The NFL may be over, but DFS fans can still get their fix with the XFL in full swing. Week 2 is just around the corner, and the following players have a chance to easily outplay their production. We don’t much about the young league yet, but these players should give you the strong performances you need to cash against relatively uninformed competition.
Note that appearing on this list does not necessarily mean that I believe this player will finish top-three at their position. Instead of giving overall projections, I’m listing the players that give the best value for their respective salary. Winning in DFS is all about identifying values, and these guys should outproduce their respective salary.
Note: All prices are per DraftKings
XFL DFS Picks: Week 2
Cardale Jones ($10,200)
Cardale Jones enters Week 2 with the third-highest salary among quarterbacks, but he’s worth the high price. The former Ohio State product looked like one of the best quarterbacks in the league last year, averaging nine yards per attempt while showing a willingness to push the ball downfield. Jones only needed to throw the ball 26 times against the Seattle Dragons, but that number should rise against a solid New York Guardians squad. As if that wasn’t enough, Jones’ rushing ability gives him a safe floor and the potential to explode for a huge game.
Jordan Ta’amu ($8900)
Jordan Ta’amu played well in the XFL opener, averaging 7.7 yards-per-attempt and adding on 77 rushing yards on nine carries. This added mobility is perfect for DFS, and he should be throwing the ball more often in Week 2. The Battlehawks face off against a Houston Roughnecks squad which demonstrated the ability to put up points at a quick clip. If this turns into a shootout, Ta’amu should easily outproduce his salary.
Philip Nelson ($8500)
If Landry Jones misses another week of action, Philip Nelson could be a solid value play. While he probably won’t lead the league in DraftKings scoring, he could easily outproduce his price. The former AAF passer had a rough debut in the XFL, but history suggests he should improve with more playing time. Nelson had a similar sluggish start in the AAF before developing into a solid starter for that league. Additionally, this was his first taste of live football since breaking his clavicle in the AAF, so some rust is expected.
If Jones ends up playing and you still want to go for a cheaper quarterback, take a shot on Brandon Silvers. Seattle’s quarterback played better than his stats would indicate last week and made a few flashy plays both in Week 1 and in the XFL. He’s going up against a seemingly-bad Tampa Bay Vipers defense and should have a good night for XFL DFS purposes.
Matt Jones ($5900)
Matt Jones at $5900 is a great bargain. Trying to predict running back usage can be difficult for the XFL, but Jones figures to be a safe bet to see a large workload. The former third-round pick led the Battlehawks with a commanding 21 carries for 85 yards. The next closest was Christine Michael, who recorded seven carries for zero (yes, zero) yards.
Jones faces a slightly unfavorable matchup against the Houston Roughnecks. Houston’s high-powered offense could lead to St. Louis abandoning the run, but that is a risk worth taking with Jones. Nobody else in this price range has this strong of a command over their backfield.
Ja’Quan Gardner ($4000)
The Tampa Bay Vipers have the worst quarterback situation in the world and only mustered three points in Week 1. No XFL defense is good enough to carry a unit like that, which means the opposing running back is going to have the chance to have a big game.
The Seattle Dragons face off against the Vipers in Week 2, which means one of Ja’Quan Gardner and Kenneth Farrow will probably have a huge performance. The running backs split carries in Week 1, so picking the right running back is something of a dart throw. However, since Gardner is the cheaper option, I’d go with him.
Eli Rogers ($9700)
Eli Rogers is expensive, but he’s worth the money. The former Pittsburgh Steeler finished Week 1 with a team-high six receptions for 73 yards. He showed the ability to make plays at an NFL level, which immediately makes him one of the best receivers in the XFL. He has a good quarterback in Cardale Jones and could easily have a favorable game script. If you’re going to spend up on anyone, make it Rogers.
Kahlil Lewis ($8900)
The Houston Roughnecks had the best quarterback in Week 1, and his favorite target was Kahlil Lewis. Last week, the former Seattle Seahawk recorded five receptions for 45 yards and a score. The receptions were the highest on the team, and the receiving yards was second only to Cam Phillips. However, it’s worth noting that 50 of Phillips’ 67 yards came on one play, so that number is somewhat inflated. Houston should find similar success through the air in Week 2, and Lewis should be on the receiving end of some big plays and touchdowns
Flynn Nagel ($5200)
Flynn Nagel has a chance to be the XFL DFS steal at the wide receiver position. Last week, Nagel quietly recorded six receptions for 43 yards against what appears to be a solid Battlehawks defense. This week, the Renegades take on a Los Angeles Wildcats team that allowed 37 points in Week 1 and fired their defensive coordinator. Whether it’s Philip Nelson or Landry Jones under center, Nagel should be the primary target, and he should be able to do more damage against this subpar unit.
Seattle Dragons ($3000)
There is only one choice here. In the NFL, defensive production is highly influenced by the strength of the opposing offense. That trend appears to be true in the XFL, and that means the Seattle Dragons are a must-play defense.
Aaron Murray is going to start for the Tampa Bay Vipers for at least one more week, and he’s probably going to struggle once again. The former Georgia standout was objectively terrible in Week 1 and this probably wasn’t a one-week fluke. Murray was bad in the AAF and demonstrated no ability to read a defense or make throws against tight coverage. The Dragons should come away with some interceptions and sacks in this one.
Embed from Getty Images