Having arrived at the Week 5 XFL daily fantasy football (DFS) picks for DraftKings means we are about to put a bow on the first half of the regular season. If you've been following my picks you know that I'm on a roll the last couple weeks. But the halfway point is a good time to discuss what I've learned. Four weeks is enough data to identify a trend.
These are not revelations that are gonna leave you thunderstruck. But you had better be aware of them if you are going to continue to play XFL DFS:
1) They may not be the best team in the XFL, but Houston is absolutely the best offense.
The odds of P.J. Walker being in the XFL next year are pretty slim. Expect to see him on an NFL roster next year. But with the number of points this team is scoring every week, even the No. 3 WRs on this team are worthwhile DFS plays. On the flip side...
2) The New York Guardians have a long way to go to be competitive.
The Guardians' offense is a joke. They have some decent players like McKale McKay, but talent doesn't always mean success. We can argue back and forth whether it is the play-calling or the quarterback play, but that offense is stuck in neutral... at best. Even in the Guardians' two wins thus far they have been outgained both times. Unless you want to make contrarian plays, I'd stay away from picking any New York player right now.
3) XFL stud RBs are not as valuable as NFL stud RBs
There are some very productive and valuable RBs when making up a DFS roster, but the odds of an XFL RB seeing even 20 carries a game are slim to none. There have been just a handful of 100-yard games by RBs this year, so for the most part, XFL RBs are going to be TD-dependent.
4) The floors for scrambling quarterbacks in the XFL is far higher than the NFL
Behind NFL MVP Lamar Jackson's mind-boggling 1,200-plus rushing yards were Kyler Murray and Josh Allen each with more than 500. Would you feel safe grabbing either as your starting fantasy quarterback? Meanwhile, Jordan Ta'amu is fifth in the league in rushing and is the third-best quarterback in the league at worst. Ta'amu might be something special. However, Tampa Bay's Taylor Cornelius did not even play Week 1, didn't start Week 2, yet he's fifth in DraftKings fantasy points at the position because of his ability and success running the ball.
Keep these observations in mind when considering my XFL Week 5 DFS picks.
Week 5 XFL DraftKings Picks
QB: P.J. Walker, Houston Roughnecks vs. Seattle Dragons (Sat.), $12,000
First off, 12K is a ton of money to spend on a single player. That's nearly 25 percent of your entire salary on just one-seventh of your entire roster. And somebody is going to figure out how to contain Walker. The Walker dud game is coming, I promise you. But I don't think it happens this week. For one, Houston is playing at home. Secondly, Seattle meanwhile is giving up the third-most points per game and second-most passing yards per game. I'm hoping this price scares most people off. Because Walker is a stud that's worth the excessive price tag.
WR: Nick Holley, Houston Roughnecks vs. Seattle Dragons (Sat.), $7,100
Holley is coming off his best game yet. He caught eight of 10 targets for 97 yards and a touchdown. I'm not sure he puts up 24 DKFPs again this week, but I would expect him to easily surpass his average of about 11 DKFPs. Expect a number far closer to the 24 than the 11.
RB: Elijah Hood, Los Angeles Wildcats vs. Tampa Bay Vipers (Sun.), $4,800
Many are going to go with at least one of the Dallas backs at home against New York. But I'm just not spending up at RB this week. And there are at least three sneaky plays in that $5-$6K range I love this week, that's still more than I want to spend. The Wildcat backfield has been a revolving door with every option either failing to stay healthy or failing to prove worthy of being the lead back. I'm going to bet on one of the preseason favorites to meet those expectations this week. I think Hood gets double-digit carries this week, including one that ends with him in the end zone.
DST: St. Louis BattleHawks at DC Defenders (Sat.), $4,700
There are three options I gave heavy consideration to this week. The first was the Renegades because they're playing the Guardians. But the Renegades have one of the lower interception as well as lower sack totals in the league. Plus, Luis Perez is frisky enough that I even recommended him last week:
He responded with double-digit fantasy points and foresee him building upon that. Seattle also has a suspect offense, ranking dead last in yards per play, so I considered Houston as well. But Houston is seventh in the league (eight teams total) in scoring defense (22 ppg).
So I decided to just go with the best defense in the league, St. Louis. The BattleHawks are fourth in sacks and also at the top or near the top in rushing, passing, and total defense. And the Defenders are in the bottom half of the league in both yards and points per game. Let's agree not to overthink this, ok?
FLEX: Reece Horn, Tampa Bay Vipers at Los Angeles Wildcats (Sun.), $5,300
The Tampa Bay-Los Angeles game has one of the higher over/unders of the weekend. The Vipers, unlike the Guardians, are slowly improving. The LA offense has improved over the course of the season, but my preseason concerns about the Wildcats defense remain. Therefore, I will take the affordable and safe floor of Horn, who has had five receptions each game this season. He has yet to score, but my gut says that ends this week.
Good luck with your Week 5 XFL DFS picks!
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.
(Top photo courtesy of XFL.com)