XFL fantasy football is almost here, and unlike the AAF last year, we’ll be able to play XFL DFS on FanDuel. These contests have a $100 salary and require you to construct a lineup using one quarterback, one running back, two wide receiver/tight end flex spots, and two traditional flex spots for a total of six players.
Week 1 in the XFL is certainly going to be tricky, but we aren’t completely flying blind. Most of these players have at least played in the NFL preseason, some were in the AAF last year, and all of them played at the college level. We used that information to construct XFL Week 1 fantasy football rankings and projections along with a Week 1 XFL WR/CB chart.
Of course, it isn’t advisable for anyone who isn’t an experienced DFS player to go all in this week. But having some lineups in a few contests will certainly make these games a lot more interesting. Let’s break down the combined Saturday-Sunday slate.
Rashad Ross ($15) led the AAF in receiving scores last season and figures to be one of the highest-owned players on the slate. Interestingly, he isn’t the most expensive wideout in Week 1. That distinction goes to Sammie Coates ($20), who also is a good bet to be highly owned. Coates projects to dominate the target share in Houston, though it will be interesting to see how much the Roughnecks throw with Philip Walker beating out Connor Cook for the starting job.
At running back, we have another AAF standout in Jhurell Pressley ($18). Pressley averaged a healthy 4.5 yards per attempt last season, but it should be noted that he only found the end zone one time as a runner. That’s five fewer scores than De’Veon Smith ($16) posted last year for Orlando. Smith isn’t likely to see much work as a receiver, but his role on early downs bodes well for a high fantasy floor this weekend.
Landry Jones’ injury means we’ll see Philip Nelson ($16) under center for the Dallas Renegades in Week 1. Under OC Hal Mumme, Dallas figures to run the most pass-heavy offense in the league. Get ready for the Air Renegade offense. Nelson isn’t as good of an option as Jones would have been, but he’s the top signal caller on the board this week. Anyone looking to play Josh Johnson ($21) should proceed with caution. Johnson is shaping up to be a game-time decision this weekend.
Speaking of that Dallas offense, Jazz Ferguson ($11) presents excellent value at wide receiver this weekend. Ferguson is a big-bodied wideout with decent speed who figures to be heavily involved in Week 1. Nelson Spruce ($14) ranked second in the AAF with 65 targets. He’s in a prime spot to hit the ground running in Los Angeles. That said, Spruce becomes a risky play if Johnson isn’t able to start at quarterback.
At running back, we can look to two former NFL players in De’Angelo Henderson ($13) and Lance Dunbar ($15). While the Houston official depth chart has not been released as of this writing, Henderson figures to at least be in a committee with Andre Williams. He’s also six dollars cheaper than Williams. Dunbar may not be the favorite to lead the Renegades in carries, as Cameron Artis-Payne projects to see more early-down work. However, we expect to see plenty of Dunbar in the Dallas passing game. He’s the odds-on favorite to lead running backs in catches this week.
With so little information to go on, this may not be the week to look for under-owned punts, but you might be able to get away with some exposure to Teo Redding ($10). While Mekale McKay projects to dominate targets for New York, Redding should see some action. The young wideout found the end zone eight times and caught 45 balls in his senior year at Bowling Green. We could also look to punt with Redding’s teammate Tim Cook ($12). The “lightning” portion of Kevin Gilbride’s backfield, Cook averaged 5.4 yards per carry and graded out as the No. 6 running back in the AAF last season.