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USFL Fantasy Football Draft Guide: SGPN Consensus Rankings and Draft Strategy

2022 USFL Fantasy Draft Guide

Can you believe it? We are a mere 11 days away from the beginning of the USFL season. If you are reading this than you are probably as excited as we all are over here at SGPN. The 2022 USFL season is due to kick off on April 16th when the New Jersey Generals take on the Birmingham Stallions at 7:30 PM EST. The game will be available on FOX, NBC and Peacock. The rest of the games on opening weekend will be available to watch or stream on NBC, Peacock, USA and FS1. The following USFL Fantasy Football Draft Guide is designed to help you build a winning franchise.

Interest in Playing Fantasy USFL? Check out Altfantasy.com

With football, comes fantasy football and if you are like me, you cannot wait to get drafting and tinker with those lineups until April 16th. If you are still looking for a place to play USFL fantasy football make sure to check out altfantasysports.com. Altfantasy has previous been a leader in fantasy spring football and hosted fantasy AAF and XFL in the past. Altfantasy has recently partnered with SGPN and really taken their product to another level. Make sure to check it out and get drafting! Keep an eye out as Altfantasy will also be offering daily fantasy and bestball contests if traditional season long fantasy isn’t your thing!

Looking for Some USFL Draft Guidance? Look No Further.

Speaking of drafting, the USFL draft pool may be a bit unfamiliar to you and you may be wondering where to find the best info to guide you in your drafting process. If that is the case, then look no further! Here, I will provide a guide for drafting a USFL fantasy team that will surely compete week in and week out. For the purposes of these rankings, I’m operating under the assumption of a 1 point PPR, six-team League with 1 QB, 2 RB, 2WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex, 1 DST, 1 K, 3 Bench Slots. There is a lot of flexibility to be had but the sweet spot for spring football leagues with only 8 professional teams (like the USFL) is likely in the 4 to 6 team range.

What Types of Players Should You Be Drafting? Our Experts Will Tell you.

Using the consensus rankings developed by SGPN’s panel of 4 experts, I will go through the types of players you should be targeting in each round of your fantasy USFL draft in the coming weeks and why. There are a lot of unknowns as we head into the season but there are a few good strategies that should help you set yourself apart from your league mates. Make sure to keep this USFL Fantasy Football Draft Guide handy has you head into your draft!

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USFL Fantasy Football Draft Guide: SGPN Consensus Rankings and Draft Strategy

Rounds 1 and 2: Get a QB and a Get a Stud (Probably a RB)

Overall Consensus Rank Player Position
OVR 1 Jordan Ta’amu QB
OVR 2 Bryan Scott QB
OVR 3 Kyle Sloter QB
OVR 4 Clayton Thorson QB
OVR 5 Stevie Scott III RB
OVR 6 BJ Emmons RB
OVR 7 Kyle Lauletta QB
OVR 8 Garrett Groshek RB
OVR 9 Shea Patterson QB
OVR 10 Luis Perez QB
OVR 11 CJ Marable RB
OVR 12 Dalyn Dawkins RB

The first round is likely going to be a run on quarterbacks, and rightfully so. Having an elite quarterback is bound to be a huge advantage in spring fantasy football as it has been in the past. Using standard scoring and referencing the shortened 2020 XFL season as an example, PJ Walker was far and away the best player in that league. He finished the 5 game season with 134+ points, over 40 points more than the second leading scorer and quarterback (Josh Johnson had 96.68 points). Coming in third was a name that likely will sound familiar to USFL fans, Jordan Ta’amu with 87.7 (more on him later).

What did we learn from the XFL?

I know this is a USFL article but I reference the XFL to make a point. Quarterbacks are not only going to be the one the field leaders for each USFL Franchise but also the leaders of your fantasy team. Of the 8 starting quarterbacks in that short XFL season, four of them exceeded 60 fantasy points. Of all the flex positional players in that league (RB/WR/TE) only three exceeded the 60 point mark for the season. The three top scoring flex players were Cam Phillips (WR, Houston, 115 points), Donald Parnham (TE, Dallas, 68.7 points), and James Butler (RB, Houston, 63.8 points).

Get the Best Quarterback and Get His Weapons

If the XFL is any indication as to how we can expect the USFL season to unfold, then expect there to be a few quarterbacks that truly set themselves apart, quarterbacks will lead fantasy leagues in scoring, and there will be a strong correlation between the quarterbacks producing at a high level and the position players they share the field with. In the case of PJ Walker and the XFL, his number one target (Cam Phillips) led all flex players in scoring by a wide margin. Expect similar results in the USFL.

