XFL Sunday Week 2 Game Previews


Graphic By: Pat Pryor @patpryorgraphic

All betting outlooks and insights are provided by our Director of Betting, Jeremy Dennis. You can find him on Twitter @menace524.


Dallas Renegades (0-1) at LA Wildcats (0-1)


Where to Watch: Sunday, Feb. 16th, 3:00 PM ET on ABC


Preview


Both teams will be entering week two with hopes of getting their first win on the board, but maybe, more importantly, avoiding a 0-2 start. With just a 10-game season it won’t be impossible to overcome a poor start but one team is going to have an uphill battle to start their franchise.


Players to watch


Wildcats


WR Nelson Spruce


In a losing effort, Spruce still managed to put his name on the map with an impressive week one that featured 15 targets and topping over 100 yards. With that performance behind him, we’ll now see if Spruce can continue to produce or if defenses will start to lock in on him and force targets elsewhere.


DE Shawn Oakman


Oakman was the only pass-rush threat for the Wildcats last week and they’ll need him again to be a presence if the defense wants to relieve some pressure. Oakman at one point was considered a high-level prospect at Baylor before a down season and legal trouble took him off NFL radars all together. A resurgence is possible if he continues and improves his level of play from last week.


Renegades


QB Landry Jones


Making his first start in the NFL hoping to turn the Renegades around from a rough

start, former NFL backup Landry Jones will be a very interesting watch. A solid back-up career in the NFL mostly for the Steelers, Jones bounced around the NFL for the last few years before finding a spot in LA.


RBs Cameron Artis-Payne and Lance Dunbar


A pair of former NFL RBs failed to give Dallas much of a spark week one. A true running back by committee approach didn’t allow for any of the four RBs to get going as Payne only totaled two carries for six yards. Dunbar got the most attempts and busted a good run, but only amounted to 4 carries and 7 yards with the rest. Be it them or one of the other backs on the roster, someone is going to have to take the pressure off of the passing attack.


Keys to the game


LA Wildcats

  • Put last week behind them

  • Spread the ball around

  • Keep the defense off of the field

Dallas Renegades

  • Get Landry Jones comfortable

  • Find a difference-maker on offense

  • Win field position battle

Top 5 Fantasy Players (Try and get a few from each team)

  • QB Landry Jones (DAL)

  • WR Nelson Spruce (LA)

  • RB Elijah Hood (LA)

  • WR Flynn Nagel (DAL)

  • QB Chad Kanoff (LA)

Degenerate Menace Betting Outlook


Dallas Renegades at Los Angeles Wildcats Line - LA (+4) Over/Under 48


All eyes will be on the quarterback situation for Dallas in this one. As of this writing, Landry Jones is slated to make his first start for Dallas on Sunday. Los Angeles had its handful with XFL Week 1 Player of the Week P.J. Walker who accounted for almost 300 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Wildcats. Now when you insert an NFL ready quarterback who has started games for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it is hard to talk oneself out of not seeing another blowout. What makes the argument even more conclusive is the fact that despite the fact Dallas was seventh in scoring last week, they were actually fifth in offensive efficiency. This means that they left some points on the table against St. Louis. Probably looking at another double-digit loss for the Wildcats.


Predicted Score: Dallas 32 - LA 15


Beat Writer’s Prediction


With the assumption of linear progress, it was the Renegades who looked like the better team based on one week’s performance. Despite getting some of the worst QB play Dallas was still within striking distance of winning their game and adding one of the most NFL experienced QBs to the squad may result in turbo-charging a team at the most important position. However, the Wildcats do seem to boast the more impressive skill positions. They’ll need to step up because the Wildcat defense does not look impressive at this moment and playing clock control will need to be the forefront priority. The Renegades will rightfully be favorites here.


Final Score: Dallas Renegades 27, Los Angeles Wildcats 14


Written by: Mason LeBeau


St. Louis Battlehawks (1-0) at Houston Roughnecks (1-0)


Where to Watch: Sunday, Feb. 16th, 6:00 PM ET on FS1


Preview


After a dominant opening match up the Roughnecks will return home against the St. Louis Battlehawks. After a 4 touchdown debut by quarterback P.J. Walker against Los Angeles. Walker and the Roughnecks will look to build off their early season momentum. The Battlehawks meanwhile will also look to build off their week 1 win as they would defeat Dallas 15-9 behind a fierce defensive performance. Still early in the season, both teams are hoping to make week 2 impressions around the league.


Players to watch


St Louis Battlehawks


Jordan Ta’amu did an excellent job protecting the ball, while completing 74.1% of his passes, a QB rating of 108.4, and would add 9 carries for 77 yards.


The entire Battlehawks defense. Let’s face it 4 sacks, 7 TFLs, and 1/10 on 3rd down conversions. Numbers like that take a team effort. Let’s see if this defense can do the same against Walker who is coming off a 4 touchdown performance.


Marquette King made a great first impression. Just ask Pat McAfee. King made it tougher on the Renegades field position most notably on their final possession.


Houston Roughnecks


PJ Walker had an electrifying debut. The Battlehawks defense should present a tougher match. If Walker shows up again then Houston we have a problem.


Detrick Nichols had a big game Saturday. He would go on to register a sack, an interception, and 5 tackles. Roughnecks will certainly take pride in the versatility he displayed on the stat sheet.


Kony Ealy 5 QB hits and half a sack. With the heat he brung on in the win over LA, the Roughnecks are hoping he can do the same against Ta’amu who was effective as a runner and thrower.


Keys to the game


St. Louis Battlehawks

  • Let Ta'amu be Ta’amu

  • Continue to prioritize on the ground game 191 yards rushing last Sunday.

  • Will Hill 5 tackles, 1 TFL, and an interception will need to provide strong coverage against Walker.

Houston Roughnecks

  • Get the ground game going.

  • Stop the run

  • Kony Ealy gets after Ta’amu

Top 5 Fantasy Players (Try and get a few from each team)

  • PJ Walker (HOU)

  • Jordan Ta’amu (STL)

  • Matt Jones (STL)

  • Sammie Coates (HOU)

  • Battlehawks D/ST

Degenerate Menace Betting Outlook


St. Louis BattleHawks at Houston Roughnecks Line Houston (-8) Over/Under 51


Depending on the source, most outlets call the Houston Roughnecks the best team in the league after Week 1. St. Louis produced a 15-9 victory over Dallas over the weekend. However, there is an asterisk on this victory as Dallas was without the services of Landry Jones. P.J. Walker carved up the Los Angeles Wildcats to the tune of 300 total yards and four touchdowns in claiming Player of the Week honors. It really does appear that St. Louis will need to match offensive blows to be successful. As always, it is hard to discern the performance of a team in Week 2 after only one week of data. After looking at the efficiencies for both teams, there is really no reason that either squad will deviate from their Week 1 performances. Look for Houston to continue to put points on the board in this match-up.


Predicted Score: Houston 38 - St. Louis 28


Beat Writer’s Prediction


The key matchup will be the Roughnecks offense vs the Battlehawks defense. Both sides coming off strong performances. I think the Battlehawks take the edge in this one with their strong defense, and ability to run the ball.


Final Score: St.Louis 24, Houston 21


Written by: Ali Jawad