XFL Fantasy 2020: XFL Team Offensive Power Rankings, Depth Chart & Roster Breakdowns, Coach Previews, Odds - Roto Street Journal
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XFL Fantasy 2020: XFL Team Offensive Power Rankings, Depth Chart & Roster Breakdowns, Coach Previews, Odds

Just when your wives and girlfriends thought it was safe to ask for a nice Sunday walk… Vince McMahon descended from the rafters to deliver a stunner from hell!

Rejoice, fellow addicts, because Fantasy Football lives on! Sure, the quality of play will take a hit going from the NFL to the XFL… but when the other sports offerings are NBA, NHL, and Bowling… just give me the damn pigskin, no matter what form.

Wolves, download the RSJ App for Premium XFL & NFL Fantasy Advice & News: https://apple.co/31BnbGd 

Step One: Set up your Fantasy Leagues, addicts.

Step Two: Review the following Crash Course on all the Teams, their rosters, and their coaches. You won’t find a more holistic breakdown to get you up to speed on the entire XFL Landscape.

Step Three: Chokeslam your opponents six feet into the ground, as you always do when you breed and feed your fantasy wolf with the RSJ.

XFL Team Offense Power Rankings

Rosters, Coaches, Odds Analysis

Before going into specifics, we rank the XFL Offenses as follows. Note: I said offenses. This is for fantasy. I don’t care about New York’s impressive defense. Offense. Offense. Offense.

*Updated 2/8/20 to Reflect the release of XFL Depth Carts* 

Tier 1: The Potential Juggernauts

1) Dallas Renegades (HC: Bob Stoops)

2) DC Defenders (HC: Pep Hamilton)

3) Tampa Bay Vipers (HC: Marc Trestman) 

4) Houston Roughnecks (HC: June Jones)

Tier 2 – Big Upside with Question Marks

5) Los Angeles Wildcats (HC: Winston Moss)

6) New York Guardians (HC: Kevin Gilbride)

Tier 3 – Gross

7) St. Louis Battlehawks (Jonathan Hayes)

8) Seattle Dragons (HC Jim Zorn)

From coaching scheme to roster breakdowns, let’s dive into the specifics behind the above rankings now, and preview who will help you dominate XFL Fantasy in 2020.

*Note: The XFL Draft was oddly arranged by first auto-allocating QBs to teams. Then, teams held a “Skill Position” Draft, followed by lineman, defensive players and special teams drafts that we don’t care about.

Next to Skill Player names (RBs, WRs, & TEs), we include their Overall XFL Draft Selection spot, and Positional Draft Rank, to show how they were valued by their teams. We make note of any important players who were traded.

I also added DraftKings values because, why not.

1) Dallas Renegades

Bovada season win total: 6 (-120)

Current Bovada championship odds: +350

Head Coach: Bob Stoops

Offensive Coordinator: Hal Mumme

This is an absolute offensive juggernaut of a coaching staff with former Oklahoma HC Bob Stoops and the Air Raid godfather, Hal Mumme. The combination of Stoops and Mumme will break scoreboards in Dallas and expect them to throw the ball early and often. We all know about Stoops’ pedigree, but Mumme is a odd bird. He’s coached and developed his Air Raid at the high school level, DIII, FCS, FBS, and everywhere in between. In his one FBS head coaching stop, he transformed Tim Couch into the No. 1 overall pick and had the Wildcats on the map in the SEC. Even though he’s a coaching nomad, Mumme will always put points on the scoreboard.

Dallas Renegades Official Depth Chart & Fantasy names to know 

QB: Landry Jones (OU), $9,200

Philip Nelson (East Carolina) $8,300 or Eric Dungey $6,000

RB:

1) Cameron Artis-Payne (Auburn, 20th Overall, RB6), $6800

2) Lance Dunbar (North Texas, 61st Overall, RB14)

WR:

1) Jeff Badet (Kentucky, 4th Overall, WR3), $8,800

2) Flynn Nagel (Northwestern, Supplemental), $3,900

3) Freddie Martino (North Greenville, Supplemental, Recently Acquired via Trade), $3,000

Others of note: Jazz Ferguson (Northwestern St., Supplemental Pick); J; ); Jerrod Heard (Texas)

TE:

1) Sean Price (USF, 36th Overall, TE4), $3,800

2) Donald Parham (Stetson), $2,600

Landry Jones suffered a minor knee injury and is “shooting for” Week 1. Jones reunites with his former college coach, Bob Stoops, and will have instant familiarity in the offense. If there were odds out there, Jones would likely be the front-runner for XFL MVP. If he can’t suit up for Week 1, Philip Nelson will control the offense and serves as a solid backup. If Jones falls due to the injury, he and Nelson could make an interesting QB pairing at a cheap cost.

