DraftKings XFL: Week 4 Plays
DraftKings XFL: Week 4 Plays

We're three weeks into the inaugural XFL 2.0 season, and as expected, both offenses and defenses are starting to show signs of gelling. Week 3 featured the most combined points in a slate yet, with five of eight teams scoring 24 points or more. Week 4 could bring more of the same, especially with a Roughnecks-Renegades Lone Star State showdown that features a clash of two high-powered offensive philosophies.

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.

Quarterbacks

Landry Jones, DAL vs. HOU ($9,800)

Jones may possess the best combination of salary, upside and game environment of any quarterback in Week 4. The veteran already looks like he's hit his stride after missing the opening game of the season, throwing for a combined 579 yards over his first pair of contests. Jones has unsurprisingly put up at least 40 attempts in each of the first two games as well, and he's quickly compiled four touchdown passes on his way to a solid average of 19.2 DK points.

Meanwhile, the Roughnecks have proven to be a ball-hawking secondary thus far with five interceptions through three games, but they've also given up plenty of passing yards as teams have kept their foot on the gas in an attempt to keep pace with their high-octane offense. After facing Wildcats rookie Chad Kanoff in Week 1, Houston has allowed an average of 250.0 passing yards to Jordan Ta'amu and the duo of Taylor Cornelius and Quinton Flowers over the subsequent two games. Given the tight point spread and bloated projected total of over 50 points for this game, Jones shapes up as one of the week's safest plays at any position.

Jordan Ta'amu, STL vs. SEA ($9,500)

An extremely modest passing performance in Week 3 has helped bring Ta'amu's price down for this week, which makes him highly worthy of consideration in a second straight home matchup. The Dragons make for appealing targets, as they're coming off a Week 3 loss to the Renegades in which they allowed 274 yards and three passing touchdowns to Landry Jones and also gave up 235 and another pair of scores to the Defenders' Cardale Jones in the opener.

Game-log watchers would be well served to ignore Ta'amu's measly 119 passing yards versus the Guardians last week, as that was purely a function of game script. The Ole Miss product put up only 18 attempts, which, incidentally, he completed at an impressive 67.0 percent clip. Prior to that contest, Ta'amu racked up 209 and 284 yards against the Renegades and Roughnecks, respectively, while also compiling four passing scores. Then, Ta'amu has complemented his production through the air with 123 rushing yards and a touchdown at 6.2 yards per tote, making him a consideration for both cash games and GPPs as only the fifth-most expensive quarterback of the week.

ALSO CONSIDER: P.J. Walker, HOU at DAL ($12,000)

Running Backs

Cameron Artis-Payne, DAL vs. HOU ($8,000)

Artis-Payne easily conquered what was a tough statistical matchup on paper in Week 3, trampling the Dragons normally stingy run defense for 110 total yards (80 rushing, 30 receiving). The NFL vet has parlayed a feature back role over the last two weeks into a combined 231 yards and two touchdowns, and with 27 total carries over that span, his workload appears safe. Naturally, the Renegades' passing attack will also play a big role in this game, but given the pace at which both Dallas' Air Raid offense and the Roughnecks' Run and Shoot play, there should be plenty of opportunity for multiple skill-position players to thrive. Finally, consider that Houston has allowed 127.5 rushing yards per contest over the last two weeks, which furthers the versatile Artis-Payne's case.

Kenneth Farrow, SEA at STL ($5,900)

Speaking of experienced backs thriving with solid volume, Farrow also fits the bill, and he comes at a nice savings. The former Charger has logged double-digit touches in two of his first three games, and even though he's forced to split backfield work with Ja'Quan Gardner and Trey Williams, Farrow has encouragingly remained involved in the air attack with seven catches (on seven targets) through the first three games. Coach Jim Zorn has found a way to keep all three of his backs busy due to his commitment to offensive balance, and with what figures to be another raucous crowd again this week in St. Louis that could easily disrupt the passing attack, he's likely to afford Farrow and his teammates heavy volume again. Farrow has already proven to be a strong outlet option against an aggressive pass rush as well, which should help keep involved regardless of game script.

ALSO CONSIDER: De'Veon Smith, TB vs. DC ($6,100); Tim Cook, NY vs. LA ($4,200)

Wide Receivers

Cam Phillips, HOU vs. DAL ($11,700)

Note: Phillips missed Thursday's practice due to an ankle injury and is now listed as questionable. If he does end up being ruled out, I recommend a pivot to teammate Kahlil Lewis ($8,900).

