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Week 2 XFL DFS Picks: Lineup advice, strategy, sleepers for DraftKings, FanDuel daily fantasy football contests

Sporting News — customerservice@sportingnews.com (Sporting News)

Week 2 of the XFL season kicks off on Saturday afternoon, and after last week, things are looking up for the fledgling league. Sure, there were some kinks in Week 1, but overall the quality of play was pretty solid, even with several backup QBs forced into action. Of course, there is still going to be a great deal of uncertainty from a DFS and season-long fantasy perspective this early in the season (returning QBs, playing time up for grabs, etc.), and you'll see that in the pricing on both DraftKings and FanDuel as you make your lineup picks.  

The good news is that most teams were looking to throw downfield early and often, which led to some exciting plays. Let’s take a look at the games and some players who are fairly safe bets to produce and help you cash your DFS lineups!

MORE: Free one-week trial of Fantasy Alarm's PRO tools

Editor's Note: This is a FREE preview of Week 2's Fantasy Alarm's XFL DFS Playbook. For full analysis and example lineups, check out Fantasy Alarm's great season-long and DFS tools available to subscribers.

Week 2 XFL DFS Picks: Quarterback

Phillip Walker, Houston Roughnecks vs. St. Louis Battlehawks ($10,600 DK, $23 FD). Walker was the star of Week 1, impressing with his ability to hit receivers deep downfield. Even more noteworthy was his ability to evade the pass rush. He repeatedly made himself small to make defenders miss and then uncorked a pass 30 yards downfield. His four touchdown passes will be hard to match, and we will find out this week if the St. Louis defense is as good as it looked last week or if the Dallas offense was simply bad. Walker is the highest salaried quarterback on both sites, but if he can come close to repeating his Week 1 performance, he will be worth it.

Cardale Jones, D.C. Defenders vs. New York Guardians ($10,200 DK, $21 FD). Jones didn’t disappoint in Week 1 with 235 yards and two touchdowns. He looked stiff at times, but overall he was fairly impressive. There is a good deal of talent on this offense, and if the line can give him a little more time this week, Jones could be even better. The Guardians defense was “bend, don’t break” last week against the Vipers, but Jones is a much better quarterback than Aaron Murray is. I called him safe last week on the Fantasy Alarm XFL podcast and on Sirius/XM, and I am a huge Jones backer again for Week 2.

Landry Jones, Dallas Renegades @ Los Angeles Wildcats ($9,500 DK, $19 FD). The XFL certainly wants Jones (knee) to succeed, and it looks like he will be able to play in Week 2. He doesn’t have the most talented wide receiver group in the league by any stretch, but there are some good weapons out there. DraftKings has him as the fifth-most expensive quarterback, while on FanDuel he is fourth. My somewhat conservative nature has me shying away from a guy who missed his first game when we do have what appear to be safer options, but at the same time the Los Angeles defense was the worst in the league last week and cut its best player. Jones isn’t the worst choice, but you won’t find him in many of my lineups.

Jordan Ta’amu, St. Louis Battlehawks @ Houston Roughnecks ($8,900 DK, $20 FD). Analysis available to Fantasy Alarm subscribers!

Josh Johnson, Los Angeles Wildcats vs. Dallas Renegades ($10,400 DK, $18 FD). Analysis available to Fantasy Alarm subscribers!

MORE: Free one-week trial of Fantasy Alarm's PRO tools

Week 2 XFL DFS Picks: Running back

As expected, running back wasn’t a position of focus in the XFL in the opening week. A few teams were run heavy, and some barely tried to run at all. Thankfully on each site you are only required to play one running back, although on DraftKings you can also use one in a FLEX spot. The pricing on the two sites is wildly different. FanDuel seems to be much more reactionary to the first week’s action, while DraftKings is a little more conservative based on last weekend’s games.

Matt Jones, St. Louis Battlehawks @ Houston Roughnecks ($5,900 DK, $18 FD). Jones was the workhorse of the opening week and the only running back to get 20 carries. It appeared that he would be behind Christine Michael in carries, but Michael struggled and Jones churned out 85 rushing yards. He is dealing with a knee injury and is carrying a questionable tag, but reports are that he was at least a limited participant in Thursday’s practice. This week he faces the Roughnecks, who didn’t give up a ton of rushing yards in Week 1 but did allow three runs of more than 10 yards. There is still a little concern that Michael could do better this week and steal some work, but he actually had negative fantasy points last week. If Jones is active he is an absolute steal on DraftKings.

