Phillip Walker

It is difficult to believe, but we are already about to hit the halfway point of the XFL season. The data on teams is pretty good at this point, but there are still plenty of uncertain situations to take advantage of on DraftKings. Always be sure to keep track of the injury report as well. Loads of opportunity has become available each week due to injury.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: XFL $150K Saturday Special [$25K to 1st].


Quarterback

Target worth paying up for: Phillip Walker ($12,000) vs. SEA

Just copy and paste this in every week. Walker finds ways to return value each and every week due to his combined ability to run and pass. Houston has also been taking more three-point attempts after scoring, which are worth almost another passing touchdown on their own if completed. The Roughnecks have scored by far the most touchdowns, and are averaging the most points per touchdown when including point after attempts. Houston is a 13-point favorite at home against Seattle on DraftKings Sportsbook, and should score plenty. You are paying for both safety and upside with Walker, which no other QB has consistently provided this season.

Best value: BJ Daniels ($7,200) at HOU

This is a slam dunk. Daniels replaced Brandon Silvers ($7,000) in the second half in Week 4, and played extremely well, completing five of 10 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 84 yards on seven carries. Daniels’ mobility is his most attractive quality, especially given his price. Daniels belongs in the 9K range, making this a massive value. He is where your lineup should start in cash games, and it will be difficult to fade Daniels in tournaments given the upside he gives you access to in the rest of your lineup.

Positional Strategy

You should be taking a bar-belled approach to your QB pool this week, meaning pay all the way up for the upside of Walker, or take the cheap play in either Daniels or Philip Nelson ($7,500), who is the expected starter for Dallas. The players in the middle I do not find particularly attractive this week.


Running Back

Target worth paying up for: Cameron Artis-Payne ($8,200) vs. NY

As I’ve stated numerous times, the Dallas RBs see the best volume every week. Artis-Payne is averaging 53% of team carries and 14% of targets on the year, and the Renegades throw more than every other team. Artis-Payne has an extremely high floor as a result, with a chance to pop in any game he finds the end-zone. Dallas is an 8-point home favorite this week on DraftKings Sportsbook, meaning Artis-Payne should be seeing plenty of touches late to salt away the game. He is a tough fade every week.

Best value: DuJuan Harris ($3,600) vs. TB

With Martez Carter (hip) sidelined in Week 4, it was Harris who dominated the backfield snaps and touches in L.A. He was on the field 71% of the time, and ran a route on 55% of passing downs. The team is clearly tired of Elijah Hood ($4,800), and does not trust Larry Rose ($3,500) to be anything other than a complementary player. Follow the news closely on Carter’s injury, as he did not practice at all last week. If he sits out again, Harris will be in prime position to beat his price tag.

Positional Strategy

A lot of the RBs were priced up this week, so there isn’t a ton of value out there if Carter returns for the Wildcats and Harris becomes unavailable. This is a “play the best plays” position for Week 5.


Wide Receiver

Target worth paying up for: Tre McBride ($9,700) vs. TB

McBride has been completely dominant since getting back on the field. In Week 3, he had six targets on just 11 routes run for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Last week, McBride was a full-time player, and again went over 100 yards with a score. He has the most targets, receptions, and yards over the past two weeks. Nelson Spruce (knee) did not practice at all last week, and was considered iffy for Week 5 at the time he was ruled out. Stay tuned for updates on that. If Spruce misses again, McBride is difficult to get away from at less than $10,000, and the price is low enough to roster him even if Spruce suits up.

Best value: Jalen Tolliver ($5,700) at LA

Tolliver didn’t get there for us in Week 4, but the Vipers dominated the Defenders, only throwing the ball 31 times, 12 less than their season average, and nine less than the league average. Still, Tolliver was the second-leading receiver on the team on only four targets. This game with the Wildcats is projected to be much closer, and that should lend itself to more passing for the Vipers. When that happens, Tolliver should be a major beneficiary.

Positional Strategy

We don’t have quite as much value as in the past at this position, but with the savings available at QB, you can afford to spend a little more at WR. Of course, given the variance of the position, it would seem wise to cast a wide net in tournaments.


Flex

Target worth paying up for: Donald Parham ($9,500) vs. NY

Parham has been a monster the last three weeks, and has dominated the pass game for the Renegades all year. He has seen 21% of team targets, and has scored four of Dallas’ five receiving touchdowns. His massive frame is a clear target in the red-zone, and being able to play in space has made it difficult to cover Parham all over the field. Nelson is the starting QB, but it is difficult to say that will be much of a downgrade from Landry Jones (knee) given his poor play in three starts. Parham should still be one of the highest-usage players out there, and has perhaps the best touchdown equity in the league.

Best value: DeAndre Thompkins ($4,900) vs. STL

The Defenders have been an absolute mess the last two weeks, but the good news is that they return home this week to take on the BattleHawks. Thompkins has seen 18% of the targets in his three healthy games, though he has just one catch in the past two weeks. This seems like a good time to buy low on Thompkins given that D.C. has only thrown the ball 50 times in those two games. This price is likely too cheap if the Defenders resume a normal amount of pass attempts.

Positional Strategy

I will continue to preach WR in the flex, but there have been a few situations that have made RBs viable, particularly the backfields of Dallas and Tampa Bay. I would consider mixing and matching those four RBs on teams, and even playing two on the same team, but otherwise will likely be limiting to single-RB lineups.


Defense

Target worth paying up for: Renegades ($4,300) vs. NY

Dallas is a large home favorite against the Guardians, who looked much better in Week 4, but will be traveling this week away from New York. The combination of Luis Perez ($7,900) and Marquise Williams ($7,300) took four sacks in Week 4 despite the improved performance, and may revert back to their earlier play after a big win. This is an affordable price for the Dallas defense given the circumstances.

Best value: Wildcats ($3,900) vs. TB

The Wildcats are a small home favorite in Week 5 after losing to New York last week. With that said, they have played impressive defense this year, recording 10 sacks and seven interceptions, just one short of Houston for the league lead. The Vipers are second to only the Guardians in sack rate allowed.

Positional Strategy

If there is one thing last week should have taught us, it is have exposure to every defense in tournaments. For cash, try not to break the bank, as you could easily be let down with three DKFP, just like the BattleHawks gave us last week as massive favorites.


Key news to monitor on DK Live:

Landry Jones (knee; $9,500)

Martez Carter (hip; $4,600)

Nelson Spruce (knee; $10,500)
Kahlil Lewis (groin; $8,900)
Sammie Coates (hamstring; $5,500)

Nick Truesdell (knee; $4,700)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is amicsta) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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