Welcome to the XFL running back rankings for Week 1. As with any Week 1 of any league, we are behind the curve, but with a new league like the XFL, we are the curb and we could get stomped. But, we do have enough information to tentatively rank players. The Week 1 depth chart, injury report, offensive play-calling tendencies and quarterback experience and skill level, give us some clues. How teams and players gel offensively and defensively is something we will need to wait to see.
There is some talent at running back in the XFL and as long as that talent is listed as a starter, we can feel pretty good about giving them a shot in our fantasy and DFS lineups. Number one on this list is ex-Panther Cameron Artis-Payne. Payne showed well in his limited time in the NFL and is on a Dallas team that is projected to be one of the better teams in the league while their opponent looks to be one of the worst teams in the league. Dallas is favored by -9.5 points, so there is a good chance CAP is able to see more work with a lead as well.
Christine Michael will be on the other side of the field in Dallas, as his BattleHawks come to town. The spread isn’t what I like to see, but Michael is a capable pass-catcher and he proved his talent in NFL preseason and in the regular season with Seattle. As long as he has any gas left in the tank, his ability should get him plenty of fantasy points.
The next highest point spread goes in the DC Defenders favor as they host Seattle. The Defenders are favored by -8 and have the leading rusher from the AAF in Jhurell Pressley. If game flow goes the way of the odds, Pressley should see enough opportunity to put up good numbers.
If you are looking for pass-catching backs, my best guess is that De’Angelo Henderson, Donnel Pumphrey and DuJuan Harris could shine in that department this week. I want to pick a Marc Trestman back too, but he doesn’t have a player with a strong history as a receiver. We know that Trestman is going to throw to his running backs, so maybe De’Veon Smith, as the starter, will get the bulk of that work. If he does, his upside gets a nice bump.
Lance Dunbar is a question mark at this point. For some reason he was left off the Week 1 depth chart but isn’t on the injury report. If he is good to go and will play, he has the receiving chops to do well in Bob Stoops’ offense, but for now I have him at the bottom of the rankings until we know he will play.
XFL Week 1 Running Back Rankings
|1||Cameron Artis-Payne||DAL||vs. STL|
|3||Jhurell Pressley||DC||vs. SEA|
|6||Tim Cook||NY||vs. TB|
|7||Andre Williams||HOU||vs. LA|
|9||De'Angelo Henderson||HOU||vs. LA|
|10||Donnel Pumphrey||DC||vs. SEA|
|12||Darius Victor||NY||vs. TB|
|16||Justin Stockton||NY||vs. TB|
|20||Austin Walter||DAL||vs. STL|
|22||Nick Brossette||DC||vs. SEA|
|23||Marquis Young||DAL||vs. STL|
|24||James Butler||HOU||vs. LA|
|25||Matthew Colburn||NY||vs. TB|
|26||Khalid Abdullah||DC||vs. SEA|
|30||Lance Dunbar||DAL||vs. STL|