Skip to main content

XFL Fantasy Football Rankings (2020)

Jan 30, 2020

Former Charger and Ohio State National Champion Cardale Jones is a top QB to watch in the upcoming XFL season.

This piece is part of our article program that features quality content from experts exclusively at FantasyPros. For more insight from Geoff, head over to GoingFor2.com.

The XFL released the 52-man rosters for every team on Jan. 27th. Using that information — combined with a player’s draft capital and camp notes — I’ve come up with my fantasy rankings for the inaugural re-boot of the XFL season. Some things to note when comparing these rankings to traditional fantasy rankings is that there are only eight teams in the XFL, meaning there are only eight starting quarterbacks, eight defenses and eight kickers. If you plan to have a league larger than eight teams, you will have to get creative.

In the two leagues I’m running, both 12-man leagues, I removed the kicker and the defenses. Also, instead of a traditional QB slot, I made it a Super-Flex slot so you’re not forced to start a QB. I then made all the other spots a traditional flex spot (WR, RB, TE) so owners have flexibility in their roster construction — evening the playing field somewhat since only eight of the 12 teams will have a starting quarterback. My team rosters look like this:

  • SuperFlex
  • Flex
  • Flex
  • Flex
  • Flex
  • Flex
  • 4 Bench spots

To further even the playing field, instead of the traditional one point for every 25 passing yards, I made it one point for every 50 passing yards and interceptions count as a negative three instead of the traditional negative one or negative two.

Whatever you decide to do with your league format, the most important thing is to know who to draft. Here are my early rankings:

Check out betting guides for the upcoming XFL season at BettingPros >>

Quarterbacks

Rank First Name Last Name Pos XFL Team College
1 Cardale Jones QB DC Defenders Ohio State
2 Connor Cook QB Houston Roughnecks Michigan State
3 Matt McGloin QB New York Guardians Penn State
4 Josh Johnson QB L.A. Wildcats San Diego
5 Jordan Ta’amu QB St. Louis Battlehawks Mississippi
6 Aaron Murray QB Tampa Bay Vipers Georgia
7 Philip Nelson QB Dallas Renegades East Carolina
8 Brandon Silvers QB Seattle Dragons Troy
9 Landry Jones QB Dallas Renegades Oklahoma
10 Tyree Jackson QB DC Defenders Buffalo
11 BJ Daniels QB Seattle Dragons South Florida
12 Luis Perez QB New York Guardians Texas A&M-Commerce
13 Taylor Heinicke QB St. Louis Battlehawks Old Dominion

Notes:

  • Landry Jones would be much higher but he’s expected to miss time due to an injury suffered in the offseason. Philip Nelson will begin the season as a starter making Jones an interesting ninth quarterback that you can draft and have him for the second half of the season.
  • Luis Perez was one of the “assigned” QBs in the original draft, but he was traded from the LA Wildcats to the NY Guardians and will backup Matt McGloin.
  • Everyone expected QB Taylor Heinicke to win the starting job in St. Louis, but Jordan Ta’amu was named the starter, however, I ranked Heinicke still because Ta’amu might be on a short leash.
  • I ranked Tyree Jackson and BJ Daniels as draftable players based on their athletic ability. There is a chance these players are used in certain packages that could have fantasy value. Think Taysom Hill of the Saints. The XFL also allows for two forward passes as long as both players are still behind the line of scrimmage, which could lead to some interesting two-quarterback play-calls.
  • Jordan Ta’amu’s offensive coordinator is an “Air Raid” coach and that could benefit his fantasy upside.

Running Backs

Rank First Name Last Name Pos XFL Team College
1 Christine Michael RB St. Louis Battlehawks Texas A&M
2 Cameron Artis-Payne RB Dallas Renegades Auburn
3 Jhurell Pressley RB DC Defenders New Mexico
4 Kenneth Farrow RB Seattle Dragons Houston
5 De’Veon Smith RB Tampa Bay Vipers Michigan
6 Tim Cook RB New York Guardians Oregon State
7 De’Angelo Henderson RB Houston Roughnecks Coastal Carolina
8 Elijah Hood RB L.A. Wildcats North Carolina
9 Donnel Pumphrey RB DC Defenders San Diego State
10 Matt Jones RB St. Louis Battlehawks Florida
11 Ja’Quan Gardner RB Seattle Dragons Humboldt State
12 Lance Dunbar RB Dallas Renegades North Texas
13 Andre Williams RB Houston Roughnecks Boston College
14 Jacques Patrick RB Tampa Bay Vipers Florida State
15 Darius Victor RB New York Guardians Towson
16 Larry Rose RB L.A. Wildcats New Mexico State

Notes:

  • Depending on where you look, DC Defenders running backs Jhurell Pressley and Donnel Pumphrey are both listed as starters. I saw more hype around Pressley as the AAF’s leading rusher while reading camp notes, so I ranked him higher. The DC Defenders have one of the better rosters on paper and both running backs will have value.
  • Christine Michael seems to be the consensus No. 1 running back carrying over from his much-hyped short-lived NFL career. Michael was always an NFL preseason stud, so against lesser competition in the XFL, maybe he finally shines.
  • Seattle’s Kenneth Farrow and Ja’Quan Gardner are another pair of running backs that have both been listed as starters on various sites. I went with Farrow because he was third in rushing in the AAF, while Gardner was eighth.
  • Cameron Artis-Payne and Lance Dunbar have extensive NFL experience and compliment each other’s skillset and should give the Dallas Renegades a great one-two punch, thus making them both viable fantasy options.

