Just when one pro football season comes to an epic conclusion, now another league of yesteryear begins. Kicking off on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET is the reincarnated XFL, the hopeful-to-be other pro football league of national notoriety.
Entering a time where sports betting and daily fantasy sports are booming (as opposed to the first failed iteration nineteen years ago), the XFL stands a great chance of sustaining the viewership and attention necessary for staying this time around.
Speaking of daily fantasy, we’ve got some first looks at roster construction to get to! With the instant support of the big dog DFS sites like DraftKings to add to the product confidence, XFL fantasy lineups are now a thing (much unlike the Alliance of American Football, RIP).
With the research samples being a bit limited in terms of recency relevance, there are new angles to peel back considering the rules and scoring differences. Double forward-passing, along with point after touchdown attempts ranging from 1-3 points and all coming from the offense (no kicking attempts), top the list of fresh elements to consider within players’ scoring potential.
On DraftKings there’s a two-day, four-game main slate to start us off, so let’s take a look at some intriguing plays…
Cardale Jones (DC), QB ($10,200)
The Ohio State standout quarterback who led the Buckeyes to the College Football National Championship in 2014, Cardale Jones leads the DC Defenders into an opening week matchup with the Seattle Dragons at home at Audi Field.
Jones slung for 1,459 passing yards, eight passing touchdowns, and five interceptions in his third and final year at Ohio State before entering the 2016 NFL Draft and being selected in the fourth round by the Buffalo Bills where he lasted one season in the NFL and seeing the field for only 19 snaps resulting in 96 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception.
Jones also rushed for 617 yards in his three collegiate seasons (his freshman year only playing three games), and four yards-per-carry along with four touchdowns on the ground. In a home opener for the league’s champagne-pop game to make things official, the spend-up option in Cardale Jones may find slightly lower ownership due to a five-digit price tag.
Christine Michael (STL), RB ($8,400)
A player with much more of a resume to work with in regards to sample sizes, Christine Michael was once a much talked about piece of the Seattle Seahawks backfield who just never panned out in the NFL after bouncing around to a handful of teams before last playing two carries for the Indianapolis Colts in 2018.
With his best NFL season coming in 2016, he played 15 games (starting in seven), rushing for 583 yards and seven touchdowns, along with an additional 107 receiving yards and a touchdown in a split season playing in Green Bay and Seattle.
Michael’s 4.0 Yards Per Carry and 4.9 Yards Per Reception averages in 2016 were signs of promise and at 29-years old with little career mileage, he’s still got hope in a newfound league. Proven versatile as an every-down running back, so long as he’s healthy Christine Michael should be on the field early and often for the BattleHawks.
Jeff Badet (DAL), WR ($8,800)
Although he has no NFL resume history, after being selected in the first round of the XFL Draft by the Dallas Renegades, Jeff Badet was reunited with a familiar face at head coach. Forever an Oklahoma Sooners coaching legend, Bob Stoops drafted his four-year graduate wide receiver from 2013-17 seasons to start anew while building on the old.
In his three years at Kentucky, he posted 1,385 receiving yards and seven touchdowns before transferring to Oklahoma for his senior year and tacking on his final 400 REC YDS/3 TD season.
Jeff Badet factors to be potentially used in other roles under Stoops’ coaching, as he was utilized in the receiving and return game during his senior season at Oklahoma, now installed in what one would assume to be a similar system.
Nelson Spruce (LA), WR ($8,500)
Another awesome collegiate player who never made it to the NFL, Nelson Spruce was a beast in the short-lived league known as the AAF, and still has plenty to accomplish on the professional football field. As if his four-year college career wasn’t enough to speak volumes about: 294 receptions resulting in 3,347 yards and 23 touchdowns, which are both all-time records at University of Colorado Boulder.
Spruce left off where he started in college by making the very most of a career opportunity in the Alliance of American Football, ranking second-overall in the league in receptions at 38 total catches for 426 receiving yards along with two touchdowns for the San Diego Fleet.
The numbers and accolades are extremely promising, and if Josh Johnson can still sling the ball with some accuracy, there’s a lot to like with what’s in store for Nelson Spruce.
Kenneth Farrow (SEA), RB ($7,200)
While it’s yet to be determined who will get the bulk of carries in Seattle, Kenneth Farrow by far has the most NFL on-field experience of the Dragons running backs (Trey Williams, Ja’quan Gardner). He most recently played for the San Diego Chargers in 2016, registering 192 rushing yards on 60 carries (3.2 Yards Per Carry), along with 13 receptions for 70 yards.
Farrow’s pass-catching ability makes for an every-down consideration in Seattle, though that circumstance has obviously yet to be made clear quite yet. In his four seasons as a Houston Cougar running back, he logged 3,526 yards from scrimmage and 37 all-purpose touchdowns, and stands fourth all-time for University of Houston rushing yards with 2,975.
Despite the uncertainty, the moderate price tag and proven experience make for an inspiring play with Kenneth Farrow considered in your roster construction.