Week 4 brought us some key quarterback changes that in my opinion opened up the Week 5 slate. Should B.J. Daniels and Luis Perez start for Seattle and New York, suddenly two of the league's worst offenses have a little more viability. Add in the improved play from Taylor Cornelius in Tampa, and what felt like a very top heavy league a couple of weeks ago is starting to look ... if not balanced, at least a little more variable from a DFS perspective.

Before I get into the picks, I want to note our XFL shows on Fantasy Football Today have been fantastic. I'm of course biased, but R.J. White has brought the betting goods to back up his 14-2 record against the spread so far this season, while Emory Hunt is uniquely qualified to break down a league like this one and is as well-versed on the XFL's players as anyone I've heard from. It's been a blast to chat with them each week as we break down the slate from both a betting and DFS angle

Let's get to the picks. 


B.J. Daniels (FanDuel salary: $17, DraftKings salary: $7200)
Cash (if named the starter) or tournament viable

Daniels is a big road underdog, but if he gets the starting nod for Seattle, the discount he offers with salary tightening will be hard to pass up. Houston has allowed four rushing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks already this year, and teams have been able to put together drives against them in come-from-behind mode. That setup works really well for Daniels, who rushed for over 2,000 yards in his USF career and jump-started the Seattle offense in the second half of Week 4. 

P.J. Walker (FD: $23, DK: $12,000)
Cash or tournament viable

If we don't get word on Daniels, I don't think paying up for Walker in cash is out of the question. It's likely not the move I'll make this week, but it's hard to argue with given how consistent he's been. At any rate, Walker is always in play in tournaments and should be a part of any multi-entry build.

Josh Johnson (FD: $21, DK: $10,500)
Cash or tournament viable

Johnson's willingness to push the ball down the field has quickly manifested in a weekly QB1 ceiling, and his price tag now reflects that. A viable cash option if you can afford him over Jordan Ta'amu but can't get up to Walker.

Jordan Ta'amu (FD: $20, DK: $9,700)
Cash or tournament viable

The weekly concern with Ta'amu will be whether his conservative offense takes him out of the game somewhat, but assuming DC bounces back, the BattleHawks will need Ta'amu on the road in the nation's capitol. 

Also consider 

Taylor Cornelius, Luis Perez and Phil Nelson all offer cost savings similar to Daniels, but I'm not particularly on board with the upside for any of them. I believe the four quarterbacks above will carry the most ownership and for good reason, but hoping for a Cardale Jones bounceback would be my preferred option outside that. 

Running back

Cameron Artis-Payne (FD: $17, DK: $8200)
Cash or tournament viable

The quarterback change should only help Artis-Payne's solid receiving role, as Nelson completed 15 passes to his backs in Week 1. If Dallas can control the game at home against New York, Artis-Payne might rack up a few extra rush attempts as the Renegades may not push Nelson too much in his first start in a month. 

Lance Dunbar (FD: $17, DK: $7600)
Cash or tournament viable

Dunbar continues to produce, and his receiving floor makes him one of the safest options at the position each week even despite playing behind Artis-Payne. 

Martez Carter (FD: $15, DK: $4600)  
Cash or tournament viable  

We're not clear on Carter's status yet, but he was a smash hit for LA in Week 3 before missing Week 4. Considering the lack of production from LA's other backs in Week 4, he has to be the favorite to lead the backfield if he's able to suit up Sunday, and he'd become the best value option at the position on DK. 

Donnel Pumphrey (FD: $13, DK: $6400)  
Cash or tournament viable

Hamstrung by his offense's lack of production over the past two weeks, Pumphrey has nevertheless managed to put up totals on 6.7 and 9.6 PPR points over the past two weeks. Those aren't strong numbers by any means, but Pumphrey likely has a floor in the upper single-digits with upside to put up a big game whenever DC gets back on track. 

Also consider

De'Veon Smith and Jacques Patrick are both coming off big games for Tampa Bay and are facing an LA defense that has been crushed by opposing backs. Still, that duo racked up 45 combined rush attempts last week, something that's very hard to see happening again. They are both in play, but aren't top options for me at their elevated price tags. 

It sounds like Matt Jones will play through injury again, while Christine Michael appears over his illness for St. Louis. Still, with Keith Ford back and some uncertainty about the split due to health, I'm mostly avoiding the St. Louis backfield. 

James Butler, Kenneth Farrow and Darius Victor are the other main names in consideration for this week, but are also guys I'll only sprinkle into lineups. 

Wide Receiver

Cam Phillips (FD: $21, DK: $11,500)
Cash or tournament viable

Whatever caused such a massive percentage of the Houston targets to flow to the slot options in Week 4, that was a trend I don't expect to carry over relative to the first three weeks when Phillips dominated. If Phillips' lack of production last week scares people off his high price, all the better. 

Tre McBride (FD: $20, DK: $9700)
Cash or tournament viable

One of the big advantages to using Daniels in cash is the ability to get both Phillips and McBride — the clear top two receiving options for Week 5 — into the same lineup. McBride is coming off back-to-back 100-yard days, and while I don't expect him to keep that up forever, Nelson Spruce is set to miss his second straight week. The targets should be there. 

Rashad Ross (FD: $14, DK: $7800)
Tournament option

I'd understand if you're sick of me saying Ross is due, but you'd also not be sick of that if Cardale Jones put a fourth-quarter throw on him for a should-have-been 73-yard touchdown last week when Ross was wide open on a deep post. Ross's downfield role is as strong as anyone's in the league, but it grew right in time for DC to really struggle the past two weeks so we haven't seen the results. As soon as this offense has another half-decent game, expect Ross to be a big part of it. 

Sam Mobley (FD: $12, DK: $3800)
Cash or tournament viable  

Mobley has essentially been splitting time with Sammie Coates the past couple of weeks in the outside spot opposite Phillips, and now Coates will miss Week 5. It's not clear if that will mean full-time snaps for Mobley, but he'll be out there plenty. Given the offense he's in, there's simply no better receiving value on the board this week. 

Also consider

Nick Truesdell will return for Tampa Bay, and he's likely a solid value given the limited options we have at lower price ranges. Still, I'm not sure how much upside I see and strongly prefer Tampa's top two receivers Dan Williams and Jalen Tolliver as price-agnostic options. 

With Spruce out for LA, Jordan Smallwood had another solid day in Week 4, and he's the only option outside McBride I could trust there. Kermit Whitfield was released, so it's possible one of Saeed Blacknall or Adonis Jennings could have a decent day, but they aren't my preferred options. 

Eli Rogers and DeAndre Thompkins are still clear options for DC, and I'm admittedly biased against both due to my love for Ross. Mekale McKay is the main New York option I'd consider, though I could see a case for Colby Pearson

I'll be mostly avoiding downfield options for Dallas (including Donald Parham) and Seattle with Nelson (who I expect to check down a lot) and Daniels (who I expect to run) under center, but will sprinkle in some Flynn Nagel and Keenan Reynolds

De'Mornay Pierson-El's price has been ridiculously high for weeks, and it's hard to justify it despite his continued production given he only plays about half the snaps. But his role also makes trusting the deeper St. Louis receiving options difficult on a run-first team, especially since Brandon Reilly emerged a bit to steal looks from LaDamian Washington and Alonzo Russell

And of course Nick Holley and Kahlil Lewis remain in play as Houston's slot options, but I'll be leaning toward the outside guys a week after Holley and Lewis racked up targets.