XFL Week 2 Injury Report

Saturday, February 15:

New York Guardians (1-0) at DC Defenders (1-0), 2 pm ET (ABC).

New York Guardians: There is some reason for concern here for the Guardians, as two of their three starting interior offensive linemen C Ian Silberman and G Garrett Brumfield have already been ruled OUT for Saturday’s game. Fortunately, their replacements are center Damien Mama and guard Avery Young who both have NFL experience and are more than capable of stepping in for them. The only active player that was unable to play last week due to an illness was TE Keenan Brown, who will make his debut on Saturday. Brown is talented and will join former Monmouth University TE Jake Powell on the depth chart, who played very well as the starter last game, catching 4 passes on 6 targets for 28 yards. 

DC Defenders: WR DeAndre Thompkins and LB Scooby Wright were unable to play in last week’s opener but they will make their debut this week against the Guardians. Thompkins, a former Penn State receiver, is listed as a starter over Week 1 stars; Eli Rogers and Rashad Ross, so it will be interesting to see if his return affects their target share. The only player who is listed questionable is backup DT Kalani Vakameilalo.

Tampa Bay Vipers (0-1) at Seattle Dragons (0-1), 5 pm ET (FOX).

Tampa Bay Vipers: Vipers starting QB Aaron Murray has been officially ruled OUT for this week’s game due to a foot injury. The former Georgia Bulldog all-time passer struggled in last week’s loss against the Guardians, throwing 2 interceptions, 0 touchdowns, with a QB rating of 45.1. The replacement quarterback options are former Cincinnati Bengals RB and University of South Florida start QB Quinton Flowers, as well as Taylor Cornelius and Chase Litton, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that. Bobby Richardson and TE DeAndre Goolsby are listed as questionable.

Seattle Dragons: The injury bug has hit the Seattle Dragon real hard; as eight players have missed practice so far this week. The most notable name is starting QB Brandon Silvers, who suffered an ankle injury last week against DC. Former University of South Florida star B.J. Daniels would be called upon in relief of Silvers if he’s unable to go, but he is probable so Silvers should be good to start. Starting WR Kasen Williams, OT Isaiah Battle and TE Cam Clear each missed last week’s game and have once again been ruled OUT. Also, starting center Dillon Day is listed as doubtful, left guard Cyril Richardson, DT Anthony Moten, TE Ben Johnson, and CB Mohammed Seisay are questionable.

Sunday, February 16:

Dallas Renegades (0-1) at LA Wildcats (0-1), 3 pm ET (ABC).

Dallas Renegades: The Landry Jones-Bob Stoops era in Dallas will officially begin on Sunday afternoon, as Landry Jones has recovered from the knee injury he suffered last month and will start against the Wildcats. Phillip Nelson replaced Jones as the starter for the Renegades last week and will head back to the bench. Third string Eric Dungey is taking a brief leave of absence for personal reasons, so they’ve signed former HBO Hard Knocks fan favorite Brogan Roback for depth. Starting DE Winston Craig and LB Jon Calvin haven’t participated in practice so far this week and Hau’oli Kikaha is questionable with limited participation.

LA Wildcats: Last week, starting QB Chad Kanoff looked pretty impressive; despite the 20-point loss they suffered against Houston. Kanoff finished with a stat-line of 21-39, 214 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT, but unfortunately left the game after suffering a head/shoulder injury. Kanoff replaced Josh Johnson due to a thigh injury he suffered, but now Johnson has recovered and is expected to start. There are three contributing players that haven’t participated in practice so far this week to keep an eye on; WR Saeed Blacknall, RB/WR DuJuan Harris, CB Jaylen Dunlap. 

St. Louis BattleHawks (1-0) at Houston Roughnecks, 6 pm ET (FS1).

St. Louis BattleHawks: Much like the Seattle Dragons; the BattleHawks have been hit hard with injuries, as five players are questionable and have not practiced so far this week. DE Will Clarke, WR Brandon Reilly, CB David Rivers, RB Matt Jones and Keith Ford. For fantasy purposes, definitely look out for the status of Jones and Ford, because if they’re both unable to go; Christine Michael is for a ton of action. It’s definitely a bit concerning that Michael had 0 yards on 7 carries, but the majority of their run game when through Jones on 21 carries for 85 yards, so if he and Ford are out Michael will get another chance as the starter.

