DraftKings Week 6 XFL DFS Tournament Plays


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DraftKings Week 6 XFL DFS Tournament Plays

A lack of NFL football, or football in general, is a terrible thing. Thankfully, football is still hanging around, thanks to the XFL! And since DraftKings is offering DFS fantasy tournaments, it’s time to discuss the top plays and contrarian options so we can bink some XFL tournaments.

I’ll be going position by position, highlighting my favorite plays for tournaments, with a TL;DR included for those who don’t want to read my reasoning and just want the top-value plays. I’ll also include teams’ implied totals directly below, to help readers get a sense of the offenses Vegas thinks will put the most points on the board.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jake Tribbey discussed his love for spring football on the Two-Point Stance Podcast, while he and Chris Wecht will discuss the entire XFL slate Thursday afternoon, including best bets, on the Fantasy Points XFL Breakdown on our YouTube channel.

XFL Projections are available to any Standard or Premium Fantasy Points subscriber.

Team Totals

Seattle Sea Dragons (26.0) @ Orlando Guardians (16.5)

St. Louis Battlehawks (24.25) @ Vegas Vipers (21.25)

San Antonio Brahmas (17.75) @ Arlington Renegades (14.75)

Houston Roughnecks (20.25) @ DC Defenders (22.75)

Injury Reports

Justin Freeman from RunTheSims is kind enough to aggregate injury information for us here. That sheet is a great resource, and I would recommend bookmarking it for future reference.


In the TL;DR, I’ll list out the top plays in order of value (according to me). This isn’t super strict, it does not factor in ownership, and in some cases, it’s sort of arbitrary. It also doesn’t matter nearly as much as my readers think it does. What does matter is maximizing the correlations within your lineups, and making sure you include at least a few players on each tournament team who should be on the lower end of ownership (I highlight a few in my write-ups). Get creative!

Plays ranked in order, with tier 1 in bold, and assumes notable questionable players suit up…

QB: Quinten Dormady, Ben DiNucci, AJ McCarron, Luis Perez, Jordan Ta’amu, Brandon Silvers, Kyle Sloter, Jack Coan

RB: Brian Hill, Abram Smith, Jacques Patrick, Rod Smith, Darius Bradwell, Max Borghi, TJ Hammonds, De’Veon Smith, Brycen Alleyne

WR/TE: Justin Smith, Lance Lenoir, Cody Latimer, Hakeem Butler, Lucky Jackson, Jahcour Pearson, Darrius Shepherd, Travell Harris, Jeff Badet, Damion Willis, Juwan Green, Deontay Burnett, Cedric Byrd, TJ Vasher, Steven Mitchell, Chris Blair


Ben DiNucci ($11,500): We know DiNucci is great for fantasy (21.6 DraftKings FPG, QB1) – but what excites me about him in Week 6 is this perfect matchup against a truly abysmal Orlando Guardians defense. Orlando grades out as PFF’s worst pass rush unit (64.1 pass rush grade) and coverage unit (55.9 coverage grade) while allowing a league-leading 30.4 PPG (13% worse than the 2nd-worst team). The Guardians are also allowing the 3rd-most passing YPG (226.4), the 2nd-most yards per pass attempt (7.9), while recording just 31 pressures on the season – a mark that’s 40% worse than the 2nd-worst team.

Not only does DiNucci project as a top-2 value at the position, but he’s guaranteed to play every snap for Seattle, meaning he also presents one of the strongest floors of Week 6 XFL QBs. Ownership will reflect that, but we can confidently play DiNucci in all formats this week.

Brandon Silvers ($10,700): Silvers is destined to be forgotten about in Week 6. He projects as a poor value, is clearly overpriced, and hasn’t exceeded 24.1 DraftKings points this season. But, I have a hard time not loving him as a GPP option if his ownership is sub-10% (which feels quite likely).

Remember, Silvers plays for a literal offense genius on the team that leads the league in scoring (27.2 PPG), while throwing at a league-high rate (72%) in neutral situations. Silvers has elite upside, but it just hasn’t fully materialized. Because there are objectively better options at QB in Week 6, Silvers should go grossly under-owned in large-field contests.

Luis Perez ($8,600): Perez is far from my favorite Week 6 QB, but I think he could go under-owned, given the other options at the position. He’s played just two full games, averaging 23.8 DraftKings FPG (QB1 over the full season), and is PFF’s 2nd-highest graded passer this season (70.8 passing grade). If he has a bad game, he could certainly get benched, but I don’t think you can worry about that if you are playing GPPs. My main concern is pass rate (just 56% since Week 4), but I don’t think that should be a huge knock on Perez as the team is expected to play from behind as 3.0-point underdogs. I’m more than willing to take a shot on a QB who is playing pretty well, especially when he’s playing in the game with the highest total of the season (45.5).

