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XFL DFS Value Plays: Week 5 Bargain Bin for DraftKings Including Jordan Ta'amu, Darrius Shepherd, Sal Cannella, More

Welcome to the Week 5 edition of RotoBaller's XFL DFS Bargain Bin, where the goal is to touch on some potentially mispriced players in DraftKings' Week 5 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.

We're poised for what could be a particularly fun Week 5, one that starts off with a Roughnecks-Sea Dragons potential barn burner and also features a Defenders-Battlehawks showdown that could turn out to be the most exciting all-around game of the slate considering what's expected to be another loud and voluminous crowd in St. Louis.

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 rollercoaster 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              

Jordan Ta'amu, DC at STL | $9,000

Ta'amu doesn't have the easiest matchup on paper. However, both his recent body of work and a bit of extra incentive lend credence to the notion he could make some DFS hay in Week 5, even with backup D'Eriq King vulturing touchdown opportunities from him of late.

The mobile signal-caller comes in having just racked up 266 total yards via 14 completions (on 19 attempts) and nine carries against the Vipers in Week 4. That follows another solid Week 3 performance versus the Battlehawks where he compiled 23 DK points on the strength of 218 total yards and a rushing score.

Ta'amu will return to the site of where he enjoyed plenty of success in a five-game stint as the Battlehawks starter in XFL 2.0 during the 2020 campaign, and although there should be another capacity crowd making life difficult on the opposing offense in The Dome this week, the Ole Miss product's versatility makes him an intruiging value play for tournaments once again.

ALSO CONSIDER: Luis Perez, VGS vs. ORL (*check depth chart status*) | $8,400

XFL Running Back DFS Value Plays   

Jah-Maine Martin, ORL at VGS | $6,600

Martin isn't going to be highly rostered in tournaments even considering the XFL's truncated player pool, as he's had a minimal role the past two contests. However, game script may finally work in the Guardians' running game's favor this week in a matchup against the winless Vipers, which have allowed a league-high 157 rushing yards per game through the first four weeks.

Martin averaged 5.0 yards per carry on his four rushing touches last week and clocked in at 4.6 and 5.1 yards per tote in Weeks 1 and 2 as well while logging nine carries apiece in those contests. While backup Devin Darrington (mentioned below this section as a $3K "Also Consider" option) is a bit of an X-factor in the equation after garnering 12 carries in his Week 4 debut, we'll put some faith in the hard-charging Martin making headway against Vegas' vulnerable front seven.

John Lovett, VGS at ORL | $4,900

Lovett makes for an intriguing value option for tournaments on the opposite side of the Guardians-Vipers matchup. The Penn State alum made waves with a 50-yard touchdown reception in Week 3 that led to 12.3 DK points, and he followed it up with a 7-39 line on the ground complemented by a 2-22 tally through the air on three targets in Week 4.

Lovett out-carried backfield mate Rod Smith by two rush attempts in Week 4 and could potentially continue as the ground attack's pace-setter in Week 5 with Vegas in search of playmakers on offense anywhere it can find them. The Guardians have actually been a tough team against the run overall (76.5 RYPG allowed), but Lovett's versatility gives him a chance to offer a solid return on his modest salary.

ALSO CONSIDER: Devin Darrington, ORL at VGS | $3,000


XFL Wide Receiver DFS Value Plays      

Darrius Shepherd, STL vs. DC | $8,000

Shepherd came through very nicely as an "Also Consider" option in our Flex recommendations last week, recording eight receptions for 91 yards with a touchdown and netting 23.1 DK points in the process. It was Shepherd's second straight double-digit DK-point tally, as he'd also recorded 12.1 versus the Defenders in Week 3.

Shepherd now gets another crack at DC, and even though his salary has bumped up by $1.1K after last week's exploits, it remains $3K lower than the priciest option at his position. The one-time Packers receiver draws a favorable matchup as well, considering the Defenders are now allowing an XFL-high 232.8 passing yards per game after surrendering over 300 to the Vipers' Luis Perez and Brett Hundley in Week 4.

With back-to-back eight-target games and clear chemistry with the capable A.J. McCarron, Shepherd is a strong play for cash games or tournaments.

Travell Harris, HOU at SEA | $6,200

Harris seemingly produces every time he takes the field, yet his salary remains impressively modest. The Washington State product has shown a knack for big plays reminiscent of his college days, as he's posted 42- and 59-yard receptions in the last two weeks, the latter a Week 4 touchdown grab.

Harris has just four targets apiece in the last pair of contests after drawing 11 back in Week 1, but the Roughnecks' high-powered, pass-centric offense is full of weapons that can help afford the speedster plenty of one-on-one matchups.

Already having flashed a ceiling north of 20 DK points last week and in a matchup against a Sea Dragons team that should keep the pressure on the Roughnecks to remain aggressive throughout, Harris could be a particularly rewarding value option this week.

Lance Lenoir, ORL at VGS | $3,300

The Guardians passing game has shown some life the last two games with Paxton Lynch playing better than many would think, so there are actually multiple Orlando pass catchers that could be considered interesting values this week. We'll focus in on Lenoir, however, as his tiny salary isn't reflective of the robust role he seems to already be growing into just two games into his tenure with the team.

Lenoir, who finished his college career at Western Illinois with three consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns in 2014-16, put some time in the NFL with the Cowboys and Bills before posting a robust 52-484-2 line with the Michigan Panthers in the USFL last spring. He's now started his XFL career by drawing nine targets in his first pair of contests and bringing in four of them for 58 yards.

With a matchup against a Vipers defense that's allowing the second-most passing yards per game (209.8) and Lenoir not needing to do an inordinate amount to justify his salary, he profiles as a very good salary-saving option for tournaments in particular.

ALSO CONSIDER: Tyler Vaughns, ARL at SAN | $5,400 // Chris Blair, DC at STL | $4,500


XFL Flex DFS Value Plays  

Sal Cannella, TE - ARL at SAN | $7,600

Tight end has admittedly been difficult to get a DFS handle on over the first four weeks of play, but Cannella is about as safe an option as there is at the position. The Auburn product looks set to blow past the solid numbers he put up as a member of the USFL's New Orleans Breakers last season, as he already has a 22-181 line on 28 targets through four games.

Cannella has been an effective chain-mover -- eight of his receptions have gone for first downs -- and he's posted a pair of double-digit DK-point tallies along the way. The Brahmas have been relatively tough against wide receivers this season as well, which could lead to more targets for Cannella over the middle of the field in Week 5.

Juwan Green, WR - SEA vs. HOU | $3,700

It's a virtual certainty you'll be able to nab Green at a minimal rostering rate, considering the top three wideouts on his team alone are projected to capture plenty of the public's attention. That makes the Albany product, who finished his college career in 2019 with a spectacular 83-1,386-17 line across 14 games, a very eye-catching value option at his salary.

The Sea Dragons figure to have to put the ball up plenty to keep up with the Roughnecks' aggressive offense, which is a derivative of their own June Junes-coordinated attack, on Thursday night. Green should have no shortage of one-on-one coverage against defensive backs down the Roughnecks depth chart, and he checks in having posted 9.2 and 13.6 DK points in his last two games while recording a touchdown catch in each.

Houston has made life difficult on air attacks overall thanks to its fearsome pass rush, but Seattle has allowed just four sacks all season, lending credence to the notion there could be some time for quarterback Ben DiNucci to scan the field.

ALSO CONSIDER: Cedric Byrd II, WR - HOU at SEA | $4,400 // Brandon Dillon, TE- VGS vs. ORL | $2,500

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