XFL FANTASY FOOTBALL GUIDE
Written by Gare Bear
After doing an incredible amount of research to figure out who was likeliest to start and have an impact, the XFL teams put out their depth charts rendering my research relatively useless. However, I can give a much better expert opinion on some unknowns in the league who might be able to have an impact as the season goes on.
- Josh Johnson LA 6-3, 205 lbs– Johnson is probably the most veteran quarterback in the entire league and probably would like to produce an NFL back up quarterback job for a few more years from this league. He’s got solid talent around him and he is a duel threat quarterback which is going to be huge in points for what should be just like an NFL fantasy football score, but much lower. Good size, good scrambler, solid accuracy, good decision maker, NFL experience…What more could you ask for?
- Landry Jones DAL 6-4, 234 lbs– Jones was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2013 NFL draft in the fourth round and got decent playing time behind Big Ben. Played four years at Oklahoma and recorded 3 wins and 2 losses in his five starts in the NFL while adding a 64% completion rate, 1,310 yards, eight touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. Is a solid quarterback, but threw too many interceptions and wasn’t given enough of a shot by other teams. He wants to make everyone want to bring him in after this season. Being back with his college coach and running the “Air Raid” again may help him be the top quarterback in the XFL.
- Cardale Jones DC 6-5, 264 lbs– Everyone remembers Jones because he was the kid that led Ohio State to a National Championship after J.T. Barrett got injured. What I remember most is that he didn’t really have to do much…Urban Meyer likes to run the ball and they had a great running attack and solid defense that shut people down. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2016 in the fourth round and went on to show that he struggled with accuracy a lot…He’s against competition that would probably struggle stopping Ohio State, so I figure he can parlay that into a solid season for the Defenders.
- Aaron Murray TB 6-1, 207 lbs– Murray would be lower on this list if Connor Cook were a starter, but somehow he isn’t. Murray can be remembered from his theatrics at the University of Georgia where the running backs almost always become stars in the NFL which probably held him back a little in development. He was tutored by recent Super Bowl champion coach Andy Reid when he was drafted there in 2014 in the 5th round. He never made it to the field in the NFL, but he will be lacking in weapons on the outside, but have a solid running offense just like at UGA. Look to see some solid stats if the coaches actually believe in him.
- P.J. Walker HOU 5-11, 214 lbs– Walker is a product of the Temple Owls and is a shocking start in my eyes, but maybe their hoping his similar size to Russell Wilson will make him be just as good as him…Starting over Connor Cook shouldn’t be taken lightly because Cook is a notable name people know from Michigan State. He lacks NFL size, but is under, what I call, the Tweeners(6 foot to 6 foot 2 and 7/8ths) who regularly struggle the most in the NFL for some reason. Walker played for the Owls all four years and had solid production with 74 touchdowns to 44 interceptions. Not sure I see him starting the whole season, but has good weapons around him which may help.
- Jordan Ta’amu STL 6-2, 212 lbs– Another question mark at quarterback, but at least the Battlehawks have a reason. They lack another bonafide starter out of three quarterbacks and must have looked the best I presume. He played at Ole Miss for two seasons where he threw 30 touchdowns to only 12 interceptions while completing 64.5% of his balls. Playing at an SEC school for any amount of time shouldn’t be taken lightly for the fact that this is slightly better talent than college and in some cases probably worse talent…
- Brandon Silvers SEA 6-3, 224 lbs– Silvers is a product of the Troy Trojans and didn’t show NFL scouts enough to get drafted. He does have NFL size, but not sure he can make all the throws. He’s not a good athlete so don’t expect him to run too much as he is a classic pocket passer. I figured the backup B.J. Daniels would start because of his athleticism benefiting the offense in a way, but that’s not the way the coaches went. He threw 71 touchdowns to 29 interceptions over his career as a Trojan man and looks to put me in my place for not not putting him higher on this list.
- Matt McGloin NY 6-1, 200 lbs– A quarterback that I have never understood why he starts. Maybe his family is influential or maybe he is a fantastic leader, but he’s not a fantastic quarterback. He consistently does almost nothing during the games in which he plays, but keeps starting. Even in his years at Penn State he didn’t stick out more than a decent starter. With 46 touchdowns to 19 interceptions which shows that he doesn’t force the ball, but he doesn’t have the arm strength to do that anyway. He’s a dump off machine and lacks the ability to make all the throws. He has to work way too hard to get big plays and will probably have a short leash with Marquise Williams and Luis Perez looking over his shoulder
Connor Cook 6-4, 217 lbs HOU
BJ Daniels 5-11, 222 lbs SEA
Nick Fitzgerald 6-5, 227 lbs STL
- Andre Williams HOU 6-0, 227 lbs– Williams was drafted out of Boston College by the New York Giants in 2014 in the fourth round. He had a solid season carrying the ball 217 times for 721 yards and seven touchdowns, but then watched his career be derailed by injuries and looks to bounce back. He may have lost a little of his athleticism and speed from the injuries, but he was such a good athlete anything above like 80% of what he was is a true threat.
