Week 4 continued to shake things up in the XFL. The Vipers got their first win, Landry Jones suffered a significant injury and Houston continued to roll ... though it didn't need Cam Phillips to do it.
Meanwhile, Tre McBride backed up a big first game in Week 3 with his second-straight 100-yard performance, and B.J. Daniels was a shot of adrenaline for the Seattle offense. There is a lot of new information to consider, so let's update our XFL positional tiers.
P.J. Walker, Houston Roughnecks
Walker remains the clear top quarterback.
Josh Johnson, Los Angeles Wildcats
Jordan Ta'amu, St. Louis BattleHawks
When Nelson Spruce gets back, Johnson will have arguably the best receiver duo in the league at his disposal. He's produced thus far despite the two playing together just once.
B.J. Daniels, Seattle Dragons
Cardale Jones, DC Defenders
The only thing keeping Daniels out of Tier 2 is a lack of clarity on his role. Seattle hasn't even named a starter, but if it does go with Daniels, it still won't be clear whether he'll get all the snaps. If we could ensure that, his rushing upside — he ran for over 2,000 yards as a starter at USF — would give him a monster ceiling.
Tier 4 has improved in recent weeks. Cornelius showed off a bit of mobility in Week 4, but I'm still not sold on his weekly upside, especially as Tampa figures to continue using Quinton Flowers now that he has reportedly returned to the team. Philip Nelson's average throw depth was minuscule in his Week 1 start, so hopefully we'll see that expand. Luis Perez had a solid first start for New York but is an immobile pocket passer with a limited ceiling in a poor offense.
The Dallas backs already had massive receiving upside, but that improved with Nelson taking over at quarterback. They are in a tier of their own.
Pumphrey will have his days once DC figures something out offensively — he managed 9.6 PPR points while the Defenders were shut out last week. Butler continues to lead the Houston backfield, but the Roughnecks' pass-heavy scheme makes him fairly dependent on touchdowns. Jones had a down Week 4, but was battling injury.
Smith's big Week 4 was promising and he now leads the XFL in rushing yards after a 24-122 rushing line, but backup Jacques Patrick nearly matched it with 21-108-1 on his own. It's extremely unlikely Tampa will dole out 45 running back rush attempts in another game this year, so that split remains a ceiling-capper for Smith outside scripts like Week 4.
Carter's health is a concern after missing Week 4, but his huge performance in Week 3 and the subsequent lack of production from any of the other LA backs last weekend gives him a leg up in my book. Victor looked good in Week 4 and continues to be New York's most valuable back, while Farrow found the end zone for Seattle and will get a rushing efficiency boost if Daniels is in the game running the read option.
Michael and Patrick are the most valuable No. 2 backs in the league.
Trey Williams, Seattle Dragons
Tim Cook, New York Guardians
Ja'Quan Gardner, Seattle Dragons
Elijah Hood, Los Angeles Wildcats
Keith Ford, St. Louis BattleHawks
Andre Williams, Houston Roughnecks
DuJuan Harris, Los Angeles Wildcats
Larry Rose, Los Angeles Wildcats
It would be a contrarian move to use any of the players in Tier 4 in DFS.
Wide Receiver and Tight End
Though Spruce missed Week 4 and Tre McBride posted another big day, my top tier is unchanged.
Parham is a star, but the quarterback change figures to have a negative impact on him. How McBride and Spruce split up the targets remains to be seen, but Josh Johnson's vertical style gives me faith there will be enough to go around.
Ross could have easily had a 100-2 day in Week 4, and while Cardale Jones' struggles are significant, I'm still buying into Ross' role and talent and think things will improve enough to justify this rank. Williams has similarly distanced himself from his teammates as Tampa's clear No. 1.
Houston worked through the slot in Week 4, with Lewis and Holley getting peppered with targets and even rotational receiver Blake Jackson catching a touchdown from that position. The extreme rate at which P.J. Walker ignored the outside receivers and focused on the inside guys has me believing it was related to what Dallas was doing on the back end, and we'll still see Phillips dominate targets most weeks.
Rogers, Nagel and Pierson-El are also slot guys, and have been targeted enough to be comparable. McKay is a No. 1 in a bad offense, but he finally found the end zone on a back shoulder from new quarterback Luis Perez in Week 4, and maybe that's the start of something.
Tampa's new additions at receiver didn't cut into playing time too much, but Tolliver or Horn could start to lose some snaps. Reynolds continues to underwhelm outside one long touchdown in Week 2, and I'm not sure Daniels will be a boost for Seattle's passing game. That is also bad news for Proehl.
I keep hoping something will happen for Badet, but he's just not been very productive, with Parham, the backs and Nagel all looking like better Fantasy options in the Dallas passing game.
Jordan Smallwood, Los Angeles Wildcats
L'Damian Washington, St. Louis BattleHawks
Alonzo Russell, St. Louis BattleHawks
Colby Pearson, New York Guardians
Sam Mobley, Houston Roughnecks
Sammie Coates, Houston Roughnecks
Josh Crockett, Dallas Renegades
Adonis Jennings, Los Angeles Wildcats
Brandon Reilly, St. Louis BattleHawks
Kermit Whitfield, Los Angeles Wildcats
Jazz Ferguson, Dallas Renegades
Saeed Blacknall, Los Angeles Wildcats
A theme of Tier 5 is I'd prefer rotational players in good offenses to No. 2 or 3 options in worse ones.
It's really tough to parse the LA depth receivers, and I have four guys listed here. Smallwood is clearly ahead of Jennings, Whitfield and Blacknall, but all four will lose work once both Spruce and McBride are on the field together.
Reilly has cut into Washington's and Russell's work behind Pierson-El for St. Louis, and that remains a run-first team. Mobley appears to have passed Coates, but both could have spike weeks for Houston. Pearson looks like the only other viable New York option, with Joe Horn and tight end Jake Powell being too thin for me to list here.
Crockett and Ferguson I did list, but I'm concerned about whether Dallas will throw downfield enough for them to have much value in rotational roles.
Defense and special teams
St. Louis BattleHawks
Tampa Bay Vipers
Los Angeles Wildcats
New York Guardians