College Football Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 10/1/22

Dillon Gabriel and the Sooners will have to outlast TCU in a projected shootout to rebound from their surprise loss last week. Which other players should we target on FanDuel?

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.

Conference play largely begins this week across all major Power 5 conferences. That means we've got real games that (at least on paper) won't include 40-point rompings. We'll find the best workloads from non-conference play and examine which teams are struggling in which defensive areas so far.

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

The Slate

Total Road
Michigan Iowa +10.5 42.5 26.5 16
Purdue Minnesota -12.5 52.5 20 32.5
Texas Tech Kansas St -7.5 57.5 25 32.5
Kentucky Ole Miss -6.5 53.5 23.5 30
Oklahoma TCU -6.5 68.5 31 37.5
Alabama Arkansas +17.5 60.5 39 21.5
Mich State Maryland -7.5 59.5 26 33.5
Wake Forest Florida St -6.5 64.5 29 35.5
Okla State Baylor -2.5 56.5 27 29.5
Texas A&M Miss State -3.5 44.5 20.5 24
LSU Auburn -8.5 46.5 19 27.5
W Virginia Texas -9.5 63.5 27 36.5
NC State Clemson -6.5 42.5 18 24.5
Indiana Nebraska +5.5 61.5 33.5 28

This week is tricky.

Immediately, the Oklahoma-Texas Christian matchup stands out with a 68.5-point total, but the market shares in that game are more than concerning.

As a result, the best game of the day might be between Wake Forest and Florida State. Not only is their total high, as well, but they combined for 89 points last week and are arguably downgrading defensive difficulty from a week ago.

The other lofty implied team totals above 30 include Minnesota, Kansas State, Mississippi, Alabama, Maryland, Texas, and Indiana -- but be careful. Of those eight teams, five are at least a touchdown favorite, which would significantly damper the pace and reliability of the teams' stars to keep producing.

Defensive Matchups and Rankings

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)
Michigan 11 21
Iowa 14 8
Purdue 54 51
Minnesota 13 20
Texas Tech 93 50
Kansas St 74 78
Kentucky 52 57
Ole Miss 30 36
Oklahoma 99 46
TCU 125 26
Alabama 31 2
Arkansas 56 49
Mich State 68 40
Maryland 108 62
Wake Forest 51 63
Florida St 44 86
Okla State 19 30
Baylor 53 6
Texas A&M 4 72
Miss State 80 76
LSU 65 14
Auburn 55 61
W Virginia 88 39
Texas 47 44
NC State 8 38
Clemson 7 4
Indiana 81 56
Nebraska 22 124

OU and TCU have two of the three worst pass defenses on the slate, so while their market shares aren't great, we'll talk about the quarterbacks for sure.

With Maryland a 7.5-point favorite, Michigan State is very interesting. They're facing the Terps' 108th-ranked pass defense in a game they figure to trail.

In a matchup made for the ages, Texas A&M's lethal pass defense will draw Mike Leach's Mississippi State Bulldogs. I can't wait to see which side wins out.

Clemson and North Carolina State also boast top-10 defenses against the pass, so don't expect a ton of points in Death Valley, either.

The Hoosiers might have a ton of success on the ground given Nebraska's 124th-ranked rushing defense. The Huskers like to run the ball, as well, so a quick game could be on tap in Lincoln.

Interestingly, Florida State's rush defense is just 86th in the country. They've led so much it hasn't come to fruition, and that's obviously not the Demon Deacons' specialty, but Wake had some success against Clemson last week running the ball. We'll see if they stick to it.

Arkansas and Oklahoma State are two run-first squads, but their matchups against the top-shelf Alabama and Baylor run defenses might really challenge them to lean more on their passing game.


In the day's top game, I want to make sure I get to Dillon Gabriel ($10,700) at quarterback for the Sooners.

TCU's awful pass defense likely won't provide much resistance, and in a game that they trailed last week, no OU wideout had north of seven targets (or a 20.0% share). Gabriel is probably the lone reliable way to gain exposure to a passing game that will be solid.

Gabriel can move a little (he's got a rushing score this year), but Donovan Smith ($10,200) can move a lot. He registered 42 yards and a score last week against Texas on the ground, and he also was entrusted with a whopping 56 pass attempts. Texas Tech will likely be trailing KSU's 78th-ranked passing defense, too.

On the other side of that one, Adrian Martinez ($9,800) might have gotten a large bump after his four-score performance in Norman, but he's still averaging 78.0 rushing yards a game this season.