Houston Roughnecks: Former Denver Broncos RB De’Angelo Henderson suffered a shoulder injury early last game against the Wildcats forcing him to leave the game. Henderson’s status is in doubt for this week, as he’s yet to practice this week, which would potentially but James Butler in line for a quality workload. Their other notable injury to watch is DE Cashaud Lyons who hasn’t practiced this week.

LA Wildcats Offensive Preview

The LA Wildcats previously met the Houston Roughnecks in XFL training camp.
The LA Wildcats previously met the Houston Roughnecks in XFL training camp. Photo: XFL.com

The Los Angeles Wildcats are set to kick off their inaugural season on the road Saturday night at 5 p.m. ET against the Houston Roughnecks.

Here is a positional breakdown of the LA Wildcats offense.

Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach: Norm Chow: A highly-respected offensive coordinator, Chow has had a ton of experience calling plays. He recently was the former head coach at the University of Hawaii (2012-15), but in the past he helped coach former NFL QB’s Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Phillip Rivers, Carson Palmer, and Matt Leinart during their collegiate careers.

Quarterbacks: Josh sonJohn, Chad Kanoff, Jalan McClendon

33 year-old quarterback Josh Johnson has been considered a “journeyman QB” throughout his 12-year career in the NFL. Johnson has basically been a member of half of the teams in the NFL (14 teams), but despite that he did not earn his first game victory as a starting quarterback until his 11th season as a member of the Washington Redskins in 2018, and the last time he attempted a pass before that was in 2011. This is finally the perfect opportunity for Johnson to become a franchise’s starting quarterback for the first time in his career and show everybody that he’s not just a “journeyman QB”. Unfortunately, as Johnson just suffered a minor setback earlier this week and his status is uncertain for week one, as Sal Rico reported.

If Johnson is unable to start week one, his replacement would then be former Princeton QB Chad Kanoff. Kanoff, 25, demonstrated in college that he has plenty of arm talent and the necessary tools to work with. He was very accurate in his senior year at Princeton in 2017, he had a 73.2 completion & and he won 1st Team All-Ivy League after throwing 29 TD-9 INT. After going undrafted in 2018, Kanoff spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and now receives such a nice opportunity to develop his skills and hopefully catch the eyes of some NFL scouts. Jalan McClendon, is the other QB on the roster, he played at Baylor and North Carolina State and is considered a dual-threat QB.

Running Backs: Elijah Hood, DuJuan Harris, Larry Rose, Martez Carter

The projected starting running back for the Wildcats is Elijah Hood. Hood is a former Oakland Raiders 2017 7th-round pick from University of North Carolina. Hood has been a part of three NFL teams, but has not received an NFL carry. His backup is former NFL RB DuJuan Harris. Harris is a smaller, change-of-pace type of back at 5’7”, you may remember him from his stint with the Packers in 2012-14 (especially fantasy football players). Harris, 31, is definitely the most experienced of the group. This is his first time playing professional football since 2017, so it will be intriguing to see if he possesses the same type of quickness he demonstrated when he was in the NFL. 

The other two running back on the depth chart were both undrafted in 2018, Larry Rose and Martez Carter. Larry Rose, the former New Mexico State back is somebody to definitely keep an eye on. He ran a 4.42 at his pro day, he rushed for 4,558 career rushing yards, averaging 5.9 yards a carry, for 37 rushing touchdowns. Martez Carter played collegiately at Grambling State, where he recorded 29 rushing touchdown in his final 3 seasons.

Wide Receivers: Tre McBride, Nelson Spruce, Adonis Jennings, Jordan Smallwood, Saeed Blacknall, Jalen Greene, Kermit Whitfield

The Wildcats traded their top receiver and 2nd-round pick Rashad Ross during training  camp to the DC Defenders, in exchange for another 2nd-round WR Tre McBride. McBride, a former 7th-round pick in 2015 has bounced around the league on five different teams. He definitely has the most experience amongst their receiver group. Another wide receiver who has bounced around on several NFL teams practice squads is Nelson Spruce. Spruce is an extremely reliable and productive slot receiver, who previously set or tied 43 school or conference records during his time at Colorado. Spruce signed with the Los Angeles Rams after going undrafted in 2016, but later was released the following year. Spruce, is one of the most talented slot receivers in the league and he could definitely end up being one of the league leaders in receptions. 

