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XFL Week 10 DraftKings DFS Primer (2023)

XFL Week 10 DraftKings DFS Primer (2023)

The XFL will put a bow on the regular season this week. The playoff picture was a critical consideration for the following picks. Two teams in the North Division have the same record and will go to point differential as the tiebreaker if they’re tied after 10 weeks. Additionally, they’re facing the two worst teams in the league. So, they might run the score up. As a result, those two teams are well-represented below.

The Brahmas are fighting for a playoff berth in the South Division and need a win on Saturday and a loss from the Renegades on Sunday. Fortunately, San Antonio’s fate won’t be determined when they play on Saturday. Thus, they’ll be laying it all on the line against the Defenders, and DC has clinched the top seed in the North Division. So, San Antonio has a few players suggested in this space, too.

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The Battlehawks have significant ground to make up in point differential for the playoff tiebreaker if they end the season in a tie with the Sea Dragons. So, they must have their foot mashed on the accelerator all game against the lowly Guardians. A.J. McCarron could benefit greatly from St. Louis's need for a blowout win.

McCarron is capable of taking advantage of a cushy matchup, too. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), McCarron is the highest-graded passer in the XFL. He's also second in passing yards (1,738), first in passing touchdowns (18) and third in big-time throws (10). Meanwhile, the Guardians have allowed the second-most passing yards (2,098) and the most passing touchdowns (20). As a result, McCarron is a high-upside pick.

However, Ben DiNucci is my favorite quarterback on this week's slate. First, the Sea Dragons lead the XFL in passing attempts. Second, DiNucci is first in passing yards (2,320), second in passing touchdowns (17), first in big-time throws (18) and first among non-running backs in rushing yards (260).

Even if the Battlehawks lose, the Sea Dragons need to win to reach the playoffs since a loss to Vegas would give them a worse division record. Therefore, Seattle will be incentivized to play to win even if St. Louis was upset on Saturday. And the matchup is good for DiNucci. The Vipers have allowed the third-most passing yards (1,986) this season. The dual-threat quarterback also had a season-best performance against the Vipers in Week 3, carving them up for 377 passing yards and four touchdown passes. He even sprinkled in a 28-yard rush. So, again, DiNuccci is my highest-ranked quarterback in Week 10.

Jack Coan is an enticing bargain signal-caller. The Brahmas must win, and the Renegades must lose for San Antonio to qualify for the playoffs. So, the timing was ideal for Coan to explode for a season-high 301 passing yards last week. He can build on the effort against the XFL's leakiest pass defense. The Defenders have allowed an XFL-high 2,491 passing yards this year, and only Orlando has allowed more than 2,000 passing yards.

Running Backs

Brian Hill hasn't played his best ball lately. Sadly, he's rushed for only 96 scoreless yards in the previous three weeks. Hill added 65 scoreless receiving yards on nine receptions during that stretch. Still, the contributions have left much to be desired. Yet, he could end the regular season on a high note.

Again, the Battlehawks must score as many points as possible this week, and Hill could find paydirt multiple times. The Guardians have yielded the second-most rushing yards (723) and the most rushing touchdowns (nine) to non-quarterbacks this year. Thus, it's a get-right matchup for St. Louis's featured running back.

Jacques Patrick is a bell-cow running back. Since Week 7, he's rushed for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Patrick's also been a weapon in the passing game. Patrick had 17 targets, 13 receptions and 132 receiving yards on 65 routes in the previous three games. Cody Main of Establish The Run illustrated the vastness of Patrick's role since Kalen Ballage went down in Week 5.

Patrick's the top running back on the slate and arguably the top player on this week's XFL DFS slate.

Devin Darrington isn't a risk-free pick since the Guardians could be in a negative game script almost all day on Saturday. He can feast if the Guardians are scrappy and keep it close with the Battlehawks, though. Darrington debuted for Orlando in Week 4, has had more than 80 rushing yards twice, and scored at least one touchdown in three games. Last week, he erupted for season highs for rush attempts (16) and rushing yards (133).

