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    XFL DFS Picks Championship: Top Lineup Includes Abram Smith, Jordan Ta’amu, and Luis Perez

    Are you setting DFS lineups for 50/50 or tournament contests? Here are our DFS picks for the Defenders vs. Renegades XFL Championship Game.

    If you’re looking for XFL DFS picks for the championship game between the DC Defenders and Arlington Renegades, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess the most likely outcome, including which players are in line to thrive more than anticipated or fall short of expectations.

    The following recommended DraftKings lineup (for tournaments, 50/50, or head-to-head competitions) aims to lock in a relatively high floor while maximizing upside. Whatever you decide, good luck.

    XFL DFS Considerations

    And so, it’s come to this. If you’ve been reading this column since Week 1, then you know what kind of DFS season it’s been — from the lowest lows (last week’s disastrously bad slate) to the highest highs (a first-place finish in Week 5 versus thousands of competitors).

    That midseason winning lineup took plenty of risks, including recommending Luis Perez in what would be his second-to-last start for the Vegas Vipers. His ensuing trade to the Renegades helped transformed Arlington’s struggling offense and contribute to their presence in the XFL Championship.

    That lineup also included the middling Abram Smith. “Middling?” Yes, middling. Before he was known as the XFL’s No. 1 running back, Smith was a so-so starter who benefited more from volume than efficiency. Through the first four weeks, he’d rushed 60 times for 211 yards (3.5 yards per carry) and a score while accruing a meager 5-37-0 receiving line.

    But his matchup, as well as Ryquell Armstead’s injury status, made Smith a huge buy-low investment.

    Both Perez and Smith came through big-time on their respective teams that week, with Perez throwing for 269 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions, while Smith rumbled for 218 rushing yards and three scores.

    And here they are, seven weeks later, arguably the keys to each of their team’s offensive hopes, facing off for the XFL title.

    There’s a flow to each sports season, and the XFL is no exception. Some great players slump at the wrong times. Some tertiary players rise to the occasion.

    Our job as bettors is to predict who’s for real, and who’s headed for a decline . . . who’s about to pop, and who’s a shocking fade.

    The following recommended lineup has its roots in Week 5. Despite Perez’s up-and-down season, he’s found a home in an Arlington offense with no natural No. 1 receiver. With the team’s two top running backs hobbled, he might be leaned on heavily against a beatable defense.

    MORE: FREE Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

    Smith’s also had an up-and-down season, with five memorable regular-season performances and five forgettable ones. We cannot ignore the forgettable ones, as well as his recent slump: 60 carries for 185 yards (3.1 ypc) in his last four outings.

    Is the wear and tear of a hefty season weighing on Smith? Have defenses decided to focus largely and him, forcing Jordan Ta’amu to win through the air?

    It’s almost worked. Since Smith’s struggles returned in Week 8, the Defenders have won by two points in one game, and by a single point in two others. Slowing down Smith has almost worked, and Arlington has the defense to replicate their Week 9 success against him.

    Perez and Smith are the wild cards of this game. Both are highly expensive in DFS. We could create a well-rounded lineup of solid players if we kept them out of it. But by including both, we’re hoping that they step up with the championship on the line — that we once again see them at their best.

    The following lineup assumes the Defenders win by 10+ points, with Perez slinging the ball in catch-up mode and DC shifting to a more conservative offense by the fourth quarter.

    Top DraftKings DFS Picks for XFL Playoffs

    Today, we’re playing DraftKings’ “XFL Showdown,” which includes one “Captain” who costs 1.5x his normal cost and whose production multiplier is 1.5. It also includes five Flex players from any position.

    Captain: QB Jordan Ta’amu, Defenders ($16,200)

    Last week’s struggles aside, Ta’amu often has been brilliant this season, and his passing work has improved since early on. He’s racked up 30+ DFS points in three of his last five games. With everything to play for and nothing to lose, I expect Ta’amu to run more and control the ball better than he did last week against Seattle.

    Flex: RB Abram Smith, Defenders ($10,600)

    Smith isn’t just playing for a title. He’s also playing for another shot at the NFL. Presumably, he’s already earned it.

    MORE: NFL Comeback Player of the Year Odds

    On the biggest XFL stage, Smith can put the finishing touches on a campaign that already has turned heads. I believe DC will feed him 20+ times.

    Flex: QB Luis Perez, Renegades ($10,000)

    The challenge of betting on Arlington’s offense is not knowing who will step up. TE Sal Cannella leads his team in receptions and receiving yards, but he’s been a DFS non-factor. And Arlington’s backfield is a crapshoot, especially with two injured RBs and a potentially negative game script.

    Perez almost assuredly will spread the ball around. This would be the detriment of every other player and to the benefit of Perez in DFS.

    Flex: WR Lucky Jackson, Defenders ($9,600)

    Can we afford him? I suppose we have to try. While Lucky Jackson’s volume remains concerning, he’s too integral to this team’s offense to ignore. He has six touchdowns in his last six games and is Ta’amu’s true No. 1 receiver. We could downgrade here. But only Jackson offers realistic 20+ points upside.

    Flex: TE Briley Moore-McKinney, Defenders ($2,400)

    The price is right. Honestly, any of DC’s tight ends could score in this one. Briley Moore-McKinney might have the highest ceiling. He’s a necessary addition to a top-heavy lineup.

    Flex: K Matt McCrane, Defenders ($1,000)

    With $1,200 remaining, we’re rolling with Matt McCrane. Normally, I avoid kickers in DFS like asparagus at dinner. But there’s some reasoning behind this decision.

    DC almost blew a huge lead on Arlington in Week 9, thanks to two second-half interceptions inside field-goal territory. While McCrane isn’t the most reliable kicker, he’s got a big enough leg to connect from 50+. I expect DC to march repeatedly into Arlington territory. Whereas three weeks ago, they tried to do too much — and paid the price with turnovers — I expect the Defenders to operate more conservatively, especially in the second half, leading to at least two McCrane field goals. Not bad for a $1,000 investment.

    Good luck, and it’s been a pleasure engaging with you all during this XFL season.

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