The rest of the Wildcats wide receivers have limited NFL experience, but they each offer potential and still have a lot of room to develop. Three receivers to keep an eye on: Saeed Blacknall, Adonis Jennings, and Jordan Smallwood. Saaed Blacknall is a very talented receiver from Penn State, who was surrounded by a ton of NFL offensive playmakers such as; Saquon Barkley, Da’Sean Hamilton, Mike Gesicki. Blacknall has a nice combination of size and speed. He ran a 4.37 at his pro day and spent time in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders, watch out for him to be one of the sleeper receivers of the XFL. 

Former Temple WR Adonis Jennings and Oklahoma WR Jordan Smallwood are both listed as the week one starter, so expect him to get a ton of action immediately. Smallwood is extremely explosive; at his 2018 pro day he recorded a vertical jump of 39” and 10’10” broad jump. He barely saw any action in college, only catching 18 passes in his career, but similarly with Blacknall he was surrounded by a ton of skill players, such as Ravens Pro Bowl TE Mark Andrews, 2019 1st round pick WR Marquise “Hollywood Brown”, 2020 projected 1st round pick WR CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Renegades WR Jeff Badet, playing with 2018 1st overall pick QB Baker Mayfield. Rounding out their depth chart is former Florida State receiver Kermit Whitfield, and rookie Jalen Greene who spent time with the Los Angeles Rams last preseason.

Tight Ends:

The starting tight end for the Wildcats is 25 year old Brandon Barnes. Barnes is 6’5” and played collegiately at Alabama State and went undrafted in 2017. He spent some time the past three years on NFL practice squads and will look to prove he has the talent to play for an NFL team next season. De’Quan Hampton is a former wide receiver transitioning to tight end, he played collegiately at USC.

Offensive Line:

Starters: Storm Norton, Fred Lauina, Patrick Vahe, Nico Siragusa, Jaelin Robinson

Reserves: (Tackles): Tyler Roemer, Lene Maiava, (Guards: Kahlil McKenzie, Dwayne Wallace

The Wildcats have arguably one of the most talented offensive lines in the league. They have a ton of quality linemen that have either had NFL experience, or they are young and very talented but just need the consistent game reps to increase their development.

Their most notable linemen are Storm Norton, who was the first overall pick in the ‘Phase 2 Draft’ which was just offensive linemen and Nico Siragusa, a former 4th round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Former Oregon State guard Fred Lauina will start at left gaurd and former University of Texas interior linemen Patrick Vahe will start at center, his backup will be Kahlil McKenzie; the son of former NFL GM Reggie McKenzie. Former Temple University offensive tackle Jaelin Robinson will start at right tackle, he spent time with the Atlanta Falcons and he has nice tools to work with. The backup offensive tackle is Tyler Roemer, a promising young player from San Diego State, who spent time with the Oakland Raiders last preseason.

Draft Kings Launches XFL DFS Contests

The XFL 2020 regular season kicks off next Saturday, February 8th and DraftKings has officially launched daily fantasy contests for the XFL. Football fans who reside in states that have legalized daily fantasy sports gambling, now are able to compete against one another and draft XFL lineups.

This partnership between the XFL and DraftKings is a great way to increase fan engagement. DraftKings provides fans with an interactive experience of getting to know the players in the league, allowing them to ultimately become more involved and interested in the league. With the popularity of DFS rapidly increasing, this serves as a great opportunity for the XFL to attract DFS fans of the NFL, filling a void after the conclusion of the Super Bowl.

For each lineup you draft a “classic scoring” roster format of: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 2 FLEX, 1 DST. (Tight ends are listed as wide receivers).

Here’s a look at DraftKings top salaries for each position.

Top QB Salaries:

  • Josh Johnson: $10,700
  • Cardale Jones: $10,200
  • Matt McGloin: $9,700
  • Connor Cook: $9,400
  • Landry Jones: $9,200
  • Aaron Murray: $9,000
  • Jordan Ta’amu: $8,700
  • Phillip Nelson: $8,300
  • Brandon Silvers: $8,000
  • Phillip Walker: $7,800

Top RB Salaries:

