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XFL Week 2 Preview: Tampa Bay Vipers @ Seattle Dragons

Tampa Bay Vipers (0-1) vs Seattle Dragons (0-1)
Saturday, February 15 2020 5:00 pm EST @ CenturyLink Stadium
Odds: Tampa Bay Vipers -3 (draftkings.com/sportsbook)

Vipers, Dragons Seek First Win of Season Saturday

With both teams seeking their first W of the season, expect the best from the Vipers and Dragons Saturday. Both teams loss handedly in week one but showed positives signs in their respective games.

For Tampa the question revolves around the quarterback position, will Aaron Murray (day-to-day, foot) be good to go in a short-week? If he goes, how short will his leash be?

Vipers QB Aaron Murray (via Tampa Bay Vipers)

For Seattle, it was an up-and-down performance from quarterback Brandon Silvers (21/40 for 217 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs). Also, what will the addition of CFL legend SJ Green do for the Dragons’ offense?

Key Matchups

De’Veon Smith (24) & Jacques Patrick (29) vs Kenneth Farrow (20) & Ja’Quan Gardner (31)

Both teams featured two running backs in week one, and all four backs saw success. Smith, Jacques, Farrow and Gardner are in the top-8 in the league in rushing yards. It’s expected that both teams lean more on the run game to get their respective offenses running smoothly. Effectively running the ball can extend drives and convert 3rd and 4th downs, which was key to winning in week one.

In about a paragraph on each player, describe who they are, and why this matchup will be crucial in determining the outcome of the game

Michah Hannemann (27) vs Austin Proehl (13)

Hannemann will likely line up as the slot corner who is tasked with guarding Proehl. The slot receiver went off in week one with 5 catches for 88 yards and 2 TDs. The defensive plan to contain Proehl will likely fall on Hannemann’s shoulders, but the receiver’s ability to get in open space will have an impact on the game’s final score.

Dan Williams (81) vs Channing Stribling (30)

Another key receiver vs cornerback matchup will be Williams, who lead the XFL in receiving in week one with 123 yards, against Stribling who made lots of noise during training camp for his ability to make plays on the ball. With Williams receiving the most targets among Vipers receivers, expect Stribling to be shadowing Williams all game long. If Stribling can get in between Williams and the ball and factor into the stat sheet, his impact on the game could help Seattle to a win Saturday.

Dragons CB Channing Stribling during training camp. (via Twitter @XFLDragons)

Injury Report

Away Team Name

TE – DeAndre Goolsby – Neck Injury: DNP

QB – Aaron Murray – Foot Injury: DNP

G – Jerald Foster – Shoulder Injury: Limited

CB – Rannell Hall – Thigh Injury: Limited

C – Jordan McCray – Knee Injury: Limited

DE – Jason Neil – Groin Injury: Limited

DT – Ricky Walker – Thigh Injury: Full Participant

Home Team Name

TE – Cam Clear – Unspecified: DNP

C – Dillon Day – Calf Injury: DNP

TE – Ben Johnson – Back Injury: DNP

DT – Anthony Moten – Ankle Injury: DNP

G – Cyril Richardson – Ankle Injury: DNP

QB – Brandon Silvers – Ankle Injury: DNP

WR – Kasen Williams – Quad Injury: DNP

CB – Mohammed Seisay – Groin Injury: Limited

OT – Isaiah Battle – Ankle Injury: Full Participant

Fantasy Preview

Quinton Flowers might be the most discussed fantasy option in the XFL going into week two. How many snaps he factors into will result in his overall value in week two, and the rest of the season. Tight End Nick Truesdell has some big fantasy upside this week, he was heavily targeted on 3rd down, a sign he is one of the targets Murray feels most comfortable with, don’t let drops from Sunday scare you off of him in week two.

Farrow is expected to get the start in the backfield for Seattle, despite getting two fewer carries than Gardner, Farrow averaged 5.9 YPC. The type of production you want out of an RB1 in DFS. Perhaps the biggest DFS wildcard of week two will be Green and his impact in his first week with Seattle. Will he be rusty since he isn’t up to speed with the playbook and has yet to forge chemistry with Silvers? If he is told to run simple routes and get open, he could go off for a big day.

Preview Summary

It will be interesting to see if the Tampa Bay offense can get going in week two after just three points in week one. Silver will have to be better in his decision making than he was against the Defenders in week, the two interceptions stand out and the Vipers’ secondary is the strength of the team, and they could be the difference for Tampa on Saturday. I expect a close game, that wont be filled with touchdowns.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Charles

    February 14, 2020 at 8:50 am

    I am a little surprised Tampa Bay is the favorites. The Dragons have more to build on coming out of week 1. With that, plus a loud home crowd of over 20k, I look for Seattle to get their first win.

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