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    XFL DFS Picks Week 9: Top Lineup Includes Abram Smith, Jacques Patrick, and Chris Blair

    Are you setting a DFS lineup for a 50/50 or tournament competition? Here are our top Week 9 XFL DFS picks.

    If you’re looking for Week 9 XFL DFS picks, then you’ve come to the right place. Focusing on all four contests, we’ve analyzed each 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

    Last week, my recommended DFS lineup finished “in the money” in tournaments. It marked the eighth time this season (out of nine recommendations) that a slate has hit in tournament play. Four have finished in the top 5%, with one of those winding up tied for No. 1 overall.

    This isn’t normal for me. Yeah, I do my research and try to make the best calls possible. But in a world where so many people have so much knowledge about so many players, it’s difficult to differentiate. For example, my NFL slates were only slightly above water last year.

    But there appears to be an opening in XFL DFS, at least for now. I get paid to research this stuff. I don’t have to sneak in some extra studying while my boss is delivering a presentation on octagonal widgets. This is my career.

    So this week, I’ve tried to dig deeper, knowing that others are getting smarter as the XFL season hits peak interest. At the same time, I don’t want to get cute with these recommendations.

    One example concerns A.J. McCarron, who, as of Friday, isn’t yet a sure thing for Sunday’s matchup. He’s been in my tentative DFS lineup all week. But he needs to be replaced because we don’t know what we don’t know. And rather than take a deep flyer on a hit-or-miss QB, I’d rather lean into a nearly sure-fire producer at a comparable price.

    MORE: FREE Mock Draft Simulator With Trades!

    Some other things to consider this week:

    The 2-6 Brahmas are still in the playoff hunt. Their offense gets its most favorable matchup of the year, facing an Orlando defense that has struggled to shut down opponents (to put it mildly). I expect San Antonio to feature their three best playmakers in a must-win game.

    Similarly (but not entirely similarly), the Defenders can claim home-field advantage in the semifinals of the playoffs if they beat Arlington. Expect them to go all in against a very good defense. But how good? They haven’t faced DC yet. I would argue that the Defenders’ offense cannot be stopped, at least not yet.

    When McCarron was in the lineup, I had the Roughnecks’ D/ST and a couple other players from different teams. This non-McCarron lineup focuses only on the Brahmas and Defenders. I can make a strong case for why Seattle’s spread-the-ball offense is too unpredictable in DFS, while St. Louis’ offense could be a mess if the recently signed Vincent Testaverde Jr. starts at QB.

    Also, Arlington’s offense has been lukewarm at best and dreadful at worst. The same goes for Vegas, especially with Jeff Badet hobbled, despite the recent heroics of Jalan McClendon.

    Orlando faces an elite Brahmas defense, while Houston’s questionable QB situation has me concerned.

    In a large sense, there are only two offenses I trust this week, and that’s reflected in the following DFS lineup.

    Top DraftKings DFS Picks for XFL Week 9

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

    QB Jordan Ta’amu, Defenders ($10,100)

    In a perfect world, I’d roll with a healthy McCarron in a critically important Week 9 faceoff. But there are no perfect worlds in DFS, especially when someone’s hurt, and most especially when — as a writer and analyst — I need to make a decision and stick with it.

    MORE: What Is the XFL? | XFL 2023 Schedule

    I don’t love Jordan Ta’amu’s matchup against a tough Arlington defense. But I also haven’t bet against DC’s offense for a long time. They’ve scored 28+ points in six straight contests. Ta’amu is a big reason why.

    RB Abram Smith, Defenders ($10,600)

    For the fourth consecutive week, it’s Abram Smith. As I wrote last week, “No one brings the boom like Smith.” He’s probably not long for this league, as the NFL could use him, even if he’s a No. 2 or No. 3 running back. Smith was the Defenders’ first draft pick last year in the “offensive skills” portion. Now we know why.

    WR Landen Akers, Brahmas ($7,900)

    If San Antonio had enjoyed Landen Akers all year, they might have been 3-5 or even 4-4. Injuries matter regardless of the league, and Akers is a special talent on a team that’s ached for a true WR1. He should continue to see heavy volume in a plus matchup.

    WR Chris Blair, Defenders ($5,900)

    This is a potential hiccup. Yes, I’m chasing points. But at this price, I can’t afford not to. Chris Blair brings big-play ability to a big-play team. Last week’s slate included DC’s Lucky Jackson and Seattle’s Juwan Green. Jackson took a backseat to Blair while Green took off.

    We can afford Blair or Green in this lineup. I’m tempted by both, but Green operates in a more jam-packed offense, where one or two guys could go off. DC’s offense is more top-heavy. Simply put, I prefer Blair’s odds.

    RB Jacques Patrick, Brahmas ($7,700)

    While this pains me a bit, Orlando has yielded a sizable (for the XFL) 4.1 yards per carry. Jacques Patrick has taken over as San Antonio’s unquestioned No. 1 RB, averaging 4.1 yards per carry. He’s also tied for third on the team with 19 receptions.

    Again, this is a must-win game. The Brahmas have two or three guys who can serve as offensive centerpieces against a beatable defense. Akers is one of them. So is Patrick.

    WR Alizé Mack, Brahmas ($2,800)

    The price is right. While Alizé Mack doesn’t flash big-play abilities, he’s been a steady presence with six outings with 3+ receptions. He needs to score to be useful in DFS, and the opposing Guardians have surrendered 2.4 TD receptions per game. We’re playing the probabilities that between Akers, Patrick, and Mack, we’ll get at least two scores.

    D/ST Defenders ($4,700)

    With $5,000 remaining, we could roll with any D/ST. The Roughnecks cost $200 more. However, I prefer how DC is playing these days, and really like how they rebounded last week after an eye-popping loss to the winless Guardians the week before.

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