  • Christine Michael: $8,400
  • Jhurell Pressley: $7,900
  • Elijah Hood: $7,500
  • Kenneth Farrow: $7,200
  • Cameron Artis-Payne: $6,800
  • De’Veon Smith: $6,300
  • Tim Cook: $6,100
  • Nick Holley: $5,800
  • Donell Pumphrey: $5,100
  • Matt Jones: $4,800
  • De’Angelo Henderson: $4,500
  • Lance Dunbar: $4,400

Top WR Salaries:

  • Rashad Ross: $10,400
  • Mekale McKay: $9,900
  • Sammie Coates: $9,300
  • Eli Rogers: $9,100
  • Jeff Badet: $8,800
  • Nelson Spruce: $8,500
  • Keenan Reynolds: $8,100
  • Kasen Williams: $7,700
  • Seantavius Jones: $7,400
  • Nick Truesdell: $6,900
  • Keith Mumphery: $6,600
  • Brandon Barnes: $6,400
  • De’Mornay Pierson-El: $6,200
  • Saeed Blacknall: $5,900
  • Austin Proehl: $5,700
  • Tre McBride: $5,500

Top DST Salaries:

  • Dallas Renegades: $4,700
  • D.C. Defenders; $4,200
  • NY Guardians: $3,900
  • Tampa Bay Vipers: $3,700
  • LA Wildcats: $3,500
  • Houston Roughnecks: $3,200
  • St. Louis BattleHawks: $3,100
  • Seattle Dragons: $3,000

5 Dallas Renegades to Target in Fantasy

The Dallas Renegades 52-man roster is officially set.

Here are five players to keep an eye on and to target in your XFL fantasy leagues and daily fantasy:

RB Cameron Artis-Payne: 

The former Carolina Panthers running back is looking to make a name for himself in the XFL. Artis-Payne played in 32 games for Carolina (2015-18), mainly serving as a backup role, and then was released during last season’s final cuts. Now, he has the opportunity to become one of the top running backs in the XFL. 

Artis-Payne offers a ton of fantasy value. He’s expected to be their starting RB and main ball carrier, so he should have plenty of scoring opportunities. When the combination of his 4 years of NFL experience; plus the limited amount of wear and tear on his body with only 118 career NFL carries, he could be very successful in the XFL. 

WR Jeff Badet

Jeff Badet can FLY. This guy has incredible speed and is one of the most lethal weapons in the entire XFL. Badet is not a household name, but college football fans may remember him from his time catching passes from Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield at the University of Oklahoma. 

Badet is an exceptional athlete and he demonstrated that at his 2018 pro day, where he posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.34, 39.5” vertical jump, 10’11” broad jump. He recently spent time with the Minnesota Vikings practice squad, but now he could become a legitimate weapon in the Renegades offense, very similar towards how the San Francisco 49ers utilize breakout rookie WR Deebo Samuel.

WR Jazz Ferguson

Ferguson is one of the most dangerous playmakers in the entire league and has the potential to become one of the top red-zone threats in the league. He has a rare combination of speed & size, standing at 6 foot-5, 230 lbs. At the 2019 NFL Combine he demonstrated his speed, where he ran a 40-yard dash time of 4.45.

After going undrafted, he spent time last preseason with the Seattle Seahawks. This could be such a tremendous opportunity for Ferguson to prove to NFL scouts that he’s a legitimate NFL wide receiver. The Renegades next tallest receiver is 6-2, so there could be a lot of red-zone opportunities coming his way.

TE Donald Parham

It’s quite possible that Donald Parham absolutely dominates the XFL. The 22 year-old tight end is 6’8”, 240 lbs and formerly played collegiate ball at Stetson University. He did not hear his name called during the 2019 NFL Draft. He had a brief stint with the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins, but now is his opportunity to get every NFL team’s attention.

Parham demonstrated his rare athletic ability during his pro day where he ran a 4.68 40-yard dash, 38-inch vertical jump, and 10’5” broad jump, all three were better than last year’s top-10 pick T.J. Hockenson combine performance. Parham offers a ton of fantasy potential, he has a history of producing big-time statistical numbers in college; where his senior year he recorded 85 receptions, 1,319 yards, 13 touchdowns. This is the perfect opportunity for Parham to shine; there will be a bidding war amongst NFL organizations for his services immediately after this season if so.

QB Landry Jones: 

The Renegades made the first player signing of the XFL with former Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Landry Jones. Jones is considered to be one of the most notable players of the league and one of the “faces” of the league. 

