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Top XFL wide receiver surprises, disappointments for Week 1

Which XFL receivers lead the league in DraftKings points after Week 1? We break down the daily fantasy football debut of the new league.

Houston Roughnecks wide receiver Kahlil Lewis warms up before the game against the LA Wildcats on February 8, 2020 at TDECU Stadium in Houston, Texas. Thomas Campbell/XFL

Going into the XFL’s kickoff weekend, we had some idea of who was starting and what players and coaches have been good in the past. That method wasn’t going to be 100 percent effective of course, but for wide receivers, it wasn’t a complete failure.

Here are your Top-5 daily fantasy wide receivers for the opening weekend of the XFL at DraftKings.

  1. Austin Proehl, Seattle Dragons — 26.1
  2. Nelson Spruce, L.A. Wildcats — 24.3
  3. Dan Williams, Tampa Bay Vipers — 21.3
  4. Kahlil Lewis, Houston Roughnecks — 17.5
  5. Cam Phillips, Houston Roughnecks — 16.7

Without a doubt, Austin Proehl was the biggest surprise, as his team, the Seattle Dragons, weren’t supposed to put up much of a fight through the air, but Brandon Silvers started hot and connected with Proehl on 5-of-10 passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns. With Kasen Williams out, many likely pivoted to Keenan Reynolds, who did have seven targets but only two receptions for five yards. If Williams is back next week, we may not see such a target haul for Proehl.

At least all of the Top-5 receivers were listed as starters on their respective teams, but many weren’t thought of as their possible No. 1 receiver. Players like Jeff Badet, Sammie Coates and Mekale McKay were all considered strong plays and ended up doing little. The good news is that these players were targeted well and have a good chance of coming back next week at a smaller salary and putting up good numbers.

It looks like when you play Houston, you’re going to get a chance for more snaps and you might be losing, so there could be plenty of pass attempts, which was good for Nelson Spruce. Only two receivers saw double-digit targets, with Proehl getting 10 and Spruce seeing 15 of Charles Kanoff’s 40 attempts. Spruce was the only receiver to not score a touchdown in the Top-5 as he caught 11 passes for 103 yards.

The Roughnecks produced two Top-5 receivers and four receivers caught a touchdown. And, none of them were Sammie Coates, who caught 2-of-9 targets for 26 yards. The targets tied Cam Phillips for the lead, which is a good sign. Phillips, Coates and Lewis led the team in targets, but there is no doubt they are going to spread the targets around in the Run N’ Shoot, but thankfully there will be a lot of targets to spread.