NFL fantasy owners will recognize the names of Cameron Artis-Payne and former Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar. CAP should be the team’s early-down back who gets the majority of the carries, but Dunbar, who excelled in the NFL as a pass-catching back, is quite the fit in the Air Raid. In an offense that should light up scoreboards, CAP drips in 15-20 TD upside.

The Renegades spent a first rounder on WR Jeff Badet, who was committed to Bob Stoops at Oklahoma before transferring when Stoops stepped down. He’s the perfect WR1 in the Air Raid and should put up gaudy numbers in this offense, especially considering he’s surrounded by all Supplemental Draft talent after Tommylee Lewis left for the NFL. Camp reports labeled him “not just blazing fast, but incredibly agile. His ability to cut tight turns around defenders was on display the last two weeks.” Treat him as a Top-Three XFL Fantasy WR, worthy of WR1 considerations.

Jazz Ferguson is a big-bodied wideout who #DraftTwitter loved coming out of small school Northwestern State. Ferguson drips in fantasy potential, although he may be out for Week 1. With his injury, Ferguson has fallen below Freddie Martino on the depth chart. The Renegades traded for Martino, who possesses some NFL experience and has reportedly made an instant camp impact since arriving. A creature named Flynn Nagel is listed as the third starter. You’ve likely heard of the former Texas QB, Jerrod Heard, who could be a Swiss-Army Knife type.

Though selected after TE-mate Sean Price and below him on the depth chart, Donald Parham is a freak who drips in more upside. The tight end stands at 6-foot-8, 240 lbs with a 7-foot wingspan. Playing FCS Stetson, Parham put together an obscene 180-2591-20 over his career, and reportedly proved “to be a useful target at the back of the endzone and over the top of coverage in 7-on-7 drill.” Expect Parham to be a fantasy favorite in the Air Raid. Meanwhile, Price is a three-down tight end who’s more than capable as a pass-catcher.

2) DC Defenders

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:

QB:

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

Back up: Tyree Jackson (Buffalo)

RB:

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

WR:

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

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

Others:

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.

3) Tampa Bay Vipers

Season win total: 7.5 (+105)

Championship odds: +500

Head Coach: Marc Trestman

Offensive Coordinator: Jaime Elizondo

Now, this team will be fun. Most NFL fans will scoff at the name Marc Trestman, but the guy will be fun in the XFL. He brings his band of CFL coaches to the XFL to throw the ball all over the yard. Trestman has been a passing offense and quarterback wet dream throughout his time as an offensive mastermind. Some may even say Trestman was before his time, as Bernie Kosar, Scott Mitchell, Jake Plummer, Rich Gannon, and a handful of CFL quarterbacks had career years, and he even turned the 2013 Bears into one of the league’s top offenses with Luke McCown slinging the rock. PPR enthusiasts will never forget Matt Forte’s 102 catch gem under Trestman. Overall, this offense will be a fantasy feast.

Tampa Bay Vipers Official Depth Chart & Fantasy names to know:

QB:

1) Aaron Murray (Georgia)

Backup: Taylor Cornelius

QB/RB Quinton Flowers (USF)

RB:

1) De’Veon Smith (Michigan, 21st overall, RB7), $6300

2) Jacques Patrick (FSU, Supplemental), $4300

3) Mack Brown, $3300

WR:

1) Jalen Tolliver (Arkansas-Monticello, 28th Overall, WR16), $3200

2) Reece Horn (Indianapolis, 60th Overall, WR31), $3400

3) Daniel Williams (Jackson St., Supplemental), $3000

Others: Seantavius Jones (Valdosta St., 12th Overall, WR5), $7400

Note – Antonio Calloway was expected to be the Alpha WR1, but is now on the IR.

TE: Nick Truesdell (Grand Rapids JUCO, 5th Overall, TE1), $6900

Aaron Murray was named the starter a few weeks ago and the former Bulldog is a household name for college football fans. With Trestman calling the shots, expect Murray to throw the ball to his bevy of wideouts. The pass-heavy Vipers will lean on Murray’s arm and he should put up major fantasy numbers, as all QBs have under Trestman.

