Updated: Feb 13
The XFL era is here and what a surprisingly good watch it was. Now I must say unlike many, I went into the weekends opening slate with an open mind and in my opinion they hit it out of the park. I enjoyed the rule changes they implemented on the kickoff and extra point, as well as the transparency when it came to the plays when reviewed. I must say the presentation was professional and well done as well. The game did seem faster paced and more offense driven with the shorter play clock. The in game interviews were a nice touch as it kept the audience engaged during the down times.
Now as far as play and fantasy we went into the weekend thinking who should I throw in my starting lineup, and many went with the I heard of that guy before let’s throw him in there approach. How did that work out? Not too well did it. We entered one DFS line up on Fan Duel this week and it cashed. It was a single entry fifty fifty contest where you needed to start six players (QB,RB,2WR,2FLX), the format it appears they are going with. So how did we know who to throw in? We looked at the coaching and what type of offense they liked to run first off. For instance we know Mark Trestman of TB likes to run the ball so we had De'Veon Smith in our lineup. What was the result, a top three running back in terms of yards. We then looked at the player’s history in other leagues such as NFL and AAF and if they flashed there we knew they had a good chance to flash in the XFL right out of the gate.
With the first week in the books we can now look at the stats and better gauge who will be a factor week in and week out so we can target them over the coming weeks. So let’s look at the data from the weekend and see what team preferred the run to the pass.
Teams that Threw the Ball the Most
The teams that ended the weekend with the most pass attempts were all four of the teams that came up on the losing side. Dallas without starting quarterback Landry Jones had to rely on Phillip Nelson who threw the ball 42 times. Brandon Silvers of Seattle was next on the list with his 40 attempts. Charles Kanoff of LA attempted 40 passes as well. Aaron Murray of Tampa Bay threw the ball 34 times wrapping up our top four in pass attempts. This should be no surprise that the four losing teams threw the ball the most times as they were in catchup mode. PJ Walker of Houston and Matt McGloin of NY each attempted 29 passes. Jordan Ta’amu of STL threw the ball 27 times. Cardale Jones attempted the least amount of throws with 26 in the leagues opening game.
Teams that Ran the Ball the Most
So if the four teams that lost led in passing attempts that should mean the four teams that won led in rushing right? Wrong the top four teams featured a even split two winners and two losers from week 1. The first team who attempted the most runs with 42 was the STL. Battlehawks. Coming in tied for second with 28 attempts are the DC Defenders and the TB Vipers. Rounding out the top four is the LA Wildcats and there 24 attempts. Seattle was close with their 21 attempts finishing in fifth. Dallas attempted the least amount of runs with only 12. New York finished the game with only 13 attempts and Houston with 16 rush attempts in week one.
So with this info we can better get an understanding on the offensive philosophy of these teams. In the next article I am working on I will break down who is leading the league in pass yards, rush yards, receiving yards, as well as target share since passing seems to be the approach many teams in the league are relying upon for production.