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XFL DFS Value Plays: Week 1 Bargain Bin for DraftKings Including Brian Hill, Kalen Ballage, Geronimo Allison, More

Welcome to the Week 1 edition of RotoBaller's XFL DFS Bargain Bin, where the goal is to touch on some potentially mispriced players in DraftKings' Week 1 XFL contests. Each week during the XFL 2023 season and postseason, I’ll give you my thoughts on where there may be some value spots to exploit for DraftKings' wide array of tournaments and cash games. After you're done here, be sure to also read all our other weekly XFL fantasy football articles.

The XFL's newest iteration opens its third season following a nearly three-year layoff brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing bankruptcy filing of XFL 2.0. The league returns with eight teams playing a 10-game regular-season schedule, followed by a four-team postseason and championship game.

DraftKings' XFL DFS rosters largely mirror that of NFL contests, with a notable exception – there is no TE-specific spot, but rather two WR/TE spots and two additional Flex spots that can be filled with a running back, wide receiver, or tight end.

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XFL DFS Bargain Bin Intro

Before we go XFL DFS Bargain Bin hunting, a few particulars about format and content.

The nature of the beast with value plays is at least a modest amount (and sometimes substantially more) of risk. Therefore, the Bargain Bin may prove to be a bit more of a roller-coaster ride on some slates than your typical “tout” article! Naturally, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an upside to be had. All of these selections are therefore suitable for GPPs and can also often serve as solid cash game plays, while often helping you accommodate multiple higher-priced studs into your lineup.

This article is by no means intended to serve as an exhaustive list of all value options for the week. Rather, it’s meant to take a deeper dive into those I feel offer some of the best combinations of savings and upside.

The goal is to recommend truly affordable players, as opposed to, say, a player priced just $300-$400 away from the highest-priced option at his position. I don’t have set-in-stone price limits in mind for each site, but I do consider legitimate affordability a very important criterion.


XFL Quarterback DFS Value Plays              

Jack Coan, SA vs. STL | $8,500

Coan is one of the more intriguing quarterback options in XFL and could legitimately parlay a strong body of work into a potential NFL opportunity down the line. The 24-year-old put together a pair of rock-solid college campaigns as a starter at Wisconsin and Notre Dame in 2019 and 2021, respectively, throwing for 6,428 yards, 48 touchdowns, and a modest 15 interceptions while completing 66.8 percent of his throws across 35 college games overall.

Coan will work with what looks to be a solid pass-catching corps headlined by Jalen Tolliver, who's enjoyed varying degrees of success in the NFL, XFL 2.0, and CFL levels, and the athletic Travis Jonsen, a converted quarterback that put some good play on tape at Montana State in his college years and has gotten looks over the years from multiple NFL teams. Tight ends Alize Mack and Deon Yelder have also spent time at the highest level – the latter playing with Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City for three seasons – giving Coan plenty of options when dropping back.

ALSO CONSIDER: Brandon Silvers, HOU vs. ORL | $8,200

XFL Running Back DFS Value Plays   

Brian Hill, STL at SA | $5,800

Our pair of recommended running backs both have some solid NFL skins on the wall by XFL standards, beginning with Hill. The 2017 fifth-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons arrives with 982 career rushing yards (4.7 yards per carry) and three rushing TDs along with a 38-313 line through the air across 45 NFL games over five seasons.

Hill projects to open the season at lead back for St. Louis and already brings a proven track record of being capable of serving in a three-down role if need be thanks to his pass-catching ability. While the workload is naturally a significant opening question heading into Week 1 of a new league, Hill's experience and the expected commitment of head coach Anthony Becht, a former tight end, to fielding a formidable ground attack makes Hill interesting at his salary.

Kalen Ballage, SA vs. STL | $4,800

Ballage, who'll be on the opposite sideline from Hill in this season-opening battle, boasts a noteworthy resume at the highest level himself. The 2018 fourth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins was in the NFL as recently as 2021 with the Steelers and has accumulated 958 total yards and seven rushing TDs across 52 games over five seasons.

Like Hill, Ballage's pass-catching chops out of the backfield are well established given his 54 career NFL receptions, and he's set to enjoy a prominent role in the Brahmas' running game to open the season. It's worth noting Ballage does have an impressive complement alongside him in Jacques Patrick that enjoyed XFL success with the then-Tampa Bay Vipers in 2020, but the more experienced veteran should log the majority of touches in Week 1 and consequently have a chance to deliver on his modest salary.

