• Brahmas' Drew Beesley on a hot streak: He has earned two straight 90.0-plus game grades and recorded seven pressures in each of those outings.
• Rougnecks' Max Borghi earns season-high 91.7 grade in Week 9: He forced three missed tackles and put up 74 rushing yards on 10 carries, continuing his run as the XFL's highest-graded running back.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Week 10 of the XFL is here, with the Guardians and Battlehawks set to open the slate. Here are PFF's highest-graded players through nine weeks of action.
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Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5
Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9
- Offense: RB De'Veon Smith (75.2)
- Defense: DI T.J. Barnes (90.0)
Quarterback Luis Perez gets an honorable mention here as the Renegades' true highest-graded offensive player, but he falls short of the snap minimum. Smith, meanwhile, has found the end zone five times in his past three outings, two of which earned him 80.0-plus game grades. He ranks second in the XFL in forced missed tackles (29).
Barnes featured in this spot last week with an 85.1 season grade, and now he joins the elite group of 90.0-plus-graded players. He managed just one pressure in Week 9 but made his mark in run defense, recording two stops against the XFL's most productive running back, Abram Smith.
- Offense: WR Lucky Jackson (79.1)
- Defense: CB Michael Joseph (83.0)
Jackson kicks off a week of highest-graded debutants for multiple teams. He has been remarkably consistent this season, falling below a 60.0 game grade in just two of nine games. While he's seen only 13 targets over the past three weeks, four have gone for touchdowns. Jackson also hasn't dropped a pass all season.
Joseph is getting comfortable as the Defenders' highest-graded defender, with this marking his third straight week at the top. He allowed a whopping eight yards on four catches into his coverage in Week 9. He is one of five cornerbacks this season who has faced 20-plus targets yet is surrendering under 10 yards per reception.
.@XFLDefenders OC called a play on 2nd & Goal.
Jordan Ta’amu and Lucky Jackson did the rest ????@XFL2023 pic.twitter.com/3VK7Y2Tjcp
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) April 16, 2023
- Offense: RB Max Borghi (84.4)
- Defense: EDGE John Daka (87.9)
Borghi earned a season-high 91.7 in Week 9 on the back of three forced missed tackles and 74 rushing yards on 10 carries. His 25 first-down runs this season rank second among running backs, and his 84.4 overall grade paces the position.
Tim Ward holds the top spot for the Roughnecks, but his absence over the past four weeks due to injury pushes Daka into the fold. Daka ranks second among XFL edge defenders in pressures (28) and pass-rush win rate (31.9%).
Las Vegas Vipers
- Offense: RB Rod Smith (75.9)
- Defense: EDGE Pita Taumoepenu (81.1)
The Vipers' top-graded players from the Week 9 edition maintain their spots ahead of Week 10. Smith managed just four yards this past week before exiting due to injury — one that could keep him out for Week 10. Still, he is now the XFL's second-highest-graded running back and is one of the more efficient receiving backs in the league.
Taumoepenu earned just his second sub-60.0 game grade of the season this past week, although he held onto his spot as the XFL's pressure leader (34). He is one of four XFL defenders with a 90.0-plus pass-rush grade.
- Offense: TE Cody Latimer (89.1)
- Defense: LB Terrance Plummer (89.8)
Latimer missed Week 9 due to injury but is far and away the XFL's highest-graded pass catcher. No receiver has made more contested catches than Latimer's 10, and only the Sea Dragons' Jahcour Pearson (more on him below) has forced more missed tackles.
Plummer joins Latimer as the XFL's highest-graded player at his position. He made a season-high three run stops in Week 9 en route to an 81.1 game grade. After earning a troubling 41.6 PFF grade in the 2020 XFL season, Plummer is now one of the XFL's top defenders.
San Antonio Brahmas
- Offense: RB Jacques Patrick (75.8)
- Defense: EDGE Drew Beesley (91.3)
Patrick hit 80 rushing yards for the third time in four weeks, breaking a season-high six tackles to boot. That Week 9 effort was hindered only by a fumble, and he is the XFL's third-highest-graded running back.
Perhaps there is no XFL player on more of a hot streak than Beesley, who has earned two straight 90.0-plus game grades and recorded seven pressures in each of those outings. He now ranks second overall in total pressures (32) and is the XFL's highest-graded defender, regardless of position.
Drew Beesley with the tip pick ????@XFL2023 | @XFLBrahmas pic.twitter.com/oYSBjyjiGW
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) April 16, 2023
Seattle Sea Dragons
- Offense: WR Jahcour Pearson (75.5)
- Defense: EDGE Tuzar Skipper (89.5)
Pearson regained his place as the XFL's receiving yards leader (628) after Cody Latimer missed Week 9. He also leads the way in yards after the catch (333) and forced missed tackles among receivers (15).
A season-high 92.2 game grade — albeit on only 17 snaps in Week 9 — keeps Skipper atop the charts for the Sea Dragons. He recorded a sack and a hurry on just 12 pass-rushing snaps this past week. And he earned that 92.2 grade despite missing a tackle.
St. Louis Battlehawks
- Offense: QB A.J. McCarron (76.3)
- Defense: S Lukas Denis (84.2)
McCarron returned in Week 9, only to lose his place as the XFL's highest-graded quarterback. He made one turnover-worthy play and earned his worst game grade of the season (52.0) as the Battlehawks fell to the Sea Dragons. Still, his 341 yards and 12 completions on passes targeted 20-plus yards downfield this season are both top-three marks.
Denis makes his season debut in this article and is now the XFL's highest-graded safety. Chalk it up to a 92.3 game grade in Week 9 after he tallied a fourth-quarter interception in the end zone, albeit in a losing effort.
INTERCEPTION !!! énorme INT de Lukas Denis à 5 minutes de la fin du match un énorme turnover qui relance les chances de St Louis. #XFL #XFL2023 #footus pic.twitter.com/U78km61yS7
— Spring Football News ???? ???????? (@SpringFBnews) April 16, 2023