The XFL heads into Week 3 this weekend, and we’re starting to get a better handle on what to make of this new league. Two games is hardly a big enough sample size to draw too many grand conclusions, but if we need to make a roster decision for Week 3, it offers enough information to make a more informed conclusion than we could either of the past two weeks.
There will be plenty of surprising developments this weekend. I don’t think anybody expected Cameron Artis-Payne to dominate the running back position like he did. It was difficult to predict DC’s defense would roll off another three turnovers and a defensive touchdown. And while wide receiver Cam Phillips was solid in Week 1, nobody was predicting three touchdowns in Week 2.
That being said, we’re back with rankings for all the positions to help you try and sort through roster options for Week 3 daily fantasy football. At DraftKings, you start a QB, an RB, two wide receivers, two flex players, and one defense/special teams unit. It’s a pass-heavy league, so adjust accordingly.
We’re seeing separation at the quarterback position with four or five teams potentially in a good quarterback situation, and three teams in a shaky at best to bad position. The two biggest questions are Josh Johnson and Brandon Silvers. Johnson made his debut and struggled until opening up in the fourth quarter. He might have just needed to shake off some rust, but Week 3 will tell us plenty more.
Meanwhile, Silvers was solid if shaky in Week 1, and then was bad in Week 2. He faces a decent but not great Dallas defense and is one guy I’ll be watching closely in Week 3 to try and figure out what he is.
QB rankings for XFL, Week 3
|1||P.J. Walker||HOU||@ TB||11500||27.49|
|2||Jordan Ta'amu||STL||vs. NY||10100||25.31|
|3||Landry Jones||DAL||@ SEA||10600||18.5|
|4||Cardale Jones||DC||@ LA||10800||19.82|
|5||Josh Johnson||LA||vs. DC||9200||18.14|
|6||Brandon Silvers||SEA||vs. DAL||7500||13.71|
|7||Matt McGloin||NY||@ STL||8500||8.62|
|8||Taylor Cornelius||TB||vs. HOU||7200||4.16|
|9||Marquise Williams||NY||@ STL||6400||3.64|
|10||Quinton Flowers||TB||vs. HOU||7100||3.05|
|11||Aaron Murray||TB||vs. HOU||7900||7.24|
It’s hard to get super excited about RBs in the XFL given the way the rules are meant to benefit passing attacks. And considering the shakiness of offensive lines, it makes it that much more difficult for RBs to get much going. There are only two RBs in the top 20 scorers at DraftKings through two weeks, and there’s no reason to think that will change much in the coming weeks.
That being said, you have to look for volume plays at the position, and Matt Jones is leading that by a long shot. He has ten more carries through two weeks than the next nearest option. He hasn’t been the most effective back in the league, but there’s a consistency you can appreciate.
Cameron Artis-Payne is the player to watch this week to see if last week was a fluke, or if his poor Week 1 performance was the outlier. My guess is he’s somewhere in between, but Week 3 will offer a little more insight.
The injury news to watch this week is Kenneth Farrow, who did not practice on Tuesday due to a rib injury. If he is limited or can’t play on Saturday, Trey Williams gains value.
RB rankings for XFL, Week 3
|1||Matt Jones||STL||vs. NY||7500||11.2|
|2||DeVeon Smith||TB||vs. HOU||6300||8.25|
|3||James Butler||HOU||@ TB||8500||14.75|
|4||Lance Dunbar||DAL||@ SEA||6600||12.1|
|5||Jacques Patrick||TB||vs. HOU||4400||7.1|
|6||Cameron Artis-Payne||DAL||@ SEA||8300||18.7|
|7||Trey Williams||SEA||vs. DAL||5000||9.7|
|8||Kenneth Farrow||SEA||vs. DAL||6000||7|
|9||Donnel Pumphrey||DC||@ LA||7000||6.8|
|10||Jhurell Pressley||DC||@ LA||6800||6.5|
|11||Tim Cook||NY||@ STL||4200||5.05|
|12||Christine Michael||STL||vs. NY||5200||3.95|
|13||Elijah Hood||LA||vs. DC||5600||3.2|
|14||Keith Ford||STL||vs. NY||4000||8.6|
|15||Ja'Quan Gardner||SEA||vs. DAL||3800||3.15|
|16||Marquis Young||DAL||@ SEA||3700||3.6|
|17||Darius Victor||NY||@ STL||4700||4.65|
|18||Andre Williams||HOU||@ TB||3300||1.45|
|19||Larry Rose||LA||vs. DC||3500||2.9|
|20||Matt Colburn||NY||@ STL||3100||2|
It’s a pass-heavy league and wide receivers are the players to note for your flex positions. Three wide receivers are averaging over 20 points per game, which matches the number of quarterbacks averaging 20+ per game.