ALSO CONSIDER: Keith Ford, ARL vs. LV | $6,800


XFL Wide Receiver DFS Value Plays      

Geronimo Allison, LV at ARL | $7,000

Allison will be one of the more familiar names at any skill position to the casual XFL viewer, as he spent four seasons playing alongside Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay and recorded 89 receptions for 1,045 yards and six touchdowns across 46 games. The veteran now has a chance to reconnect with another quarterback who he logged plenty of playing time with in 2017 – Brett Hundley – who played in 11 games that season in place of an injured Rodgers.

While it remains to be seen how much time Hundley will see in the opener due to the fact he arrived in camp on Feb. 6, Allison's talent should surface while playing with another capable signal-caller, Luis Perez, who's gotten plenty of experience over the last several seasons while playing in the AAF, XFL 2.0, The Spring League and USFL. The capable wideout will have some competition for targets from another seasoned pass catcher in Martavis Bryant, but there should still be a solid amount of targets for a player of Allison's caliber.

Darrius Shepherd, STL at SA | $4,500

Shepherd is another receiver (and former Packer) who could make an impact at a very reasonable salary in Week 1, considering he sports 14 games of NFL regular-season experience and also was impressive with the USFL's New Jersey Generals last spring with a 27-323-1 line. Shepherd brings some solid speed that should allow him to make plays downfield against XFL defenses, and he'll be working with a capable, experienced quarterback in A.J. McCarron.

Shepherd will have formidable competition for targets from fellow NFL alums Marcell Ateman and Hakeem Butler, a 2019 fourth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals, among others. However, with plenty of recent experience in last spring's Generals tenure and the downfield component he brings to the table, Shepherd could be well-equipped to offer a strong return on his very reasonable salary.

Cody Latimer, ORL at HOU | $3,000

Latimer makes it 3-for-3 in terms of Week 1 receiver recommendations with NFL experience The veteran could prove to be one of the best fantasy-point-per-dollar values on the season-opening slate if he gets enough snaps. The one early concern for the 2014 second-round pick of the Denver Broncos could be rust, as he last played competitive pro football in 2019 with the New York Giants.

However, that long layoff also makes the 30-year-old Latimer younger – for on-field purposes – than his actual age, and the experience he garnered over 66 NFL games during which he posted 70 receptions, 935 yards, and six touchdowns should help him round into form quickly. Latimer's salary and the fact he has experience with Guardians quarterback Paxton Lynch from their Denver days should also up his chances of a solid performance in a game where Orlando may need to throw plenty to keep up with what's expected to be an aggressive Roughnecks offense.

ALSO CONSIDER: Jahcour Pearson, SEA at DC | $6,100


XFL Flex DFS Value Plays  

Travell Harris, WR - HOU vs. ORL | $6,600

Harris is a productive and versatile Washington State product that finished his college career with a 179-1,999-17 line through the air, an 8-66-3 tally on the ground, and 2,221 return yards and one kickoff return touchdown across 86 runbacks, all across 43 college games.

Harris projects as the No. 3 receiver on the depth chart to open the season, but the combination of the quality of cornerback play he may face in that slotting and the fact Houston is expected to run a pass-centric attack under an Air Raid/Run and Shoot disciple of an offensive coordinator in AJ Smith could equate to a strong showing for Harris right out of the gate.

Sal Cannella, TE - ARL vs. LV | $5,400

Cannella was plucked by Renegades head coach/GM Bob Stoops in the first round of the XFL draft, underscoring his projected importance to the team's offense. The Auburn product put together an impressive body of work in the USFL's first season last spring, recording 34 receptions for 362 and two touchdowns during the regular season.

That performance earned him a look from the Green Bay Packers this past NFL season, and he should similarly profile as a top tight end in the XFL. Cannella could also be reunited with the quarterback he enjoyed his USFL success with, Kyle Sloter, for at least some plays in this season-opening contest, although Drew Plitt is expected to draw the start.

ALSO CONSIDER: Brandon Arconado, WR - ARL vs. LV | $4,700; Sean Price, TE - LV at ARL | $2,500

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