The XFL season will hit the halfway mark this weekend and it’s clear from watching and analyzing the numbers that the XFL is more of a passing league than a running league, with the top 10 WRs averaging almost 4 more points per game than the top 10 RBs.
This might sound depressing, but all hope is not lost heading into week 5. There are several offenses that are playing football the way your grandfather, and his grandfather before him, would tell you is the only right way to play the game, and that is of course by establishing the run.
The Tampa Bay Vipers (171.5) and the STL BattleHawks (151.5) both rush for over 150 yards per game. This is incredibly impressive for Tampa Bay given their 1-3 record, and that they have been trailing throughout most of their games. STL is also another team that consistently runs the football, with their QB Jordan Ta’amu leading the way averaging 5.1 YPC.
Rushing might not be the crown jewel of the XFL 2020 experience, but there is value to be had if you examine the trend data. Today we will do just that and seek to identify RBs that have the potential to outperform their price point, from the top tier, all the way down to the value plays.
Lance Dunbar – $17
Top Tier RBS $16 – $17
Over the first 4 weeks, Dunbar has been the most consistent of the RBs consistently scoring between 8.6-13.5 points each week. He is currently leading the XFL in receptions with 22, which averages out to 6.3 per game. This added value makes Dunbar the only high priced RB that I will be targeting in both cash game and GPP tournaments this week.
James Butler – $16
James Butler popped week 1 and then has failed to live up to his high price the last 3 weeks. Thankfully this week he is relatively priced down, and with the rumored return of De’Angelo Henderson to the line-up, it might just scare enough of the public away to make Butler a sneaky play this week. We know Houston is going to put up between 3-4 TDs a game, which begs the weekly question, who gets the TDs? Bulter is more of a GPP play who has the potential to get swept up in a PJ Walker offensive explosion, just don’t rely too heavily on him in cash games.
Mid-Range RBs $14 – $15
Jacques Patrick – $15
Tampa Bay established the run all over the DC Defenders in week 4, as the Vipers had both Patrick and DeVeon Smith average 5.1 yards per carry and rush for over 100 yards. Patrick is priced slightly lower than Smith ($16) this week and represents a similar upside at slightly less cost. Patrick trends more towards GGP formats, but I also think that he has value in 50/50 and double-up tournaments.
Martez Carter – $15
Carter racked up a ridiculous 3 TD performance in week 3 against the DC Defenders but was sidelined last week with an injury. His return to the LA Wildcats Week 5 line-up warrants monitoring. One word of caution though, the Tampa Bay Viper are ranked first in the XFL against both the pass and the rush through the first four weeks of the season. Not my favorite cash game target, he will be in more of my longshot entries give how explosive he was when he last took the XFL field.
Value RBs $10 – $13
Donnel Pumphrey – $13
Pumphrey posted a 4.48 40 yard dash time at the 2017 NFL combine, for what it’s worth. The real important numbers actually come from last week’s drubbing by the Tampa Bay Vipers. Despite the negative game script, he averaged 4.9 YPC and also caught all 3 of his targets for 32 yards. This week DC is a dreaded home underdog and will more than likely be playing from behind for much of the game. DC will be passing to catch up and my projection has Pumphrey getting 5-6 targets for 40 yards in week 5. I think that he has the potential to help you cash in both cash and GPP games. Hopefully, he isn’t too chalky this week.