Get Ta’amu, Scott or Sloter

In every draft I am targeting Jordan Ta’amu, Bryan Scott and Kyle Sloter in the first round and you should too. The reasoning is simple. I think those three have the highest chance of being not only the most dominant quarterback in the league but potentially the most dominant player in the league. There is a reason our rankers have them as the consensus ranked top 3 players in our USFL Fantasy Football Draft Guide

Jordan Ta’amu comes in as our number one ranked player. In two seasons as the starter for Ole Miss (2017-2018) he racked up 5,600 yards, 30 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Ta’amu went on to be the starting QB for the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL. If passing touchdowns weren’t enough for you, there is a good chance Ta’amu puts up 450 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns this USFL season. Those are the kind of numbers that win you a fantasy season even if you have a few hiccups along the way. The Todd Haley-led Bandits are likely to run an explosive vertical passing offense with Ta’amu at the helm. In my eyes, he could be the USFL version of PJ Walker.

Spring Football Legend: Bryan Scott

If you like Spring Football, you have heard of Bryan Scott. He is our overall number 2 ranked player for a reason. Scott has loads of professional spring football experience and has a history of dominating spring football leagues. He won the starting quarterback job for the Generals of the Spring League (TSL) in 2020, and went on to lead the generals to an undefeated season and a championship. Scott would go on to be named the TSL MVP and the MVP of the Spring League Championship game in 2020. Bryan Scott has star potential written all over him and a lot of folks are excited about this Philadelphia Stars Offense.

Kyler Sloter: High Risk, High Reward

Our rankings put Kyle Sloter as the 3rd overall player. Sloter split his time in college between Southern Miss and Northern Colorado where his senior year as the full time starting quarterback threw for 2,656 yards, 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He never quite stuck with an NFL team but flashed potential in the 2017 NFL preseason when he threw for 413 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions for the Denver Broncos. Sloter led the league that preseason with a passer rating of 125.4. He is a dual threat and landed with a coach that knows how to utilize his skills. He might be the biggest risk of the top three quarterbacks but could also return the highest rewards.

Didn’t Land One of The Top Three QBs? Don’t panic.

There is still a lot of value to be had in rounds one and two even if you do not land one of the top three quarterbacks. Making some mistakes at the top of the draft in USFL fantasy will not destine you to be a cellar dweller like it might be playing NFL fantasy. The best strategy is likely to take your QB1 and your favorite workhorse running back.

Clayton Thorson came in as our fourth ranked overall player and is not a bad consolation prize. He is a traditional pocket passer and started 53 consecutive games as the quarterback at Northwestern which is the most ever for a Big Ten quarterback. Though he may not be flashy, there is a good chance he throws for a ton of yards.

https://twitter.com/IndianaFootball/status/1063909825405423616?s=20&t=MwdE7K5lZ1ZWDZXAw6WMcg

Hammer Those Running Backs

The USFL season has not officially started and already it’s be wild. If you asked me a week ago I would have told you the top two positional players off the board very well could have been Eli Rogers and De’Veon Smith. Both are now out of the league (or did not report) and may not play at all. The best strategy at this point is to hit the workhorse running backs hard early. The best best bets at this time are to target Stevie Scott II, BJ Emmons, Garret Groshek and Dlayn Dawkins early.

Stevie Scott III was selected by Jeff Fisher and the Michigan Panthers to be the lead back of this pro style offense. He is one of only three Indiana Hoosiers to ever score ten or more rushing touchdowns in three consecutive seasons. BJ Emmons is known as an exceptional pass blocker which makes his selection by a Todd Haley-led pass-first offense make perfect sense and will likely see a lot of work on an electric offense.

Look for Dalyn Dawkins to lead the backfield for the Houston Gamblers and see a lot of opportunities to touch the ball. Likely a traditional pro-style offense with Clayton Thorson at the helm, there will likely be a concerted effort made to establish the run early and often. Groshek was drafted by the Kirby Wilson-led Maulers. Kirby Wilson is a former long time running backs coach that has been a part of several successful run-heavy offenses. There is a good chance he sees the majority of the running back work for the Maulers.

