XFL DFS Picks – Week 1
The NFL season may be over, but DFS football junkies can still get their fix with the reboot of the XFL. The XFL 2.0 has been getting some hype and will be televised on major networks. While there are some familiar faces coaching and on the field, it is largely a mystery what to expect from the eight XFL teams as we enter Week 1.
I did my best attempt at analyzing each team’s roster in my XFL DFS Preview article and will leverage those findings as my starting point for Week 1 recommendations. All of that said, Week 1 could be a crapshoot and we will know infinitely more about the teams and players after a week or two of results in the books.
I also threw in my top Best Bets and XFL playoffs and Championship picks at the bottom of the article. This Week 1 article will be FREE, but change to be behind the paywall going forward so sign up now for our FREE 7-day trial!
So, in my best Vince McMahon voice, “This is the XFL!”
Top DFS Plays
Phillip Walker (HOU) vs. LA
The Houston Roughnecks are coached by June Jones who has always led some of the most pass-happy offenses in each of his coaching stops. That offensive philosophy should be no different in this go around in the XFL which figures to be largely focused on passing with the rules in play. Many expected ex-NFL player, Connor Cook, to get the keys to the Roughnecks offense, but instead it will be Phillip “PJ” Walker who played his college ball at Temple. He posted some solid numbers in college which included the ability to run which helps his DFS floor. I expect the matchup against the Los Angeles Wildcats to be the highest-scoring affair in the opening weekend of the XFL.
- Cardale Jones (DC) vs. SEA
- Aaron Murray (TB) @ NY
Christine Michael (STL) @ DAL
Looking at the Vegas lines for Week 1, the St. Louis BattleHawks are a touchdown underdog on the road against the Dallas Renegades which doesn’t seem like it would bode well for the St. Louis starting RB. However, with the Renegades likely without their starting QB, Landry Jones, that line seems inflated. If you check my XFL Preview article, you will also see that I ranked the BattleHawks with the top RB corp and with one of the best offensive lines in the league while the Renegades ranked as one of the worst defensive lines. The BattleHawks should also take on a more run-oriented approach on offense given their coach and personnel. I’m expecting Michael to get the bulk of the workload in the backfield including goal-line carries.
Cameron Artis-Payne (DAL) vs. STL
It is strange to recommend both RBs in the same game, but as I mentioned in my write up above, the Renegades will likely be without their starting QB, which should put more emphasis on the ground game with Artis-Payne leading the way. Much like the BattleHawks, the Renegades ranked well at RB (2nd) and on the offensive line (1st) in my NFL experience and draft capital metrics while the St. Louis defensive line was just in the middle of the pack. If you believe the Vegas line with the Renegades as a touchdown favorite, then Artis-Payne could be the top RB choice on the slate. Even if you don’t buy the Vegas line (like me), the game still figures to be close allowing both teams to keep the running game in play.
- De’Veon Smith (TB) @NY
- De’Angelo Henderson (HOU) vs. LA
Rashad Ross (DC) vs. SEA
Ross was one of the receiving stars of the short-lived AAF league when he posted 36 catches for 583 yards and 7 TDs. Ross along with Eli Rogers could form the top 1-2 WR combo in the league with a capable QB Cardale Jones throwing the rock for the Defenders. While the DC passing offense graded out fairly well in my preseason metrics, the Seattle Dragons defense looks like a unit that could struggle to stop the pass with the 6th ranked set of defensive backs.
Sammie Coates (HOU) vs. LA
If you read my write up on the Houston QB, Walker, then you know that I’m all-in on the Roughnecks passing attack with June Jones calling the shots. The Roughnecks WR with the most NFL experience is Sammie Coates who played four seasons while posting 29 receptions for 528 yards and 2 TDs primarily with the Steelers as a 3rd round draft pick. Coates could be part of a potential shootout against the LA Wildcats who I had ranked with the 2nd worst defensive back group.
Nick Truesdell (TB) @ NY
There is no TE position in the DFS game, but Truesdell still deserves some attention. He put up 24 catches for 269 yards and 3 TDs in eight AAF games and should be a big red zone target for the Tampa Bay Vipers in the XFL. The New York Guardians graded out as one of the worst defenses in the league according to my preseason metrics and the Vipers will be looking for offensive targets with their expected top WR Antonio Callaway on the IR to start the season.
- Mekale McKay (NY) vs. TB
- Eli Rogers (DC) vs. SEA
- Jordan Smallwood (LA) @ HOU
- Freddie Martino (DAL) vs. STL
Defenders (DC) vs. SEA
The Defenders graded out with the top secondary and linebacking corp in my preseason rankings. They are installed as a touchdown favorite at home against the Seattle Dragons who I expect to be one of the worst teams in the league. Big leads bring increased opportunities for sacks and turnovers which I expect the Defenders will get in the opening game of the XFL season.
- Vipers (TB) @ NY
- Roughnecks (HOU) vs. LA (if Josh Johnson is out)
LA/Houston take the Over if a total is given
- DC Defenders
- St. Louis BattleHawks
- Tampa Bay Vipers
- New York Guardians
- Houston Roughnecks
- Dallas Renegades
- Los Angeles Wildcats
- Seattle Dragons
Defenders over Battlehawks
Roughnecks over Renegades
Roughnecks over Defenders
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