St. Louis BattleHawks Cam Phillips

XFL Fantasy Football: Five players to know heading into Week 5

  • Fantasy Football
  • XFL
By BenWielgos March 4, 2020 0 Comment
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The XFL has only been around for four weeks of football, but these players have proven worthy of starting spots in your fantasy football leagues.

XFL Fantasy Football is mostly a mixed bag. It can be hard to manage teams since there isn’t a huge sample size available. But there are already some fantasy stars through the first four weeks, and knowing who they are can help give you a leg up on the competition.

As every fantasy player knows, every possible advantage can help put you ahead of your friends or opponents. Knowing all these players and their outlook for the rest of the season is essential, so without further ado, here are the XFL Fantasy surprise stars.

James Butler – RB – Houston Roughnecks – 11.9 FPPG

Going into the XFL season, the Houston Roughnecks were expected to use former Boston College standout, Andre Williams, as their starting running back. However, from the beginning of the first game, it was clear that Butler would be the lead back, as he fits in perfectly to June Jones’ Run-n-Shoot scheme. Butler is quick and shifty in open space and is exceptional at catching the ball out of the backfield, leading to him putting up some big fantasy numbers so far this season.

With MVP favorite PJ Walker continuously pushing the ball downfield, Butler should continue to get plenty of space in the open field on short check downs, as well as having plenty of lanes to run on simple handoffs. If you were intelligent enough to draft Butler in season-long, you are certainly reaping the benefits. If you are a DFS player, Butler is an every-week high-end option at a very thin running back position and is just about as matchup-proof as you can be.

De’ Veon Smith – RB – Tampa Bay Vipers – 11.6 FPPG

The Tampa Bay Vipers offense came into this season as a mostly unknown unit, and after a few weeks of struggling to find an identity, they have finally decided to hand the keys to the offense to running back De’ Veon Smith. Smith leads the XFL in rushing yards, is second in carries, and is averaging a very good 11.6 FPPG, without getting in the endzone. His early production bodes well for the rest of the season, as Head Coach Marc Trestman has committed to being a running football team; the touchdowns will come for Smith, and when you add just a few touchdowns to his rushing volume, it adds up to an elite fantasy option.

Donald Parham – TE – Dallas Renegades – 19.1 FPPG

The 6’8 Tight End from Stetson had a little bit of early-season buzz due to his obvious potential, but his performance so far this season has been spectacular. Parham is second in the XFL in catches, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He has been a favorite target of Landry Jones and has mainly been un-guardable by opposing defenses. Although his production might take a small hit with Jones out for a few weeks, he is too good of a talent not to see targets no matter who the quarterback is. If you play season-long with a TE position, Parham is probably the only legitimate option. For DFS, you can fire up Parham every week with confidence in the WR spot.

Cam Phillips – WR – Houston Roughnecks – 24.8 FPPG

Similar to Butler, Phillips was not expected to be a top option in the Roughneck offense. That role was supposed to go to former Auburn standout and Pittsburgh Steeler, Sammie Coates. However, Coates struggled early, forcing June Jones to put Phillips in a more significant role. In that role, he has flourished, becoming the most productive Wide Receiver in the XFL, leading in almost every statistical category. His pairing with PJ Walker has been nothing short of spectacular, even giving Phillips some MVP buzz. It would be shocking if Phillips weren’t playing in the NFL this fall, but until then, continue to use Phillips as the overall WR1 in XFL fantasy.

Jordan Ta’amu – QB – St. Louis BattleHawks – 19.9 FPPG

Jordan Ta’amu was a big question mark for the BattleHawks going into the season, as he is the youngest XFL starting quarterback, and only having played one year of high-level college football. Despite competing with experienced NFL veteran Taylor Heinicke in training camp, he won the job and has been outstanding, leading his team to a 3-1 record, good for 1st in the East division.

Ta’amu has been a force on the ground for the BattleHawks. He leads all XFL quarterbacks in rushing, completion percentage, second in passing yards, and quarterback rating. He is currently in the thick of the MVP race with 6 games to go, although he will need some big games to pass PJ Walker. Ta’amu is generally priced pretty low on DraftKings considering his production. Going forward, he should be thought of as a matchup-proof top-tier fantasy option.

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