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XFL Week 6 DraftKings DFS Primer (2023)

XFL Week 6 DraftKings DFS Primer (2023)
cameraXFL Week 6 DraftKings DFS Primer (2023)

The Week 6 XFL action spans from Saturday through Monday. The games begin at 1:00 pm ET on Saturday and conclude with a 7:00 pm ET contest on Monday night. After five weeks of action, it was considerably easier to narrow down the player pool for DFS. The following players are the most alluring DFS picks in Week 6.

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The Sea Dragons (195 pass attempts) and Roughnecks (187) are the two most pass-happy teams in the league. Thus, Ben DiNucci and Brandon Silvers are featured as DFS targets again this week. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), DiNucci is first in passing yards (1,316), first in big-time throws (11) and third in passing touchdowns (nine). He also has the second-most rushing yards (104) among quarterbacks and added a score on the ground. As a result, DiNucci is the top signal caller in all game types.

Sadly, Silvers doesn't add any fantasy value on the ground. However, he's second in passing yards (1,188) and tied for first in passing touchdowns (11). Moreover, the matchup is tantalizing. The Defenders have coughed up the most passing yards (1,222) and seven passing touchdowns this season. It's for these reasons Silvers' arm packs enough punch to warrant tournament consideration.

Luis Perez is the only exciting sub-$10,000 signal-caller. He's unseated the XFL's highest-paid player, Brett Hundley. Despite not starting every game this year, Perez is fourth in passing yards (801) and passing touchdowns (eight). He's also averaged the most yards per attempt (7.9) among quarterbacks who've dropped back at least 50 times this season. Perez started last week in Las Vegas's only win this year, and he's done nothing to suggest he'll have a short leash, even with Hundley on the roster.

Running Backs

First, there's bad news for Abram Smith. Houston has held non-quarterbacks to the third-fewest rushing yards (309), 3.55 yards per carry, and one touchdown this year. Still, volume is king, and Smith is a talented workhorse. According to PFF, Smith is first in rushes (83), rushing yards (426), and yards after contact (228). He's also first among running backs in rushing touchdowns (four), trailing only quarterback and teammate D'Eriq King's five for the XFL lead. Smith isn't a necessary pick in cash games. However, his ceiling is tailor-made for tournaments.

Brian Hill has a more well-rounded game than Smith and an exciting ceiling of his own. He missed one game, but among players with at least 20 rush attempts, he's third in rushing yards (250), tied for first in yards per carry (5.2), first in PFF's rushing grade, second in Yards After Contact per Attempt (3.40 YCO/A), fourth in forced missed tackles when rushing (15) and second in PFF's Elusiveness metric.

However, Hill's also a weapon in the passing game. He's tied for first among running backs in routes (90), tied for third in targets (14), tied for second in receptions (11), second in receiving yards (110), tied for first in touchdown receptions (one) and second in forced missed tackles on receptions (five). Hill's versatility makes him a game-script-proof, high-ceiling running back.

Rod Smith and John Lovett are more cap-friendly selections than Abram Smith and Hill. The former has a tantalizing matchup on the ground against St. Louis's porous run defense. Abram Smith just steamrolled the BattleHawks for 218 yards and three rushing touchdowns in Week 5. Further, St. Louis has allowed the most rushing yards (547) and yards per carry (4.8) and the second-most rushing touchdowns (four) to non-quarterbacks this year. Rod Smith is the more likely back of Vegas's duo to take advantage of the stellar matchup on the ground since he's handled a backfield-high 46 rushes for 168 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

Lovett has chipped in 25 rush attempts for 85 yards. However, he's done his best work through the air. Lovett leads running backs in receiving yards (161) on nine targets and seven receptions. He's also hauled in a touchdown. However, Rod Smith hasn't been a total dud in the passing game. He's secured seven receptions for 40 yards on nine targets. Lovett has a slight edge over Smith for routes, running 47 versus 44. Yet, if Vegas plays from behind against St. Louis, Lovett's dynamism in the passing attack could net him more reps in passing situations than Smith.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Jahcour Pearson is a lineup lock for cash games and an elite GPP choice. He leads the XFL in targets (46), receptions (36), and receiving yards (430). The shifty slot wideout also has one touchdown reception. He's a DFS stud.

