College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 9/17/22

With daily fantasy football so popular, it was only a matter of time before it translated to the college level.

FanDuel offers college football daily fantasy contests now in most states, and there's a twist on the NFL ruleset. You select a quarterback, two running backs, three wideouts (which can include tight ends), and a "SuperFLEX" that can be any of those positions.

Target data for pass-catchers in college can be difficult to find, so finding out which players are on the field and getting work can make all the difference. Naturally, there are also more lopsided outcomes in college, so balance game scripts appropriately as well! Your running back's monstrous first half could lead to a bagel in the second.

Week 3 still has some lopsided matchups -- including on this main slate. However, there are still some quality inter-conference battles, and some of them frankly won't see much defense. There are enough shootouts that you'll probably want to stray away from the big-time blowout spots if you can.

Note: All stats are from All tables are sortable by any category.

The Slate and Totals

Total Road
Georgia S Carolina +24.5 52.5 38.5 14
W Kentucky Indiana -6.5 61.5 27.5 34
Purdue Syracuse -1.5 58.5 28.5 30
Oklahoma Nebraska +10.5 66.5 38.5 28
Cal Notre Dame -10.5 40.5 15 25.5
BYU Oregon -3.5 57.5 27 30.5
Penn State Auburn +3.5 47.5 25.5 22
Ole Miss GA Tech +16.5 64.5 40.5 24
Miss State LSU +2.5 53.5 28 25.5
Toledo Ohio State -31.5 60.5 14.5 46
Texas Tech NC State -10.5 55.5 22.5 33
SMU Maryland -3.5 73.5 35 38.5
USF Florida -24.5 59.5 17.5 42
Mich State Washington -3.5 56.5 26.5 30

There's a giant green light coming from College Park.

Southern Methodist will travel to Maryland, and the game's 73.5-point total blows away the over/under of any other game on the slate. It's should be a competitive contest, too, with the Terps just 3.5-point favorites.

The silver medal belongs to Oklahoma and Nebraska. The two former conference rivals will duel in Lincoln after the Cornhuskers fired Scott Frost earlier this week. A 66.5-point total is forecasted there.

There's also a 61.5-point total -- and plenty of daily fantasy value -- in Western Kentucky's clash with Indiana.

With context for a somewhat-large spread, there should also be plenty of fantasy points as Mississippi heads to Atlanta to battle the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Rebels are 16.5-point favorites, which could make targeting them a bit harder than the other two matchups.

Defensive Matchups

Note: Higher numbers are easier matchups for the opposing team. Lower numbers are better rankings and tougher matchups.

Team Defensive Passing Yards
Per Attempt Rank (FBS)
Defensive Rushing Yards
Per Attempt Rank (FBS)
Georgia 5 87
S Carolina 49 99
W Kentucky 63 24
Indiana 81 70
Purdue 54 32
Syracuse 60 71
Oklahoma 99 16
Nebraska 22 121
Cal 23 41
Notre Dame 28 90
BYU 67 54
Oregon 37 108
Penn State 3 53
Auburn 55 10
Ole Miss 30 9
Ga Tech 128 30
Miss State 80 79
LSU 65 49
Toledo 12 59
Ohio State 34 13
Texas Tech 93 39
NC State 8 81
SMU 110 97
Maryland 108 33
USF 121 131
Florida 18 86
Mich State 68 21
Washington 1 56

One of the reason's for the large total in SMU-Maryland? Both passing defenses are bottom-25 units in the country. Yikes.

Ole Miss should benefit from Georgia Tech's bottom-10 passing D in that high-scoring affair.

Texas Tech is outside the top-90 spots in passing defense to open the year, which will provide an opening for the North Carolina State aerial attack.

South Carolina has struggled against the run entering their clash with top-ranked Georgia. That's not great.

The large spread in Gainesville also might have something to do with South Florida's 131st-ranked rushing defense. It could be a fruitful night on the ground for the Gators.


In the game of the day, signal-callers Taulia Tagovailoa ($10,600) and Tanner Mordecai ($10,400) are two of the best cash-game options on the board. However, they're not really dual threats with slate-busting upside.

Garrett Shrader ($11,200) is. He leads the slate in rushing attempts per game (7.5) and rushing yards per game (83.5) so far in 2022. For that reason, I strongly prefer him to pocket-passing Will Rogers ($11,500) at the top.

Rogers' opposition on Saturday will be LSU's Jayden Daniels ($10,200), and he's rushed for 79.5 yards per contest thus far. With LSU slight underdogs to Mississippi State, I love the transfer quarterback in a game he may be trailing.

