Sea Dragons vs Tb Vipers : We learned plenty after Week 1 of the XFL, but opening weeks are notoriously difficult barometers for season-long play especially for a brand new football league. There is a lot we still don’t know, but it sure is nice to finally have some real data to go by as we move forward. In Week 1, the under hit three times in four games and the underdog went 2-2 against the spread, with two wins.
The Houston Roughnecks were the offensive stars, as they scored five touchdowns and put up 37 points while the Tampa Bay Vipers and Dallas Renegades couldn’t reach double-digit points.
Quarterback injuries to Josh Johnson and Landry Jones didn’t help two losing clubs, but Jones does look close to returning for Dallas, while Johnson could miss another week for L.A. The Wildcats also just fired their defensive coordinator and released a starting linebacker, so they are in disarray as they meet in LA this weekend.
One of the Vipers and Dragons will get their first win in Seattle in Week 2, as Marc Trestman tries to right the ship after an awful Week 1 loss to New York. The Vipers are still favored on the road, according to Circa Sports in Las Vegas, as most pundits believed they would be in the upper half of the league while the Dragons would be trailing. However, as we saw in Week 1, favorites don’t mean a whole lot in this fledgling league.
The BattleHawks upset the Renegades in Dallas and now take on the front running Roughnecks in Houston. It will be a tough challenge to be sure, but the oddsmakers have this game under a touchdown, which seems accurate.
The Defenders host the Guardians and are favored by -5.5. Both of these teams played well in their debut, so I am hoping for a close and hard fought game. At the moment, this line seems a little inflated based on expectations more than results. Both teams featured two running backs in week one, and all four backs saw success. Smith, Jacques, Farrow and Gardner are in the top-8 in the league in rushing yards. It’s expected that both teams lean more on the run game to get their respective offenses running smoothly. Effectively running the ball can extend drives and convert 3rd and 4th downs, which was key to winning in week one.
Hannemann will likely line up as the slot corner who is tasked with guarding Proehl. The slot receiver went off in week one with 5 catches for 88 yards and 2 TDs. The defensive plan to contain Proehl will likely fall on Hannemann’s shoulders, but the receiver’s ability to get in open space will have an impact on the game’s final score.
Another key receiver vs cornerback matchup will be Williams, who lead the XFL in receiving in week one with 123 yards, against Stribling who made lots of noise during training camp for his ability to make plays on the ball. With Williams receiving the most targets among Vipers receivers, expect Stribling to be shadowing Williams all game long. If Stribling can get in between Williams and the ball and factor into the stat sheet, his impact on the game could help Seattle to a win Saturday.
Quinton Flowers might be the most discussed fantasy option in the XFL going into week two. How many snaps he factors into will result in his overall value in week two, and the rest of the season. Tight End Nick Truesdell has some big fantasy upside this week, he was heavily targeted on 3rd down, a sign he is one of the targets Murray feels most comfortable with, don’t let drops from Sunday scare you off of him in week two.
Farrow is expected to get the start in the backfield for Seattle, despite getting two fewer carries than Gardner, Farrow averaged 5.9 YPC. The type of production you want out of an RB1 in DFS. Perhaps the biggest DFS wildcard of week two will be Green and his impact in his first week with Seattle. Will he be rusty since he isn’t up to speed with the playbook and has yet to forge chemistry with Silvers? If he is told to run simple routes and get open, he could go off for a big day.