No one is a runaway juggernaut in the 2023 edition of the USFL. Still, as the data mounts, gamers can cast a smaller net for their player pool in DFS contests. The following suggestions have a mix of high-salaried studs, mid-salaried options and punts/values to allow everyone to fit under the salary cap.
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The listed quarterbacks are genuine dual-threat options. Troy Williams has rushed for at least 59 yards in three consecutive games while claiming Pittsburgh's quarterback gig for himself. He's also produced his two best passing games in the past two weeks, passing for 217 yards in Week 4 and airing it out for 184 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 19 attempts last week. Williams has also scored rushing touchdowns in each of the previous two games. So, he's the most exciting value option.
Alex McGough has a higher ceiling, offering more through the air while also gashing teams on the ground. He's rushed for at least 32 yards in four of five games, passed for more than 200 yards three times and tossed multiple touchdowns three times this season. Finally, McGough's scored at least 17.2 DK points every week, spiking for 34.2 in Week 2 and 24.0 last week.
Wes Hills is the crown jewel of USFL DFS, sporting an unparalleled workload.
2023 Wes Hills - 26.1 WO/G
2019 Christian McCaffrey - 25.5 WO/G https://t.co/E2KV4caCcQ
— Jake Tribbey (@JakeTribbey) May 17, 2023
Hills has rumbled for a USFL-high 427 yards in four games and tied for the league lead for rushing touchdowns (eight). He's also been heavily involved in the air, earning 23 targets, 20 receptions and 150 receiving yards.
Mark Thompson is also a workhorse. He's rushed for 81, 134 and 78 rushing yards in his three contests this year, splashing paydirt on the ground eight times. Thompson has also chipped in four receptions for 40 yards on six targets. Hills edges Thompson out for the top honors at running back. Yet, there are enough bargain options at wide receiver and tight end to allow gamers to use Hills and Thompson together.
Trey Williams is efficient, parlaying 22 rushing attempts into 147 rushing yards. He's been a complement to Darius Victor. However, Victor lost three fumbles last week. So, his leash could be short, and another fumble could push Williams into a more prominent role. Thus, Williams is a fine option in his current role at his affordable salary, with the potential to drastically outperform his salary if he soaks up some of Victor's workload.
Juwan Washington is a diminutive back. He's not built like a traditional workhorse but might fall into a significant role this week. Alex Collins is on Injured Reserve (IR), and Kerrith Whyte was transferred to the inactive roster. Ezra Gray was transferred to the active roster, but Washington might soak up the bulk of the workload. In Memphis's previous two games, Whyte had 29 rushes and 11 targets. If Washington receives a similar workload, he can outproduce his tiny salary significantly.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Davion Davis and Jace Sternberger are the premium stacking options with McGough or stellar one-off picks. Davis leads the Stallions in targets (31), receptions (21) and receiving yards (290). And Sternberger is second on the club in targets (25), receptions (18) and receiving yards (264). In addition, the two are tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions with thee.
Austin Watkins and Myron Mitchell are viable punts or second options as part of a double-stack with McGough. They're third and fourth on Birmingham in targets, receptions and receiving yards, rounding out the players on the team with more than 100 receiving yards.
Bailey Gaither and Isiah Hennie are the best stacking options with Williams. However, Hennie doubles as one of the best mid-salaried players on the slate. He's had at least four targets every week, reaching at least seven three times. The Maulers have also fed him six rush attempts. The versatile weapon has 33 targets, 21 receptions, 168 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown and 33 rushing yards. Meanwhile, Gaither is second on the Maulers in targets (30) and receptions (19) and first in receiving yards (217). He's also hauled in a touchdown.
Sage Surratt headlines the one-off picks. He leads the USFL in receptions (32), receiving yards (387) and Yards After the Catch (213 YAC). Surratt is also second in targets (41) and has a receiving touchdown on his ledger.
Anthony Ratliff-Williams has at least 50 receiving yards and a touchdown in three of five games. He made his only reception count last week, reeling in a 50-yard touchdown. Ratliff-Williams isn't a volume hog, creating the risk for a dud. For instance, he had 13 scoreless yards on two receptions in Week 1 and zero receptions in Week 3. Nonetheless, his big-play juice is DFS-friendly at a reasonable salary.
Trey Quinn is steady if unexciting. He's had at least 32 receiving yards in four games, caught multiple passes every game and scored a touchdown in two games. He might also build on his season-high seven targets in Week 5 since running mate Ishmael Hyman was transferred to the inactive roster on Thursday. Hyman leaves behind 20 targets, 14 receptions and 144 receiving yards.
Braedon Bowman is thoroughly unexciting. He's scored 6.0, 6.4, 3.4, 3.6 and 3.4 DK points in New Jersey's run-first offense. Still, Bowman has been targeted at least three times in four contests and has pass-catching and run-after-the-catch skills. And, most important, Bowman has the stone minimum salary, freeing up valuable cap space to stuff some studs into DFS lineups.
Defense and Special Teams
The Breakers are the next club to take aim at Case Cookus behind Philadelphia's leaky offensive line. Cookus has taken a USFL-high 23 sacks, 10 more than the second-highest mark. And, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Breakers are 8.0-point favorites, likely positioning them to pin their ears back and get after Cookus in obvious passing situations.
The Maulers have a stout defense. They've allowed the fewest points per game (17.2) and yards per game (249.6). Pittsburgh also has 13.0 sacks, six interceptions and five fumble recoveries. As a result, they're a steal at their sub-$4,000 salary as a 2.5-point favorite against Memphis's non-threatening offense.
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.