The preseason games are in the books! It’s time to start thinking about some fantasy football! As of right now, it appears the best options for playing fantasy XFL are either Draft Kings for Daily Fantasy or altfantasysports for season-long play.
If you’re getting ready to draft, be ready for it to be an offensive explosion, even with the whole depth chart getting a look there were points galore. Each team also seemed to focus on their passing games so be sure to target pass-catchers early and often, give extra consideration to running backs who are capable receivers.
Some modifications and omissions have been made based upon the rumored cut-down list floating around. There were no major changes at running back or quarterback, some wide receivers have made moves off of the list as a result of reportedly being released.
The rosters in the XFL are very fluid and will continue to be fluid for the next week and a half. These rankings are a starting point, use them to build your own draft board, add in the most recent news from XFL Konnor (@XFLKonnor on Twitter) and prepare to dominate your league.
Alright, alright, let’s get to what you really want, RANKINGS!!!
Rankings take into account the following factors:
- Past pro performance
- Collegiate performance
- Preseason performance
All rankings are based around a six-team, 0.5 PPR league with standard scoring. I advocate for a six-team league in a season-long league so no one gets left hanging without a QB, but these rankings would also work in an eight or ten team league as well. If you’re playing with more than ten teams, you, my friend, are bold and I need to hear about it on Twitter!
The biggest thing to remember is you’re looking for a QB who won’t kill you with turnovers and gives you the potential to set a floor with 1, 2, or 3 point conversions. Look for QB’s who can add points rushing as well (Cardale, Johnson, Ta’Amu, Nelson).
If Landry Jones wasn’t dealing with a knee injury, he would be my season-long top QB. He’s playing for Bob Stoops again, and in an Air-Raid offense coached by a Godfather of the Air Raid Hal Mume; however, he’s out for 4-6 weeks which puts him down for a return around Weeks 2-3. IF everything goes right and he’s ready to roll he’ll be a “must start.” Highly recommend drafting him, but you also have to have a Plan B, whether that’s his backup Philip Nelson (who looked sharp in the preseason game), or one of the lower tier QBs from another team. Nelson is a “must start” until Jones returns, just look at this drop in the bucket to future star receiver Jazz Ferguson.
Other things to note: Cardale Jones will have an opportunity to ball out like it’s 2014 with a high octane backfield containing Jhurrell Pressley and Donnel Pumphrey, and deep threat Rashad Ross. The Defender’s offense could be a thing of beauty for fantasy players… Whoever ends up winning the St. Louis job, whether its Ta’Amu, Heinicke or Brogan Roback, could have massive fantasy relevance. Newly installed OC Chuck Long is a former star college QB and another Air Raid coach. Big time weapons like L’Damian Washington and De’Mornay Pierson-El at receiver and a strong running game make that QB a strong value pick… Strongly recommend avoiding Brandon Silvers until late if at all; he has a weak supporting cast and never impressed last year in the AAF, not too mention BJ Daniels threatens to steal snaps and contribute some big plays to the offense.
|RB||Tim Cook III||NewYork||RB10|
What makes for a quality back in Spring Fantasy Football? Touches. It’s all about getting those touches. Some are more valuable than others, but if a back is going to get 12+ touches, he’s an RB1. If he’s going to touch the ball about 8 times a game or get the goal-line/PAT work (1, 2 or 3 points) he’s an RB2. Be content sometimes to flex anyone who will touch the ball six times a game since Spring Fantasy carries some new expectations on scoring. Christian McCaffrey isn’t walking through those doors any time soon.
Jhurrell Pressley will be an absolute monster in all formats. He’s a dynamic runner who can catch the ball coming out of the backfield, and he’s paired with one of the stronger running QBs, Cardale Jones, in the XFL. Look for some interesting wrinkles from Pep Hamilton to get Pressley opportunities. Don’t sleep on his backfield running-mate Donnel Pumphrey, an RB3 with upside. Anyone who can tally multiple 2,000 yard seasons in college deserves some respect when he steps on the field.