I recommended Phillips' teammate Kahlil Lewis last week as a pivot off a gimpy Phillips, who entered the Week 3 contest against the Vipers with an ankle issue. That didn't exactly work out as planned, with Lewis turning in a solid six-catch effort that was nevertheless dwarfed by another monstrous performance from his teammate. Phillips exploded for 48 DraftKings points on the strength of an 8-194-3 line and is now averaging 32.5 DK points over his first three contests. Phillips may face his toughest defensive matchup yet in the Renegades, which have allowed a modest 192.7 passing yards per contest; nevertheless, Phillips has seen either nine or 10 targets in each of his first three games, and with the Roughnecks expected to remain highly aggressive against a similarly fast-paced attack in Dallas' Air Raid, Phillips could certainly be in for another prolific-enough effort to justify his hefty salary.

Tre McBride, LA at NY ($8,100)

McBride's teammate Nelson Spruce will miss the Week 4 contest with a knee injury, which should open up plenty of work for the rest of Los Angeles' pass catchers when considering Spruce owns a 28.0 percent share of the team's targets thus far. McBride allows you to exploit those conditions at a price that's reasonable relative to the upside he brings. McBride was bothered by a thigh issue this week, but with the news breaking Thursday night that he finished the week with a full practice and probable tag,  a reasonable facsimile of his 5-109-2 debut line in Week 3 is certainly conceivable with Spruce out of action. The Guardians make for good targets as well, even as their numbers against the pass were deceptively solid in Week 3 versus the BattleHawks. St. Louis didn't really need to focus on the passing attack with the ground game hitting on all cylinders, but the Vipers and Defenders racked up 244 and 276 passing yards against New York in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively.

Flynn Nagel, DAL vs. HOU ($4,800)

As already mentioned, the Roughnecks-Renegades showdown is very likely to evolve into a shootout to some degree, which makes getting exposure to the high-powered passing attacks of both squads a priority. Nagel offers you just that at an extremely affordable salary, one that renders him one of the potential top fantasy-point-per-dollar plays of the week. The Northwestern alum found the end zone for the first time in Week 3 against the Dragons, and he's compiled a pair of double-digit fantasy-point tallies over the first three weeks. Nagel has logged a solid six targets in each of those two contests as well, and his rapport with quarterback Landry Jones should only continue to grow with every passing week

ALSO CONSIDER: Eli Rogers, DC at TB ($9,200); Austin Duke, NY vs. LA ($3,200); Adonis Jennings, LA at NY ($3,000)

Flex

Donald Parham, DAL vs. HOU ($9,900)

While Nagel gets you access to that Renegades passing game on the cheap, some of the savings he brings can potentially be invested in additional exposure by way of the explosive Parham. The towering tight end continued his meteoric ascent in Week 3, racking up 101 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions, including an especially impressive 65-yard catch-and-run score. Parham is dealing with what appears to be just a minor hand injury heading into the contest, but it's not expected to limit him. Parham has no fewer than six targets in any of his first three games, and with the Renegades likely to remain very aggressive against the Roughnecks' Run and Shoot, he shapes up as one high-priced player worth the investment.

Sam Mobley, HOU at DAL ($3,400)

Mobley could potentially serve as the Roughnecks' DFS equivalent of Flynn Nagel this week, as he makes for a dirt-cheap tournament punt play in the Houston-Dallas showdown that has brings big-play potential. The former Division II standout has already flashed his ability to pick up yards in a hurry with both a 26- and 39-yard grab among his three catches on the season. Mobley was also up to four targets in last week's high-scoring affair versus the Vipers, and with another pass-heavy game plan on tap against the Renegades, Mobley could comfortably pay off his salary on just one or two big catches.

ALSO CONSIDER: Lance Dunbar, DAL vs. HOU ($6,700); Trey Williams, SEA at STL ($4,400)

Team Defense

Los Angeles Wildcats at NY ($4,500)

Two weeks ago, this selection would have been a bit laughable, considering Los Angeles' defense had been bad enough in the opener to cost coordinator Pepper Johnson his job after just one game. That may have been an early-season turning point, however, as the Wildcats have been markedly better the subsequent two games and turned in a dominant effort against the talented Defenders offense in Week 3. L.A. harassed Cardale Jones to the tune of four interceptions and three sacks in the contest, leading to 17 DK points. The week prior, the Wildcats were able to get to the Renegades' Landry Jones for a pair of picks and sacks apiece as well, so the upside is certainly there.

A matchup against the hapless Guardians offense could certainly coax an even better performance out of the surging unit, as New York has been besieged by both poor play and injury. The latter is what nipped them in Week 3, with Matt McGloin, who appeared to be on his way to a much better performance than the one that led to a Week 2 in-game benching, sustained a rib injury that will keep him out Saturday. Luis Perez is likely to start in McGloin's place if he's unable to go, with the possibility of Marquise Williams rotating in as well; however, the Wildcats' attacking defense – one that features a league leader in both sacks (Cedric Reed- 2) and interceptions (Mike Stevens- 2) – could be in prime position to capitalize regardless of which of the two signal-callers is under center, considering the Guardians have been unable to consistently cobble together an effective air attack. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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