DraftKings pricing is mostly on the mark, but there are plenty of receivers who will start that are super cheap. I’d still rather pay up for guys I really feel good about that are also expensive, but there are enough value plays to help us get some of those top guys. Running backs and quarterbacks are mostly priced up for the starters, but there is some value in there worth exploiting.
The league will likely be heavy on passing, so getting a receiving back should be a good way to go, but we also only need to roster one running back, as there are two flex spots to go along with one quarterback, two receivers and one defense.
P.J. Walker, Houston Roughnecks ($7,800)
Walker will probably be heavily rostered this week, as his price is low because he beat out Connor Cook after the DraftKings prices were set. He also is in a Run N’ Shoot offense coached by June Jones, so should get plenty of pass attempts to accumulate fantasy points. And with interceptions only knocking a QB down one-point, I’ll go for the cheaper quarterback who throws a bunch.
Andre Williams, Houston Roughnecks ($3,800)
Williams is the Roughnecks starting running back and will no-doubt be their goal line back. In their pass-heavy offense, he might not have high volume, but if the offense is working, he’ll have touches near the goal line more than backs who cost a whole lot more.
Ja’Quan Gardner, Seattle Dragons ($3,600)
Gardner is listed atop the Dragons’ running back depth chart and is the cheapest starting running back on the slate. The Dragons aren’t set up to put up much offense and I expect this backfield to be more of a committee, but the price is too good to ignore for a starter and the team will be run-focused.
De’Angelo Henderson, Houston Roughnecks ($4,500)
Andre Williams won’t be heavily targeted, as he is more of a bruiser, while Henderson should be involved more as a receiver. Henderson has ability and turned heads while in Denver. The Roughnecks have the fewest running backs with three and in a pass-first offense, Henderson should get enough targets at his price to be a useful cost saver on DraftKings.
Dujuan Harris, L.A. Wildcats ($4,000)
I like Elijah Hood, but I expect Harris to get work out of the backfield as a receiver and as a veteran back who had close to 200 touches in the NFL, he should be useful as a pass blocker and receiver in a game where the Wildcats are six-point underdogs.
Malachi Dupre, DC Defenders ($3,000)
Dupre is listed as a starting receiver ahead of Rashad Ross and Eli Rogers. The other Defenders receiver who was named a starter was DeAndre Thompkins, who is out this week. I like Ross still, but Dupre, who is the only receiver playing who is atop the depth chart, is over $7k cheaper.
Kahlil Lewis, Houston Roughnecks ($4,100)
Lewis is listed as a starter in Houston’s Run N’ Shoot offense. That’s enough for me to like him right there, but he has also shown ability in college, as his last two years at Cincinnati he went for 117 receptions for 1,458 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Jalen Tolliver, Tampa Bay Vipers ($3,200)
Tolliver is listed as a starter in Marc Trestman’s offense. He’s spent the most time in the NFL of the Vipers receivers and with Antoniuo Callaway hurt, could move up into the No. 1 receiver role. At his price, I’m willing to find out.
D/STs are going to be interesting in the XFL because kick returns are set up to favor the returner and we could end up with a few returners who can get your D/ST some points, but for now, we’ll have to play it by ear.
Houston Roughnecks ($3,200) vs. LA Wildcats
At this point, we probably need to target poor quarterbacks. With Josh Johnson out, I like the Roughnecks to be able to create some turnovers at their cheap price.