XFL DFS Picks Week 5: Top Lineup Includes Abram Smith, Jeff Badet, and Christian Rambo

    Four of our five recommended XFL DFS lineups this year have hit big. If you're making Week 5 XFL DFS picks, here's our top lineup.

    If you’re looking for XFL DFS picks for Week 5, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each Saturday team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess the most likely outcomes, 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

    The first four recommended lineups for the 2023 XFL season (including two in Week 2) hit between the top 15% and top 1% of tournaments. Huzzah! But last week’s lineup barely scraped by in 50/50 competitions. Boo-hoo. Still, we’re on a good run. So let’s see if we can keep it going.

    As many of you know, while researching 100+ XFL skill-position players ahead of this season, I drew a few conclusions, which have been applied to each of our DFS slates:

    • Quarterback play would be more erratic than in the NFL, with lower ceilings across the board.
    • The looseness of running back depth charts made betting on RBs risky.
    • Wide receiver depth charts were largely irrelevant, as the opening weeks would determine which supposed No. 1s were actually No. 3s or No. 4s and which supposed tertiary options were actually target friendly.

    I stuck to these principles in each of the first five DFS slates. Last week’s relatively poor performance came with Ben DiNucci in my lineup. He flopped from a DFS standpoint. It happens. And if this slate included the Sea Dragons, I’d be all in on a vintage DeNucci rebound — or, as I like to call it, a “Re-Nucci.”

    I also faltered last week by taking the cheap Ryquell Armstead, who then got hurt. Bad luck. But I have to embrace it because, usually, we can (mostly) make our own luck.

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    The following recommended DFS lineup is for the two Saturday contests. The first one features the 3-1 St. Louis Battlehawks vs. the 4-0 DC Defenders. These squads faced off two weeks ago, with DC outlasting their rivals 34-28.

    Smart money might suggest another high-scoring affair. But equally smart money might suggest DC’s elite defense Re-Nucci’s — sorry, “rebounds” — against a team that converted (by my count) at least four 20+ yard pass plays. That’s not typical Defender football. Credit the Battlehawks for breaking through and almost winning. However, I don’t think it’s easily replicable.

    Similarly, I remain concerned about DC’s passing attack. It works for them because they have a superb running game featuring the No. 1 overall pick in the “offensive skills” portion of November’s draft, as well as two interchangeably mobile QBs — not to mention Armstead (if he’s healthy enough to return).

    So I’m expecting both defenses to tighten up, for the Defenders to continue pounding the ball on the ground, and for St. Louis to generate fewer scoring opportunities.

    As a result, you’ll see below that my recommended DFS lineup leans heavily into the second game, which features the winless Vegas Vipers and equally winless Orlando Guardians.

    Why veer away from two offensive juggernauts and instead focus on the two “worst” XFL teams? Let’s find out.

    Top DraftKings DFS Picks for XFL Week 5

    Today, we’re playing DraftKings’ “XFL Classic,” which includes one QB, one RB, two WRs, two Flex players, and one D/ST.

    QB Luis Perez, Vegas Vipers ($8,400)

    First, a contingency. Brett Hundley appears to have been benched. If Perez starts, we’re a full go. If Hundley somehow starts, then I’d roll with him at $9,700, and then replace John Lovett with Matthew Sexton. (It all fits under the salary cap.)

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    The opposing Guardians have been obliterated twice by the Houston Roughnecks. No big deal, right? Houston’s great. Except their other two matchups were against passing offenses that are even worse than the Vipers’. They made the Brahmas look like … well, like the Roughnecks.

    Vegas actually is averaging the league’s third-most passing yards. They’re 0-4, yet nearly won three of those contests. I like Vegas in a get-right game vs. an eminently beatable defense.

    RB Abram Smith, Defenders ($8,800)

    Costly and necessary. With Armstead hobbled, Smith could get 15+ touches against a defense yielding the fourth-most rushing yards per game. Between him and the Battlehawks’ high-flying Brian Hill ($8,000), I prefer Smith’s matchup.

    WR Jeff Badet, Vipers ($9,800)

    Of course. Longtime readers have seen how often I’ve used Jeff Badet in DFS slates. He’s the brightest star in Vegas — and that includes each star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. I roughly predict a 6-130-1 receiving line this weekend.

    WR Charleston Rambo, Guardians ($8,100)

    I pushed Charleston Rambo last week but didn’t have the guts to include him in my official DFS lineup. He was their prized offensive draft pick in the fall. It was only a matter of time before the Guardians got him going.

    Flex: WR Cody Latimer, Guardians ($6,000)

    I think Cody Latimer has been in all six of my DFS lineups this season. Maybe five? I can’t remember. But he’s a mainstay: relatively cheap and productive. Plus, he’s a clear top-two offensive option against one of the XFL’s most vulnerable pass defenses.

    Flex: RB John Lovett, Vipers ($4,900)

    I’m breaking my rule by including two running backs. But it’s hard to make the dollars work in this contest, and John Lovett is so dang inexpensive.

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    I love his usage in the passing game and what appears to be a growing offensive role.

    Vipers D/ST ($4,000)

    D/STs are tough to figure out in the XFL, especially when the best one available (the Defenders) is facing an elite offense. While Orlando’s Paxton Lynch should be able to move the ball, I’m trusting he’ll commit at least one turnover and take at least two sacks.

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