Jones reunites with his former college head coach, Bob Stoops, where they will look to rekindle the flame they set at Oklahoma. Jones was a four-year starter under Stoops, where he had over 16,000 passing yards with 123 passing touchdowns. Despite being playing eight seasons in the NFL, he’s only thrown 169 career passes. This is Jones’s opportunity to be a face of the franchise. Unfortunately, he had a minor setback and suffered a knee injury during training camp which caused him to sit out  for the past few weeks, putting his playing status in doubt to start week one.

If Landry Jones remained out …

QB Phillip Nelson: 

Nelson is no stranger to change or adversity. Phillip Nelson enrolled at 3 Division I universities; Rutgers, Minnesota and East Carolina and spent last year in the defunct AAF – as a member of the San Diego Fleet. He’s uniquely in a very similar position to where he was a year ago in the AAF. He originally was the second-string QB behind former NFL QB Mike Bercovici, but ended up replacing Bercovici after he struggled. Nelson now has the potential opportunity to start Week One for the Renegades as Jones is still recovering from his injury.

QB Eric Dungey: 

Following Jones’s injury, the Renegades recently signed Eric Dungey, Syracuse’s all-time passing leader (9,340 yards). Dungey is a great athlete and offers a lot of dual-threat abilities, where throughout his college career he rushed for 1,993 yards and 35 touchdowns. He spent time earlier this season on the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad after he did not hear his name called during the 2019 NFL Draft. Dungey’s dual-threat ability plus his lack of professional experience set makes him a great developmental prospect. 

Rules Presented by XFL Head of Officiating Dean Blandino

The XFL introduced Fox Sports rules analyst Dean Blandino today as the XFL’s Head of Officiating. Blandino, offers a ton of related experience; formerly serving as the NFL senior VP of officiating, where he was in-charge of the NFL replay command center and consulted with referees during every challenge.

Blandino, offers a wide-range of expertise as an officiating director. In 1999, when the NFL introduced instant replay; Blandino was assigned by the NFL to organize instant replay, where he managed the program for six years and served as replay official for two Super Bowls. He left his role with the NFL in 2017, to become the rule analyst for Fox Sports. In 2018, he formerly served as the director of instant replay for NCAA football, and was an officiating consultant for the defunct Alliance of American Football league.

Today, XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck held an introductory press conference call at 2 PM to introduce Blandino and discuss the league’s new rules announcement. Commissioner Oliver Luck established the league motto as “less stall and more ball”, ensuring to increase the tempo of the game by providing more action, and get rid of the meaningless plays and turn them into meaningful ones.

Luck stated in the conference, “that after listening to over 6,000 football fans nationwide who felt the game needs a faster pace of play and more action, we’re now super excited to be able to give our fans a fan-first game that is built for the modern 21st century.”

Blandino joined the conference call to help discuss their goal and strategy for establishing new rules. “We don’t want to be too technical and affect the pace of the game. Implement a culture of clarity, consistency, and credibility for players, coaches, clubs, and fans,” Blandino stated.

Commissioner Luck discussed their evaluation of the league’s product development. Luck mentioned how they’ve consulted with a ton of different types of consultants including; former NFL head coaches Jim Caldwell, John Fox, Jim Harbaugh, Sports Executives from different sports, medical professionals and television networks.

Luck felt after completing their evaluation, that it’s essential to create a football league that’s not filled with any sort of gimmicks or inauthenticity. Luck felt was the league’s most important task was, “How do we create this up-tempo game, but keep the traditions and make the fans happy?”

Blandino discussed the qualifications of the XFL referees, “the majority of our referees have been in the NFL development program and currently are NCAA referees,” Blandino explained. Blandino also mentioned how the player safety & health played a huge role in the formation of the new rules.

“Teaching a football player to accustom to brand new rules is extremely difficult, so we had to be selective in the innovation and rule changes we wanted to introduce,” Blandino explained. Blandino reiterated how the league’s extremely serious about ensuring and maintaining player safety, and how the league will enforce leading with the crown of the helmet, very similarly to how it’s enforced in the NFL, with the possibility of being removed from the game or even suspended.

Commissioner Luck said they have tested the new rules and found the estimated time of completion is 2 hours and 45 minutes, and the overtime would be completely done in 7-12 minutes.

“We wanted to align our rules for what the fans wanted. An up-tempo fast game is where the game is headed,” said Commissioner Luck.