Rounds 3 and 4: Load Up on WRs and RBs

OVR 13 Quincy Adeboyejo WR
OVR 14 Darnell Holland RB
OVR 15 Mike Weber RB
OVR 16 Shawn Poindexter WR
OVR 17 Matt Colburn II RB
OVR 18 Mark Thompson RB
OVR 19 Alex McGough QB
OVR 20 Nick Truesdell TE
OVR 21 Jeff Badet WR
OVR 22 Juwan Washington RB
OVR 23 Isaiah Zuber WR
OVR 24 Bug Howard TE

If you are still looking for a QB at this point, you do not have many options left. Though you may not get the same value you may have gotten from the top guys early, you might have grabbed a top notch flex player, and that is cool too! If this sounds like you, this is where you can likely grab a guy like Alex McGough. Our rankings are not super high on him but he does have some upside. He is a dual threat quarterback and Skip Holtz must be excited to get the chance to utilize his skillset this season. McGough has a strong arm and has no problem maneuvering out of the pocket to make throws on the run. Holtz has a history of using more than one QB in college so be careful if you wait this long to grab your QB. It could be risky.

Rounds 3 and 4 are the sweet spot to load up on running backs and wide receivers in our USFL Fantasy Football Draft Guide.

Time to Get a Top Flight Receiver

Shawn Poindexter, Jeff Badet, and Isiah Zuber should be some of the first wide receivers off the board. Poindexter is a huge receiver and just looks the part of a WR1. He will likely be on the winning side of contested catches as he stands at 6-5 and 213 pounds. It is well known that there is a strong correlation between quarterback and wide receiver performance in fantasy football and and Kyle Sloter is projected to have an excellent year. Expect a lot of red zone touchdowns from Poindexter.

You Should Have the Need for Speed: Draft It Early and Often

In any football league speed kills and our rankers think Jeff Badet of the Panthers and Isiah Zuber of the Gamblers are going to be torching DBs all year. Both guys are not only likely to see a lot of work in the receiving game but also special teams work. Who knows? Maybe on top of some long receiving touchdowns these two find the endzone in the return game. Gadget guys are also going to be at a premium in the USFL (double pass rule anyone?) and both of these guys fit that mold. They both have huge upside according to our USFL Fantasy Football Draft Guide.

Rounds 5 and 6: Double up on RB/WR

OVR 25 Jordan Ellis RB
OVR 26 Kavontae Turpin WR
OVR 27 Victor Bolden Jr WR
OVR 28 Larry Rose III RB
OVR 29 Trey Williams RB
OVR 30 Tony Brooks James RB
OVR 31 Osirus Mitchell WR
OVR 32 Brandon Barnes TE
OVR 33 Reggie Corbin RB
OVR 34 Devin Gray WR
OVR 35 Bailey Gaither WR
OVR 36 Jonathan Abrams WR

If Kavontae Turpin falls to this point in the draft, you have to grab him. I think there is a good chance he off the board when the run of receivers. Even with some question marks swirling around the QB situation for the NJ Generals, I think Turpin will be productive no matter what. In this league speed is going to kill and he has that in spades. He had some character issues and was not able to play at TCU after producing 1338 yards. Turpin may also see production in the return game and likely will have some screens and jet sweeps designed specifically for him in the game plan. He is another great candidate for a gadget player that could see bonus production.

Need PPR Points? Go Get Reggie Corbin.

You can start thinking about a tight end at this point but my advice is to wait. For a spring league the tight end class is deep and teaming with potential. My strategy at this point would be to continue loading up on WRs and RBs. The more dart throws the better. If someone like Reggie Corbin is still available at this point in the draft, he is a no brainer. On a team that is likely to use the running backs early and often, Reggie Corbin may be excellent value at this point. He also brings a lot of excellent PPR value to your team as a good pass catching back.

https://twitter.com/nflnetwork/status/1218634116922408960?s=20&t=XqB4q7NmXKQSeK__JYZi1A

Rounds 7 and 8: Receiver Dart Throws, Look for Upside

OVR 37 Anthony Ratliff-Mitchell WR
OVR 38 Brennan Eagles WR
OVR 39 Darrius Shepherd WR
OVR 40 Tre Walker WR
OVR 41 Chad Williams WR
OVR 42 Joseph Emmanuel Hall WR
OVR 43 Paxton Lynch QB
OVR 44 Jordan Suell WR
OVR 45 JoJo Ward WR
OVR 46 Jeffrey Thomas WR
OVR 47 Lance Lenoir WR
OVR 48 J’Mon Moore WR

 

I may sounds like a broken record at this point but in a league full of uncertainty, you cannot have enough running backs and wide receivers. I think the best strategy may to grab those running backs with workhorse potential early. The backs will be a bit thinner than the receivers and you have a greater chance of finding a receiver that goes off and becomes a stud later in the draft. Rounds 7 and 8 are a great opportunity to do this according to our USFL Fantasy Football Draft Guide.

