFL, although his fantasy value did take a little dip after last week. The Battlehawks are definitely the most balanced team in the league, and Ta’amu isn’t always asked to throw a ton. St. Louis absolutely blew out the Guardians last week, and Ta’amu only threw the ball 18 times. The Seattle Dragons are a bit better team, but this feels like another game the Battlehawks could win easily. Ta’amu is cheaper than he has been, but it could be for good reason.

Running Backs

Cameron Artis Payne, Dallas Renegades ($8,000 DK; $18 FD). He was a total no-show in Week 1, but Artis-Payne has been making up for it in a big way the last two games. Against the Wildcats and Dragons he had a combined 27 carries for 179 yards on the ground and 11 catches for another 62 yards. The Renegades love to throw to their backs, and CAP has been really dealing the past two weeks. Dallas will likely look to control the ball with runs and short passes to try to keep the Houston offense off the field, and Artis-Payne could be a great choice. 

Matt Jones, St. Louis Battlehawks ($7,100 DK; $17 FD). He is still dealing with a knee injury, but it hasn’t slowed him down yet as he had 15 carries for 95 yards in last week’s thrashing of the Guardians. The only knock on Jones is that he isn’t involved in the passing game outside of that one screen pass in Week 2. However, the Battlehawks run the ball better than any team in the XFL, and they are fully committed to handing off a lot each week. Jones is still splitting carries with Christine Michael to an extent, but he gets more out of his touches every week. They play the Dragons in Week 4 who are allowing 104 yards rushing a game on the ground.

Lance Dunbar, Dallas Renegades ($6,700 DK; $16 FD). After being the main ball carrier in the opener, Dunbar has been taking a backseat to Cameron Artis-Payne when it comes to rushing attempts. Luckily, Hal Mumme’s offense has been throwing to their running backs at a ridiculous pace, and it has kept Dunbar’s fantasy value intact. He has 17 catches for 85 yards in the last two weeks combined, and is yet to score under 12 DK points in a week. His salary isn’t crazy, and he has a nice, safe floor for production.

Martez Carter, Los Angeles Wildcats ($5,200 DK; $15 FD). Elijah Hood does appear that he will return from injury this week, but how can the Wildcats not continue to give Carter the ball? Hood has 74 rushing yards with a fumble lost in two games, while Carter had 75 total yards and three touchdowns last week alone. He did miss some practice with an ankle injury, so certainly keep your eyes on that, but the self-proclaimed “Mr. Excitement” looks like a great pick this week against a Guardians team that is allowing a league worst 138 yards against the run through three weeks. Pay attention to be sure that he is active this weekend before locking in your lineups.

Tim Cook, New York Guardians ($4,200 DK; $13 FD). Here is your solid, cheap option. Yeah, it is really hard to trust anyone on the New York offense right now as they haven’t cracked ten points in the last two weeks, but Cook’s backfield mate Darius Victor hasn’t been practicing and looks like a no go this week. Cook did run the ball nine times for 50 yards last week, and if Victor isn’t in the game, Cook should get more looks in the passing game. Their opponent in Los Angeles is allowing nearly 135 yards per game on the ground, which is the second worst in the league. If you need a roster spot that won’t cost you a lot, or if you don’t like to pay up for this position in a league that thrives on passing, Cook could be your budget option.

Others to consider:

  • DeVeon Smith, Tampa Bay Vipers. The offense woke up last week, when he gets the carries, he does quite well.
  • Trey Williams, Seattle Dragons. Tough matchup, but the kid is explosive
  • Nick Brossette, DC Defenders. If Jhurell Pressley is ruled out, Brossette is the proverbial free space

Wide Receivers

Cam Phillips, Houston Roughnecks ($11,700 DK; $22 FD). There isn’t much to say here. He has three touchdowns in back to back weeks and seven in three games this year. He has eight catches and ten targets in each of the last two games. Phillips and Walker the best QB/WR combo in the XFL and while their salaries make it hard to work them both in, getting one of them in your lineup seems to be a no brainer.

Donald Parham, Dallas Renegades ($9,900 DK; $19 FD). After a fairly quiet first week, Parham has exploded the last two games with ten catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns against the Wildcats and the Dragons. He was virtually unguardable last week, and Seattle had no answer for him. His salary has nearly doubled for the second straight week, but he does appear to have a great rapport with Landry Jones as evidenced by his 18 targets in the last two games. He is very nimble for a guy his size once he has the ball in his hands and should continue to put up good numbers. His price tag is getting extremely high, but he appears to be worth it.

Kahlil Lewis, Houston Roughnecks ($8,900 DK; $16 FD). It certainly never seems to hurt to get yourself exposure to the Roughnecks passing game. They are the top scoring team in the league by a wide margin, and their quarterback is probably the best in the league. Most of the touchdowns have been going to Cam Phillips lately, but P.J. Walker sure does look at Lewis a good amount. He hasn’t really popped yet, but Lewis has 15 catches on 22 targets in three games. He has only one touchdown, but has topped nine DK points in all three games. They have a bit of a tougher matchup this week against the Renegades, but the defense really should more attention on Phillips, leaving some work for Lewis to bring you value at his price tag.