Quinten Dormady ($6,000): We’ve already seen one min-priced starting QB fail (for DFS purposes), so why should Dormady (who was announced as the starter for Orlando) be any different? Well, he’s the only QB who has brought any competency or success to this offense:

Dormady is averaging an absurd 28.9 DraftKings points per four quarters. Sustainable? Likely not, but it demonstrates the upside he’s shown as a fantasy QB in an incredibly limited sample. So, he’s almost certainly better (for fantasy) than Kyle Sloter – especially at the minimum DraftKings price. But the play still carries plenty of risk. Dormady is listed as QB1 on the team’s official depth chart, but Paxton Lynch is technically the co-QB1 – something that opens the door to Dormady getting benched if he gets off to a slow start.

Plus, the Seattle defense is allowing just 183.4 passing YPG (2nd-lowest), limiting the league’s most prolific offense (Houston) to a season-low 14 points in Week 5. Maybe this pass defense is really good.

Dormady is far from a perfect play. He carries notable risk. But he really just needs to avoid a benching to pay off his $6,000 DraftKings price tag. He’s the top value QB of the week, and I love him as a play if we think he logs sub-20% ownership (which I do).


Weighted opportunity, snap/route shares, and raw opportunities through 5 weeks:

Weighted opportunity by week:

Abram Smith ($9,400): We overestimated Smith’s ownership in Weeks 4 and 5, but it seems likely he will be among the most popular RBs of Week 6 after what he did on Saturday.

Smith has led all RBs with 17.2 weighted opportunity points per game, a 79% snap share, and 7 inside the 10 carries over the last 3 weeks. He’s been the only player rivaling Brian Hill as the league’s premier bell cow.

But Smith has his warts. His role hasn’t dramatically changed from Weeks 1 and 2, when he averaged just 6.2 weighted opportunity points per game. His 7 inside the 10 carries over the last three weeks are impressive (and tie the lead among RBs), but QBs Jordan Ta’amu and D’Eriq King have combined for 14 inside the 10 carries over that same span. He doesn’t catch passes, averaging just 1.4 targets per game (12th among RBs). And with Ryquell Armstead back at practice, it’s tough to see Smith heading for the absurd 90% snap share he logged in Week 5 if Armstead can suit up.

DFS players are clearly avoiding Smith because of these perceived warts. While I think that changes after his 218-yard, 43.5-point performance in Week 5, maybe it won’t? Maybe Smith will go under-owned yet again, earn a slate-leading workload, and post a tournament-winning score. I’m not sure, but I plan on playing Smith on roughly one-quarter of my teams and letting the cards fall how they may.

Brian Hill ($8,900): Hill has played just three full games, averaging 14.2 weighted opportunity points (RB1 over the full season) and 17.8 DraftKings FPG (RB1 over the full season). His 73% snap share in these games ties Abram Smith for the positional lead over the full season, while Hill’s 67% route share leads all RBs. Among RBs with at least 10 carries, Hill ranks 1st in YPC (5.2), 1st in PFF rushing grade (82.0), 2nd in yards after contact per attempt (3.4), and 4th in missed tackles forced (15). Before we get into gamescript or matchup, it should be apparent that Hill is the most valuable fantasy RB in the XFL.

And the gamescript and matchup are near perfect. St. Louis is a 3.0-point favorite, and Vegas allows a league-worst 135.6 rushing YPG and a league-worst 4.5 YPC while grading as PFF’s worst run defense (49.3). Hill should feast in this spot, and it’s pretty easy to argue he’s the overall top RB play of the slate, given the matchup and his recent usage.

Rod Smith ($6,600): Smith led all RBs in weighted opportunity (16.0) this past week, and has averaged a much improved 53% snap share since the new offensive coordinator took over (5th-best among RBs over the full season). He appears to be the Vipers' favorite red zone weapon, recording 62% of red zone carries and 80% of inside the 5 carries over these last two weeks.

Smith may not have gamescript on his side as a 3.0-point underdog, but he certainly has a favorable matchup. St. Louis is giving up the 2nd-most rushing YPG (133.8) and the most YPC (4.5) while grading out as PFF’s 3rd-worst run defense unit (62.7). Assuming Vegas can keep this game close, Smith profiles as a compelling way to save a bit of salary and ownership at the position this week.

Darius Bradwell ($5,500): Salary-saving options at the RB position are few and far between this week, which could make Bradwell fairly popular now that Morgan Ellison is officially ruled out. Bradwell will project as a top-5 value at the position industry-wide, but I’m not sure I like the play if it carries any significant ownership.

Why? Bradwell is probably bad, averaging a pathetic 1.7 YPC on 10 carries last week (Ellison averaged 5.2 YPC, while TJ Hammonds averages 5.9 YPC). And the backfield pie is pretty minuscule – Seattle is the 2nd-least valuable backfield by weighted opportunity (18.1 weighted opportunity points per game), and part of the reason that number got as high as it did was because Ellison was playing so well. If Bradwell’s inefficiency continues, Seattle will simply throw the ball at a higher rate.

I’m fine with Bradwell in tournaments if you need the salary savings. His role is probably too good to call him a bad play – even if he stinks. But if he’s followed by decent ownership (which feels likely), I’ll look elsewhere for RB exposure.

