Through three weeks of existence, the XFL has been an overall success. The product has been entertaining, and fans have seemed to really take a liking to the new league in a time where normally we’d already be suffering from football withdrawals. Many fantasy players (including myself) even started or joined XFL fantasy leagues this season to further enjoy the league on a different level. While no one really knew going in which players would take off in the revitalized league, a select few players have begun to shine and really reward fantasy owners. Some, in fact, have done so well that they’ve begun trending in the right direction in NFL dynasty leagues. This suggests the question, which XFL players are worth targeting in dynasty leagues ahead of the 2020 season?
While we’re not suggesting to drop your current depth pieces or even push aside some of your late-round rookie picks in favor of these players, there are some that could find themselves on an NFL roster for the 2020 season. Should they happen to land with the right team and an opportunity arises, these players could return significant value. More importantly, this is the time to snag them if you have the room available on your roster. So let’s take a look at some of the XFL standouts that are already beginning to gain notoriety.
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P.J. Walker is taking the league by storm, and as a result, has the Houston Roughnecks out to a 3-0 start and the early front-runners to win the XFL Championship. Through three games, he’s already thrown 10 touchdown passes. The next closest player to that mark is Brandon Silvers with six. Walker also has a league-leading 748 passing yards to this point, while completing 63.2 percent of his attempts.
June Jones’ offense is undoubtedly the most exciting to watch in the XFL and Walker is at the center of it all. Like many within the XFL, Walker has already sniffed the NFL although he did not ever officially see the field in a regular season game. He spent some time with the Indianapolis Colts practice squad learning under Andrew Luck and Jacoby Brissett. Walker credits both players for his success. In fact, it was Luck who put in a good word for Walker with his father, Oliver Luck, the XFL Commissioner.
As far as dynasty value, Walker would likely only benefit teams in Superflex formats at this time. It’s possible he would only see the field if an injury would occur to another player, and the majority of fantasy owners in 1QB formats would probably not feel he is worth using a roster spot on. Stranger things have happened though, and Walker’s play thus far already has chatter about him landing with an NFL team. It wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to see that he does and earn the starting role.
Jordan Ta’amu may not be receiving the same praise as Walker is but he is still playing at an exceptional level to start the year. Although Ta’amu has just four passing touchdowns through three games, he is behind only Walker in passing yards with 612. In addition, Ta’amu has amassed 123 yards on the ground with two rushing scores. His ability to run with the football is something fantasy owners can greatly appreciate.
Ta’amu went undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft and was quickly released by the Houston Texans after signing with them as an unrestricted free agent. He spent the NFL season watching his college teammates, D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown, have stellar rookie seasons with their respective teams. There was a general belief that Ta’amu should’ve been able to do more with the weapons that he had at Ole Miss. Metcalf and Brown’s success further insinuated that belief.
Prior to the draft though some people strongly believed in Ta’amu’s potential and that he could be a great value for a team on Day 3. It was somewhat surprising to see him go undrafted. Now, Ta’amu is doing what he can to prove that his supporters were on to something. Should he continue to showcase himself as a leader, Ta’amu could find himself back on an NFL roster sooner rather than later. Those in Superflex leagues with room to spare may be wise to add him now while they can.
If you watched just five minutes of a Roughnecks game, you’re sure to have seen Walker throw to #14 quite often. Prior to the season in my two-round mock draft, I predicted that Sammie Coates would be the consensus number one option in this offense. I even drafted him as my first-round pick. Oh, how wrong I was.
Cam Phillips has emerged by and large not only as the Roughnecks number one wide receiver, but the entire league as well. For someone to have seven touchdown receptions through three games at any level is nothing short of amazing. No other receiver has more than three at the moment. Phillips’ ability to come down with the catch in many different forms has been the most impressive of his skillset so far. That and his ability to break tackles, it’s no wonder why he’s quickly become Walker’s go-to guy.
Of all the players on this list, I have the most confidence in Phillips landing with an NFL team and being productive. Teams are consistently looking to add wide receivers, and Phillips has played well enough to earn a training camp invite somewhere. Should he make the final roster of a team in August, Phillips could bring instant production to fantasy owners in 2020.
If there’s one glaring similarity in fantasy football between the XFL and NFL it’s that the tight end position is a total mess. However, those owners that were able to scoop up Donald Parham are not complaining in the least. Parham is playing at a level that is equivalent to a Travis Kelce or George Kittle. He is third in receiving yards among all positions with 217 yards off of 14 receptions. Parham also has three touchdowns, proving that he is a favorite target of QB Landry Jones.
This is easily the most notoriety that Parham has received. He played in college at Stetson University in Florida. Despite playing in the FCS, Parham finished his senior season with six straight 100-yard games. He was invited to participate in the 2019 Senior Bowl, but unfortunately, had to miss due to an ankle injury. It’s possible that if he had played, he would’ve been on someone’s radar and could be on an NFL team right now. In the XFL though, Parham is suddenly on everyone’s radar. It’s hard not to be impressed by what he’s been able to accomplish in a short amount of time. There’s no doubt that NFL teams are watching, and I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see Parham make the leap to the big leagues.
Whether it’s dynasty or even redraft leagues, fantasy owners are desperate to add quality tight ends and are willing to take a flier on just about anyone. Why not take a flier on Parham now and wait to see what happens?
Eric Frosbutter is a writer and editor for Pro Football Network covering dynasty fantasy football. You can follow him @efrosbutterPFN on Twitter.