An interesting piece of the offense will be former USF QB, Quinton Flowers. Flowers hung onto the roster as the team’s third QB, but the team said he could see reps at running back or even WR role — an XFL Taysom Hill, if you will. He’ll be an inconsistent option, but he’ll be fun to watch.

De’Veon Smith and Jacques Patrick may feel like afterthoughts in this aerial attack, but Trestman has LOVED throwing to his RBs in the past. Smith was listed as the RB1, and is an early favorite for the lead role, although he wasn’t much of a pass-catcher at Michigan.  Still, he reportedly “made several dazzling runs during team scrimmages and looks to be a strong force in the backfield.” If he grows his pass-catching chops, Smith could be a sneaky favorite to finish as the RB1 in XFL Fantasy.

Meanwhile, No.2 tailback Jacques Patrick “consistently delivered, showcasing his blistering speed at every practice.” If he takes over the third-down role, Patrick could be a monster in this offense. Mack Brown might have the best hands among them all, and thus carries PPR weight as well.

The most disappointing injury happened in camp when former Browns castoff, Antonio Callaway, was placed on injured reserve after suffering a lower leg injury. With their clear WR1 done for the season, the team elected to keep NINE receivers to pick up the slack. The team announced Reece Horn, Jalen Tolliver, and Daniel Williams as the starters. Team bloggers were surprised Williams got the nod over both Seantavius Jones and Stacy Coley, especially after Jones was their 13th overall selection and the WR5 overall. He once profiled as a Top-5 XFL Fantasy WR, but will be difficult to trust now.

Though relative unknowns, all three WR starters warrant draft day plunges considering the upside of this passing attack. Williams has been catching TDs in scrimmages and preaseason contests, and is my sneaky favorite from this group.

Yet, the real passing-game engine might not even be a WR. The only TE drafted inside the Top-25, let alone Top-5, Nick Truesdell HAS to be the top tight ends selected in XFL fantasy if league’s require the position. In fact, he warrants Top-8 consideration for the Kelce-style edge he’d provide over the rest of the field if your roster requires TEs (it shouldn’t). Truesdell led the AAF in tight end receiving yards (269), and was the team’s first pick in the draft, suggesting a heavy role in Trestman’s eyes. He’ll be a big part of this attack and should be treated as such. Even in flex-only situations, he’s among the Top-10 pass catchers.

4) Houston Roughnecks

Season win total: 6 (-120)

Championship odds: +600

Head Coach: June Jones

Offensive Coordinator: Chris Miller

June Jones is known for his Run N’ Shoot offense on the island at Hawaii and more recently at SMU. He’s going to throw the ball down the field and win shootouts. Hopefully he wears his patented flowered lei on the sideline as his team runs up the score. He should also see if Colt Brennan wants to throw the rock for the Roughnecks.

Houston Roughnecks Official Depth Chart & Fantasy names to know:

QB:

1) PJ Walker (Temple), $7800

Back-up: Connor Cook (Michigan St.)

RB:

1) Andre Williams (Boston College, 66th Overall, RB16), $3800

2) De’Angelo Henderson (Coastal Carolina, Supplemental), $4500

**Nick Holley – technically a RB – is listed as a starting WR, with the team projecting to go into 4-WR sets. $5800

Note – Kyle Hicks was the Roughnecks top-drafted RB at 31st overall, but did not make the final roster. This team is going to HUCK.

WR:

1) Sammie Coates (Auburn, 18th Overall, WR10), $9300

2) Kahlil Lewis (Cincinnati, 15th Overall, WR8), $4100

3) Nick Holley (Kent State, 79th Overall, RB19), $5800

4) Cam Phillips (Virginia Tech, 47th Overall, WR25), $5100

TE: None!

PJ Walker won the vaunted QB competition with Connor Cook, which carries serious fantasy weight given June Jones‘ run-and-shoot attack. Despite playing in a run-heavy, pro-style attack at Temple under Matt Rhule, Walker is thrilled with the offensive philosophy switch:

“Coming from the pro-style system to a straight-out, Run ‘n’ Shoot system is a lot different… I’m in the shotgun a lot, I think offensively we’re going to throw the ball a lot. That’s our mindset. That’s the mentality we’re going to have is we’re going to put up a lot of points, especially with the receivers we have.”