That being said, there is a clear divide between the top tier of receivers and the rest. Nelson Spruce (25.6), Cam Phillips (24.5), and DeAndre Thompkins (21.7) are the top scorers, and the next closest is De’Mornay Pierson-El at 15.3 points per game. Thompkins is notable because Week 2 was his debut after missing the opener with a foot injury. He was a projected starter, but this week will offer a hint as to whether or not he’s as good as his huge Week 2 performance might indicate.
Big names on Tuesday’s injury report included Sammie Coates and Cam Phillips, both of whom sat out practice. There’s no indication yet that they’ll miss time, but they are two names to watch as the week progresses.
WR rankings for XFL Week 3
|1||Cam Phillips||HOU||@ TB||11100||24.5|
|2||Nelson Spruce||LA||vs. DC||10900||25.6|
|3||Deandre Thompkins||DC||@ LA||5700||21.7|
|4||Eli Rogers||DC||@ LA||9700||11.6|
|5||Keenan Reynolds||SEA||vs. DAL||7400||11.6|
|6||De'Mornay Pierson-El||STL||vs. NY||10100||15.25|
|7||Donald Parham||DAL||@ SEA||5300||13.3|
|8||Kahlil Lewis||HOU||@ TB||9100||13.25|
|9||Jeff Badet||DAL||@ SEA||8600||7.45|
|10||L'Damian Washington||STL||vs. NY||8000||13.35|
|11||Rashad Ross||DC||@ LA||9400||13.3|
|12||Dan Williams||TB||vs. HOU||8200||13.25|
|13||Jordan Smallwood||LA||vs. DC||7200||10.5|
|14||Alonzo Russell||STL||vs. NY||5900||11.55|
|15||Reece Horn||TB||vs. HOU||4200||8.65|
|16||Mekale McKay||NY||@ STL||8800||7.4|
|17||Austin Proehl||SEA||vs. DAL||8400||13.5|
|18||Sammie Coates||HOU||@ TB||7700||3.2|
|19||Flynn Nagel||DAL||@ SEA||4700||6.8|
|20||Colby Pearson||NY||@ STL||6700||7.15|
|21||Nick Truesdell||TB||vs. HOU||6200||6.9|
|23||Joe Horn||NY||@ STL||3800||3.15|
|24||Khari Lee||DC||@ LA||3700||5.95|
|25||Nick Holley||HOU||@ TB||4400||8.6|
The standout fantasy defense to date has been the DC Defenders. They’ve forced six turnovers and scored three defensive touchdowns through two weeks, and that has them averaging 23.5 DK fantasy points per game. The next closest is the New York Guardians at 13.0. It’s not likely to be sustainable, but they’re a playmaking defense to date.
Week 3 will offer a little more insight into whether or not starting the Tampa Bay Vipers’ opponent is your best strategy. The Vipers have been the worst team in the league, and this week they face a Houston defense that leads the league in sacks, but gives up sizable point totals. If Houston impresses against Tampa Bay, it might be time to start streaming Vipers’ opponents.
D/ST rankings for XFL, Week 3
|1||Houston Roughnecks||@ TB||5200||9.5|
|2||DC Defenders||@ LA||4700||23.5|
|3||Dallas Renegades||@ SEA||4200||6|
|4||St. Louis BattleHawks||vs. NY||3700||5|
|5||New York Guardians||@ STL||4000||13|
|6||Seattle Dragons||vs. DAL||3300||12|
|7||Los Angeles Wildcats||vs. DC||3000||3.5|
|8||Tampa Bay Vipers||vs. HOU||2800||7.5|