The New York Guardians had one of the few running highlights when Darius Victor gashed the Tampa defense, including flattening Marko Meyers on his way to a big gain. This big play alone catapulted Victor into Flex territory, anyone who runs this hard and physically should be respected. Vicor, Cook, and Stockman are still bunched up for now in the rankings, but this should resolve in the days ahead.
Many people are high on Cameron Artis-Payne but don’t believe the hype. Lance Dunbar will see more passing down work and Payne lacks that top-end talent to run away with the job. Artis-Payne is still an RB1, but temper expectations… Matt Jones and Christine Michael are the most experienced backfield combo and may make a run at being the most complimentary as well. Michael will move the chains and Jones has the size to finish drives, could do worse than picking both… The LA Wildcat backfield is a mess, so look for more clarification as the preseason goes along, but right now Martez Carter gets the nod as the highest-ranked LA back on the strength of his TD in the scrimmage against Dallas earlier this week, So let’s go out on a limb and say he’ll get the goalline work… Tarean Folston will start the season on injured reserve, but could be a late-season boost to your squad.
Wide receiver is another place to modify your thinking. Six targets a game equals a WR1 and a WR2 is usually going to be either a deep threat or red zone target who may only see 2-3 targets a game. The same goes for your Flex options. With how pass-happy the entire XFL looked in the preseason games, be ready to load up on wide receivers, you should aim to be at least three deep on quality receivers, as well as take some shots on lottery ticket guys in later rounds as well.
The St. Louis Battlehawks have one of the most potentially explosive receiver groups. L’Damian Washington is a big-bodied receiver who did a lot with subpar QB play last year in the AAF and the same can be said for De’Mornay Pierson-El. Look for Chuck Long’s Air Raid approach to unlock these talented receivers, assuming they can pick a competent QB. Rankings may look like there’s no faith in them, but really we need to see some clarity in how the QB situation shakes out.
New York threw the ball all over the yard against the Vipers. Mekale McKay may have not have been mentioned much on social media, but his counterparts Teo Redding and Colby Pearson did. Both of these big-play receivers made long receptions and looked good doing it, whoever seizes the number two job opposite McKay to see light coverage and make the most of it. Look for McKay and whoever seizes the number two slot to make a claim to being the number one wide receiver duo in the XFL.
Tampa’s Reece Horn will likely face double teams since he is their best and almost only receiving target… Seantavious Jones may have made strides since last spring, but with Murray, at QB these guys could be limited… Rashad Ross will be a breakout star this year, he will be the kind of speedster Cardale Jones will love… Sammie Coates cooked DBs like a Texas barbecue throughout every scrimmage, look for him to be big-time this year… Nelson Spruce had a big game for the Wildcats, and Tre McBride added some big plays in too, both should greatly benefit from Josh Johnson’s passing… Simmie Cobbs had a great preseason, take a late-round shot on him to steal value and win your league.
If tight end play is anything like it was in the AAF, you’re going to hold your nose and hope for five points. Look for guys without many other receiving threats on their team or guys who can be red zone threats.
Nick Truesdell was a breakout player in the AAF and posted a respectable 24 catches for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns last spring. If you want a good bet at consistent production, go get him… Brandon Barnes and Evan Rodriguez all had momentary flashes last spring in the AAF. Khari Lee played with Cardale Jones for a few weeks in Buffalo a while back, could be some chemistry there… Collin Jeter and Cole Hunt both got some red zone targets during scrimmages… Donald Parham is 6′ 8″ and has set the entire XFL universe abuzz with his potential to dominate.
Team defense could be a tricky spot, but from limited scrimmage and preseason action, it seems like the Defenders and BattleHawks could have the best secondaries… Tampa and Seattle both appeared to struggle, but the preseason action definitely was geared towards benefitting offenses… No word if OT/PAT stops will be counted in scoring over on altfantasy, but it could add an interesting wrinkle.
So go forth! Draft your team! Talk some smack and enjoy being the most prepared of your friends! If you win, I’ll gladly accept your praises, if you lose, don’t blame me, I bet you didn’t listen!
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