XFL Week 3 Saturday Game Previews


Graphic Courtesy of Pat Pryor @patpryorgraphic

All betting outlooks and insights are provided by our Director of Betting, Jeremy Dennis. You can find him on Twitter @menace524. Also, all of the DFS Fantasy Player insights are provided by Nikunj Patel. You can find him on Twitter @NickOfTimeDFS.


Houston Roughnecks (2-0) at TB Vipers (0-2)


Where to Watch: Saturday, Feb 22nd, 2:00 pm ET on ABC


Preview


An interesting matchup between East and West transpired from the host of Super Bowl LV as the Houston Roughnecks travel to Tampa Bay for a contest against the Vipers. This game was an early favorite for the XFL game of the year prior to the start of the season but has recently dropped because of the quality of both sides. The Roughnecks remain one of the two undefeated teams in the XFL and have done so behind some innovative offensive play-calling and a defense that successfully confuses opponents and leads to mistakes that their offense doesn’t fail to take advantage of. Tampa Bay, however, is an enigma because while their defense has been mildly successful in their own right, failure to effectively determine who will be the starting quarterback has led the organization to go two weeks without scoring a touchdown on offense. Can the home team find a way to pull off the upset? Or will the Roughnecks stay perfect and potentially snag the fandom of Guy Fieri?


Players to watch


Can PJ Walker continue the torrid pace he’s been on since the season began? He currently has 442 passing yards (third-best) and has a 7:1 TD-INT ratio, which is tops in the league. He’s got great help on the outside in wide receivers Cam Phillips and Nick Holley, and if they can open up the field and make the Vipers play soft, it’ll open up the chances for Walker to swoop in for the kill with his ability to run the pigskin.


Quinton Flowers needs to be the starter in this contest if Tampa wants to have any chance of winning this game. Because they’re playing in the stadium he starred in while at USF, he knows how to dissect opponents in every aspect of the field. His best target would be the tight end Nate Truesdell, who has shown a great ability to find the holes in a defense and make the most of a mismatch, but unfortunately, he is looking like he will not be able to suit up on Saturday due to a knee injury. In his absence, the athletic, DeAndre Goolsby will get the first crack in replacing those targets, but the outside wideouts like Jalen Toliver, another former player on Raymond James soil in Donteea Dye, and Reece Horn will see an increase in attention in the gameplan.


Keys to the game


Houston Roughnecks

  • Unleash Walker early

  • Demonstrate the double pass

  • Press the outside receivers

TB Vipers

  • Start Quinton Flowers

  • Generate a pass rush

  • Win the turnover battle

NickOfTime Top 5 DFS Plays

  • PJ Walker, QB, HOU

  • Cam Phillips, WR, HOU

  • Nick Holley, WR, HOU

  • Reece Horn, WR, TB

  • Jacques Patrick, RB, TB


Degenerate Menace Betting Outlook


Houston Roughnecks at Tampa Bay Vipers Line Tampa Bay (+6.5) Over/Under 56


Houston is currently the best team in the league with their offense being head and shoulders above everyone else. On offense, they currently have a touchdown to turnover ratio of 7-1. As a matter of fact, they scored more points in the first half last week than Tampa has scored all season. It doesn’t bode well that Aaron Murray will not be starting for the Vipers. Frankly, they will probably need a little better Georgia Bulldog alumnus to play on Saturday. Maybe Matthew Stafford or Fran Tarkenton? This game is probably not going to be close.


Prediction: Houston 32 - Tampa Bay 9


Beat Writer’s Prediction


Houston has been playing tough football these last two weeks, while the Vipers have been tough to even figure out. They need to determine who’s their starting quarterback if they even want to have a chance to win games. Start Quinton Flowers in this contest, and Tampa’s chances increase vastly. Keep going this route, and it’s hard to see them winning any games. I’ll take the favorite Houston to win, but Tampa will cover the spread at minimum.


Final Score: Houston 29, Tampa Bay 25


Written by: Joe Carlino


Dallas Renegades (1-1) at Seattle Dragons (1-1)


Where to Watch: Saturday, Feb 22nd, 5:00 pm ET on FOX


Preview


The Seattle Dragons play host to the Dallas Renegades at CenturyLink Field on Saturday, both teams are coming off victories last week. Seattle beat Tampa Bay last week, and their defense looked sharp against the Vipers.


Dallas got quarterback Landry Jones back last week, and he looked shaky but did pass for 305 yards on 70 percent completion percentage. The Renegades used a 19 point fourth quarter to beat the Los Angeles Wildcats.


Players to watch


Dallas Renegades


Landry Jones, Quarterback


Jones made his first start last week, and passed for 305 yards and threw one touchdown; however, he also threw two interceptions. In Hal Mumme's system, Jones will have plenty of opportunities to throw the ball and put up numbers.


Curtis Artis-Payne, Running Back


Artis-Payne helped lead the Renegades to victory last week with two touchdown runs in the fourth quarter. With 105 rushing yards this season on 16 carries, the Renegades running back runs hard and knows how to find the end zone.


Seattle Dragons


Kenneth Farrow, Running Back


Farrow is one half of the two-headed monster backfield Seattle brings to the table. This season, he’s ran for 84 yards on 17 carries so far this season averaging 4.9 yards per rush. Farrow will be the key to victory because Dragons quarterback Brandon Silvers struggles to create passes.


Ja'Quan Gardner, Running Back


Gardner is the other half of the two-headed monster; he has rushed for 63 yards so far this season. Gardner will figure to get his share of carries against the Renegades as well. I like how Jim Zorn uses his running backs.


Steven Johnson, Linebacker


Johnson has been balling this year for the Dragons; his 18 tackles leads the XFL. He has a knack for being all over the field, and it shows in the way he plays. Johnson will have his work cut out for his weekend.


Keys to the game


Dallas Renegades

  • Stop the Dragons rushing attack force quarterback Brandon Silvers to beat you

  • Get Landry Jones into a groove

  • Keep Curtis Artis-Payne and Lance Dunbar involved in the game

Seattle Dragons

  • Run the ball well with Kenneth Farrow and Ja’Quan Gardner

  • Pressure Landry Jones

  • Tackle well out the short pass routes

NickOfTime Top 5 DFS Plays

  • Landry Jones, QB, DAL

  • Donald Parham, TE, DAL

  • Jeff Badet, WR, DAL

  • Keenan Reynolds, WR, SEA

  • Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, DAL


Degenerate Menace Betting Outlook


Dallas Renegades at Seattle Dragons Line Seattle (+4.5) Over/Under 43


Dallas definitely benefited from the first start of Landry Jones last week as their point output went from 9 to 25 in the first two games. The bad news is that the 25 points were against a Los Angeles team that is one of the worst in the XFL on defense. Seattle actually has a pretty good defense. It held Washington to only 19 points on offense (gave up a special teams and defensive touchdown) and made Tampa Bay look awfully foolish. The key in this match-up will be which signal-caller will turn the ball over less as both teams have the propensity to give it away. This one will be a tough call but the Seattle crowd, which had a great showing last week, should be able to help the Dragons cover.


Prediction: Dallas 20 - Seattle 16


Beat Writer’s Prediction


With their defense I like the Seattle Dragons in this game, I think the Dragons will force a couple of turnovers and turn them into scores on a short field. Seattle will need to run the ball well to when this game as well. In the end, I’m riding with the home team.


Final Score: Seattle Dragons 19, Dallas Renegades 16


Written by: LaMarr Fields