Though his leash may be short with Cook breathing down his neck, Walker has immense upside every start he makes. If you draft team QBs, consider the Roughnecks a Top-2 option because of the scheme.

Meanwhile, Andre Williams lands as the starting running back, though it might not matter in this pass-happy offense. In fact, the Roughnecks were the last team to select an RB (Kyle Hicks), who didn’t even make the final roster. As a poor pass-catcher, Williams feels like a square peg in a round hole here. He had 10 career catches in college, and snared only 18 of his 37 targets in the pros. Still, in an offense that could move up-and-down the field, Williams has AAF “Trent Richardson” 10+ TD upside. He did rack up over 1,000 NFL yards, no matter how ugly.

Meanwhile, De’Angelo Henderson is still worth a late round nod as the better fit for this offense. He’s had a few cups of coffee in the NFL and actually tied both Pumphrey and Christian McCaffrey in the 2017 NFL Combine by running a 4.48 40-yard dash. He was a three-down warrior at Coastal Carolina and is the school’s most decorated back. If he steals the gig, Henderson would have real upside.

Another RB wildcard here is Nick Holley. Despite being drafted as an RB, he’s listed as a starting WR. Perhaps this indicates a slot role? Either way, he might be the best bet of all three, given he clearly has the top pass-catching chops, and can be motioned in and out of the backfield. He’d be my first Roughnecks RB, but I’ll be targeting WRs more heavily here.

Which is where we should really turn our attention in Jones’ high-octane pass attack. Behind only Christine Michael, Sammie Coates was the second-highest NFL selection to now play in the XFL (23rd pick of Round 3 in 2015). Though he only recorded 29 receptions in the NFL, he remains a size-speed freak at 6’1″ with a 4.43 second 40, and should blaze all over the field in this offense. Coates could easily win the league’s receiving crown, and is drawing rave reviews from camp:

“Sammie Coates had a great camp. Big target, reminds of Michael Irvin when I played with him in the Pro Bowl back in the day.” said offensive coordinator Chris Miller.

For all Coates’ upside, he was actually selected after fellow WR Kahlil Lewis. Though not a well-known name, Lewis played well in camp and should also put up numbers in the Run N’ Shoot. When with the Falcons, Jones had three of four Falcons offenses feature three WRs with 100+ targets. This will be the largest Aerial Pie in the NFL, and Coates and Lewis should be XFL Fantasy Roster Locks. Cam Phillips rounds out the starting WRs. Though a relative unknown, any starting pass-catcher is worth a look in this attack. To further cement the their huge WR target loads, the Roughnecks didn’t even roster a TE.

5) Los Angeles Wildcats

Season win total: 4 (-115)

Championship odds: +700

Head Coach: Winston Moss

Offensive Coordinator: Norm Chow

Norm Chow was a fixture on the sideline for the classic BYU teams for a long time. He helped coach up Jim McMahon, Steve Young, and Ty Detmer to the tune of a bunch of points. Chow then bounced around before becoming Pete Carroll’s offensive coordinator at USC — yeah, those electric USC squads led by Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. After throwing the rock around the yard for the majority of his coaching career, he called plays for Steve McNair and Vince Young’s Titan squads — two of the better dual-threats ever. He then bounced around the west coast again for a few years, and was most recently a high school assistant. Pretty cool. Either way, his offenses have always been very good and he’ll find a way to make the most out of his talent.

Los Angeles Wildcats Official Depth Chart & Fantasy names to know:

QB:

1) Josh Johnson (San Diego), $10,700 – Questionable (thigh)

Backup: Jalan McClendon (Baylor), Charles Kanoff (Princeton), $6000

RB:

1) Elijah Hood (UNC, 8th Overall, RB3), $7500

2) DuJuan Harris (Troy), $4000

3) Larry Rose, $3500

WR:

1) Nelson Spruce (Colorado, 24th Overall, WR14), $8500

2) Jordan Smallwood (OU, Supplemental), $3000

3) Adonis Jennings (Temple, Supplemental), $3300

Others:

4) Tre McBride (William & Mary, 16th Overall, WR9 – Acquired via Trade), $5500 – Questionable Week 1

5) Saeed Blacknall (PSU, Supplemental), $5900

TE: Brandon Barnes (Alabama St.), $6400

Josh Johnson is the complete package at quarterback and would likely be the first quarterback selected in XFL fantasy… if not dealing with a thigh injury. He is listed as a game-time decision for Week 1. If and when Johnson suits up, he’s in the perfect offense under Norm Chow, who’s developed Heisman winners in college and coached duel threats in both Steve McNair (RIP) and Vince Young in the NFL. At age 33, Johnson has been the ultimate NFL journeyman, playing or being on the practice squad for 15 different squads since he was drafted in 2008. This is a perfect fit for Johnson and he should be a Top-4 QB, worthy of No.1 overall if healthy.

