Much to a football fan’s delight, the XFL inaugural season opener last weekend was a great success. With Daily Fantasy and season-long action going strong on a variety of major host sites, we eagerly look ahead to Week 2’s main slate on Saturday.
As opposed to stretching over the course of two days (also cool), this week we get all four games in one day, which makes for a more typical slate we’re used to a majority of the time in [most] Daily Fantasy Sports. And now that we have a better grasp on what to expect in the product in action, we can set free with the roster construction a bit more in regards to some player expectations.
Let’s look into Week 2 of the XFL…
P.J. Walker, HOU (QB, $10,600)
The Houston Roughnecks kicked off the season with a point-scoring bonanza and P.J. Walker was at the forefront of fantasy point beneficiaries for the taking as Houston put up a point barrage en route to a lopsided 37-17 victory over the LA Wildcats.
Walker torched LA for 298 all-purpose yards (272 passing, 26 rush), including a whopping four touchdowns and a 59% completion percentage. Despite throwing for one interception, he managed a 103.8 passer rating and scored 32.48 DraftKings Fantasy Points.
This may seem like we’re chasing a bit considering his $2,800 price hike from Week 1, and not to mention a stiff opponent in the St. Louis Battlehawks, having allowed only 9 points to a Dallas Renegades offense who was in their home environment. But the ex-Temple QB averaged a career 129.1 passer rating through his four collegiate years, throwing for 10,668 passing yards, 74 passing touchdowns, and 44 interceptions, with nine rushing touchdowns as an added bonus.
His proven consistency gives all the reason to roster P.J. Walker, and especially in a spend-up-to-be-contrarian move where his price tag and difficulty of opponent may steer the field elsewhere, making for a solid GPP consideration.
Austin Proehl, SEA (WR, $9,200)
Following a monster of an opening game to his pro football career, Austin Proehl is an obvious leading threat on a Seattle Dragons offense that showed some promise in a 19-31 losing effort against the DC Defenders last Saturday.
Proehl was the Dragons brightest spot in the entire game versus the Defenders, being the top targeted member of the Seattle offense with 10 targets, 88 receiving yards, and two touchdowns. Hosting a Tampa Bay Vipers team showing a slew of problems on defense against New York when allowing 23 points and citing a player ejection for a bone-headed personal foul, Proehl will look to take advantage in Seattle’s home opener, where the Dragons share a raucous home crowd at CenturyLink Field in the Seattle ‘Twelfth Man’.
Scoring a crushing 26.1 DraftKings Fantasy Points is no joke, and neither is the amount of firepower Austin Proehl provides to this Seattle offense.
Lance Dunbar, DAL (RB, $4,600)
Yes, there will be value! Despite being in an obvious timeshare backfield, Lance Dunbar was the Dallas leading ball-carrier in a 9-15 loss to St. Louis last Sunday and yet we still find him with a bargain bin price tag going into Week 2.
With Cameron Artis-Payne, Marquis Young, and Austin Walter feeding away on the other bulk of the Dallas Renegades carries, the play here in Dunbar does leave much to be desired being that he did only get five carries in his first game. But the beacon of hope remains that Lance was the team-leader in touches in a game where the offense abandoned the run and threw the ball for 43 of 55 plays on offense.
Against an LA Wildcats defense who allowed the league’s most points last week getting blown-out by the Houston Roughnecks 37-17 and already fired their Defensive Coordinator, Lance Dunbar stands to have a much better opportunity at what one would assume to be a larger volume of running plays for Dallas this time around.
Jordan Smallwood, LA (WR, $6,900)
He wasn’t the highest volume producer in terms of yardage by any means, but Jordan Smallwood was among the few promising highlights of the Los Angeles Wildcats in their loss to Houston and emerging as the early WR #2 for LA.
His seven targets made Smallwood the second-highest targeted player for the Wildcats, adjoined by 28 receiving yards and the team’s only receiving touchdown, plus a two-point conversion following the team’s first touchdown.
Alongside standout receiver Nelson Spruce, Smallwood factors to have a higher ceiling for productivity upon the return of quarterback Josh Johnson, who is expected to potentially return as the starter this Saturday. Scoring 13.8 DraftKings Fantasy Points and looking like a centrifugal element to this Wildcats offense, Jordan Smallwood is a a stellar mid-range value play at $6,900 and looking like a fit regardless of Cash Games or tournaments.
Matt Jones, STL (RB, $5,900)
With player pricing still seeming a bit hesitant despite last weekend’s games shining some light on offensive volume, we find yet another value play in Matt Jones who in all likelihood should be priced up a bit further considering the obvious workload advantage.
Leading the St. Louis Battlehawks backfield in overall touches and rushing yardage, Jones carried the ball 21 times for 85 yards and dashed the hopes of Christine Michael owners who anticipated a much different outcome based on name recognition alone (I’m guilty).
While his fantasy point production could have been much higher based on the volume of workload, the ceiling for Jones is evident and he faces a Houston Roughnecks defense who allowed just shy of 100 yards on the ground to Los Angeles. With a very favorable price tag and the clear-cut bellcow of the St. Louis offense for the time being, Matt Jones is a bargain flex play that fits nicely into a variety of roster constructions.