The combine is here and free agency isn't far behind, as the NFL offseason starts to ramp up. But the XFL's season is in full swing, rumbling toward midseason, and we're back for some Week 4 DFS picks and strategies. 


Phillip Walker (FanDuel salary: $23, DraftKings salary: $12,000)
Cash or tournament viable

If you're playing Week 4 XFL DFS, you don't need me to tell you that Walker is in play in all formats and likely to be the highest-owned quarterback. The matchup between Houston and Dallas should offer a game atmosphere with plenty of passing and scoring, and Walker has checked every box so far this season. 

Josh Johnson (FD: $21, DK: $10,200)
Tournament option

Johnson is without his top passing weapon in Nelson Spruce for Week 4, but his willingness to push the ball down the field was evident in Week 3 as he hooked up with Tre McBride for two long scores. He hasn't had to use his legs much, but mobility plus a high average throw depth equals a big Fantasy ceiling. 

Landry Jones (FD: $18, DK: $9800)
Cash or tournament viable

If you want to save a little money in your cash lineup, I don't think it's crazy to go to Jones. Through two starts, Jones hasn't exactly played well, but he's put up just under 20 DK points in both. That's thanks to Dallas's pass-heavy offense, and now in a matchup with a Houston defense that has given up big performances through the air as opponents try to keep pace with their explosive offense, Jones should be in line for his best game so far. 

Also consider 

Jordan Ta'amu had a down week last week due to St. Louis controlling the game at home against New York, and that should be the situation again with Seattle coming to town. He hasn't pushed the ball downfield much at all so far this year, and the BattleHawks want to run. Instead of him, I'll be looking to Cardale Jones for a bounceback game in Tampa for my other quarterback exposure. 

Running back

Lance Dunbar (FD: $16, DK: $6700)
Cash or tournament viable

With pricing tighter, I want to save at running back, and while Dunbar isn't exactly cheap, he's also not at an unaffordable price. His receiving role is clearly established in an offense that throws a ton, and Dallas running backs have caught 40 passes so far this year, 25 more than any other team, with Dunbar nabbing at least five in each game. He's PPR gold. 

Cameron Artis-Payne (FD: $18, DK: $8000)
Tournament option

Artis-Payne benefits from the same situation Dunbar does, and he has actually run more routes despite catching fewer balls. Artis-Payne's price is the only issue — is his upside as high as comparable wide receivers? But putting that aside, his raw projection is certainly among the highest for all backs. 

Keith Ford (FD: $11, DK: $4000)
Cash or tournament viable

With Matt Jones questionable for Week 4, there's a scenario where Ford returns to a timeshare with Christine Michael in a game where St. Louis is a heavy home favorite. Ford has missed the past two weeks after scoring on one of just four touches in the opener. You'll have to monitor the injury report because Ford also isn't a lock to suit up, but he's a solid salary-saving option on the run-heaviest offense if he's active and Jones is not. 

Also consider

Christine Michael looks like the healthiest back for St. Louis this weekend, and is in a good position at a reasonable price tag. Donnel Pumphrey isn't cheap but I expect a big game from him at some point, and it could come in Week 4 if DC bounces back in Tampa. After blowing up in Week 3, Martez Carter is doubtful for Week 4, so Los Angeles will likely turn back to Elijah Hood, who is another reasonably-priced option. 

Wide Receiver

Cam Phillips (FD: $22, DK: $11,700)
Cash or tournament viable

At some point Phillips won't score three touchdowns in a game, but he's done it two weeks in a row, and he's clearly the top play on the board in the likely high-scoring affair between Houston and Dallas. 

Rashad Ross (FD: $16, DK: $8700)
Tournament option

Lost in DC's awful performance in Los Angeles last weekend was Ross playing a bigger role than he had in the first two weeks. Cardale Jones took some shots to Ross in jump ball situations when things started to get desperate — Ross had the second-most air yards in the league for Week 3 and now has the second-most for the season, as well. While the results weren't there, I'm of the opinion he's on his way to being one of the better receivers in the league in the next several weeks. 

Donald Parham (FD: $19, DK: $9900)
Cash or tournament viable

Parham is the clear No. 1 for Dallas, and while his price has jumped, the matchup is perfect. The thing I feel most strongly this week is with the Houston defense — which has given up big receiving games to Nelson Spruce, De'Mornay Pierson-El, L'Damian Washington and Jalen Tolliver so far — matching up against the high-volume Dallas passing game, you have to have at least one Renegades receiving option in every lineup. Parham is the top option. 

Jeff Badet (FD: $14, DK: $8100)
Tournament option

Outside Parham, Flynn Nagel and the backs will likely be to more popular names this week than Badet, who may fly a bit under the radar on DK especially given his price hasn't come down much. Nagel makes sense as a cheaper option in cash games, but paying up for Badet on the hopes Dallas continues to utilize his speed more — he finally saw a downfield target in Week 3 — is one way to gain exposure to this offense. 

Nick Holley (FD: $14, DK: $4500)
Cash or tournament viable

Holley ran routes on 95% of dropbacks last week, and while Phillips continues to dominate production, Holley remains a cheap way to buy into the Houston passing game. At some point, other players for the Roughnecks will need to step up, and it's Holley and his pricier teammate Kahlil Lewis that are fellow full-timers, while Sammie Coates is now splitting reps with Sam Mobley. 

Also consider

As noted, Kahlil Lewis, Sammie Coates and Sam Mobley are all in play for Houston, while Flynn Nagel and even Jazz Ferguson and Josh Crockett are in play for Dallas in the premier matchup of the weekend. 

A few of the league's offenses have uncertain playing time situations in the receiving corps with players getting healthy. Tre McBride's price has jumped and his big game came on just 11 routes run, but there's a solid chance his role expands considerably with Spruce out for Los Angeles. There are targets available for the Wildcats, and Saeed Blacknall is cheap and expected back after running routes on 81% of dropbacks in Week 1 and then missing Weeks 2 and 3. Jordan Smallwood, Adonis Jennings and Levonte Whitfield all figure to have roles, as well. 

New York is another offense to look at. With Matt McGloin out, there's potential for the passing game to be a little better than it's been of late. Austin Duke performed well last week but in limited action, and fellow slot guy Joe Horn is back. Teo Redding's role has been expanding, but he's likely to split with Colby Pearson opposite Mekale McKay. Tanner Gentry will also make his season debut and could play a surprisingly significant role. It's a jumbled situation, but taking some shots here in tournaments has merit. 

If Nick Truesdell is out again in Week 4, we should see the top Tampa receivers each play big snaps. Both Jalen Tolliver and Dan Williams ran routes on 100% of dropbacks last week while Reece Horn was at 96%, a season high for him out of the slot. The heavy three-wide looks have been a staple the past two weeks, and DC's secondary just got exposed in LA. 

How I arrange my receivers in tournaments will be heavily dependent on which quarterback I'm using and which games I'm expecting to have scoring potential. Eli Rogers and DeAndre Thompkins should both be options if you're playing Cardale Jones and expecting a bounceback for DC's offense, for example.