Between Tagovailoa, Mordecai, and Daniels, I'm mostly building in the upper mid-range, and Casey Thompson ($9,500) lies there, as well. Thompson draws OU's 99th-ranked passing defense in a projected negative game script.

I know Devin Leary ($8,700) struggled against East Carolina, but the veteran signal-caller averaged 8.0 passing yards per attempt last year. It's easy to believe in him -- at salary -- against Texas Tech's pass defense.

USC transfer Jaxson Dart ($8,800), the Ole Miss signal-caller, has the single best matchup on the slate, drawing the 128th-ranked Georgia Tech passing defense. Dart was a well-regarded recruit heading into what should be -- on paper -- his best performance of the year.

In a great week for upper mid-range quarterbacks, I don't mind Bo Nix ($9,100), Michael Penix Jr. ($8,900), or Sean Clifford ($8,600).

Running Backs

The talented Sean Tucker ($10,800) will always command attention, but Purdue's 32nd-ranked run defense isn't terrible. There's still plenty of value elsewhere to afford him, though, if you want Tucker.

For the young season, only Tucker, Anthony Grant ($9,500), and Shaun Shivers ($8,400) have commanded over a 60.0% rush share on this slate. That'll grow as we leave the "tune-up" portion of the schedule, but it's especially noteworthy for Shivers, who faces Western Kentucky. WKU's 24th-ranked rush defense might be a mirage as they've played only FCS Austin Peay and Hawaii.

Jalen Berger ($9,200) is also a quality option given that the Spartans likely lean on him rather than their passing game. The Washington Huskies' defense has the lowest passing yards per attempt mark in the small sample thus far.

I love the idea of pairing Zach Evans ($8,500) with Dart. That should snag a portion of every Ole Miss touchdown -- and there could be plenty of them with a 40.5-point implied team total. Evans had 20 carries against Troy, and he's averaging four targets per game this season.

Feature backs aren't often available below $8,000, but Christopher Brooks ($7,400) is. The matchup with Oregon's 108th-ranked rushing defense isn't bad, either.

Another is Tank Bigsby ($6,700), who is just wildly mis-salaried on FanDuel. He's fourth on the slate in total opportunities per game (18.5), and Penn State's 53rd-ranked rushing defense is far from an outlier.

Dillon Johnson ($6,200) also fits that bill. He's tied with Bigsby in opportunities, and that's well ahead of teammate Jo'Quavious Marks ($8,100). I wouldn't assume that Mississippi State leans more on Marks in this conference matchup given their two-game start (Memphis and Arizona) is arguably one of the toughest on the slate.

In a game that the Sooners likely lead with plenty of points, Eric Gray ($6,800) is sweet value. He's yet to cash a rushing touchdown on his 13.0 attempts per game, but he's the lead guy.

Also, don't rule out MarShawn Lloyd ($6,400) as a bring back to your Georgia stacks -- should you want them. Lloyd's six targets per game are good for a 17.4% share for South Carolina, so he'll see work even in a supremely negative script.

Wide Receivers

There is plenty of value at quarterback and running back to jam in certainty at wideout.

No one will produce more surely than Purdue's Charlie Jones ($10,400). Jones has stepped into 14.0 targets per game in place of David Bell. That's a 32.7% share, so he'll be fine even if there are fewer pass attempts from Aiden O'Connell ($8,900) than what we saw in their opener against Penn State.

Three others are averaging north of 10.0 targets per game and at least a 30.0% share: SMU's Rashee Rice ($9,800), Indiana's Cam Camper ($6,400), and South Florida's Xavier Weaver ($6,300). The latter is an awesome bring-back choice if you plan on targeting Heisman hopeful Anthony Richardson ($10,700).

Daewood Davis ($7,900) is another great option in that Western Kentucky-Indiana clash. He's at 8.5 targets per game on a 27.2% share. That game is all you could hope for from a budget game stack.

Despite just 6.0 targets per game, Mississippi State's Caleb Ducking ($8,200) leads the slate in routes per contest (43.0). He's an excellent bring-back to a Daniels-Kayshon Boutte ($7,500) LSU stack. Boutte got six first-half targets against FCS Southern after a quiet opener against Florida State.

Trey Palmer ($7,100) is a great addition to a stack with Anthony Grant and Eric Gray if you're forecasting points in Lincoln. Marvin Mims ($8,900) is the leader in target share for the opposing Sooners (22.9%), but at salary, he's harder to justify considering that his share -- and volume -- are both lower than Palmer's (25.9%).

Speedster Rakim Jarrett ($6,900) is Maryland's leading receiver. His salary (and production) are low as he wasn't heavily involved in a cakewalk start (Buffalo and Charlotte) for the Terrapins. Still, he's seen a 20.1% target share, which leads the squad.