XFL DC Defenders Preview: Official Depth Chart, Fantasy Implications, Draftkings - Roto Street Journal
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XFL DC Defenders Preview: Official Depth Chart, Fantasy Implications, Draftkings

The XFL is about to kickoff! Us fantasy football addicts now have a fix for the rest of the season (set your league up now!). We already ranked and graded all eight XFL Teams, but if you’re just looking for one specific roster, we’ve got you covered too. Official XFL Depth Charts were released on Thursday, and many had shocking implications. Below, we look at the DC’s depth chart, their Week 1 DraftKings Prices, as well as the coaching staff to give you a complete picture of the Defenders.

DC Defenders Preview

Season win total: 5.5 (-120)

Championship odds: +350

Head Coach: Pep Hamilton

Offensive Coordinator: Tanner Engstrand

Pep Hamilton is a household name who was the heir to Bruce Arians as OC for the Colts. He also had success as Stanford’s OC under Jim Harbaugh and more recently as Michigan’s passing game coordinator. Basically, he’s been attached to Andrew Luck’s hip for a while. He knows what he’s doing with quarterbacks and he should give Cardale Jones a big boost.

Defenders Official Depth Chart & Fantasy names to know:


1) Cardale Jones (Ohio St.), $10,200

Back up: Tyree Jackson (Buffalo)


1) Jhurell Pressley (New Mexico, 17th Overall, RB5), $7900

2) Donnel Pumphrey (SDSU, 49th Overall, RB11), $5100

3) Khalid Abdullah (James Madison), $3200

4) Nick Brossette (LSU), $3400


1) DeAndre Thompkins (PSU, 32nd Overall, WR18), $4600, Questionable for Week 1

2) Malachi Dupre (LSU, Supplemental), $3000


3) Rashad Ross?!?!? (Arizona St., 9th Overall, WR4 Acquired via Trade for Tre McBride), $10,400

4) Tyler Palka (Gannon), $3,000

5) Eli Rogers?!?!?! (Louisville, Supplemental), $9100

Other: Simmie Cobbs (Indiana

TE: Khari Lee (Bowie St.)

Cardale “12 Gauge” Jones was made famous after winning a National Title at Ohio State (and not playing school), running through the likes of Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon in the process. Armed with a rocket-launcher arm, Jones will put up big numbers and is helped with a gaudy surrounding cast. Given Landry Jones’ injury, 12 Gauge is our early favorite for QB1.

Jhurell Pressley is a very solid running back who has bounced around the NFL. More recently, Pressley led the AAF (RIP) in rushing yards. Hamilton LOVED riding his horses at Stanford, and Pressley’s capable of a three-down load within this potential juggernaut.

Meanwhile, Donnell Pumphrey somehow didn’t stick in the NFL after being drafted in the fourth round by the Eagles as a Darren Sproles replica. Fun fact: Pumphrey is the NCAA all-time leading rusher. He’ll likely steal some passing game work as the lightning to Pressley’s thunder, and could force an ugly RBBC, keeping Pressley just outside the Top-3 RBs.

If you’re a NFL preseason nerd, you’d recognize Nick Brossette as the most recent preseason rushing leader with the Patriots. Unfortunately, he’s not even a Top-3 guy on this roster.

Rashad Ross is an absolute burner and should be Jones’ premiere deep threats. He also ran by poor AFL defensive backs last season, and wasn’t the 4th WR off the board without reason. He led the AAF in receiving TDs (7), and could do so once again in the XFL. The Defenders traded away Tre McBride for Ross’ services after losing the No.1 Overall Skill pick WR Rashard Davis to the Titans. This seemingly paved Ross’ path to a huge target-hog load…. but *UPDATE* – Somehow, Ross was NOT listed as a starter, and is currently behind Malachi Dupre and DeAndre Thompkins. This feels like a motivational ploy, although Ross was a late arrival given the trade, so it must be monitored, especially for DFS Week 1 with his exorbitant price tag. My guess is he’ll emerge as the focal point here sooner than later, and he still warrants Top-6 WR consideration.

Meanwhile, in another depth chart shocker, former Steelers slot guy Eli Rogers is listed No.5 here. In theory, he should also get peppered with targets as a reliable option underneath out of the slot. Plus, Rogers received rave reviews out of camp, with team sources speculating he “looks to be not only the Defenders No. 1 receiver but arguably one of the best wideouts in the XFL.” Yet, he was not listed as a starter on their opening depth chart, making him a risky Week 1 start. Between him and Ross, something feels very fishy here. I expect both to be the top-two WRs here when all’s said and done.

Until then, the speedy Thompkins could offer some huge-play upside, assuming he’s healthy (Questionable for Week 1 right now). He’s been through NFL Training Camps and should thrive with Jones’ arm strength. I can’t even pretend to know who Dupre is, but he’s currently starting alongside perhaps the best arm in the league, so he now enters late-round sleeper territory.

Elsewhere, Simmie Cobbs Jr., was a beast at Indiana and bounced around the NFL a bit. He’s a big body who also drips with potential. Somehow, Jalen Rowell put up some serious numbers at run-heavy Air Force. According to XFLNewsHub.com, Rowell was forced to take two years of military time before he could play professional football.

Lastly, Khari Lee was labeled “the most impressive pass-catcher of Defenders minicamp” and “a matchup nightmare with the size, speed and agility to get open and create yards after the catch.” If you’re league forces TEs, Lee should be among the first.

Checkout all our Team Previews in one spot, and don’t miss our XFL Rankings!


  • Founder of Roto Street Journal. Lover of workhorse backs, target hog wideouts, and Game of Thrones. Aspiring to be the "Brady" and "Leo" of the fantasy universe.

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