Bonus Note: I like TJ Hammonds ($3,200) as a desperation salary-relief play in stacks of this game more than Bradwell. Hammonds carries almost zero TD equity, but he ranks 6th among RBs in targets (9) and could get some run at WR – so you could do a lot worse. Ideally, I think you just avoid this backfield altogether.


Hakeem Butler ($9,800): Butler is the highest projected WR of the slate industry-wide, and it’s easy to see why. Over the last three weeks, Butler (31) has 6 more targets than the next-closest player (Jahcour Pearson), 2 more red zone targets (8) than the next-closest player (Sal Cannella), and the 5th-most air yards (233.3) of any player. He’s earning league-leading volume, seeing targets down the field, and dominating red zone and end zone work for an offense throwing the ball at the 3rd-highest rate (63%) in the XFL.

Cody Latimer ($7,000): Latimer has dominated this Orlando passing attack, earning the 5th-most targets of any player (34) while ranking 6th in air yards (308.3), and 2nd in inside the 10 targets (3). Latimer is both a target hog and the primary end zone threat of a team that always plays from behind and just got a huge upgrade at QB. He feels like a near-perfect play this week, with the only notable red flag being Seattle’s pass defense. The Sea Dragons are giving up just 183.4 passing YPG (2nd-fewest) – but I’m still not overly concerned given their mediocre PFF pass coverage grades (71.7 team coverage grade). Even if we give credit to the tough matchup, Latimer is easily $2,000 too cheap. He’s a great play.

Justin Smith ($4,100): I had written up Smith for a number of weeks as a galaxy brain play that would likely break out at some point. And, well, the breakout finally came in Week 5. Smith earned a 92% route share, 5 targets, and 15.3 DraftKings points at the minimum salary. But the shift to making Smith a full-time player was unexpected and entirely the result of standout WR Jontre Kirklin being ruled out for the game (and the remainder of the season) with a chest injury.

Smith now commands Kirklin’s old role, worth 6.3 targets per game and 19.1 DraftKings FPG (1st among flex players). Sure, maybe we can’t project Smith for the same usage and production that Kirklin managed, but I don’t think the skill dropoff is as drastic as some may think. The Houston coaches love Smith – they consider him one of their top WRs. If he’s even 80% as productive as Kirklin, then he’s probably the top WR play of the entire season for DFS. I’m confident he will be popular, but I still don’t think the field fully recognizes just how awesome his role and upside will be now that he’s a full-time player. I’ll have Smith on at least half of my tournament teams this week (and maybe all of them).

Lance Lenoir ($3,700): Lenoir has popped as a projected value these last few weeks, but we still haven’t seen him exceed double-digit DraftKings points. I think that changes in Week 6 now that Orlando has a competent QB. Quinten Dormady is averaging an absurd 398 passing yards per 4 quarters. That’s more than double the 192.5 passing YPG the team averaged without Dormady. Lenoir has led the team in route share (98%) and led all Orlando WRs in target share (21%) these last two weeks. If we assume passing production increases much at all, it’s hard to argue against him as one of top value plays of the week at WR. And, I think he will largely go overlooked because of how obvious Justin Smith is as a salary-saving option.

Quick Hits

T.J. Vasher ($3,400) will surely go under-owned as a salary-relief play, because Lance Lenoir and Justin Smith are objectively better options. He’s scored a TD in each of the last two games where Jalen Tolliver has seen a limited role (Weeks 3 and 5) – and I’d anticipate a limited role for Tolliver in Week 6 after he was released and re-signed this past week. That said, he hasn’t exceeded 3 targets in a game this season, so it’s still pretty thin.

I’m a bit concerned about Josh Gordon ($10,500) after Ben DiNucci cursed him out for running the wrong route at the end of Thursday night’s game (timestamp: 1:46:30). His route share has declined every week this season, to just 42% in Week 5. It feels and looks as though he’s being phased out in favor of Jordan Veasy, Juwan Green, and Damion Willis – all of which I’d consider better plays this week.

Let’s not forget about Darrius Shepherd ($8,200) after a dud performance in Week 5 (6.0 DraftKings points). He’s been the Battlehawks' highest-graded WR since Marcell Ateman got hurt, earning 13 targets for 121 yards and a score. Everyone will drift toward Hakeem Butler in AJ McCarron stacks (for good reason), but Shepherd is a great option if you are worried about ownership.

Keep an eye out for the Vegas inactives. Since the OC change, it doesn’t appear the team is comfortable with both Geronimo Allison ($7,400) and Martavis Bryant ($7,800) being active. If both are active, I lean towards neither player being a good play. But if only one guy is active, I’ll take my chances on him in Luis Perez stacks.

The Roughnecks have added two WRs since Jontre Kirklin was ruled out for the season in Tavonn Salter and Jaquarii Roberson. Neither guy is in the player pool this week, so think of this as a note for Week 7 and beyond.

Salter should take over Justin Smith’s old role of 10 or so routes per game on the outside. But Roberson is the guy to get excited about. He profiles as a slot only, which should open the door to more playing time than what will be available to Salter. And he might be really good…

Jake Tribbey is a recent college graduate and lifelong football fan obsessed with extracting every edge possible from NFL DFS, Best Ball, and player props/futures.