Keep Looking for Speed and Big Play Ability

If a guy like JoJo Ward is still on the board at this point, I think he could be a steal. The Gamblers have an intriguing wide receiver core on paper that is loaded with speed. There is a chance that Isaiah Zuber and JoJo Ward open up the field for each other and Clayton Thorson finds them each a few times a game on a deep ball for six. Those are the kind of plays from your flex position that will win you some matchup’s you might have otherwise narrowly lost. Ward is going to get an opportunity to burn defensive backs for big plays.

https://twitter.com/2Yoon2ZeroBlitz/status/1165462888456347648?s=20&t=XqB4q7NmXKQSeK__JYZi1A

If you want to hedge your Quarterback bet (depending on the rules of your league), Paxton Lynch could make for an excellent stash here. Rumors are swirling that both Patterson and Lynch could see playing time for the Panthers. In addition, Lynch has NFL experience so if Patterson struggles early, looked for him to take over.

Rounds 9 and 10: Get Your Stud Tight End, Maybe Two

OVR 49 Matt Seybert TE
OVR 50 Marlon Williams WR
OVR 51 De’Quan Hampton TE
OVR 52 Teo Redding WR
OVR 53 Diondre Overton WR
OVR 54 Peyton Ramzy WR
OVR 55 Derrick Willies WR
OVR 56 Johnnie DIxon WR
OVR 57 Alonzo Moore WR
OVR 58 Branden Mack WR
OVR 59 Cheyenne O’Grady TE
OVR 60 Kenji Bahar QB

Have I mentioned this tight end class is deep? There is a chance to land a stud or two at this point in the draft. A few names our rankers loved and would be crazy value at this point are Matt Seybert and De’Quan Hampton.

Matt Seybert: A Sleeper Candidate for TE1

Matt Seybert’s was a walk on tight end at Michigan state and did not even start until his senior season but he is oozing with potential. The Maulers are going to be led by Kirby Wilson who believes in a run first approach and often employs formations that included more than one tight end. This bodes well for Seybert who is like to see a lot of playing time and run a lot of routes.

Hampton is a versatile player who was actually listed as a receiver for the Wildcats of the XFL and produced 6 catches for 26 yards and a touchdown during his tie in the HFL. In two years at USC he produced 22 catches for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns while playing in 25 games. Hampton is a freak athlete that can play in line as a tight end but projects well as a slot receiver as well. He found himself on what looks to be a high power vertical passing Bandits’ offense.

Rounds 11 and 12/The Rest of the Way: Get Your D/ST & K Last

It is a boring but good strategy. Do not reach for your defense or kicker. There is already so much uncertainty swirling around spring football that it is not worth sacrificing good positional player value in favor of your favorite teams defense. They are all likely to be replacement levels players and should be treated as such.

If for some reason you jumped on those positions early, this is the time of the draft to try and hit on some sleeper candidates. Guys like John Franklin III of the Tampa Bay Bandits are great guys to jump on at this point. They may not be household names but have gadget play potential. This is extra intriguing with the USFL’s adoption of the double pass rule. Look for a few plays for be scripted to get Franklin (a former QB and gadget player in college) in space and chuck the ball down the field for a second time.

Don’t forget the most important part, have fun with it! Happy drafting with the help of our USFL Fantasy Football Draft Guide.