Now, Darrington gets a crack at the XFL's worst run defense. St. Louis has allowed an XFL-high 908 rushing yards at a jaw-dropping 4.83 yards per carry to non-quarterbacks this year. No one else has allowed more than 725 rushing yards to non-quarterbacks. As a result, Darrington is the most desirable bargain running back.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Everything has come full circle for Seattle's pass-catchers. Jahcour Pearson was an unstoppable pass-catching weapon early in the season before a dry spell from Week 6 through Week 8. Pearson recaptured his early-season form last week, eviscerating the Battlehawks for seven receptions, 115 receiving yards and a touchdown on eight targets. The shifty slot wideout gave the Vipers fits in Week 3, securing seven receptions for 99 receiving yards on nine targets. Finally, Pearson had at least six targets in every game this year and at least seven targets eight times. So, Pearson is worth his salary for his sky-high ceiling.

Since Week 7, Josh Gordon was fifth on the Sea Dragons in routes (70). However, he was targeted on a stellar 21.4% of his routes. In addition, Gordon is used as a vertical weapon. Per PFF, he's had a 13.7-yard average depth of target (aDOT). Moreover, Gordon had 13 targets 10-to-19 yards downfield and 15 targets 20-plus yards downfield. Gordon hasn't dominated the XFL, but his deep usage and target-per-route rate were good. And he torched the Vipers for six receptions, 118 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Week 3.

Marcell Ateman is the most attractive pick at wide receiver. He's a screaming value at his salary. Since Week 7, the big-bodied wideout was tied for second in targets (22), tied for seventh in receptions (13) and third in receiving yards (184). Ateman was the apple of McCarron's eye last week, commanding 11 targets and parlaying them into seven receptions for 99 receiving yards.

Darrius Shepherd has also been highly productive for the Battlehawks lately. In the previous three weeks, he's led the XFL in targets (23), converting them into 15 receptions, 153 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

The emergence of the one-two punch of Ateman and Shepherd has relegated Hakeem Butler to the odd man out. Butler's only had 12 targets, seven receptions and 63 receiving yards since Week 7. However, he's led the Battlehawks in routes (113) and reeled in two touchdown receptions. Additionally, Butler was a stud through the first six weeks of the season, ranking second in the XFL in targets (45), second in receptions (35), fourth in receiving yards (378) and tied for second in touchdown receptions (four). As a result, Butler's a high-ceiling player who might be overlooked in tournaments because of recency bias.

Gamers shouldn't dismiss stacking Patrick with Coan. Still, Landon Akers and Nick Holley are more traditional stacking options as wide receivers. Akers had more than 60 receiving yards in two of his last three games. Since Week 7, Akers has had 16 targets, 14 receptions and 154 receiving yards.

Holley was on the Roughnecks for most of the season. He had only one route in his first game for the Brahmas in Week 8 before coming out of nowhere for four receptions for 105 receiving yards on 13 routes and four targets in Week 9. Last week's outburst could be a blip on the radar. Or it could earn him more opportunities this week.

Tyler Vaughns was Arlington's most productive pass-catcher since Luis Perez made his first start for the Renegades in Week 8. In the previous two weeks, Vaughns had 11 targets, 10 receptions and 115 receiving yards. So, Vaughns is a good value pick.

K.D. Cannon is a boom-or-bust punt. He's played in only three games for the Guardians, debuting in Week 7. Cannon has had a minimal role, running just 33 routes, reaching precisely 11 routes in each of the last three games. Cannon is a speedster and has been used as a lid-lifting option. Cannon has two receptions on seven targets for 110 receiving yards and a touchdown. While he hasn't been used much, he is a home-run threat. Five of Cannon's seven targets were 20-plus yards downfield.

Defense and Special Teams

The Roughnecks and Renegades have excellent defenses. PFF grades the Renegades as the top defense and the Roughnecks as the third-best defense. Arlington has had only 18.0 sacks versus an XFL-high 33.0 sacks for Houston. However, both clubs have done a superb job of forcing turnovers. The Renegades have forced 21 turnovers, and the Roughnecks have forced 20. Additionally, they could both face vanilla play calling if the Brahmas lose on Saturday since they'd be set to play again next week in the South Division playoff game.

The Sea Dragons should boat race the Vipers on Sunday. Vegas has been outscored by 49 points this year. If the Sea Dragons beat them convincingly, the defense will have a positive game script for pinning their ears back and wreaking havoc.

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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