Former Tarheel Elijah Hood should be the bell-cow of this offense. Although Chow has developed quarterbacks and has a knack for throwing the football, Hood will still get fed carries. Hood didn’t get a real chance in the NFL, yet he put up gaudy numbers in Chapel Hill, rushing for 2,500 yards in college. The XFL team site speculated the team “expects Hood to be their workhorse.” As the third overall RB selected and The Wildcats first-rounder, expect him to be a focal point who can benefit from the cutback lanes of their dual-threat QB.

Meanwhile, DuJuan Harris most notably saw some carries for the Packers back in 2012, topping 100 total yards in a playoff game against the Vikings. Since then, he suffered a knee injury and bounced around NFL teams and practice squads. He’ll be Hood’s change-of-pace back.

This receiving core is something to get excited about. Nelson SpruceJordan Smallwood, and Adonis Jennings will be the three starters according to their depth chart and all three are solid fits in Chow’s pass-happy attack. In the AAF, Spruce was a target hog, as he was thrown to the third most times in the league. Although he did next to nothing in college at Oklahoma, Smallwood has been signed to a few NFL practice squads. He has a big body, standing at 6-foot-2, 225 lbs. There must be something there that coaches see.

Meanwhile, Tre McBride might be the most interesting name, despite the low depth chart ranking. He was known around the NFL for a few years as a real speedster, running a 4.37 40. The Wildcats traded away their top WR in Rashaad Ross to acquire McBride, and clearly had a role in mind. At minimum, he’ll likely be a key return man and deep threat.

6) New York Guardians

Season win total: 4 (-125)

Championship odds: +750

Head Coach: Kevin Gilbride

Offensive Coordinator: George Mangus

Kevin Gilbride has been retired since 2014, but he has a shit load of experience on the offensive side of the ball. From 1987 to 2013, Gilbride was either a quarterbacks coach or an offensive coordinator. Most notably, Gilbride helped defeat Bill Belichick’s Patriots in two Super Bowls as the offensive coordinator of the Giants. If you watched those classic Giants teams, he would do a good job of leaning on the defense to control the clock on the ground, but they always were able to win through the air if necessary. George Mangus comes from the Steve Spurrier tree, so that’s an interesting combo of a balanced attack and the Run N’ Shoot. The Guardians should be balanced with the potential to air it out.

New York Guardians Official Depth Chart & Fantasy names to know:

QB:

1) Matt McGloin (Penn State), $9700

Backup: Marquise Williams (UNC)

RB:

1) Tim Cook (Oregon St., 30th Overall, RB8), $6100

2) Darius Victor (Towson), $3700

3) Justin Stockton (Texas Tech, 62nd Overall, RB15), $4200

WR:

1) Mekale McKay (Cincinnati, 14th Overall, WR7), $9,900

2) Colby Pearson (BYU, Supplemental, $5300)

3) Austin Duke (Supplemental), $3000

Note: DeAngelo Yancey (Purdue, 3rd Overall, WR2) & Tanner Gentry (Wyoming, 19th Overall, WR11 ) were high Draft Picks placed on IR.

TE: Jake Powell

The former Nittany Lion, Matt McGloin is the clear starter here at quarterback. He was a solid player in college and was then forced into starting for the Raiders for a bit. He’s not going to “wow” anyone with his arm or his athleticism, but he’ll be more than happy to throw the ball deep and into coverage. He chucked 3 TDs and 2 INTs in a preseason half, suggesting he’s able and willing to whip it all over.

