Five years removed from the Rams departure, the XFL has brought football back St. Louis. The St. Louis Battlehawks will have Jonathan Hayes as their head coach and general manager. Hayes has plenty of background in college football and the NFL, getting drafted in the second-round by the Chiefs in 1985. He lasted in the NFL until 1996 with the Steelers. Hayes’ son, Jaxon, was a lottery pick by the New Orleans Pelicans in this past NBA Draft.
While Hayes has been in coaching since 1999, this will be his first crack at a head coaching job. He was on Bob Stoops’ staff at Oklahoma when the team won the 2000 National Championship. Hayes was on the Bengals’ coaching staff from 2003-2018.
Chuck Long will be the offensive coordinator for the Battlehawks, and Jonathan’s brother, Jay Hayes, will be the defensive coordinator.
So, where might the fantasy points from the St. Louis offense come from? Here are some names you may know from previous stops that could be contributors for the Battlehawks.
Taylor Heinicke, QB (ODU, Carolina Panthers)
Heinicke had a historic career at Old Dominion, really catching the eye of the NFL during his sophomore season. Heinicke threw for over 5,000 yards with 44 touchdowns that season, and ran for another 470 yards and 11 scores. This was back in 2012, and he saw regression in each of his final two seasons in college. Heinicke bounced around the NFL for four years, and saw some time on the field with Carolina when Cam Newton was hurt. He brings a ton of upside into the XFL game.
Christine Michael, RB (Texas A&M, Seattle Seahawks)
Michael was a flash in the pan on the fantasy radar in the NFL, starting some games during his time in Seattle. Michael is a super athletic RB, which should earn him snaps in the XFL. The talent has been obvious for a while, as Michael was a second-round pick back in 2013. Michael was averaging 4.3 yards per carry and scored eight touchdowns in the NFL as recently as 2016, so there could still be some gas left in the tank.
Matt Jones, RB (Florida, Washington)
Jones was a third-round pick by Washington in the 2015 draft, and the ‘Skins relied upon him heavily. But after playing in 13 games as a rookie, Jones would play just 12 more games total over the next two years, falling out of the league. Jone did average 14 yards per catch during his stint in the NFL, so he could make for a good receiving weapon out of the backfield in the XFL. Look for he and Mitchel to make for a nice one-two punch.
Marquette King, P (Oakland Raiders)
Yes, featuring a punter here does mean that St. Louis doesn’t have all that many big names from the NFL. But King was one I was surprised to see here. He was recently one of the best punters in the NFL, but was more known for his celebrations that his skills. King kicked with the Raiders for six seasons before ending his career in Denver. He could still be a legitimate difference maker on special teams.
St. Louis Battlehawks Roster
|4||Fitzgerald, Nick||QB||6'5||227||Mississippi State|
|6||Heinicke, Taylor||QB||6'1||205||Old Dominion|
|20||Tillery, Lenard||RB||5'9||201||Southern University|
|33||Michael, Christine||RB||5'10||220||Texas A&M|
|36||Ford, Keith||RB||5'10||219||Texas A&M|
|17||Mumphery, Keith||WR||6'0||210||Michigan State|
|82||Hunt, Cole||TE||6'6||254||Texas Christian|
|83||Saxton, Wes||TE||6'4||240||South Alabama|
|7||King, Marquette||P||6'0||192||Fort Valley State|
|72||Campos, Jake||OG||6'7||320||Iowa State|
|56||Hoskins, Ro'Derrick||LB||6'2||230||Florida State|
|57||Garvin, Terence||LB||6'3||242||West Virginia|
|94||Soulek, Kellen||DT||6'4||310||South Dakota State|
|98||Clarke, Will||DL||6'6||271||West Virginia|
|55||Ankrah, Andrew||DE||6'3||216||James Madison|
|28||Nelson, Robert||CB||5'10||174||Arizona State|
|29||Rivers, David||CB||6'0||185||Youngstown State|
|35||Wade, D'Montre||CB||6'0||200||Murray State|
|23||Robinson, Kenny||S||6'2||198||West Virginia|
|44||Powell, Joe||S||6'2||235||Globe Tech|