A good rule of thumb in audio is following the K.I.S.S. principle, that is “keep it simple stupid”. That comes down to: the least number of links in the chain, the better, all other things being equal. That also makes it easier to identify when auditioning any changes, finding out which may be better - fewer elements that will influence the “roadway” for signals to travel. And there’s no absolute right or wrong approach.
USB has come a long way since it’s days of de facto usage in digital playback, principally from PC’s to DACs. So, unless a dealer or manufacturer has recommended one over the other, it becomes more a matter of your own unique system environment.
Each approach presents its own challenges. It would appear that using a well designed USB cable between player and DAC, all other things being equal, should trump a networked approach. The latter demands some form of routing/switching with more links in the chain, and associated interface points.
However you cut, it do we live in a world of growing streaming. Networking and its associated technology is therefore required. So, a source is needed to deal with that data stream. And then there’s the local library, which started its life on ripped CDs for playback on computer based “players” into DACs. Now we have some players that can handle both. Some pick one output approach, either network or USB. And, as I indicated before, the DAC may be capable of handling one or the other.
Net: audition if you can.