Week 3 of the XFL was predictably unpredictable with more backfield upheavals, poor injury reporting, and late week upsets. What did we learn and how can we use that heading into Week 4 of XFL DFS? Let’s get to it.
Week 3 Notes
Frauds in the Capital?
The DC Defenders got washed by the LA Wildcats 39-9 after storming out of the gates with two victories. This loss could be chalked up to randomness, but the signs of a fraudulent team were present for DC.
The Defenders had allows a combined 19 points through two weeks. They were reliant on a stout defense which has proven to be unsustainable over time in the NFL (See: Bowl, Super for example).
Their two victories came over teams who had only beaten Tampa Bay, the most inept and dysfunctional team in the newfound league.
Cardale Jones may be an above-average passer for XFL standards, but he can’t carry his team like Josh Johnson, Landry Jones, or Phillip Walker. He threw four interceptions versus LA before getting sent to the bench late in the game.
Running Back is Still a Mess
The lack of clarity in the XFL’s injury reporting continues to be a thorn in the side of fantasy degenerates. Elijah Hood’s absence was the missing puzzle piece in Week 3. The North Carolina back was listed as probable during the week but ended up inactive on game day. Backup Larry Rose appeared to have suffered an ankle injury mid-game, leading to Martez Carter‘s three-score day. Being available to make pregame swaps is mandatory for DFS.
Houston passes over 65-percent of the time and continues to pass while winning. James Butler controls a large share of the league’s smallest pie. Only five backs have 100 rushing yards on the season and some of them don’t have many shots at the end zone because of their offenses. Despite this, DraftKings is still pricing up mediocre options. Pay for receptions and touchdown opportunities.
The Big Injury
No. 2 overall fantasy receiver Nelson Spruce has already been ruled out for Week 4. Tre McBride resurfaced to the tune of a 5-109-2 line last week but given how much volume Spruce has seen, there should be plenty of chances for other LA receivers to make moves going forward.
And Some Others:
- Darius Victor, New York (Ankle, DNP) – It would be the Tim Cook/Justin Stockton show in New York if Victor can’t play. Stockton caught three passes for 41 yards last week.
- Matt Jones, St. Louis (Knee, DNP) – Keith Ford and Christine Michael would likely split work if Jones can’t play.
- Quinton Flowers, Tampa Bay (Personal, DNP) – Some Tampa players were viable last week because they faced Houston. They don’t this week and neither Aaron Murray nor Taylor Cornelius is a worthwhile fantasy option.
Week 4 DFS Breakdown
XFL DFS might actually be solved already. Jamming in Phillip Walker ($12,00) seems to always be the right move. His 32.2 DraftKings points per game are more than ten points ahead of the next closest player. There’s enough value on the slate to pay up for him and his price will be prohibitive enough to keep some people from rostering him.
The other clear option is his opposing quarterback, Landry Jones ($9,800). His only issue has been the conservative nature of his offense. After two starts, the air raid veteran has a 6.8 average depth of target. For reference, Walker’s aDOT is 9.5. For Jones to hit, he’ll need a receiver to put up multiple long run after the catch plays that result in touchdowns.
Week 3 #MooseYards (XFL Air Yards) are up!https://t.co/kjq9xriSGB
— Moose Jester (@CFB_Moose) February 26, 2020
Jordan Ta’amu ($9,500) only attempted 18 passes and three rushes as the Battlehawks coasted to a 29-9 win over the New York Guardians. Although the one-win Seattle Dragons aren’t likely to pull off the win over St. Louis, they should fare better than New York. If they do—and if St. Louis is without their lead back—Ta’amu will get to do more than manage the clock.
We’re three weeks into the XFL’s inaugural season. No running back has hit the century mark in a game on the ground and no back has three scores on the season. Lance Dunbar’s ($6,700) 7.7 targets per game are worth more than any traditional back’s carries.
Justin Stockton and Nick Brossette are both $3,000. Stockton was active for the first time last week and was targeted five times. He didn’t receive a carry, but most XFL carries are empty anyways. Brossette saw eight and went for 75 yards and a score while Jhurell Pressley dealt with an ankle injury. If Pressley misses, Brossette would be worth considering as a punt play.
Keep paying up for Cam Phillips ($11,700). He leads the XFL in targets (28) and Air Yards (378). He’s four scores and 68 receiving yards ahead of the second-leading receiver in the XFL for both stats.
Adonis Jennings ($3,000) is in play for cash games with Nelson Spruce out for LA. Jennings has been targeted 11 times but has only converted four of them into receptions. He also leads the team in air yards after Spruce. The biggest sell: Jennings is $3,700, which is $5,100 less than teammates Jordan Smallwood and Tre McBride.
Running a 4.39 Forty-Yard Dash, Jeff Badet ($8,100) may have the fastest wheels in the XFL and the Renegades will need his speed to keep up with Houston. His best outing was an 11.3-point game two weeks ago, but he’s third on Dallas in targets and second in air yards. Because of his team’s shallow passing attack, Badet is best used in rosters loaded with pieces from the Houston/Dallas game.
With Nick Truesdell out, Jalen Tolliver ($6,000) took over in the intermediate areas of the field and did not disappoint. He was targeted 13 times and converted eight into 104 yards. However, Tolliver and the Vipers were facing Houston, the best matchup for opposing receivers. People will point-chase him but for $200 less, Alonzo Russell ($5,800) is a great pivot. He leads the Battlehawks in air yards (164) and is their only wideout with an aDOT in the double-digits with more than one target. He’s also a great stacking option with Jordan Ta’amu.
The Defenders ($4,700) get the ultimate bounce-back spot this week, facing Tampa Bay, potentially without Quinton Flowers. They’re getting a week to scheme for two of the league’s least talented and dynamic quarterbacks in Aaron Murray and Taylor Cornelius. The duo comprises two of the three quarterbacks with 20 pass attempts and passer ratings below 60.