By all accounts, the revived XFL was a rousing success on opening weekend, and Week 2 brings another four-game slate. The DC Defenders and New York Guardians validated preseason expectations, while the Houston Roughnecks and St. Louis BattleHawks arguably exceeded them. Notably, this weekend will see those four undefeated squads face each other.
DraftKings is offering a full array of cash games and GPP contests based on the league's games during each week of the regular season and postseason. In this weekly article, we'll highlight multiple options at each position.
As a reminder, check out our XFL DFS 101 series for a full breakdown of the basics of playing XFL contests on DraftKings, as well as a look at how some of the ways the XFL differs from the NFL can affect DFS strategy.
Landry Jones, DAL at LA ($9,500):
Jones is on track to start Week 2 after missing the opener due to a knee injury. The NFL veteran may have a bit of rust to work through, but he has been putting in some limited work in practice over the last couple of weeks that should at least help ease him into the flow of game action again. The Renegades' Air Raid attack will afford Jones plenty of opportunities to rack up production, and his diversified pass-catching crew certainly has the talent to help him make good use of that philosophy. Spot starter Philip Nelson racked up 33 completions in the opener while connecting with a whopping 11 different targets, while the Wildcats' secondary was scalded by another pass-centric, fast-paced attack in the Roughnecks' Run and Shoot. Therefore, the matchup sets up particularly well for Jones on paper.
Jordan Ta'amu, STL at HOU ($8,900):
Ta'amu was one of the pleasant surprises at quarterback in Week 1, showing excellent dual-threat ability in the BattleHawks' upset of the Renegades. The Ole Miss product racked up 77 rushing yards alongside 209 passing yards, and with a matchup against a fast-paced Roughnecks team that should force St. Louis to remain aggressive, he makes for a nice pivot off the more highly priced options of the week. Ta'amu displayed some particularly strong poise in the pocket in his first professional start at any level, and he'll get a crack at a Houston secondary that had some breakdowns last week despite facing an inexperienced quarterback in Chad Kanoff.
ALSO CONSIDER: Quinton Flowers, TB at SEA ($7,500)
De'Veon Smith, TB at SEA ($7,500)
Smith was an effective workhorse back in the AAF last spring, and he began his XFL tenure in similar fashion in Week 1. The Vipers were one of the opening week's biggest disappointment from a team perspective, but Smith was solid against a tough Guardians defense, taking 16 carries for 79 yards. In Week 2, Smith should once again be a focal point of the balanced offense that coach Marc Trestman is hoping to run, and he could potentially take on even greater responsibility if Aaron Murray (foot) is sidelined and hybrid signal-caller Quinton Flowers gets the starting call. The Dragons did a solid job against the run in the opener, but Smith doubled up backfield mate Jacques Patrick in carries and should be in line for another heavy workload.
Darius Victor, NY at DC ($4,100)
Victor appeared to take the lead role in the Guardians' backfield in Week 1 against the Vipers, as he garnered a total of 12 touches (nine rushing three receiving). Victor was a two-time 1,000-yard rusher during his college days at Towson, and he could well be in position to take the lead in the backfield again in Week 2 versus a Defenders squad that showed some vulnerability to the run in Week 1. DC surrendered 93 yards on just 19 carries to the Seattle trio of Kenneth Farrow, Ja'Quan Gardner and Trey Williams in the opener, and Victor's price is such that he won't have to do an inordinate amount to justify it.
ALSO CONSIDER: Kenneth Farrow, SEA vs. TB ($6,100)
Cam Phillips, HOU vs. STL ($8,400)
Phillips offers a way to get access to the Roughnecks' high-powered passing attack without necessarily breaking your bank. The 24-year-old showed well in Week 1, bringing in four of eight targets for 67 yards and a touchdown against the Wildcats. While Phillips wasn't at his most efficient, the fact he was so heavily involved is encouraging. So is the fact Phillips broke open deep for the first touchdown in franchise history, a sign he'll be a trusted, integral part of coach June Jones' pass-centric attack. The BattleHawks did a reasonably good job keeping the ball in front of them against the Renegades' Air Raid attack in Week 1, but the Roughnecks may be more willing to test them deep with the likes of Phillips.
Flynn Nagel, DAL at LA ($5,200)
Nagel qualifies as an appealing mid-tier option that offers you a great dance partner for Landry Jones if you're also rolling with the Renegades' quarterback. The Northwestern product flashed a solid grasp of the Air Raid offense in the Week 1 loss to the BattleHawks, securing all six of his targets on his way to totaling 10 fantasy points. The quick-strike, short-pass philosophy of the offense could limit Nagel's yardage upside, but in a full-point PPR format and with a seasoned arm like Jones getting him the ball – as well as a matchup versus a Wildcats secondary that couldn't do much of anything to slow down Houston's passing game in Week 1 – Nagel could offer a strong return on his current salary.
Alonzo Russell, STL at HOU ($4,800)
Russell offers a nice combination of price and ceiling in what could turn out to be a high-scoring affair against the high-octane Roughnecks offense. As mentioned in Jordan Ta'amu's entry, Houston is likely to force St. Louis to remain aggressive for all four quarters, which bodes well for a modestly priced Russell. The Toledo product has speed to burn, and he tied for second in targets on the afternoon in Week 1. With a potential bump in play count this week, Russell, who already found the end zone in the opener, could offer one of the better fantasy-point-per-dollar returns of the week.
Nick Truesdell, TB at SEA ($6,700)
I'm actually sticking with both of my flex recommendations from last week, as I believe each has the ability to continue carving out a larger niche in their respective offenses the more reps they have. Truesdell's costly fumble against the Guardians in Week 1 sullied his day overall, but he displayed some of his downfield ability with a 3-49 line. He saw a solid six targets as well, and whether Aaron Murray (foot) or Quinton Flowers helms the offense in Week 2, Truesdell and his ability to serve as a versatile target leave him poised to be heavily involved once again against a Vipers defense that allowed a 39-yard touchdown reception to Defenders tight end Khari Lee in the opener and a 22-yard grab to Lee's position mate Donnie Ernsberger.
Donald Parham, DAL at LA ($3,200)
Parham has only seen a $400 bump in salary over Week 1 despite a strong showing against the BattleHawks that saw him parlay four receptions (on six targets) into 40 yards. Parham's towering 6-foot-8 frame makes him a viable target in any area of the field, and like other Dallas pass catchers, he stands to benefit from both Landry Jones' presence under center and the fast pace of the offense. As has already been alluded to, the Wildcats bled production to the passing game in the opener, while the mismatches Parham is capable of creating and his rock-bottom price make him a potentially rewarding option.
DC Defenders vs. NY ($4,400)
The Defenders came through in spectacular fashion in Week 1, giving up some points but also racking up a pair of interceptions, a fumble recovery, a sack and two defensive touchdowns overall, one coming on a blocked punt. DC boasts a savvy secondary that includes NFL vets Rahim Moore and Matt Elam, while linebackers Jonathan Massaquoi, Jameer Thurman and Jonathan Celestin put on stellar performances at linebacker in the opener as well. The Guardians' offense was impressive under Matt McGloin's leadership, but the veteran quarterback threw for a modest 182 yards and barely completed 50.0 percent of his passes. New York's offense also produced just 16 points, as their final score came on a fumble recovery return touchdown. DC enjoyed a strong homefield advantage in Week 1, and there's no reason to believe they won't attract another raucous (and potentially larger) crowd for this contest. Given the disruptive ability they displayed and McGloin's career-long tendency to throw interceptions dating back to his early college career, I like the Defenders defense again in Week 2.