Week 3 in the XFL saw a Saturday that included a pair of extremely close games before Sunday was somewhat of a damp squib. Over the course of the weekend, there were some fascinating games and some superb performances. Before we dive into our DraftKings XFL Week 4 DFS lineups, let’s take a look at some of those superb performances from Week 3. Then, we can take a look at which games should see plenty of offensive action in the upcoming week.
The headline performance from Week 3 was once again the play of PJ Walker and Cam Phillips. Walker and Phillips continue to be the talk of the league, and stopping them is the priority of all of the other seven teams. For Dallas, the running backs were good once again, but the real stand out was tight end Donald Parham, who took the game by storm in Seattle. The Wildcats’ big victory over the Defenders was thanks in large part to their defense and Tre McBride stepping up as Josh Johnson had the impact that many expected in the preseason. Finally, Matt Jones found the end zone as the St. Louis BattleHawks crushed the New York Guardians in their second embarrassing loss in as many weeks.
The headline game entering Week 4 is between the Houston Roughnecks and Dallas Renegades, with a projected total of 49.5. In contrast, the games between the Los Angeles Wildcats and New York Guardians and the Seattle Dragons and St. Louis BattleHawks have projected totals of just 39. In the middle is the game between the D.C. Defenders and the Tampa Bay Vipers, which has a projected total of 44.5.
Landry Jones, Dallas Renegades @ HOU (DK $9,800)
The matchup between the Renegades and the Houston Roughnecks has the potential to be electric. With the two run-and-shoot offenses of the XFL facing off, we could see points scored an unbelievable rate. For all the good the Roughnecks have done in getting to 3-0, their defense has been leaky. They allow an average of 348 yards and 22.7 points per game, which both rank as the third-worst numbers in the league. Jones has shown good consistency through his first two starts, with 19 and 20 points respectively, but this is a chance for him to put up the 30 point game that Jordan Ta’amu did in Week 2. All three starting quarterbacks have put up over 20 fantasy points when facing the Roughnecks this season.
Jordan Ta’amu, St. Louis BattleHawks vs. SEA (DK $9,500)
Last week did not deliver a great return for Ta’amu, thanks largely to the complete lack of effectiveness from the New York Guardians offense. With a big lead built up early, the BattleHawks turned the running game loose and kept Ta’amu out of the game, as he threw just 18 passes and carried the ball three times. The Seattle Dragons should be a bigger threat to the BattleHawks, meaning that we should see more out of Ta’amu, who had delivered a total of 51 fantasy points in the first two weeks. One concern, however, is that Seattle was gashed by the running game the last two weeks, and we may see St. Louis turn to their backs to lead the charge. For that reason, Jones is the better QB1 option this week.
Cameron Artis-Payne, Dallas Renegades @ HOU (DK $8,000)
There is simply nowhere else to look other than Artis-Payne to lead your lineups this week. Averaging over 6.0 yards per carry and a solid 5 targets per game, he has delivered so far, with a 100% catch rate, 2 touchdowns, and 260 combined yards. The Roughnecks defense has been solid against the run game in terms of yards per carry, but they have allowed 350 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground. However, Artis-Payne can catch passes out of the backfield, which makes him a stud option again this week.
Lance Dunbar, Dallas Renegades @ SEA (DK $6,700)
It is not often you ride two backs on the same team in DFS, but Dunbar is seeing so many opportunities as the secondary back that he is hard to ignore. He may have only carried the ball 19 times for 92, but his 20 catches on 23 targets for 119 yards receiving have meant that he has been a solid DFS play. Finding the end zone has been his problem, but that duck could easily break this weekend in what should be the game of the week in Dallas.
Justin Stockton, New York Guardians vs. LA (DK $3,000)
If you are looking for a budget option with the ceiling to go above and beyond in terms of ROI, then Stockton could be a perfect option. He did not suit up for the Guardians until Week 3, and he did not have a single carry. However, something that was extremely promising is that in a game chasing effort, he saw five targets, pulling in three of them. His fumble could damage his playing time, but in a matchup with the Los Angeles Wildcats, where I expect the Guardians to be chasing the game, we could see Stockton with a chance to receive multiple targets.
Cam Phillips, Houston Roughnecks @ Dallas Renegades (DK $11,700)
With Nelson Spruce out for Week 4 and potentially longer, Phillips is the slam dunk number one option. A total of 29 targets, 20 receptions, 324 yards, and 7 touchdowns through three weeks has seen to that. The Renegades are going to need to throw everything at him to have a chance of stopping him, but with one of the worst defenses when it comes to wide receiver returns in DFS, that may not even be enough.
Keenan Reynolds, Seattle Dragons @ STL (DK $4,700)
Trying to find receivers in the middle ground is tough. They are either low-impact type guys or boom-or-bust options. Reynolds falls into the second group, averaging 14.3 yards per reception, but with a catch rate below 50%. The positive is that he is seeing an average of 7.33 targets a game through the first three weeks, and his worst game is back in Week 1. Reynolds and Vipers’ wide receiver Jalen Tolliver ($6,000) have similar profiles right now in terms of their boom-or-bust, meaning it might be worth trying to sprinkle one or the other into some of your cash game lineups. This week, Reynolds has the marginally better matchup, but Tolliver is seeing plenty of targets and was the star for Tampa Bay last week.
Flynn Nagel, Dallas Renegades vs. HOU (DK $4,800)
Sticking with the theme of loading up on Renegades in their potential shootout, Nagel offers fantastic value at a cheap price. He has double-digit returns in two of the three weeks and has caught 13 of his 15 targets so far this season. For this pick to really return value, Nagel will need to find the end zone again, since the majority of his receptions have been short gains. However, Nagel has been targeted six times in two of the three games and should see plenty of the ball again this week against the lowest-ranked defense when it comes to the wide receiver position.
Defense and special teams
Los Angeles Wildcats @ N.Y. (DK $4,500)
The gameplan, for now, is to keep targeting the Guardians’ offense. They presented 17 points to the BattleHawks defense last week, although a rare kick return touchdown helped. In Week 2, the D.C. Defenders defense scored 25 points against them as well. The Wildcats defense also turned a corner last week, picking off Cardale Jones four times in their 30-point win. With the defense riding high facing a struggling Guardians offense in the cold of New York, this could be another very good day for the Wildcats defense.
Ben Role is a handicapper, DFS writer, and editor for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter @benrolfe15.