SGPN’s USFL Fantasy Football Draft Guide Rankings

Overall Consensus Rank Player Position
OVR 1 Jordan Ta’amu QB
OVR 2 Bryan Scott QB
OVR 3 Kyle Sloter QB
OVR 4 Clayton Thorson QB
OVR 5 Stevie Scott III RB
OVR 6 BJ Emmons RB
OVR 7 Kyle Lauletta QB
OVR 8 Garrett Groshek RB
OVR 9 Shea Patterson QB
OVR 10 Luis Perez QB
OVR 11 CJ Marable RB
OVR 12 Dalyn Dawkins RB
OVR 13 Quincy Adeboyejo WR
OVR 14 Darnell Holland RB
OVR 15 Mike Weber RB
OVR 16 Shawn Poindexter WR
OVR 17 Matt Colburn II RB
OVR 18 Mark Thompson RB
OVR 19 Alex McGough QB
OVR 20 Nick Truesdell TE
OVR 21 Jeff Badet WR
OVR 22 Juwan Washington RB
OVR 23 Isaiah Zuber WR
OVR 24 Bug Howard TE
OVR 25 Jordan Ellis RB
OVR 26 Kavontae Turpin WR
OVR 27 Victor Bolden Jr WR
OVR 28 Larry Rose III RB
OVR 29 Trey Williams RB
OVR 30 Tony Brooks James RB
OVR 31 Osirus Mitchell WR
OVR 32 Brandon Barnes TE
OVR 33 Reggie Corbin RB
OVR 34 Devin Gray WR
OVR 35 Bailey Gaither WR
OVR 36 Jonathan Abrams WR
OVR 37 Anthony Ratliff-Mitchell WR
OVR 38 Brennan Eagles WR
OVR 39 Darrius Shepherd WR
OVR 40 Tre Walker WR
OVR 41 Chad Williams WR
OVR 42 Joseph Emmanuel Hall WR
OVR 43 Paxton Lynch QB
OVR 44 Jordan Suell WR
OVR 45 JoJo Ward WR
OVR 46 Jeffrey Thomas WR
OVR 47 Lance Lenoir WR
OVR 48 J’Mon Moore WR
OVR 49 Matt Seybert TE
OVR 50 Marlon Williams WR
OVR 51 De’Quan Hampton TE
OVR 52 Teo Redding WR
OVR 53 Diondre Overton WR
OVR 54 Peyton Ramzy WR
OVR 55 Derrick Willies WR
OVR 56 Johnnie DIxon WR
OVR 57 Alonzo Moore WR
OVR 58 Branden Mack WR
OVR 59 Cheyenne O’Grady TE
OVR 60 Kenji Bahar QB
OVR 61 Paul Terry RB
OVR 62 Darius Victor RB
OVR 63 Vinny Papale WR
OVR 64 La’Michael Pettway TE
OVR 65 Sal Cannella TE
OVR 66 Madre London RB
OVR 67 Maurice Alexander WR
OVR 68 Delvon Hardaway WR
OVR 69 Taywan Taylor WR
OVR 70 Ray Bolden WR
OVR 71 De’Andre Johnson QB
OVR 72 Derrick DIllon WR
OVR 73 Joseph Magnifico TE
OVR 74 Devwah Whaley RB
OVR 75 T.J. Logan Jr. RB
OVR 76 Jordan Lasley WR
OVR 77 Josh Love QB
OVR 78 Devin Ross WR
OVR 79 Randy Sutterfield WR
OVR 80 J’Mar Davis-Smith QB
OVR 81 Case Cookus QB
OVR 82 Tyler Simmons WR
OVR 83 Sage Surratt TE
OVR 84 Braden Bowman TE
OVR 85 Cameron Scarlett RB
OVR 86 Cary Angeline TE
OVR 87 Chris Roland WR
OVR 88 Keith Mumphery WR
OVR 89 John Franklin III WR
OVR 90 Brady White QB
OVR 91 Manasseh Bailey WR
OVR 92 Jordan Chunn RB
OVR 93 Julian Allen TE
OVR 94 Bobby Holly RB
OVR 95 Connor Davis TE
OVR 96 EJ Bibbs TE
OVR 97 Rashard Davis WR
OVR 98 Zach Smith QB
OVR 99 Tyler Palka WR
OVR 100 Marcus Baugh TE
OVR 101 Cameron Echols-Luper WR
OVR 102 Hunter Thedford TE
OVR 103 Justin Johnson TE
OVR 104 Artayvvious Lynn TE
OVR 105 Jacob Williams TE
OVR 106 Pro Wells TE
OVR 107 Woody Brandom TE

Look Ahead

Make sure you check SGPN regularly for updates to our 2022 USFL positional rankings and for all things USFL.

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SUNY Geneseo and Albany School of Public Health Alumni. Public Health Research Scientist. Content Creator and Sports Writer for @gamblingpodcast

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