Tre McBride, Los Angeles Wildcats ($8,100 DK; $17 FD). With Nelson Spruce out for a number of weeks, McBride is now the top receiver for the Wildcats after hauling in five catches for 109 yards last week. He was incredibly explosive with two long touchdowns, and a third just went off his fingertips when he short armed it.  He does have a bit of a thigh injury, but at least has been practicing on a limited basis. He and Josh Johnson are a great combination, and he should be an incredible option at his price tag for this weekend.

Keenan Reynolds, Seattle Dragons ($7,000 DK; $16 FD). The former Navy quarterback is a very explosive receiver who is extremely dangerous when he gets the ball in space. He is very fast, and can certainly take the top off a defense. He has been just average in two of the three weeks, but it isn’t entirely his fault as the Dragons have gotten terrible quarterback play. Reynolds does play the tough Battlehawk defense, but it only takes one big play for Reynolds to be worthwhile in DFS.

Jordan Smallwood, Los Angeles Wildcats ($6,700 DK; $15 FD). He has been targeted a decent rate this season, even if it hasn’t translated to big fantasy points so far. Smallwood has been targeted 15 times in three games, but he should see even more looks with Nelson Spruce sidelined. He is a big guy at 6’2” and 203 pounds and the Guardians are going to have a hard time dealing with his size. The Wildcats are trending up, while New York is trending down, and this looks like a nice cheaper option.

DeAndre Thompkins, DC Defenders ($5,200 DK; $17 FD). A week after lighting up the box score for nine catches for 92 yards and a touchdown, Thompkins was nearly invisible with one catch for 18 yards. However, as has been stated before, this past week was a throwaway game for the Defenders. Cardale Jones and the offense will surely be better this week, as they play a Vipers defense that has allowed 74 points in three weeks. Thompkins is an explosive target that has a really sweet price tag on DK considering what he is capable of. He is much less attractive on FanDuel, but still should have a solid game.

Flynn Nagel, Dallas Renegades ($4,800 DK; $15 FD). He did have one off game, but that was when quarterback Landry Jones was really off his game. Nagel is a great slot receiver who is capable of putting up solid reception totals on a weekly basis. In fact, he has scored double digit DK points in two of the first three weeks. He isn’t going to give you one of those huge 50 yard bombs, but Nagel has been targeted six times in two of three games. The Renegade offense should improve a little bit more this week with everyone getting a little more cohesive and Landry Jones getting more reps. Nagel is a nice, consistent target at a really affordable price.

Others to consider:

  • Eli Rogers, DC Defenders
  • MeKale McKay, New York Guardians
  • Dan Williams, Tampa Bay Vipers
  • Alonzo Russell, St. Louis Battlehawks

Defense/Special Teams (DraftKings only)

St. Louis Battlehawks ($5,100 DK). This Battlehawks defense has been TOUGH through three weeks, and is allowing the second fewest points in the league at 15.3 (behind Dallas at 15). They also allow the second fewest passing and rushing yards amongst all defenses. This week they get Seattle who is one of the worst offenses in the league. This one feels like it could be another blowout for St. Louis and their defense could be worth the money.

Los Angeles Wildcats ($4,500 DK). The Wildcats picked off Cardale Jones four times last week in a smothering performance without their top two corners. They didn’t allow a touchdown until garbage time when the game was well out of hand. After giving up 62 points in the first two weeks, it appears that they have righted the ship. It certainly helps to play the Guardians in Week 4 who have looked like the worst team in the XFL the past two weeks. No matter who is at quarterback, the Wildcats should fly around the field and give up no more than ten points with a few turnovers to boot.

Dallas Renegades ($3,000 DK). This is one if you don’t like to spend money on your defense. The Renegades get the toughest matchup on the board against the explosive Houston Roughnecks, but the Dallas defense has been solid. They allow the fewest points in the league, and haven’t given up 20 points yet in a league designed for offense. The Roughnecks can’t put up 30 points every game, and if anyone is going to keep him in check, it looks like Dallas has a shot. Despite the matchup, I don’t feel like this is the worst pick on the slate.


Example Lineups

DraftKings Cash

QB: Phillip Walker
RB: Matt Jones
WR: Donald Parham
WR: Jordan Smallwood
FLEX: Deandre Thompkins
FLEX: Trey Williams
D/ST: Los Angeles Wildcats

DraftKings GPP

QB: Josh Johnson
RB: Tim Cook
WR: Cam Phillips
WR: Tre McBride
FLEX:  Deandre Thompkins
FLEX: Alonzo Russell
D/ST: DC Defenders

FanDuel Cash Sat-Sun

QB: Cardale Jones
RB: Lance Dunbar
WR/TE: Tre McBride
WR/TE: DeAndre Thompkins
FLEX: Kahlil Lewis
FLEX: Alonzo Russell

FanDuel GPP Sat-Sun

QB: Landry Jones
RB: Tim Cook
WR/TE: Cam Phillips
WR/TE: Tre McBride
FLEX: Dan Williams
FLEX:  Mekale McKay

FanDuel Sat Only

QB: Josh Johnson
RB: Matt Jones
WR/TE: Tre McBride
WR/TE:Keenan Reynolds
FLEX: Jordan Smallwood
FLEX: L’Damian Washington

FanDuel Sun Only

QB: Cardale Jones
RB: Jhurell Pressley
WR/TE: Cam Phillips
WR/TE: Dan Williams
FLEX: Eli Rogers
FLEX: Flynn Nagel