Select Page

The 2024 PGA season is here. Subscribe to our golf product now!

ETR MMA is now live!

We’ve launched an MMA product!

Our new MMA product covers all fights and slates available for DFS. For more details, check out our Content Schedule and FAQ. To subscribe, click here.


For the uninitiated who missed the initial fallout from the USFL-XFL merger, you may be wondering why the Houston Roughnecks are part of the USFL conference and not the XFL conference where the brand resided last season. In short, upon merging, the UFL took the Houston Gamblers’ (USFL) roster and coaching staff and gave them the Houston Roughnecks (XFL) branding while the XFL Roughnecks team was dissolved.

HC Curtis Johnson and OC Eric Price return for their second season as Houston’s offensive braintrust after posting a meager 53.9% situation-neutral pass rate in 2023 en route to a 50.9% True Pass Rate, well below the USFL league average (58.8%). Houston also used 12 personnel at the league’s second-highest rate (38.5%) and managed just a 6.4-yard aDOT through five tracked games.

Johnson and Price will be tasked with getting a new QB up to speed with just a one-month training camp, as 2023 signal-callers Kenji Bahar, Terry Wilson, and Montell Cozart are no longer with the team. After a successful final FCS season at San Diego, Reid Sinnett signed with the Dolphins in 2021 as a UDFA before also spending time with the Eagles in 2022. He appeared in seven NFL preseason games, posting a 58.7% completion percentage, 7.0 YPA, and a 3:1 TD:INT ratio. Last season, he was with the XFL’s San Antonio Brahmas, where he attempted just 19 passes. Sinnett will battle in camp with Jarrett Guarantano and Nolan Henderson for QB1 honors, though we may not know which QB will get the nod until much closer to Week 1. Guarantano spent four years in Tennessee at the collegiate level, completing 61.5% of his passes for 7.6 YPA and a 39:20 TD:INT ratio.

Five of the nine wide receivers currently on the roster were with the team last season, including Justin Hall, who led all Roughnecks receivers in route participation (74.1%) and target share (30.2%) while ranking fourth in Air Yards share (17.9%). Hall was the primary slot receiver for Houston, running 93.8% of his routes inside.

Anthony Ratliff-Williams was also with the team last season, running a route on 67.2% of dropbacks, 96.6% of which came on the perimeter, earning an 18.9% target share and a 20.1% Air Yards share.

Keke Chism was also with the team last season, running a route on just 38.9% of dropbacks, earning an 11.3% target share. The team will also bring back Isaiah Zuber, who has been with Houston since 2022, posting 36/425/5 during his time in the USFL.

The team used two picks in Phase 2 of the dispersal draft to bolster their WR corps, adding Isiah Hennie from the Pittsburgh Maulers and Cyril Grayson from the Philadelphia Stars, both of whom survived the first round of roster cuts. They also signed Kirk Merritt in January, which is noteworthy because Merritt spent two seasons in the NFL with the Saints where Johnson was a WR coach. Ultimately, I anticipate a wide-receiver-by-committee approach on a team that is going to #EstablishIt, making it difficult to find individual fantasy value.

Mark Thompson will return for his third season with Houston as one of spring football’s most prolific rushers, tallying 249/1,118/16 on the ground during his two USFL seasons. When healthy last season, Thompson handled 65.2% of the team’s carries, earned 65.5% of the total RZ opportunities, and took six of nine touches inside the 5-yard line. Unlikely to offer much as a receiver, Thompson’s expected volume should keep him in play for 15+ touches per game with a legit goal-line role. Backing him up will be T.J. Pledger, who was with the team last season, and Tiyon Evans, who most recently appeared for Louisville at the collegiate level.