- Christine Michael STL 5-10, 220 lbs– Michael should be remembered as the 2nd round pick in 2013 by the Seattle Seahawks who had a lot expected of him when he came in. He played solidly over five season accumulating 1089 yards and seven touchdowns on 256 carries, but is now 30 years old. Not sure if he has a real shot at the NFL, but nothing makes a guy work harder than telling him he can’t do it anymore. I expect to see Michael be able to put in work against the competition.
- Cameron Artis-Payne DAL 5-11, 210 lbs– Cameron wasn’t known for his pass catching ability which may make him lack in production from that stand point in the Dallas offense, but has solid speed and 32 career games in the NFL in his pocket. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry in the NFL, but lacked opportunities to touch the ball.
- Elijah Hood LA 5-11, 232 lbs– Hood is a big, bruising back and has solid speed for such a big back(4.57 40 yard dash). He was a productive back at the University of North Carolina and was eventually drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the seventh round of 2017. Only three years removed, he has a big shot to make an impact and move on to bigger and better teams.
- De’Veon Smith TB 5-11, 228 lbs– He has an NFL build, but that’s about it. He’s a strong power runner and will be called upon to carry the ball a lot in an offense that will be lacking in weapons. Although I don’t really like him as a running back, he will get touches which is an opportunity to put up fantasy points. He may not lead the league in average yards per carry, but could have an opportunity in carries.
- Jhurell Pressley DC 5-10, 203 lbs– Pressley is a sure handed back relied upon to take care of the ball. He is said to run hard and is a big play guy running a 4.38 40 yard dash. He should be similar to Kenyan Drake against the second rate competition except he doesn’t have very good hands out of the backfield which is what he would like to show NFL teams he can do now.
- Matt Jones STL 6-2, 235 lbs– Jones is a former 3rd round draft choice of the Washington ‘Skins in 2015, he looks to show he was worth that pick. He may be a 2nd string back, but I expect him to still be solid in production as Saint Louis looks to be built upon the running game. He should be part of a two-headed monster with back mate Christine Michael.
- Ja’Quan Gardener SEA 5-7, 205 lbs– Gardener did solid while in the AAF which is similar competition, but I am worried about his size. He’s compact so he might not be injured, but it’s definitely a concern with a guy that small. Also, he played at Humbolt State University which is another big concern for him in lack of true competition.
- Tim Cook NY 6-0, 242 lbs– Who is this guy you ask? I don’t really know either, but he is the starter for New York. He played at Oregon State for two seasons amassing an incredible thirty carries for 137 yards and one rushing touchdown as a senior. No real pro day stats were kept and he wasn’t drafted. He’s starting so I assume that means opportunity. He could be great, he could be awful. Your guess is as good as mine.
Kenneth Farrow 5-10, 220 lbs HOU
Marquis Young 6-1, 215 lbs DAL
Donnel Pumphrey 5-9, 180 lbs DC
Jacques Patrick 6-3, 231 lbs TB
Darius Victor 5-8, 209 lbs NY
Starters because none of them stand out as being a great tight end. This is way worse than the NFL’s tight end production problem in fantasy…You may want to just drop them all together. One team doesn’t roster a tight end while another only keeps one. Good luck!
Jake Powell NY 6-5, 231 lbs Monmouth (NJ)
Donald Parham DAL 6-8, 275 lbs Stetson
Brandon Barnes LA 6-4, 255 lbs Alabama State Only Tight end on roster
Marcus Lucas STL 6-5, 220 lbs Mizz Listed as WR, but #1 Tight end on depth chart
Colin Jeter SEA 6-5, 250 lbs LSU
Nick Truesdel TB 6-5, 249 lbs Grand Rapids Junior College
Khari Lee DC 6-4, 255 lbs Bowie State
Wes Saxton 6-4, 240 lbs STL
Evan Rodriguez 6-2, 239 lbs SEA
Keenan Brown 6-2 256 lbs NY
Another position that’s hard to see who is going to be the stand out players, but these are the guys at the top of the depth charts and will have the likeliest possibility of high production
Jeff Badet 5-11, 178 lbs Oklahoma– Badet ran a 4.34 40 yard dash in his draft preparation and is a very good receiver. Great straight line speed but unsure hands and durability concerns. This guy could be a big play guy similar to Desean Jackson in this league(hopefully)
Flynn Nagel 5-11, 195 lbs Northwestern– Quick slot receiver who apparently understands the “air raid” system well enough to be a starter. Didn’t have great college stats, but should see ample opportunity.
