Recently I stumbled upon an article about XFL fantasy football. I knew that fantasy football could become associated with the XFL, I was very curious about how leagues could work. For one, it would be impossible to have leagues with more than 8 players due to the lack of quarterbacks. Eight teams in the league means 8 quarterbacks at most which means 8 possible fantasy teams. This would be a predicament if a quarterback went down and the individual did not have their back up. That would essentially leave them without the quarterback position. Regardless of that with a new league means lack of data and potential opportunity. With a new league means lack of previous data to predict future success. With a new league means that everyone has equal opportunity to thrive based on their respective talent and system.
As I began to think about what could drive these fantasy analyst it become logical to me that coaches system should be a priority. Pass heavy teams should be given more weight as this league is driven to be pass oriented. Coaches whose emphasis is on balance and ball control would immensely drive a players value round due to the lack of depth of teams. Talent is almost to break down because we do not have any prior exposure from these players in this style of game. The XFL varies immensely from college and the NFL which is why making deductions based on previously statistical data almost irrelevant to a degree. After breaking down the New York Guardians offense, I wanted to critique the analyst’s fantasy football perspective. Just because I agree or disagree with their rankings that does not take away my prior viewpoint on the Guardians offense.
Two rankings I will be critiquing are the XFL rankings themselves and the FantasyPros website. For those who do not know FantasyPros is one of the most popular source for fantasy expert rankings. For each player I will include their name, position and ranking by the XFL followed by FantasyPros. Example:(Player Name, Position, XFL Ranking, FantasyPro Ranking)
Matt McGloin, Quarterback, 4, 3.
McGloin is a very talented quarterback and a proven leader. As far as XFL fantasy football rankings, he seems a bit high for me. When it comes to fantasy football, you want a quarterback who is going to be slinging it every single play. McGloin does have a lot of weapons which should keep him at a good floor, but I feel his system will cap his ceiling. The Guardians offense could be the most balanced offense in the league. I expect them to utilize a strong running game and some dink and dump passes. The northeast weather to may be tough for a quarterback to thrive with the elements early on in the year. Expect him to be a very good playmaker but just an ok fantasy quarterback.
Tim Cook, Running Back, 6, 6.
Cook is a very powerful runner who is capable of controlling a game. But what is the value of a power runner in the XFL? The game is intended for trickery and passing oriented approaches. Cook is most likely going to be used in early down work and short yardage situations. That will hurt his stock as he used as frequently in passing and third down situations. This also may take away from some of the explosive plays from him and opportunity for big play touchdowns.
Justin Stockton, Running Back, 11, N/A.
Darius Victor, Running Back, 17, 15
I was very surprised to see not only see Stockton not ranked on FantasyPros yet alone below Darius Victor. This could be due in part to them not putting out more than 16 spots or the fact the backfield is so deep. I personally think Stockton will be the most explosive back out of this group. The Guardians will use him in the passing game more than the other two backs. I also think he will be the one scoring the most touchdowns out of the group. Victor has some good traits but to me he is more of a change of pace back for this system. Regardless, we should not question coach Gilbride’s ability to use all three backs any given series. This may ultimately diminish their fantasy value.
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Mekale McCay, Wide Receiver, 5, 2.
McCay is going to be the player to target on this team from a fantasy perspective. To me, he is going to be a dominant receiver who will be scoring lots of touchdowns. He has the size and hands you want in a big time receiver and I expect McGloin to target him often. He is the perfect type of receiver to be a red zone threat every series. I also think that he will be able to put up big yards and could have decent receptions. The touchdowns alone are enough to give him top notch fantasy value. Look for him to be a star for this Guardians wide receiver core and a top fantasy prospect.
Tanner Gentry, Wide Receiver, 17, 25.
When looking at what it takes to be a successful fantasy football receiver in PPR leagues look no further than receptions. Gentry has all the makings of being a possession type receiver for this offense. He was very good during his last season at Wyoming and I expect him to have a similar role in this offense. Being that this league is sped up the amount of receptions for a receiving like Gentry could increase. He may not wow you with touchdown production, but he could definitely be a top 15 to 20 wide receiver due to his reception total.
Deangelo Yancey, Wide Receiver, 6, N/A.
Demarcus Ayers, Wide Receiver, 18, N/A.
Teo Redding, Wide Receiver, N/A, 17.
Colby Pearson, Wide Receiver, N/A, 25.
Now comes the wild card that is called fantasy football. I include all these players in one group because at the moment the third wide receiver is up for grabs. Yancey was one of the receivers I was high on but he has been injured in training camp. He could be back for the opener but that opens the door up for another receiver to step up. All of the other receivers have potential to grow in this system but from a fantasy standpoint they are backups at best. With so much uncertainty at the position at the moment it would be bold to avoid in XFL fantasy football.
E.J. Bibbs, Tight End, 4, 5.
If there is one position in fantasy football that is most difficult to gauge it is the tight end. The same can be said about XFL fantasy football. It is almost impossible to say whether or not Bibbs can be a top fantasy tight end or not. In a league driven by high scoring and outside playmakers the tight end position could be in a tough spot. Bibbs may be able to get some red zone production if defenses are more worries about the receivers on this team. Bibbs could also not be on the field much if the Guardians are forced to go to 4 wide receiver sets some games. The parody of the tight end position in fantasy should continue in XFL fantasy football.
If you are one who is interested in participating in XFL fantasy football, I suggest checking out the XFL site. For the first year, fantasy football may not be as widely available due to the league being new. Of course I have high expectations of this unit as a whole on the offensive side. The Guardians should be using a very balanced attack on offense. This does not mean most of the Guardians players will be fantasy relevant. I expect McGloin to be a good fantasy quarterback and McCay to be a stud. Outside of that, anything can happen this XFL fantasy football season.