Week 4 of the new and improved XFL is here. We have one matchup that will likely be the focus of DraftKings daily fantasy players, as Dallas hosts Houston in the highest over/under game of the week. With the fantasy community rightfully flocking to that game to glean fantasy points, finding good pivots will be useful to separate yourself from the pack.
Of course, last week, pivoting from P.J. Walker and Cam Phillips wasn’t a fun endeavor, but their prices continue to rise while many will do their best to roster both after their back-to-back huge performances. That isn’t the worst plan you can have, but it’s going to be tight getting under the cap.
Banking on Cardale Jones returning to form isn’t a sure shot, but it’s one place to deviate from the crowd while relying on a Josh Johnson led offense could be beneficial, if you can figure out who is getting work for the Wildcats.
It’s going to be tough to get away from P.J. Walker and Landry Jones this week. Their matchup has the most upside and both of their offenses throw the ball a ton. I love Josh Johnson but the Guardians slow the game down in a big way and there’s a good chance the Wildcats run the ball with a lead. Jordan Ta’amu isn’t worth his price in a game where the BattleHawks are big favorites, as they should stick to the ground game while the rest of the QBs are pretty flimsy, with Taylor Cornelius, Brandon Silvers, and whoever gets the start for Matt McGloin this week.
Landry Jones, Dallas Renegades ($9,800)
Jones doesn’t have the consistency of Walker, but his team has thrown the ball more than any other team in the league and now they face the highest scoring team in the league, that has also given up big points this year. The Roughnecks let the previously inept Tampa Bay offense score 27 points on them last week. Jones has plenty of scoring potential at home in this matchup and at his price compared to Walker, I’m leaning his way in most of my lineups.
P.J. Walker, Houston Roughnecks ($12,000)
If your DK lineup is working out so you can afford Walker, do it. He is the safest play and the no-doubt No. 1 fantasy quarterback going. You can’t dispute his numbers and if the passing game isn’t working at peak efficiency, Walker can make up for it with his rushing ability, which Jones in no way can do.
Cardale Jones, DC Defenders ($9,900)
The other Jones looked like he was swapped out for James Earl Jones, and not the Darth Vader Jones, the Field of Dreams Jones, when he had a meltdown in L.A. He looked awful. His four interceptions had no chance as he was cluelessly chucking the ball up for grabs. That’s not a ringing endorsement for his ability this week, but I do have faith in Pep Hamilton and the Vipers to help Jones turn things around. I’m only looking at him in GPPs because I’d like to see him right the ship first, but his upside this week is Top-3.
Playing either of the Dallas backs is my first choice, as they are guaranteed points just by snagging a few targets and Dallas is the only team to use their running backs in the passing game with consistency. After those two, I’ll mainly be on the lookout for value plays who won’t need to put up big numbers to keep my lineup in the running.
You cannot rely on any running back scoring a touchdown. There are a few who have a better chance than others, but there’s nobody who you can guarantee will see 20 touches and multiple goal line snaps, so I will focus on backs who see at least a few targets, as that’s the easiest way for an XFL player to have consistency.
Lance Dunbar, Dallas Renegades ($6,700)
Cameron Artis Payne, Dallas Renegades ($8,000)
These two are first and second in running back receptions while Artis-Payne has been great on the ground, averaging over six-yards per carry. They are my Top-2 plays for the week and whichever can fit under your salary cap will do.
Christine Michael, St. Louis BattleHawks ($5,700)
Michael hasn’t been good this season, but he’s getting a lot of work and his team is a 12-point favorite at home and prefers to run the ball. Matt Jones is ahead of Michael in production, but they split snaps evenly and Michael is cheaper. I rather not pick a back who isn’t getting targets (3 on the season), but the BattleHawks are dedicated to the run and they should handle the Dragons without much trouble.
Jacques Patrick, Tampa Bay Vipers ($5,000)
I like De’Veon Smith as well, but the two have similar upside and Patrick is $1,100 cheaper. If their price isn’t too much of a factor in your decision, then I’d lean Smith, but Patrick’s price gives him more value. He’s also seen a few more touches inside the opponent’s 10-yard line, so a touchdown is slightly more likely.
Darius Victor, NY Guardians
Victor is listed as probable, so should be able to go against the Wildcats this weekend. He looked like the only offensive weapon with some juice last week for the Guardians and I expect he continues to see good usage at a decent price. His upside in what should be a slow paced game isn’t great, but will likely see more work on passing downs as the Guardians trail.
Dujuan Harris, LA Wildcats ($3,400)
The Wildcats aren’t being too forthcoming about the running back situation, so it’s hard to know exactly who is playing and who isn’t, but it does look like Martez Carter won’t play and Elijah Hood is hurting. If both are out, Harris is someone I would take a flier on this week.
The Defenders trio of top wide receivers should be able to get back on track against the Vipers poor pass defense, but DeAndre Thompkins is the only one we could call a value play. On the other side of the field we have a nice duo between Jalen Tolliver and Dan Williams, especially if Nick Truesdell remains out. Grabbing any pieces you can from the Dallas/Houston game is a decent move, while figuring out who will lead the Wildcats in targets with Nelson Spruce out is a useful strategy.
Sam Mobley, Houston Roughnecks ($3,400)
Nick Holley, Houston Roughnecks ($4,500)
Paying up for Cam Phillips is an option I am more than willing to take in cash games. He’s had huge numbers and is doing so consistently, but we’ll need to find some value plays to help us get to him and Walker, which puts Mobley and Holley in or sights. Holley is an every down receiver, which should give him plenty of opportunities in what should be a high-scoring game as long as Phillips doesn’t hog it all for himself against this week. Mobley passed Sammie Coates last week in snap percentage and had his best game of the season, catching 2-of-4 targets for 41 yards against the Vipers last week. In an elevated offensive game like this week, he could easily hit value at his price.
Rashad Ross, DC Defenders ($8,700)
DeAndre Thompkins, DC Defenders ($5,200)
Ross has seen his snaps rise each week and led the team in targets last week. Tampa Bay has the some of the worst cornerbacks in the league according to PFF and they were absolutely destroyed by Cam Phillips last week. Ross has great upside and with his usage continuing to rise, this could be a breakout game for him.
Thompkins also gets a good matchup and is the cheapest play of the Defenders Top-3 receivers. He already showed he can put up numbers two weeks ago, and at his price, I like his upside.
Tre McBride, LA Wildcats ($8,100)
With Nelson Spruce out and McBride further away from his injury, we should see a big increase in snaps for McBride. He only played 16 last week but put up a big game. It would stand to reason that his strong Week 3 and Spruce’s absence sets him up for a big workload.
Donald Parham, Dallas Renegades ($9,900)
Flynn Nagel, Dallas Renegades ($4,800)
I want as many pieces of Dallas’ passing game as I can have this week and Parham and Nagel are my Top-2 picks. Jeff Badet is going to break out at some point, but I’m looking for consistency or value and these two bring those attributes. Parham has been the No. 1 target for Landry Jones and put up big numbers since Jones started in Week 2. I expect that to continue this week in a shootout while Nagel hasn’t been utilized as much, but he’s on the field a ton and caught a touchdown last week. He’s set up for elevated usage in this matchup.
LA Wildcats ($4,500) at NY Guardians
The Wildcats will probably be the highest rostered D/ST this week, as they take on a Guardians team that is weak at the quarterback position and they played well last week, intercepting Cardale Jones four times. If you want to picot from them, the Defenders and BattleHawks are your best chance as long as you can fit them under the cap.
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.