The Duel

XFL Week 4 Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for DC Defenders vs Tampa Bay Vipers

Max Staley
Rashad Ross celebrates during a game against the New York Guardians.
Rashad Ross celebrates during a game against the New York Guardians. / XFL/Getty Images
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We're through three weeks of XFL action, and the 2020 season is already bringing plenty of surprises. A QB that wasn't receiving much pre-season hype has taken the league by storm, and the lone remaining undefeated team, the Houston Roughnecks, had opened the year with only the sixth-best odds to win the championship, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

However, with Week 3 behind us, patterns are starting to emerge, even if they aren't in line with what was expected coming into the season. We're getting a larger sample size to draw on, and the top fantasy options are really starting to separate from the pack.

With that in mind, here are the top XFL Week 4 fantasy picks for the matchup between the DC Defenders and Tampa Bay Vipers.

Start Cardale Jones, QB, DC Defenders: Cardale Jones is coming off the worst performance of his brief XFL career, but don't overreact. He still looks like a top-tier XFL QB, and gets what should be a plus matchup against the Vipers, who surrender the most points per game (PPG) in the league (24.7). In his two prior performances, he was averaging 249.5 passing yards per game with 2.0 passing TDs. Don't overthink this one.

Start Deveon Smith, RB, Tampa Bay Vipers: There's not much to like about the league's second-lowest scoring offense, but Deveon Smith has seen some consistent volume. There aren't exactly many workhorse RBs in the XFL, but Smith is still seeing some heavy usage, averaging 16.7 opportunities (targets plus carries) per game. Smith's most carries (16) came in a 23-3 blowout loss, so the fact that the Vipers are 2.5-point underdogs shouldn't be too much of a concern.

Sit Tampa Bay Vipers Quarterbacks: The Vipers have had a strange quarterback situation all year, and it doesn't appear things are going to clear up any time soon. Quinton Flowers has taken snaps away from both Aaron Murray and Taylor Cornelius, significantly lowering both of their ceilings. It looks like Cornelius will draw the start over the injured Murray again in Week 4, but he didn't do much last week, going 16-of-31 for 193 yards. This is a situation to avoid, regardless of who is at the helm.

Sit Rashad Ross, WR, DC Defenders: Rashad Ross has been pretty productive, but the lack of volume he's seeing should worry fantasy owners. He's coming off a 6-target performance, but he turned that into just 1 reception for 17 yards. In the two games prior, Ross was averaging just 3.5 targets per game. It's also fair to wonder if those 6 targets were more a product of game flow than a sign of things to come, as DC lost, 39-9, in Week 4.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.

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