This article is part of our DraftKings USFL series.
We've completed half of the USFL regular season and there is clear separation in the standings between the haves and have-nots. The entire North Division falls into the latter category, as the New Jersey Generals, Pittsburgh Maulers, Michigan Panthers and Philadelphia Stars are all 2-3. Only one of those teams — the Generals — has a positive point differential. Flipping things to the South Division, the New Orleans Breakers lead the way at 4-1. The Birmingham Stallions are third in the South but have a league-best +40 point differential.
There aren't any matchups between the powerhouse teams, so the game of the week comes at 4 p.m. EDT on Saturday when the Stallions take on the Panthers.
Troy Williams ($8,400) at Memphis
Williams struggled to get his footing underneath him to start the season and was in a timeshare at quarterback with James Morgan. However, Williams has taken over and has excelled as a dual threat in the full-time role. In each of the last three games, he's rushed for more than 60 yards and has two combined rushing touchdowns. He is inconsistent as a passer, but his price is right relative to others at the position and he has a good matchup against a subpar Showboats defense.
Alex McGough ($11,800) at Michigan
In a league with less certainty and consistency than the NFL, it can be valuable to simply bank points. McGough is the safest option to do so at the position, as he has posted at least 17.8 DK points in every game this season. The matchup suggests it might not be a ceiling performance from him, but paying up at the position does provide a degree of safety.
Wes Hills ($11,500) at Philadelphia
Part of the benefit of paying down at quarterback is to have the ability to pay up for a player like Hills. He had a relatively poor performance in Week 5 but showed how solid his floor still is due to his involvement in the passing game. He's posted seven receptions in each of the last two games. Week 5 looks to be a potential return to his top performances, as the Stars have been gashed for 151.8 rushing yards per game — most in the league. Hills is probable due to a lower leg injury, so check his status prior to lock at 12 p.m. EDT on Sunday.
C.J. Marable ($7,800) at Michigan
Hills is the only true workhorse back in the league, as he's tallied a league-high 92 carries. After him, no player has more than 53 rushing attempts, including Marable, who has 50. Relative to his peers, he checks in at a very reasonable price. Like most backs, there's a significant risk that Marable struggles from a fantasy perspective, but safe to say, he's the cheapest projected touch per-dollar player at the position.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
As is typically the case, it makes sense to stack receivers with the quarterback, so we'll start in Pittsburgh. Before we jump into the individual analysis, Williams is a decent play naked because of his rushing ability. However, both Gaither and Hennie are viable options. Gaither is more of a cash-game option, having tallied at least four receptions and 12.9 DK points his last three games. He has shown little ceiling from there, as he's failed to surpass 14 DK points in any game. On the other hand, Hennie has posted games of 19.4 and 15 DK points, but he's also put up six and three points in respective contests. The choice comes down to price and contest type/risk tolerance.
Trey Quinn ($3,600) vs. Birmingham
Quinn was Mr. Irrelevant in the 2018 NFL Draft, and his NFL career turned out to be just that. However, he's earned a fairly significant role in the Panthers' offense, commanding at least five targets in three of the last four games. Quinn is another high-variance player — he has double-digit points in two of five games and less than seven in a pair — but his price makes that volatility far more tolerable.
Sage Surratt ($9,500) at Philadelphia
Wide receiver is the easiest position to pay down, but for those who want to build slightly differently and pay up, Surratt is a good option. He's seen at least nine targets in three of five games and has no fewer than six in any contest. His production has followed similarly, as he has at least 13 DK points in three of five games and at least nine in every matchup. Surratt also benefits from one of the more consistent quarterbacks in the league in McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
New Jersey Generals ($3,900)
The Generals appear to be the clearly mispriced defense of the week, so they could be quite popular. They take on a Houston offense that has thrown six interceptions, second-most in the league. The Gamblers also score a lot of points, but turnovers and the potential to return those turnovers for touchdowns is a quick way to rack up points for a defense.
Another option would be to pay up for the New Orleans Breakers ($5,000), as they face a Stars' offense that has allowed 23 sacks this season.