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XFL fantasy football Week 2 preview and updated projections

XFL fantasy football is here. We have four games this weekend, with the action kicking off at 2:00 PM EST. With very little information to go on, we have to read the tea leaves a bit for both season-long and XFL DFS purposes. Fortunately, the teams did release official depth charts, so we do at least have a sense of who is going to see the field the most in Week 1. So, let’s break down each game on this week’s slate with a look at the projected skill-position depth chart.

New York @ DC

Betting Line: DC -6.5

Depth Charts

New York Guardians

DC Defenders
QB1 Matt McGloin QB1

Cardale Jones

RB1

Darius Victor RB1 Jhurell Pressley
RB2 Tim Cook RB2

Donnel Pumphrey

WR1

Mekale McKay WR1 Eli Rogers
WR2 Joe Horn Jr. WR2

Rashad Ross

WR3

Colby Pearson WR3 Malachi Dupre 
TE1 Jake Powell TE1

Khari Lee

Cardale Jones got off to a strong start last week, topping 20 fantasy points in the process. He remains one of the top fantasy plays at the position. While we didn’t see a ton of Rashad Ross in Week 1, he did make the most of his two catches and was one of the most effective XFL wideouts on a per-route basis. His arrow is pointing up heading into Week 2. However, the top fantasy wideout in DC is still Eli Rogers, who caught all six of his targets last week. Jhurell Pressley got off to an inefficient start, but he was one of just four backs to top 10 carries in Week 1. Given that volume, he remains one of the better running back plays in the XFL. 

Mekale McKay entered the season as one of the top fantasy options at wideout, but he got off to a slow start after battling injuries in training camp. His job doesn’t get any easier this week, as the DC defense graded out tops in coverage for Week 1. That being said, we did see three scores from the Seattle passing game last week, so McKay makes for an intriguing contrarian play. The three touchdowns came from Brandon Silvers despite a lackluster overall performance, so stacking McKay with Matt McGloin could pay dividends in DFS. Be careful when considering the Guardians' backfield. Many expected Tim Cook to lead the way, but Darius Victor saw the most work in Week 1.

Tampa Bay @ Seattle

Betting Line: TB -3

Depth Charts

Tampa Bay Vipers

Seattle Dragons
QB1 Taylor Cornelius QB1

Brandon Silvers

RB1

De'Veon Smith RB1 Ja'Quan Gardner
RB2 Jacques Patrick RB2

Kenneth Farrow

WR1

Daniel Williams WR1 Austin Proehl 
WR2 Jalen Tolliver WR2

Keenan Reynolds

WR3

Reece Horn WR3 Alonzo Moore
TE1 Nick Truesdell TE1

Colin Jeter

With Aaron Murray ruled out for Week 2 with a foot injury, the Vipers will roll with Taylor Cornelius at quarterback. The former Oklahoma State signal-caller threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior in 2018 and went on to spend the 2019 NFL preseason with the Packers. He’s a big-bodied player (6-foot-6) who isn’t a major downgrade for Daniel Williams, Jalen Tolliver and Reece Horn. In the run game, Tampa fed De’Veon Smith 16 carries in Week 1, which ranked second in the league. Jacques Patrick was also involved on the ground with eight carries to go along with one catch on three targets. 

Like Tampa, the Dragons have a one-two punch in their backfield with Ja’Quan Gardner and Kenneth Farrow. While Gardner’s nine carries paced the team, Farrow led the Dragons in touches, with 11 (seven carries and four catches). Of course, we may be burying the lead a bit here, as Austin Proehl had one of the biggest fantasy performances in Week 1. Proehl’s 10 targets ranked second behind only Nelson Spruce, so expect another healthy workload against the Vipers. Proehl will see his share of Micah Hannemann out of the slot. Hannemann graded out just 44th out of 66 in coverage among qualifying defensive backs in Week 1. 

Dallas @ Los Angeles

Betting Line: DAL -3

Depth Charts

Dallas Renegades

Los Angeles Wildcats
QB1 Landry Jones QB1

Josh Johnson

RB1

Lance Dunbar RB1 Elijah Hood
RB2 Cameron Artis-Payne RB2

Larry Rose III

WR1

Jeff Badet WR1 Nelson Spruce
WR2 Flynn Nagel WR2

Saeed Blacknall

WR3

Jerrod Heard WR3 Adonis Jennings
TE1 Donald Parham TE1

Brandon Barnes

Landry Jones will get the start for the Renegades after sitting out last week, and that will provide an immediate upgrade for this offense. Better yet, Jones gets to face a Wildcats defense that allowed four passing scores to P.J. Walker last week. Jones has a lot of appeal in DFS contests for Week 2. Jazz Ferguson was one of the biggest fantasy disappointments in the league last week, so it’s best to fade him until he shows that he’s a bigger part of the offense. That leaves Jeff Badet and Flynn Nagel as the top two wideouts along with Donald Parham as one of the rare tight ends worth using as a flex in DFS. Lance Dunbar led all running backs in catches last week and is the odds-on favorite to do so again.

Unlike with Jones, we still lack clarity on Josh Johnson’s status. The LA signal-caller was limited in practice, so there’s a chance he suits up. If not, look for Charles Kanoff to get another start with the possibility that Jalan McClendon sees some playing time. Regardless of who is under center, we can expect another busy day for Nelson Spruce. The former Hard Knocks standout led the league with 15 targets in Week 1. He’s the top non-quarterback fantasy option this week. Elijah Hood was one of just four backs to top double-digit carries last week. He’s poised for a big day against a Dallas defense that surrendered 85 rushing yards on 21 carries to Matt Jones last week. 

St. Louis @ Houston

Betting Line: HOU -8

Depth Charts

St. Louis BattleHawks

Houston Roughnecks
QB1 Jordan Ta'amu QB1

Phillip Walker

RB1

Matt Jones RB1 James Butler
RB2 Christine Michael RB2

Andre Williams

WR1

L'Damian Washington WR1 Cam Phillips
WR2 De'Mornay Pierson-El WR2

Sammie Coates

WR3

Marcus Lucas WR3 Kahlil Lewis
TE1 Wes Saxton WR4

Nick Holley

Speaking of Matt Jones, it looks fairly clear that the former Redskins running back has pulled away from Christine Michael in the BattleHawks' backfield. It’s hard to ignore that sort of volume, especially in the pass-happy XFL. Jones is a top running back play this week. Jordan Ta’amu didn’t put up the biggest numbers as a passer in the opener, but his 77 rushing yards propelled him to a solid fantasy day. He’s in play as a DFS option this week in what should be a fast-paced contest.

The top fantasy play on the board last week was Houston signal-caller P.J. Walker. The former Temple Owl tossed four scores through the air and led all quarterbacks with 272 passing yards. He’s this week’s No. 1 fantasy quarterback. Interestingly, Walker put up those numbers despite completing just 2-of-9 targets to Sammie Coates. Given what we saw in Week 1, Cam Phillips is the most appealing wideout on the Roughnecks’ depth chart. Also, keep in mind that Houston ended up giving James Butler the most carries in their backfield. That being said, there isn’t a ton of meat on the bone in the Houston run game. The Roughnecks dropped back to pass 73% of the time in Week 1.

Updated Week 2 Projections

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