The XFL season is moving on to Week 2 with an early in the week Thursday Night game between the Sea Dragons and BattleHawks. This week we have much more information to go on, but with such a small data set, we will likely be surprised by some of the usage come Monday morning.
Across the DFS content industry we are likely going to see a lot of the same players singled out in articles and for good reason. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to go contrarian at least a little.
Ben DiNucci, Sea Dragons, $10,200
DiNucci wasn’t good in Week 1, but he still managed 15.6 DK points despite throwing two interceptions and losing a critical fumble. He could have a short leash on Thursday night, but it’s hard to find an XFL QB that doesn’t have some chance of being replaced in-game. The BattleHawks had PFF’s worst coverage rating and a middle of the road pass rush in Week 1, while the SeaDragons will not relent with the pass, even going for three after every touchdown.
Brett Hundley, Vipers, $7,000
Will Hundley start this week? I believe so, but so far we haven’t heard either way. In Week 1 Luis Perez had a tale of two halves type of game, as he threw two TDs in the first half and then two pick-sixes in the second half to lose to a team that didn’t score an offensive touchdown. Hundley appeared to not start in Week 1 due to his newness to the team, but he has the highest contract in the league and I expect the Vipers to get him out there as soon as possible.
Other Options — Brandon Silvers, Roughnecks ($8,600), AJ McCarron, BattleHawks ($10,700)
Brian Hill, BattleHawks, $7,300
UPDATE: Hill is INACTIVE. Get him out of your lineups. Mataeo Durant and Kareem Walker will take over. Neither is a great play, but I like Durant’s upside the most.
Hill looked great when on the field in Week 1, but a hamstring injury kept him out long enough to look like he wasn’t the no-doubt lead back. That might give some advantage to those who do have this information. The BattleHawks might be in pass-first mode in this game, but Hill did catch all three of his targets for 26 yards last week and I expect he’d be in line for useful targets if they fall behind.
De’Veon Smith, Renegades, $5,700
Smith was the clear lead back in Week 1 and also was the clear receiving back, as he had 15 carries and three targets to Keith Ford’s eight carries and no targets. He didn’t do a whole lot with those touches, but neither did Ford. Getting that kind of usage at a discount is right up my alley.
Other Options — Max Borghi, Roughnecks ($8,000); Nick Holley, Roughnecks ($3,000); Kalen Ballage, Brahmas ($7,100); Dejoun Lee, Roughnecks ($4,200); Morgan Ellison, Sea Dragons ($4,400)
Wide receiver/Tight End
Jahcour Pearson, Sea Dragons, $7,300
The Sea Dragons WR might be rostered more than any player in the league this week and for good reason. Pearson ran all his routes out of the slot while also running the second-most routes on the team, while catching 12-of-13 targets to lead the team. Ben DiNucci did not seem too confident in going deep and relied on Pearson to move the ball. That should continue.
Blake Jackson, Sea Dragons, $6,400
This isn’t a huge value at his price, but I love Jackson’s upside and likely lower roster percentage with Josh Gordon and Pearson probably seeing more play in DFS. Jackson had the second-most targets and receptions for Seattle, but just 52 yards and no touchdowns. It would appear he was running shorter routes, but in actuality he was tied for fifth in air yards for the league. He’s not as reliable as Pearson, but I like him as a pivot play with a good price.
Other Options — Marcell Ateman ($9,500), BattleHawks; Fred Brown, Brahmas ($3,200); Deontay Burnett, Roughnecks ($8,500); Jeff Badet, Vipers ($8,900)
Houston Roughnecks, $4,500
The Roughnecks helped me out last week and I don’t see any need to not continue with them this week at home as the biggest favorite on the slate. Wade Phillips’ crew led by Trent Harris’ 4 sacks and three hurries, totaled 8 sacks, 11 hurries and five QB hits in Week 1, per Pro Football Focus. As long as they keep pressuring the quarterback, good things will happen.