James Butler, Houston Roughnecks vs. St. Louis Battlehawks ($6,300 DK, $19 FD). If you listen to the Fantasy Alarm Week 2 XFL podcast with Dan Malin, you know that we are both hesitant on Butler this week. He did not go into last week at the top of the depth chart, and he had just nine carries. He was targeted twice and scored on both a reception and rush. It just feels like Houston isn’t going to be a big running team considering the history of head coach June Jones, and Butler’s salary soared compared to last week. He is on perhaps the most explosive offense in the league, but especially on FanDuel, his price tag makes him risky until we see Houston consistently utilize him. 

Darius Victor, New York Guardians @ D.C. Defenders ($4,100 DK, $16 FD). Here we are again with another pass-catcher out of the backfield. Victor was listed behind Tim Cook on the depth chart going into Week 1, but it was Victor who had nine carries to Cook’s four. However, Victor brought a little extra value with three catches for 25 yards. This one is a bit of a risk because it wouldn’t be a shock if Cook got more carries this week, and the Guardians only ran the ball 13 times with the running backs in Week 1. He is more of a DraftKings play because his salary on FanDuel isn’t really in line with the production he had last week.

Lance Dunbar, Dallas Renegades @ Los Angeles Wildcats ($4,600 DK, $15 FD). Analysis available to Fantasy Alarm subscribers!

Nick Holley, Houston Roughnecks vs. St. Louis Battlehawks ($4,800 DK, $14 FD). Analysis available to Fantasy Alarm subscribers!

Others to watch: Available for Fantasy Alarm subscribers!

Editor's Note: This is a FREE preview of Week 2's Fantasy Alarm's XFL DFS Playbook. For full analysis and example lineups, check out Fantasy Alarm's great season-long and DFS tools available to subscribers.

Week 2 XFL DFS Picks: Wide receiver and Tight end

You won’t find Austin Proehl here. I like him, but his salary took a huge jump for a guy we expected nothing from last week. Too rich for my blood. I want to see him do it again.

Nick Spruce, Los Angeles Wildcats vs. Dallas Renegades ($10,400 DK, $20). This could be the receiving star of the league. He was dealing with a backup quarterback last week, but Spruce was open every time a play was needed. He caught short passes, he caught deep passes, he caught passes over the middle. He caught everything. Hopefully he will have the same chemistry with Josh Johnson this week, but it seemed like almost every pass went to Spruce last week. He is the highest salaried receiver on both sites (tied with Austin Proehl on FanDuel), but I think he will be worth every penny. I fully expect him to be the most targeted receiver in Week 2.

Mekale McKay, New York Guardians @ D.C. Defenders ($10,200 DK, $16 FD). It took McKay a little time to get going, but he was able to make a few plays. Honestly, he is only really a play on FanDuel, as DraftKings somehow has him as the second-most expensive receiver. McKay certainly showed the big play ability we knew he had, but the Guardians are one of the more balanced offenses in the league. McKay has the feeling of a touchdown-dependent guy, but could find one against a Defenders defense that gave up three passing touchdowns to a weaker offense last week.

Eli Rogers, D.C. Defenders vs. New York Guardians ($9,700 DK, $17 FD). This is my favorite wide receiver in the league. It isn’t that Rogers is some awesome receiver that belongs in the Pro Bowl in the NFL, but he certainly showed some ability to get open on Sunday, and he has sure hands. He has one of the better quarterbacks in the league, and with Rashad Ross on the other side of the field, defenses can’t focus on him. He isn’t super cheap on either site -- and it will be tough to work him and Spruce into a lineup -- but Rogers is another guy that I feel is a near sure thing for great production on a weekly basis. He is nearly a must-play at his price on FanDuel.

Daniel Williams, Tampa Bay Vipers @ Seattle Dragons ($7,600 DK, $19 FD). Analysis available to Fantasy Alarm subscribers!

Flynn Nagel, Dallas Renegades @ Los Angeles Wildcats ($5,200 DK, $16 FD). Analysis available to Fantasy Alarm subscribers!

Jordan Smallwood, Los Angeles Wildcats vs. Dallas Renegades ($6,900 DK, $18 FD). Analysis available to Fantasy Alarm subscribers!

Others to consider: Cam Phillips (Houston Roughnecks vs. St. Louis Battlehawks), De’Mornay Pierson-El (St. Louis Battlehawks @ Houston Roughnecks), more available for Fantasy Alarm subscribers!

MORE: Free one-week trial of Fantasy Alarm's PRO tools

Week 2​ XFL DFS Picks: Defense

Coming soon!