(Still – people forget Marquise Williams started over Mitch Trubisky at North Carolina, which is why Trubisky only started one year in college before being a top draft pick, lol)

This running back core feels a bit meh, led by Tim Cook and Justin Stockton. Cook should get the early down work and could be the bruiser of Gilbride’s offense, ala Brandon Jacobs. Meanwhile, Darius Victor‘s ascension to No.2 is noteworthy, and rumors have him splitting reps with the ones quite evenly. Gilbride utilized an RBBC often with the Giants, and Victor may just be his Ahmad Bradshaw style pass catcher. He warrants late round consideration now. Nonetheless, Cook has Draft Capital on his side, and should be the TD breadwinner here, albeit in an underwhelming “on paper” roster.

The 6’5″ Mekale McKay has turned some heads during the scrimmages and should be the team’s clear-cut No. 1 WR. At Cincy, he caught 87 balls for 1,717 yards and 17 touchdowns. He recently played in the AAF, where he led the league in Red Zone targets and finished third in TDs. He should have a major RZ presence and, after the team lost two of their top-three WR selections in minicamp, is the unanimous target hog here. To reinforce this point, Gilbride listed McKay as the “Starting X” WR, a role where Plaxico Burress feasted on Red Zone looks. Treat McKay as a Top-Three XFL Fantasy WR. Also of note: Colby Pearson caught a 76-yard touchdown in the team’s final scrimmage.

7) St. Louis BattleHawks

Season win total: 3.5 (-115)

Championship odds: +700

Head Coach: Jonathan Hayes

Offensive Coordinator: Chuck Long

This coaching duo is a bit incestual. The two coaches played together in college at Iowa under legendary coach Hayden Fry. Chuck Long quarterbacked the squad and Jonathan Hayes was the tight end. The two then overlapped again as assistants under Bob Stoops at Oklahoma. Long helped engineer the unstoppable Oklahoma offenses of the early-2000s as both the co-offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, and passing game coordinator. On the other hand, Hayes coached the Bengals tight ends from 2003 to 2018. This coaching combo is a major question mark but I’m guessing they’ll run some sort of no-huddle spread offense that stems from Stoops’ Air Raid offense.

St. Louis BattleHawks Official Depth Chart & Fantasy names to know:

QB:

1) Jordan Ta’amu (Ole Miss), $8700

Backups: Taylor Heinicke (Old Dominion), Nick Fitzgerald (Miss. St.)

RB:

1) Christine Michael (Texas A&M, 6th Overall, RB1), $8400

2) Matt Jones (Florida, 54th Overall, RB12), $4800

3) Keith Ford (Texas A&M), $3000

WR:

1) L’Damian Washington (Missouri, 27th Overall, WR15), $3700

2) Alonzo Russell (Toledo, 70th Overall, WR34), $3000

3) Slot WR: De’Mornay Pierson-El (Nebraska, 22nd Overall, WR13), $6200

Others: Keith Mumphrey (Michigan State), $6600

TE:

1) Marcus Lucas (Missouri, 43rd Overall, WR23) *Converted to TE

Jordan Ta’amu was named the starter after beating out former Panther Taylor Heinicke and Mississippi State legend, Nick Fitzgerald. Ta’amu was underwhelming in college, even though he had DK Metcalf and AJ Brown to throw the rock to. With serious question marks on the coaching staff, they’ll likely figure in some Air Raid since Long is a Stoops’ protege. At Ole Miss, Ta’amu threw for 3,918 yards and 19 touchdowns to 8 interceptions. Pretty underwhelming for the talent he had around him. Luckily, he once again has some quality players around him that should make his life easier. But will he be an anchor to this overall offense?

Perhaps it’s all the more reason for the Battlehawks to ride our old friend Christine Michael. Michael, who was the NFL’s biggest whore playing for just about every team in the league over a short period of time, will get his chance to put together some positive tape to get back into the league. In 2016, Michael had a career year with the Seahawks, rushing for 583 yards and 7 touchdowns, while adding 22 grabs for 107 yards and a score. He consistently dominated preseason play, and may once again do the same in the XFL against lesser competition.

Meanwhile, Matt Jones is another name that NFL fantasy players will remember, as he was a very solid player in college at Florida before making his mark on the Redskins (950 yards, 6 TDs in two years). He’s a perfect safety valve out of the backfield and will be the perfect compliment to Michael — especially on third down. These two will put up some fantasy points even if the offense goes full Air Raid, although Michael may not be the RB1 lock so many peg him for if in an RBBC. Camp reports labeled the backfield “an especially potent 1-2 punch.