Malachi Dupre 6-2, 195 lbs LSU– Has great athletic ability and is said to track the deep ball like an out fielder. Had a great catch rate in college, but didn’t get opportunities.
DeAndre Thompkins 5-11 187 lbs Penn State– Has great speed at 4.33 in the forty yard dash and is a play maker although he lacked in touchdowns in college.
Kahlil Lewis 5-10, 190 lbs Cincinnati- Looked at as a physical receiver like Steve Smith, but he lacks the overall speed. Was very productive at UC and scored 21 touchdowns over three seasons.
Sammie Coates 6-1, 210 lbs Auburn– A known name from being selected by the Steelers in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft, he recorded 29 catches for 528 yards and two touchdowns.
Cam Phillips 6-0, 201 lbs Virginia Tech– He is a starter for this team, but had his NFL hopes dropped because of a sports hernia before pre-draft workouts.
Los Angeles Wildcats
Jordan Smallwood 6-2, 225 lbs Oklahoma– Played four seasons at Oklahoma, but never really left a mark while there. Ran a 4.53 40 yard dash at his pro day and was an overall good athlete and size the NFL likes.
Adonis Jennings 6-2, 203 lbs Temple– He played three seasons for the Owls and has okay speed. Similar size to Smallwood and I don’t really see him being the most productive of the three starting receivers.
Nelson Spruce 6-1, 206 lbs Colorado– Spruce isn’t a physical specimen nor will he blow by you on the field. What is he then? A sure handed receiver who is clever and catches contested passes. He is the all time leader in catches in the Pac-12.
Mekale McKay 6-5, 195 lbs Cincinnati– This guy should be remembered from the AAF as one of its stand out receivers. He is also a smart receiver who creates separation with his long arms and knows how to use his hands to catch the ball.
Austin Duke 5-9, 170 lbs Charlotte– Clearly an undersized receiver who will be lining up in the slot position. He ran a 4.52 40 and had a 37 inch vertical along with a 121 inch broad jump. Definitely an explosive player who is more quick than fast.
Colby Pearson 6-0, 194 lbs BYU– Played minimally at BYU and wasn’t a whole lot out about him. I assume he is a good route runner who understands offense if he went to Brigham Young.
Saint Louis BattleHawks
L’Damian Washington 6-4, 216 lbs Mizz- A big target who is vertically explosive with solid speed(4.46 40). Wasn’t a star in college, but should be a red zone target at the very least.
Alonzo Russell 6-4, 218 lbs Toledo– Another guy who is great at high pointing the ball while being big. He is known to vary speed in his routes to create separation, but production stayed the similar all four years at Toledo.
Kasen Williams 6-3, 218 lbs Washington– There is a large height discrepancy between his combine height of 6-3 while the Dragons list him at 6-1…Either way Williams was able to make the Browns as a free agent and caught 9 passes for 84 yards in 2017. He should be looked at as a number one target in this offense.
Keenan Reynolds 5-10, 190 lbs Navy– I like the military as much as the next guy, but this guy as a starting receiver doesn’t make sense to me. He played quarterback in college…on Navy…who runs a triple option offense…He is a decent athlete, but nothing special. I assume he will be used more for wild cat, option stuff, and trick plays.
Tampa Bay Vipers
Jalen Tolliver 6-3, 209 lbs Arkansas-Monticello– Played against very bad competition and recorded 39 touchdowns over four seasons. He can compete for balls in the air and can chase down a ball, but struggles with press coverage.
Reece Horn 6-3, 213 lbs Indianapolis– A lot of these teams understand that the quarterbacks aren’t going to have protection nor great accuracy so bigger receivers are a plus. Had 27 touchdowns in three seasons at Indianapolis.
Dan Williams 6-3, 201 lbs Jackson State– This team has very specific receiver qualifications….Another quality competition lacker who has good size who can compete for the ball.
Austin Proehl SEA
Jazz Ferguson DAL
Sentavius Jones TB
Rashad Ross DC
Eli Rogers DC
XFL FANTASY FOOTBALL GUIDE