Sunday’s matchups in the XFL bring us the two closest lines, as the Wildcats are favored by -2.5 over the Vipers and the BattleHawks are -5 favorites over the Defenders. The biggest question of these two games is whether or not Cardale Jones can turn things around, as he’s been truly awful in his last two games. If he can, these two games could both be close and push up the fantasy points, but if he can’t, the BattleHawks should cruise. Passing on the Defenders players could be a bad move, but I haven’t seen anything worth holding onto in their last two games.
Josh Johnson, LA Wildcats ($10,500)
Johnson might have the wins under his belt that P.J. Walker has but he’s been playing just as well. Johnson’s DK points have gone 18, 26, 25 in his three games and has yet to do anything with his rushing ability. He also leads the league in QB rating at 106.4, and is tops in PFF grading at 84.8 and yards per attempt with 8.1. He leads the league in deep passing attempts per game with 7.7 while his adjusted completion rate and QB rating lead the league on passes over 20 yards.
Jordan Ta’amu, St. Louis BattleHawks ($9.700)
Ta’amu heads into D.C. coming off one of his best games of the season. He still has a lower floor than Johnson and Walker, as his team will go into full run mode, which hurts Ta’amu’s upside, but he’s still managed to top 20 DK points in three of four games. The Defenders have been middling against the pass game this season but they’ve also had no offense over the last two games. It would be helpful if the Defenders can get some semblance of an offense going to push Ta’amu into more work.
Martez Carter, LA Wildcats ($4,600)
Carter went off for three touchdowns two weeks ago, but missed last week with an ankle injury. DuJuan Harris led the team last week in his absence. Carter is listed as questionable but appears likely to play. If he can’t go, I like Harris as the player to switch in your lineups.
Jacques Patrick, Tampa Bay Vipers ($7,000)
De’Veon Smith is the safer play when healthy, but there’s a chance he isn’t 100 percent after being limited in practice with a foot ailment. But, even if Smith is a full go, Patrick has been the preferred back around the goal line, which showed up last week with a touchdown. The Wildcats are weak against the run, ranking second to last in yards per carry and rushing yards allowed.
Tre McBride, LA Wildcats ($9,700)
Jordan Smallwood, LA Wildcats ($6,200)
With Nelson Spruce out, McBride is a lock to see plenty of deep passes while Smallwood has seen a nice bump in work with Spruce out. McBride is a no-brainer after putting up two huge games in his first two appearances while Smallwood gives us a little discount with upped usage with one of the top quarterbacks in the game. They are both staples.
De’Mornay Pierson-El, St. Louis BattleHawks ($9,200)
Pierson-El is one of the better receivers in yards after the catch, as he’s tied with Dan Williams at 147 YAC while also catching 21 of 23 targets thrown his way. He makes for one of the safer plays due to his strong hands and ability to pick up yardage on his own.
Nick Truesdell, Tampa Bay Vipers ($4,700)
This pick is all about value, as Truesdell came into this season as the Vipers No. 1 pick and saw a good workload before getting injured. Now his price is below 5k and I expect the Wildcats to be able to score and push the Vipers to throw more often.
LA Wildcats ($3,900) vs. Tampa Bay Vipers
The Vipers head cross country after their first win of the season and face a team that should be able to put up points, forcing Taylor Cornelius who has a dismal 36.8 QB rating under pressure.