This receiving corps is filled with relatively unknowns, and isn’t overly appealing in a run-centric attack. Still, De’Mornay Pierson-El is a notable former AAF guy who can fill a high-volume slot role. He has the most Draft Capital attached to his name as the Battlehawks’ 22nd selection and 13th WR off the board. Additionally, Missouri wideout L’Damian Washington was labeled “a standout” in camp, and is well-worth a late round flier after being listed as the top-WR.

Keith Mumphrey is one of the more interesting names in the whole league, but was unfortunately listed with the second team. He was a part of the Michigan State sexual assault investigation, which ultimately led to the Houston Texans cutting him once they found out about the investigation. The charges have since been dropped and he’s now working on rehabbing his tarnished image. At Michigan State, Mumphrey grabbed 88 balls for 1,348 yards (15.3 avg) and 8 total touchdowns. With the Texans, he caught 24 balls for 198 yards over the span of 27 games before being cut amidst the allegations. He’s a big play waiting to happen and will likely be their kick returner, too. Keep him on your Waiver Watch lists.

8) Seattle Dragons

Season win total: 3.5 (-120)

Championship odds: +1100

Head Coach: Jim Zorn

Offensive Coordinator: Mike Riley

If there’s going to be a run-heavy team in the XFL, it will likely be in Seattle. Although Jim Zorn was a quarterbacks coach forever in the NFL, his stint as head coach saw him as a run-first kinda guy. Zorn has been out of coaching since 2012, when he was the QB coach for the Chiefs. In this case, the coaches should have probably been switched, considering Mike Riley has been a head coach for most of his coaching career, highlighted by the Chargers, Oregon State, and Nebraska head gigs. Most recently, Riley was the head coach for the AAF San Antonio Commanders, where his team was last in passing and third in rushing. ZzZz.

Seattle Dragons Official Depth Chart & Fantasy names to know:

QB:

1) Brandon Silvers (Troy)

Back-up BJ Daniels (USF)

RB:

1) Ja’Quan Gardner (Humboldt State), $3600

2) Kenneth Farrow (Houston, 10th Overall, RB4), $7200

3) Trey Williams (Texas A&M, 7th Overall, RB2), $4100

 

WR

1) Kasen Williams (Washington, 55th Overall, WR27), OUT (Quad)

2) Keenan Reynolds (Navy, 39th Overall, WR21), $8100

3) Austin Proehl (UNC, Supplemental), $5700

Others: Dontez Byrd (Tennessee Tech), $3500;  Alonzo Moore (Nebraska, 76th Overall, WR38), $3400 Questionable

TE: There’s FIVE of them who made the team

This team is constructed like an All-AAF team that’s going to run the shit out of the ball. Fantasy snoozefest.

Brandon Silvers is the least known of the starting quarterbacks in the league, as he really only popped for two games in the AAF after beating out the GOAT, Christian Hackenberg. With an obscene five tight ends on the roster and a handful of solid backs, expect Zorn and Riley to pound the rock and let Silvers manage the game. In two AAF games, he threw four touchdowns and completed 64 percent of his passes.

Meanwhile, although the “Ground Pie” will be huge here, it profiles as a complete fantasy migraine. The team invested heavily in the RB position, taking Trey Williams 7th overall in Round 1, followed by Kenneth Farrow at 10th overall in Round 2… only to name the undrafted Ja’Quan Gardner the starter. Huh?

Farrow seems like the preferred option even as the No.2, but maybe that’s just because he was a brief Waiver Wire Hero for me in 2016 when he compile 60 carries and 192 yards across a handful of starts for the Chargers. Williams is the best athlete. The offense is going to suck regardless, so why go after this backfield anyways?

Given the expected run-heavy approach, the WRs shouldn’t be hugely important here. Most noteworthy is former Navy QB Keenan Reynolds, who garnered some NFL experience in Baltimore and Seattle. Meanwhile, Dontez Byrd averaged 13 yards per reception in the AAF from QB Brandon Silvers, so it’s clear the two have some chemistry. Byrd was a late roster addition, perhaps at Silver’s suggestion, and carries some intriguing sleeper potential. Still, it’ll be tough to find the true fantasy stud in this depth chart, since they’ll lean on the run game and not on Silvers’ arm.

With an astounding FIVE tight ends on the roster, this just confirms it’ll be a mishmash of disgustingness from a fantasy perspective.

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