Week 3 of the XFL is upon us. There’s been plenty of bad football, but also some pretty darn good football, which sounds a lot like the NFL to me. For DraftKings, we’re getting a better handle on what defenses to target and what players are getting consistent work, but it’s still a young league with plenty of question marks. Below, I’ll take you through some of my favorite and hopefully safest plays for the weekend.
We’ve seen a pretty quick division between the haves and have nots so far at quarterback, but there are also players like Landry Jones and Josh Johnson who we should give more time to get in synch after injuries. I usually don’t want to pay up for quarterback in the NFL, but I don’t think you can avoid it in the XFL, where the limited quarterback talent shines.
Cardale Jones, DC Defenders ($10,800)
Jones hasn’t put up the touchdown numbers P.J. Walker has, but he gets a great matchup against the Wildcats, who have allowed the most DraftKings points to opposing quarterbacks so far. This game could be a blowout but did complete 23 passes for 276 yards last week despite his team winning 27-0.
Jordan Ta’amu, St. Louis BattleHawks ($10,100)
Ta’amu ranks second in DK points for quarterbacks due to his rushing ability. So far he’s rushed 17 times for 109 yards and a touchdown. He ranks third in total rushing yards and gives you a nice base of DK points with his legs. In Week 1 he didn’t throw too much due to his team keeping the game close and relying on the run, but he still got his points through passing efficiency and his legs. That could happen this week with St. Louis favored by 10-points, so his upside might not be as high as it was last week, but his floor is one of the best in the league.
I’m not going to pay up for running backs in the XFL until one of the higher-priced players can show consistency in usage and production. Thankfully we only need to play one running back on DraftKings, which makes it easier to hide the overall lack of running back consistency when building your lineups.
Darius Victor, NY Guardians ($4,700)
Victor suffered a concussion early in last week’s loss, but he has been cleared and should regain his split in work with Tim Cook. He should see more work in the passing game than Cook and the Guardians will likely be trailing in this game. His price is right and as long as he gets his Week 1 workload back, he should hit value.
Cameron Artis-Payne ($8,300)
If I do pay up for a back it will likely be CAP. He looked awesome last week and is one of the few backs in the league who can create space for himself and score in multiple ways. Dallas also throws the ball to their backs more than any other team, which has given Artis-Payne nine receptions through two games. Lance Dunbar is another back who has a good floor on DraftKings due to his receptions and is cheaper. He doesn’t have the upside but the receptions should be there each week.
Nelson Spruce, L.A. Wildcats ($10,900)
Spruce is pricey, but has become one of the safest plays each week. He’s had 17 receptions for 192 yards and two touchdowns through two games. He’s also shown he can do it with multiple short receptions or deep hook ups. I will pay up at wide receiver this week and Spruce is my first target.
Deandre Thompkins, DC Defenders ($5,700)
Thompkins missed Week 1 with an injury but quickly made up for it in Week 2 by catching 6-of-9 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. He does have good competition for targets with Rashad Ross and Eli Rogers, but he sure didn’t lose playing time after his first game and at his price, he’s a lock in all of my lineups.
Nick Holley, Houston Roughnecks ($4,700)
Holley is no longer a running back, which is a swift kick in the gut but it was the right call to switch him from running back. Even at wide receiver, he still has good value for his price, as his snaps went up last week and he has been efficient with his targets out of the slot. The Roughnecks are going to throw the ball and Cam Phillips won’t always hog all the touchdowns, so grabbing Holley as the cheapest starting receiver from this offense is a good idea.
Reece Horn, Tampa Bay Vipers ($4,200)
Horn led the Vipers in targets, receptions and yards last week and appears to be the No. 1 receiver on the team despite Dan Williams’ big Week 1. There’s not much to like about the Vipers offense right now, but Horn will get plenty of targets in a game the Roughnecks should be able to secure an early lead. And at his price, he should bring his backers value with that kind of usage.
I am an avid fan and user (my username is cogresha) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.