Teammates Jordan Veasy and Damion Willis are also enticing options. Veasy was third on the team in routes (52) in the previous two weeks. Meanwhile, Willis was a handful last week. He ran 21 routes and had five receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. Furthermore, both could push Josh Gordon to a complete afterthought after drawing the ire of DiNucci by giving zero effort on the quarterback's third interception last week.

This week, a quartet of reasonably salaried to bargain salaried wideouts from Houston are in the mix. Sadly, Jontre Kirklin had a season-ending injury last week. Travell Harris is Houston's steadiest passing-game weapon. He's had at least 48 receiving yards and multiple receptions in all four games he's played this season. Harris also demonstrated a high ceiling in Week 4, reeling in three receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns.

Justin Smith is the second-most inviting pick. He stepped up in Kirklin's absence last week and was second on the team in routes (46). Smith had three receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown on five targets. He showed some speed after the catch when running away from Seattle's defenders on his touchdown reception.

Cedric Byrd is a reasonable option. He leads the Roughnecks in receptions (20). However, he's amassed an unexciting 135 yards and one touchdown on his team-high 20 receptions. Ben Putnam is a GPP pivot with a punt salary. Could he step into a more prominent role after Kirklin's injury? Maybe. The slot wideout had four receptions on four targets for a season-high 65 yards in Week 2 before taking a nose dive to two receptions for one yard in Week 3. Putnam showed some signs of life last week, though. The diminutive slot wideout had five targets, two receptions, and 22 receiving yards.

Jeff Badet and Cinque Sweeting are superb stacking options with Perez. In the three contests when Perez played the majority of Vegas's snaps at quarterback, Badet had 23 targets, 18 receptions, 241 receiving yards, and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, Sweeting had 14 targets, nine receptions, 163 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. Badet and Sweeting rank first and second on the club in those categories, respectively. Sweeting has also chipped in four rushes for 12 yards this year, giving him another potential path to scoring, despite ho-hum rushing results so far.

Hakeem Butler is the most desirable piece of St. Louis's passing attack. Butler has dominated in a big-bodied slot role. Per PFF, he's played 124 of 162 passing snaps in the slot. Butler has parlayed his usage into the second-most targets (38), second-most receptions (30), the third-most receiving yards (339), and tied for the second-most touchdown receptions (four) in the league. Vegas has allowed the second-most passing yards (1,176) in the XFL this year. As a result, Butler could explode this week.

Lance Lenoir's ascension since signing with the Guardians during the season continued last week. He was sixth in the league in routes (38) and had his most targets (eight), receptions (five), and receiving yards (41) of the year in Week 5. Lenoir was a top performer in the USFL and might have more untapped upside. Yet, his steady and growing role is enough to merit punt consideration at his tiny salary.

Defense and Special Teams

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Sea Dragons are the largest betting favorites, laying 9.5 points to the winless Guardians. Seattle is fourth in the XFL in sacks (12.0) and has forced three turnovers. They've also allowed the second-fewest passing yards (917) and the second-fewest rushing yards to non-quarterbacks (241) this season. They should hammer the Guardians, putting themselves in a position to pile up sacks and turnovers.

Houston's defense is elite, ranking first in both sacks (19.0) and turnovers forced (13). If the high-scoring offense can stake them to a lead, DC would be pushed out of their run-first comfort zone and could provide the Roughnecks with plenty of opportunities for the aforementioned sacks and turnovers.

The Brahmas lost a low-scoring matchup against the Renegades last week. The game's total this week is only 33.0 points, the lowest on the slate by 9.0 points. This week, it should be another defensive-minded slugfest, making the Brahmas a sweet punt at under $4,000.

If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant - which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections - to our Waiver Wire Assistant - that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much - we've got you covered this fantasy football season.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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