Speaking of dual-threats, Jayden Daniels ($9,500) is on the table against an Auburn defense that isn't special. Daniels is completing 73.0% of his throws and adding 76.3 yards on the ground. Outside of outlier matchups, he'll always be a threat to break the slate.

Daniels also provides access to a passing game without a clear top option that's in a good spot. The same can be said for TCU's Max Duggan ($8,800), Ole Miss' Jaxson Dart ($8,500), and NFL prospect Will Levis ($8,600) from Kentucky.

Running Backs

Blake Corum ($8,500) busted last week's slate wide open. He's still viable against Iowa's eighth-ranked rushing defense thanks to a huge discount in salary.

There are a ton of workhorse running backs that rose to the surface in the first week of conference play. Devon Achane ($9,700) was second to only Corum in rush share percentage last week for the Aggies, and he posted 174 scrimmage yards against a tough Arkansas defense on 19 carries and 4 targets.

Mohamed Ibrahim ($10,600) cruised through a tough matchup against Michigan State, too. He saw 20 carries and 2 targets, and that turned into 123 scrimmage yards and a score. It'd have been way more if Ibrahim didn't sit the entire fourth quarter with the game in hand.

Bijan Robinson ($11,000), Deuce Vaughn ($9,400), and Kendre Miller ($8,300) are your other stud running backs who got over 55.0% of their team's carries last week, but value options fit that description, too.

Most notable of all, the Wake Forest committee seemed to die last week. Justice Ellison ($6,200) got 67.1% of the Deacs' carries, which was 21 overall. He's very interesting against an FSU defense that's struggled against the run.

The core play of core plays at tailback for me will be Shaun Shivers ($7,900). The senior saw 19 carries and 5 targets last week, and he's facing a Nebraska defense that's nearly last in the country in yards per attempt allowed.

Will Shipley ($8,800), Richard Reese ($7,500), Tank Bigsby ($6,600), and CJ Donaldson ($6,300) also got at least 20 chances to touch the ball last week.

I'd throw Quinshon Judkins ($7,600) in that group if not for the fact he'll likely touch the ball less this week for Ole Miss against a conference opponent. That committee will likely favor Zach Evans ($8,000) this week, but it's not a world-class spot to target.

Wide Receivers

Only two wideouts exceeded 10 targets last week on this slate -- Texas Tech's Myles Price ($8,600) and Indiana's Cam Camper ($8,500).

Part of that was because Charlie Jones ($10,000) lost his dancing partner and quarterback. It's a game-time decision whether or not he'll get Aidan O'Connell ($9,000) back, and Minnesota isn't a good enough matchup to prioritize either to a point where we get burned.

Marvin Mims ($9,000) is definitely the lead guy for OU, but it's come with just a 21.9% target share overall. He's a talented player, so the ceiling is high, but he's also not getting chances that you'd normally see at his salary.

In a game where West Virginia is projected to trail, Bryce Ford-Wheaton ($9,400) is a stellar mini-stack with Bijan Robinson. His 31.7% target share for the season is second on this slate to Iowa's Sam LaPorta ($5,400). Don't play LaPorta, who is averaging just 9.7 yards per reception in four friendly matchups so far.

While many might chase Jamahl Banks ($7,700) for the box score, Banks has just a 17.2% target share since Sam Hartman ($10,500) returned. It's 25.6% for A.T. Perry ($7,900), who is the better option and was Hartman's lead guy last year.

Keon Coleman ($6,800) still got nine targets for Sparty last week despite the return of Jayden Reed ($6,000). Reed is atop the depth chart and should become the lead guy over time, but both are viable against Maryland's poor pass defense.

In a projected shootout, Trey Palmer ($8,000) remains the most textbook bring-back option in college football. He's seen nine targets per game as Nebraska continues to trail just about everybody. Teammate Anthony Grant ($9,000) works at tailback, too.

Texas has injury news that is certainly impactful. Xavier Worthy ($6,900) hurt his leg versus Tech, so he's questionable to go. If he can't, Jordyn Whittington ($5,800) should get peppered with targets. Moreover, they're both forgettable if Quinn Ewers ($8,000) is out of the lineup again, but he's making progress to play on Saturday.

If you're planning on targeting the Crimson Tide, Jadon Haselwood ($5,900) could be a solid bring-back play. He got a team-high six targets last week for Arkansas, but they've never substantially trailed to force them to abandon the run. They might on Saturday against 'Bama.