As we enter the final week of what has been an entertaining XFL season, two postseason spot remains up for grabs. The St. Louis Battlehawks and Seattle Sea Dragons are battling for the second spot in the North Division and will likely engage in a complicated tiebreaker procedure that is hard to predict. St. Louis is likely in control of its own destiny as they currently own the tiebreaker and have a matchup against the Orlando Guardians in Week 10. Assuming the Battlehawks take care of their own business, Seattle would have to blow out Vegas in emphatic fashion to sneak into the postseason.
The race is a bit less inspiring in the South, but Arlington will clinch a berth with a win over Houston. They're likely to be bailed out even if they lose, as San Antonio has to knock off the 9-1 D.C. Defenders to have a shot at the playoffs. While in the NFL the Defenders would almost certainly be resting their key players in this situation, that may not be the case in the XFL thanks to the bonus check paid out to winning teams each week. With that, let's break down Week 10.
A.J. McCarron ($11,400) vs. ORL
As noted above, the Battlehawks will be looking to blow out the Guardians in an effort to secure a playoff spot. As the quarterback, McCarron will be leading the effort. He turned in a subpar Week 9 effort, but he will now face the Guardians' poor pass defense. The price is high, but the guarantee of full effort and playing provides a floor that is lacking from most of the pool at the position.
Ben DiNucci ($12,200) vs. VGS
The Sea Dragons also need a win and will want to protect their tiebreaker by making their margin of victory significant. That makes it a week to pay up at the position, and DiNucci is the top play despite his price. He makes at least one key mistake per start, but he's not afraid to push the ball down the field. In a must-win situation and a great matchup, DiNucci is in a great spot to deliver.
Leddie Brown ($4,900) vs. HOU
De'Veon Smith flipped the script as he went from doubtful to probable late in the week. Howeve,r Brown could still see an increased role at a decreased price. For those who want to pay up at quarterback, value will be necessary in other spots and Brown could emerge as one of the better cheap options. For those looking for a safer option in a similar price range, play John Lovett (see below)
Devin Darrington ($5,700) at STL
Jah-Maine Martin lost his role in Week 8 and then was inactive in Week 9 for an undisclosed reason. It's not clear whether this was due to injury or coach's decision, but regardless, Darrington has seemingly taken over Orlando's backfield. He's still fairly cheap, and he faces a Battlehawks defense that has allowed the most rushing yards in the league.
Also Consider: John Lovett ($5,900) at SEA
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Marcell Ateman ($4,800) vs. ORL
I shied away from Ateman last week due to the uncertain nature of the quarterback situation in St. Louis, but he has proven himself as a consistent producer among St. Louis' receiving corps. He had been sidelined for most of the season but returned in Week 8 and has since combined to record 11 receptions for 166 yards. He has taken volume away from both Hakeem Butler and Darius Shepherd, yet is still priced well cheaper than each of them. With McCarron back fully in the mix and the Battlehawks in need of a win, the offense should moving at full speed Saturday.
Lucky Jackson ($9,000) at SA
While less likely than in the NFL, there should be some level of concern that D.C. won't play its star players at a full snap count in the finale as the Defenders have locked up the top seed in the North. Jackson could be limited as a result, but he has emerged as the top pass catcher in the offense and faces less competition for targets than the likes of other elite receivers around the league such as Jahcour Pearson and Deontay Burnett. For those concerned about Jackson playing limited snaps, consider Josh Hammond ($6,500) or Chris Blair ($7,600).
Sal Cannella ($6,400) vs. HOU
Canella is the new Cody Latimer -- a consistently mispriced player that we should take advantage of. He has at least seven targets in six of his eight games this season and paces his own team with 58 targets—18 more than anyone else on the roster. Players with that type of opportunity aren't typically priced in this range. He doesn't offer the same upside as the likes of Jackson and the other top pass catchers around the league, but he has a very safe floor thanks to his volume and the PPR scoring on DraftKings.
Defense and Special Teams
Arlington Renegades ($4,000) vs. HOU
Houston has nothing to play for but the victory check in Week 10, but even if they roll out their regular lineup the Renegades are a fine play. Since returning from an undisclosed issue, Brandon Silvers has struggled at quarterback for the Roughnecks. If Cole McDonald sees a larger snap share, that's also not particularly scary as he is athletic and has rushing ability but is extremely inaccurate as a passer. Meanwhile, the Renegades lead the league in fumbles forced and interceptions, so they know how to make life difficult for opposing quarterbacks.