The XFL had a strong debut, but now we need to decipher what is going to happen next. Snap count data will help, along with targets and touches of course, but we still only have one game under our belt and some wide-open usage numbers to contemplate. That’s kind of what fantasy football is all about, isn’t it?
There aren’t any good ownership numbers to mine our Week 2 waiver wire picks from, so we’ll be playing it by ear. If you are in an XFL league, there’s a good chance many of Week 1’s top performers were on waivers, so unless a player was likely a top pick in your draft, you may see him below.
P.J. Walker, Houston Roughnecks
Hopefully you grabbed him after he was named the starter for June Jones’ Run N’ Shoot offense, but with Connor Cook looking like he’d be the starter, there’s a chance Walker is still sitting out there. He put up the best QB game of the weekend and is a must add if he happens to be available.
Quinton Flowers, Tampa Bay Vipers
Starter Aaron Murray played poorly in Week 1 as his team could only muster three points. He was replaced by Quinton Flowers late in the game who completed 1-of-2 passes for 37 yards and rushed five times for 34 more yards. We don’t know yet who will start next week against Seattle, but I’d expect Flowers to continue seeing work due to his ability with the ball in his hands. He is risky, but his upside is great for fantasy.
Jordan Ta’amu, St. Louis Battlehawks
Ta’amu helped his team to an upset win in Dallas and did it while rushing nine times for 77 yards. He didn’t score, but he was the best rushing quarterback in Week 1. He was good enough as a passer to love his upside when adding his rushing into the mix. And, if you add a rushing touchdown to his stats, he would have had a monster day despite a run-first plan for much of the game.
Charles Kanoff, LA Wildcats
Josh Johnson is looking iffy for Week 2 and even though the Wildcats were blown out, Kanoff did put together a good fantasy day, despite not playing all that well. If you are in a league where quarterbacks are scarce, then Kanoff looks like he could get another start this week against Dallas.
James Butler, Houston Roughnecks
Butler was the star fantasy back of Week 1, as he found the end zone twice, once through the air and once on the ground. He wasn’t efficient on the ground at 3.3 yards per carry, but he led the running backs with 11 touches in a pass-first offense. If the Roughnecks can come close to repeating their offensive output from Week 1, Butler should continue to see work around the goal line.
Matt Jones, St. Louis Battlehawks
Christine Michael couldn’t get anything going on the ground and lost a fumble, which pushed Jones into the lead role. Jones was easily the most used back for the league in Week 1 with 21 rushing attempts. It looks like the BattleHawks will lean on the run and have a quarterback who will divert attention from Jones with his own rushing ability.
Nick Holley, Houston Roughnecks
This one depends a lot on how Holley is designated in your league. He is a running back who is playing slot receiver and caught 4-of-5 passes for 50 yards with no rushing attempts. If he is a running back in your PPR league, he’s a great pickup.
Trey Williams/Kenneth Farrow, Seattle Dragons
Farrow is likely rostered in your leagues, but if not, he’s worth an add along with Williams. The Dragons aren’t going to be very good, but they do look like they’ll use their running baks a lot and both Williams and Farrow put up good numbers in PPR, despite their loss. It looks like both will get rushing and receiving attempts moving forward.
Darius Victor, NY Guardians
Victor had 26 snaps to Tim Cook’s 27, but out-touched him 11 to five and had 57 yards to Cook’s 10. Cook isn’t going away, but Cruz appears to be the receiving back and got the bulk of the rushing attempts as well. He’s a must add in any PPR league.
If they aren’t rostered, grab them: Lance Dunbar, DeVeon Smith,
Austin Proehl, Seattle Dragons
Proehl had a huge debut with 88 yards and two touchdowns and appears to have much of the same route running ability as his dad. When Kasen Williams returns from his injury, Proehl could get his targets cut a little, but he appears to be entrenched as a slot type chain mover with touchdown upside at worst.
Nelson Spruce, L.A. Wildcats
Spruce saw a league-high 15 targets in Week 1 and caught 11 of them for 103 yards. That’s under 10 yards per reception, but it’s also a big game in PPR. He saw a whopping 34 percent of his team’s targets. Joe Horn was second with 27.6 percent. He’s a must add, especially in PPR leagues.
Dan Williams, Tampa Bay Vipers
The coaches liked Williams and talked him up before the season started and that transferred into the regular season, as he led the team with 25 percent of the targets, catching 6-of-9 for 123 yards. We don’t know if Quinton Flowers will take more snaps away from Aaron Murray in Week 2, but Flowers’ one completion was a 37-yarder to Williams in garbage time.
Cam Phillips, Houston Roughnecks
I could probably list every Roughnecks receiver here, but Phillips was the best of the bunch in Week 1 and tied with Sammie Coates for the lead in targets with nine. We probably can’t expect Walker to throw four touchdowns each game, but he is going to throw the ball a lot and Phillips looks to be the hot hand.
Khalil Lewis, Houston Roughnecks
If Walker and Houston can keep up their strong offense, Lewis is right up there with Phillips and Coates and should find his way on your team if he isn’t there yet.
If they aren’t rostered, grab them: Rashad Ross, MeKale McKay, Eli Rogers,
New York Guardians
This one is a no-brainer, as the Guardians crushed the Vipers on Sunday and harassed their quarterback all day. Of course, Aaron Murray was really bad, so a better quarterback could do more damage, but the beatdown was legitimate and they should gain some energy from their early success.
Kony Ealy was a monster on the defensive line and the team as a whole pressured the Wildcats quarterback on just about every drop back. They still gave up some offense, but that pressure should start leading to more turnovers and touchdown returns moving forward.