XFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week 5

Jason Schandl
XFL fantasy football picks for Week 5, including Josh Johnson.
XFL fantasy football picks for Week 5, including Josh Johnson. / Michael Owens/Getty Images

We're through four weeks of XFL action, and the 2020 season is already bringing plenty of surprises. We still have one undefeated team, the Houston Roughnecks, who are now +185 favorites to win the XFL Championship, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

With things starting to shake out into more predictable patterns, both on the team and player levels, we're starting to get a much better idea of what we can expect in any given week.

With that in mind, here are the top XFL start 'em, sit 'em picks for Week 5.

Week 5 XFL Fantasy Football Picks

Start Josh Johnson, QB, Los Angeles Wildcats: Josh Johnson has been quite a revelation in the last couple weeks. He missed Week 1 with an injury and completed just 53 percent of his passes in his Week 2 debut. Since then he's slung the ball for 278 yards and 3 touchdowns in Week 3 and 325 yards with 2 TDs in Week 4. Slow start or not, he's one of only three passers with at least 800 yards through the air, and he's not showing any signs of slowing down.

Sit Cardale Jones, QB, DC Defenders: The anti-Johnson, Cardale Jones has trended in the exact opposite direction. Jones and the DC Defenders looked like championship contenders through Week 2, but in the last two games he has thrown for a combined 175 yards with 0 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, completing just 46 percent of his passes.

Start De'Veon Smith, RB, Tampa Bay Vipers: The Tampa Bay Vipers are only 1-3, but they're starting to show some signs of life. They have scored 52 of their season-long total of 64 points in just the last two games. De'Veon Smith has played a big role in this, exploding for 133 yards from scrimmage in Week 4 after tallying 85 in Week 3. Over those two games he's seen a total of 46 opportunities (39 carries plus 7 targets).

Sit Donnel Pumphrey, RB, DC Defenders: In those two absolute stinkers from Cardale Jones, DC has scored a combined 9 points. This offense doesn't look like it will be capable of supporting any fantasy-relevant pieces until the Defenders turn things around, and we've seen Donnel Pumphrey tally a middling 113 yards from scrimmage in those games. With limited touchdown upside to go along with those yards, there's not much fantasy value here.

Start Dan Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Vipers: It hasn't just been the rushing attack flourishing as the Vipers ride this wave of success. Dan Williams has turned a team-high 18 targets into 9 receptions, 107 yards and 1 touchdown over the last two games.

Sit De'Mornay Pierson-El, WR, St. Louis BattleHawks: The St. Louis BattleHawks look like one of the best teams in the league, and De'Mornay Pierson-El looks like their top wideout. Usually that'd be a great situation for fantasy production, but the BattleHawks look absolutely committed to running the ball whenever possible. Jordan Ta'amu has eclipsed 30 pass attempts only one time in four games, with 27, 27 and 18 in his other three. On the other side of the coin, Matt Jones leads the XFL in rush attempts (67) and Christine Michael ranks fourth (47). Pierson-El leads the team in targets with 23, but that mark is good for just 12th in the league.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.