We're nearing the halfway point of the XFL season and we still have two undefeated teams in the D.C. Defenders and Houston Roughnecks. The St. Louis Battlehawks look like contenders at 3-1 and one of two teams to have played only one home game. On the opposite side of the spectrum, both the Vegas Vipers and Orlando Guardians are winless — with the latter looking particularly terrible.
Week 5 kicks off Thursday night in what should be a compelling matchup as the Seattle Sea Dragons play host to the aforementioned Roughnecks. The Sea Dragons have suffered a few close defeats this season but could vault themselves into the contender tier with a victory. There's another showdown Saturday as the Defenders will look to remain undefeated in a stiff test against the Battlehawks. Guardians or Vipers will pick up their first win Saturday, and the week will close with the Renegades looking to also push themselves into the contender tier with a win over San Antonio.
Luis Perez ($8,400) - VGS vs. ORL
Perez began the season as the starter for Vegas, though he was only keeping the seat warm for Brett Hundley. However, looking for an offensive spark, coach Rod Woodson turned back to Perez in Week 4 while benching Hundley in the first quarter. It's unclear whether Perez will retain his role, though he completed an impressive 23 of 32 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns against a tough Defenders defense Sunday. If he does remain under center, there are two compelling reasons to play him. The first is cost. He is in the third tier of quarterbacks in terms of price, yet he's thrown for 532 yards and five touchdowns in the two games during which he's played the majority of the contest. Meanwhile, the Guardians' defense has allowed the most points in the league — out-pacing all others by at least four points per game.
Also Consider: Brandon Silvers ($10,200) – HOU at SEA
Devin Darrington ($3,000) – ORL at VGS
Jah-Maine Martin has been a disappointment early in the season, though to be fair, most of the Orlando squad has been poor. Regardless, Darrington made his XFL debut in Week 4 and immediately led the team's backfield with 12 rushes and 40 yards to go with two receptions. The state of the offense and the potential for Martin to retake the lead role are substantial risk factors, but Darrington is priced to buy. One additional factor in his favor is the matchup, as the Vipers have surrendered 628 total rushing yards this season — 207 more than any team.
Brian Hill ($8,000) – STL vs. D.C.
With Max Borghi's health status ambiguous, Hill takes over as the back that I'd be willing to pay up for. His price has been on the rise in recent weeks, but he's extremely involved in St. Louis' offense as both a rusher and receiver. The result has been 18.1 and 21.5 DK point performances in the last two weeks, respectively. D.C. plays stout run defense (67.2 rushing yards allowed per game), but betting on the volume is still worthwhile.
Also Consider: Morgan Ellison ($7,000) – SEA vs. HOU
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Before we dive into this part of the analysis, it's worth noting that paying up at wide receiver has typically been a profitable choice. Jahcour Pearson ($11,000), Josh Gordon ($10,900), Jontre Kirklin ($10,100), Deontay Burnett ($9,600) and Hakeem Butler ($9,300) have consistently produced strong numbers. They're all priced up and have regularly been discussed in articles throughout the early weeks of the campaign, so this article will seek to point out alternative options — not to the exclusion of these elite options.
Jeff Badet ($9,800) VGS vs. ORL
Badet makes sense from a number of angles. He's the leading receiver on the Vipers and is tied for second in the XFL with 30 targets, making him a straightforward choice to stack with Perez. The matchup is also excellent. Finally, Badet's price is significant (fourth-most expensive WR/TE) but reasonable given his level of production and projected output.
Lucky Jackson ($5,400) D.C. at STL
The D.C. quarterback situation is a pain to handicap because of the rotation between Jordan Ta'amu and D'Eriq King. While both are dinged from a fantasy perspective, they've combined to run a strong D.C. offense that ranks second in points per game. Much of that production has been on the ground, but Jackson has emerged as the team's best receiver — particularly lately. He has at least four receptions in three of four games and has accounted for 154 of his 196 receiving yards combined across the last two contests. He hasn't shown the ceiling of any of the elite players already mentioned in this section, but at his price point, he doesn't need to.
San Antonio Brahmas ($3,900) vs. ARL
The Brahmas are 1-3 and are in something of a win-or-go-home matchup against the Renegades this week. While the Renegades boast a better record, it isn't thanks to their offense. They have thrown a league-leading five interceptions and have also taken 11 sacks. The Brahmas poor record is nearly entirely due to their poor offense, as the defense ranks third in sacks and has allowed the second-fewest points per game.