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Daily Fantasy Football Advice for Winning in XFL DFS

| February 7, 2020 2:57 pm PDT
XFL and Fantasy Football Logos

The 2020 XFL season is finally here. It feels like die-hard football fans have truly been waiting for less than a week, however, since the 2019 NFL season only just concluded with Super Bowl 54.

Even so, the return of Vince McMahon’s XFL brings a lot of excitement. Not only will our television sets be graced with real, live football games in February, March, and April, but we also get all the good stuff that comes with it.

Yes, that means we can bet on XFL games, and it also means there will be XFL daily fantasy football contests at the top DFS sites.

Of course, we’re dealing with an entirely new DFS product. To prepare yourself, let’s go over some basic XFL DFS tips to help you strategize in 2020.

Get to Know the XFL Coaches

It’s going to be awfully difficult to build out XFL DFS lineups without having a clue as to what kind of system teams run or how the head coaches conduct business.

Getting to the bottom of that requires a deep dive into data for all eight XFL franchises, but the very least you can do is brush up on the 2020 XFL coaches.

Once you know more about each coach’s tendencies, past results, and general philosophies, you’ll have a better idea as to how to build your fantasy teams.

Understand the Talent You’re Rostering

I’m sure you already know about the best XFL players going into the 2020 season. Not everyone does, of course, but anyone paying attention will know who guys like Cardale Jones and Christine Michael are.

That’s great, but the guys that are popular will be chalky in XFL DFS contests. Maybe that’s good if they do well, but if they’re bad plays, you’ll want to fade them.

You won’t know when to do that or who to pivot to without knowing about more players in the XFL. The only way to do that is to read up on them, inspect their numbers from their college days, and check out some game tape.

While this XFL DFS tip seems obvious, the more you know about every viable XFL asset, the better you’ll be at piecing together winning XFL DFS lineups.

Exploit the XFL Rule Changes

XFL commish Oliver Luck has been rather vocal about how this league is different than any other football league, but in a very good way.

The main selling point is that the XFL will be faster, more explosive, and overall just more entertaining. Considering this league doesn’t have the very best football talent the US has to offer, they had to throw in some wrinkles to shake things up a bit, after all.

Citing the new XFL rules can help you see that, but that also allows you to note which types of players could thrive in this league. It also shows you that some backups could play key roles, while extra points can be accumulated following touchdowns, as well as late in games.

Precisely how you exploit the XFL rules is up to you, but it’s clear this may not always feel like a traditional DFS genre.

Be Aware of XFL DFS Scoring

For the most part, the top DFS sites are scoring XFL DFS much like they’d score NFL and college football fantasy genres. However, the XFL rules give way to added points for the point-after-touchdown attempt (up to three).

The other chief difference comes when you compare the top DFS sites. For most, this comes down to DraftKings and FanDuel.

There will be very small differences in actual scoring systems (the biggest remains DK being full-point PPR), while the actual XFL rosters are not the same.

Where you play may alter how you value players on a specific slate and ultimately could decide how you piece together your lineup.

Always Look for Value

The studs are going to stand out more than usual for XFL DFS — at least at first — because a huge chunk of the people you’re competing against don’t know who the other players are.

Cardale Jones and the like are expensive because the DFS sites value them but also because they know everyone else values them, too.

You can freely pay up for any worthwhile studs (and we’ll hand out our top XFL DFS picks every week), but searching for XFL DFS value is still very important.

This allows you to take advantage of poor pricing, but it also can help you save salary in an effort to cram in 1-2 extra studs. Finding that sneaky XFL DFS sleeper could potentially put your lineup over the top. You just need to be looking for it.

Consider Player Ownership

You will likely have to pay some type of membership fee to learn accurate XFL player ownership projections. Some touts on Twitter and at other XFL DFS advice websites will do it for free, as well.

Either way, assessing player ownership to some degree can be helpful in figuring out who is chalky, who is contrarian, who you absolutely need to roster, and who you can get away with fading.

I never let ownership completely dictate what I do, but there is a good rule of thumb to go by: elite players that are going to be low-owned get the green light, and studs that have crazy-high ownership are worth fading in tournaments.

Low-priced players that are chalky really can go either way. It’s obviously a bummer to miss that free square if they hit, but just think about the fact that they are usually that cheap in the first place for good reason.

Don’t Let Matchups Sway You

At least for the first few weeks — and perhaps longer — I wouldn’t let any XFL team rankings impact how you build your lineups too much.

The first couple of weeks can add weight to those rankings that ultimately won’t be very accurate. That, and this league only has eight teams, so it may take some time until we really start to see which squads are good or bad.

Another thing to consider is how matchup-based football can be in general. If a defense is stout at stopping the run and shuts down a run-first offense in week 1, you may automatically assume they’re an elite run defending team.

That could be true, but what if an average run defense shuts down a poor rushing offense in week 1 as well? Needless to say, that could have two completely different defenses walking into week 2 with a similar grade or ranking.

In actuality, only one of those defenses is to be feared.

You can also look at this from a player matchup perspective, especially in the passing game. All of these players are looking to prove themselves, but they also are here for a reason; most of them are inconsistent.

Don’t be too scared off by a player having a bad performance, nor if they have what looks like a difficult individual matchup. You’re going to want a sizable sample size before you let matchups of any kind alter your approach too much.

Consider XFL Betting Lines

Lastly, when it comes to XFL DFS tips, let’s not overlook the potential assistance we can get from paying attention to weekly XFL odds.

The first couple of weeks are relatively a guessing game — just like the whole matchups debate — but eventually, it’s going to be easier to read these teams.

That was the case with the AAF last year, and to be honest, I was picking those games from week 1 and got a pretty good feel early on.

Talent is talent. For better or worse, it stands out, and usually the most talented teams (or most well-coached teams) fare the best. The top XFL betting sites have the best teams pegged going into the 2020 XFL season, but all odds will adapt to injuries and how the games start playing out.

You can’t ever follow betting lines blindly, but they will serve as a great indicator of whether games are going to be somewhat close and if they’ll be high-scoring.

Tracking how the betting public bets on these XFL games could also prove helpful, should we buy into the “fade the public” logic with this league.

Summary

You can run through this bullet list of XFL fantasy tips, but that may not be quite enough. There is just something intangible about diving into a fantasy sport without really fully understanding it.

Yes, you know football. You probably have heard of a lot of the XFL coaches, and perhaps you know the top XFL stars. But we can’t be sure how these matchups will initially play out or how some players will actually perform.

The same goes for XFL betting in general, but both the betting and DFS realms are worth a look for one huge reason; nobody is an expert at this stuff yet.

That means you can have a serious edge in XFL DFS, and it also means you can take advantage of XFL betting websites that aren’t yet pricing these games like they should (and eventually will).

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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