Wide Receivers

Rank First Name Last Name Pos XFL Team College
1 Rashad Ross WR DC Defenders Arizona State
2 Mekale McKay WR New York Guardians Cincinnati
3 Sammie Coates WR Houston Roughnecks Auburn
4 Keith Mumphery WR St. Louis Battlehawks Michigan State
5 Jeff Badet WR Dallas Renegades Oklahoma
6 Seantavius Jones WR Tampa Bay Vipers Valdosta State
7 Kasen Williams WR Seattle Dragons Washington
8 Tre McBride WR L.A. Wildcats William & Mary
9 DeAndre Thompkins WR DC Defenders Penn State
10 Jazz Ferguson WR Dallas Renegades Northwestern State
11 Kermit Whitfield WR L.A. Wildcats Florida State
12 Simmie Cobbs WR DC Defenders Indiana
13 Reece Horn WR Tampa Bay Vipers Indianapolis
14 Eli Rogers WR DC Defenders Louisville
15 Nelson Spruce WR L.A. Wildcats Colorado
16 De’Mornay Pierson-El WR St. Louis Battlehawks Nebraska
17 Teo Redding WR New York Guardians Bowling Green
18 Austin Proehl WR Seattle Dragons North Carolina
19 Marcus Lucas WR St. Louis Battlehawks Missouri
20 Sam Mobley WR Houston Roughnecks Catawba
21 L’Damian Washington WR St. Louis Battlehawks Missouri
22 Saeed Blacknall WR L.A. Wildcats Penn State
23 Dontez Byrd WR Seattle Dragons Tennessee Tech
24 Kahlil Lewis WR Houston Roughnecks Cincinnati
25 Tanner Gentry WR New York Guardians Wyoming
26 Kasen Williams WR Seattle Dragons Washington
27 Colby Pearson WR New York Guardians Brigham Young
28 Joe Horn Jr WR Houston Roughnecks Missouri Western State
29 Stacy Coley WR Dallas Renegades Miami (FL)
30 Flynn Nagel WR Dallas Renegades Northwestern
31 Adonis Jennings WR L.A. Wildcats Temple
32 Jalen Tolliver WR Tampa Bay Vipers Arkansas-Monticello
33 Daniel Williams WR Tampa Bay Vipers Jackson State
34 Antonio Callaway WR Tampa Bay Vipers Florida

Notes:

  • Former Washington Redskins WR Rashad Ross is a consensus top 5 pick at wide receiver. He is the big play threat for the DC Defenders.
  • Former fourth-round pick for the Browns, Antonio Callaway, had the potential to lead the league in receiving yards, but unfortunately, he was carted off the field during practice. I left him ranked in the event that he is able to return to the field, but it doesn’t look promising.
  • Seantavius Jones is the biggest benefactor to the Callaway injury and is now in my top-eight wide receivers.
  • The Battlehawks’ Keith Mumphery and De’Mornay Pierson-El are very interesting as they both beat out former Dallas Cowboy receiver Terrance Williams, whom many had as a top-five wide receiver previous to the 52-man rosters being released. Willaims was outright waived, leaving Marcus Lucas and L’Damian Washington also in the mix in this receiving corps that will play in an Air Raid style offense.
  • Two former Pittsburgh Steelers, Sammie Coates, and Eli Rogers, both made their respective XFL rosters and both have a good opportunity to shine. Coates can outright fly, it was his hands that betrayed him at the NFL level. Rogers is a great compliment in the slot with two former Redskins on the outside in Rashad Ross and  Simmie Cobbs with DeAndre Thompkins as the red zone threat.
  • The 6-foot-3 Mekale McKay tied for the league-lead in red-zone targets in the AAF and finished third in TD receptions. Guardians quarterback Matt McGloin will use him in that same role in the XFL.
  • Dallas Renegades’ Jeff Badet and Jazz Ferguson are a very interesting tandem as Badet is the burner who ran a 4.3-40 in his pro day with Ferguson a 6-foot-5 230-pound beast that runs a 4.4 40.
  • Tre McBride is an interesting option as he was traded from the DC Defenders straight up for my No. 1 WR Rashad Ross. It’s an intriguing trade as rarely do you see a one-for-one trade of two players at the same position. The consensus thinking is that McBride was a better fit scheme-wise for the LA Wildcats then was Ross.

Tight Ends

Rank First Name Last Name Pos XFL Team College
1 Brandon Barnes TE L.A. Wildcats Alabama State
2 Nick Truesdell TE Tampa Bay Vipers Grand Rapids JC
3 Evan Rodriguez TE Seattle Dragons Temple
4 Khari Lee TE DC Defenders Bowie State
5 EJ Bibbs TE New York Guardians Iowa State
6 Adrien Robinson TE DC Defenders Cincinnati
7 Connor Davis TE St. Louis Battlehawks Stony Brook
8 Sean Price TE Dallas Renegades South Florida
9 Jake Sutherland TE New York Guardians Morehead State
10 Cole Hunt TE St. Louis Battlehawks Texas Christian
11 Donald Parham TE Dallas Renegades Stenson

Notes:

  • Tight ends are a terrible position in the NFL version of fantasy football and it’s even worse in the XFL. Brandon Barnes and Nick Truesdell are the only two TEs I would consider drafting in the league format I’ve set up for my leagues where tight ends aren’t a necessary position.
  • Evan Rodriguez had three TDs in the AAF, so he at least has some pedigree as a fantasy option.

Check out betting guides for the upcoming XFL season at BettingPros >>

What's your take? Leave a comment

Follow the Pros!

Follow us on Twitter @FantasyPros for exclusive advice and contests