This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.
After a reasonably quiet Week 1 as far as upsets go, we move on to a Week 1 slate packed with more power-five matchups, headlined by a noon showdown between Alabama and Texas.
Despite a convincing win for the Longhorns last week, they rank as the most significant underdog on the slate at 20.5 points. The Crimson Tide still top the charts with an expected score of 43.0, representing the only team above 40 this week. Wake Forest (39.5), USC (37.5), Texas A&M (36.0) and Tennessee (35.5) round out the teams sporting expected scores north of 35.
As far as heavy favorites go, next in line behind Bama is the Aggies (-18.5 over App State), with Wisconsin (-17.5), Wake Forest (-13.5) and Oklahoma State (-11.5) rounding out the double-digit favorites.
Vegas anticipates five games reaching into the 60s this weekend. Stanford and USC lead the pack, chiming in at 67.5 in a contest expected to be reasonably close. Also making the list is the main event of the day (65.5), Vanderbilt and Wake (65.5), Tennessee and Pitt (64.5) and an in-state battle between Texas Tech and Houston (63.5).
Notable Injuries/Absences for Week 2 in College Football
Tyler Shough, Texas Tech - Out at least two weeks due to a shoulder injury in the opener.
Rodney Hammond, Pittsburgh - Injured his leg last week but indicated afterward that he's for Week 2.
Chris Rodriguez, Kentucky - Won't play Saturday for a second straight contest for an unknown reason.
Gavin Williams, Iowa - Expected to play in Week 2 after missing the opener for an undisclosed reason.
Malachi Thomas, Virginia Tech - Long shot to take the field against Boston College.
Raleek Brown, USC - Should play Saturday despite being carted off the field last weekend due to an apparent right ankle injury.
Christian Beal-Smith, South Carolina - Returned to practice Tuesday and should be available Saturday after missing the opener.
Josh McCray, Illinois - Expected to sit until the first bye week in the back half of October.
Deondre Jackson, Oklahoma State - Status is "day-to-day" while working on getting transcript issues sorted out.
Chance Luper, Missouri - Sidelined 6-8 weeks with an illness.
JoJo Earle, Alabama - Out through the early portion of the season after fracturing his foot in early August.
Corey Rucker, South Carolina - Not expected to play again Saturday.
Zeriah Beason, Washington State - Was ineligible for the season opener and his status for Saturday is unclear.
Keagan Johnson, Iowa - Not listed on the depth chart for Week 2.
Nico Ragaini, Iowa - Listed as questionable for Week 2 after missing the opener.
Jaden Bray, Oklahoma State - Will return at some point but remains without an exact timetable.
Kaleb Smith, Virginia Tech - Question to play Saturday after injuring his lower body in the opener.
Max Wright, Texas A&M - Deemed questionable by coach Jimbo Fisher earlier in the week. He was on crutches and in a knee brace last Saturday. Wright is expected to start when healthy.
College Football DFS Tools
- FanDuel Lineup Optimizer
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- Advanced Lineups Page
- Team Trends
- Defense vs. Position
- Team Rankings
Week 2 CFB DFS Plays on FanDuel
Bryce Young, Alabama ($11,800) at Texas
Young opened 2022 with a bang last week against Utah State, throwing for five touchdown passes and running for 100 yards and another score while only playing one drive in the second half. The matchup gets more challenging this week, but there's a reason the Crimson Tide are huge favorites in this one. While the Longhorns surrendered just 10 points in the opener, is that convincing enough to wash away the six straight losses allowing 30 or more points last season? Me thinks not. The admission to the Bama train is high this week, but Young is worth it.
Sam Hartman, Wake Forest ($11,000) at Vanderbilt
Welcome back, Sam! Hartman was listed out indefinitely early in camp for a non-football-related medical condition and wasn't cleared for the opener. So his return comes a bit earlier than, I would guess, many were anticipating. The offense barely skipped a beat last week against VMI, racking up 44 points with a valiant effort from Mitch Griffis under center. However, Hartman is on a different level and presents a rushing upside that Griffis does not. He's also rejoining the action against a Vanderbilt defense that allowed 343 passing yards and four total touchdowns -- two passing, two rushing -- to the opposing quarterback.
Caleb Williams, USC ($9,600) at Stanford
Williams didn't chalk up considerable numbers in the opener, even in a one-sided affair, but, like Young, he also did not play the entire affair. Williams topped 30 three times and 40 twice last season, with a receiving corps that didn't contain one of the best wideouts in the country in Jordan Addison. Williams can get it done with both his arm and his feet -- he scored six rushing touchdowns last season -- and USC's defense is still a question mark in the eyes of bookmakers. This contest should remain relatively close, so look for Williams to be featured as he aims to begin a Heisman case.
GPP Play: Donovan Smith, Texas Tech ($8,600) vs. Houston
I'm not 100 percent sold on options beyond Smith, even in a GPP format, given the points needed from the quarterback position to take home a contest. Smith finished one of his four starts last season with nearly 29 FanDuel points. That would be more than serviceable in this range. He's also facing a defense that mostly contained the run last week but allowed 337 passing yards and a trio of scores to UTSA. Frank Harris, the quarterback, also ran for 63 yards and a touchdown as the team's leading rusher. Smith showed the ability to take off last season, rushing for two touchdowns on the season and as much as 50 yards in a game. Some openings to run may open again Saturday. Smith also threw for 221 yards and four touchdowns last week despite only entering the game after Tyler Shough went down with an injury. The effort did come against FCS Murray State, so take it for what it's worth.
Lighter on the books GPP options: Tanner McKee, Stanford ($7,800), Tommy DeVito, Illinois ($7,500)
Chase Brown, Illinois ($9,800) vs. Virginia
If the first two weeks proved anything, it's that the Illinois ground game will be all about Brown early in the season. Josh McCray supplied a complementary back option to Brown last year, but McCray is out for a while due to injury. So, Brown toted the rock 36 times last week against Indiana for 199 yards. In a game where Illinois is expected to put up 31 points, I have a hard time believing the Illini get to that total without Brown hitting pay dirt once or twice. He's the bellcow of this backfield, and the offense should lean on his efforts against a Virginia defense that struggled to contain an FCS Richmond run game last week.
Devon Achane, Texas A&M ($8,600) vs. Appalachian State
Achane's 2022 campaign got off to a slow start last week against Sam Houston State, averaging just 2.3 yards per carry against Sam Houston State. While that is slightly concerning, it was just the first game of the season, and Achane has displayed his immense talent in the past. The number to take away from this contest is the 18 carries. Achane ran for 910 yards last season while receiving more than 12 carries twice all season and reaching 18 only once. The bonus is that Achane squares off against a Mountaineers front that yielded 215 rushing yards, 6.1 yards per carry and three rushing touchdowns to North Carolina last week.
Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama ($8,000) vs. Texas
I was very close to going with Raheim Sanders in this spot, but I will stick with Gibbs, even if he gives up some workload. Gibbs is too talented to pass up and can impact the game as a runner and a receiver, similar to Bijan Robinson and Deuce Vaughn, who are typically among the top options every week. As mentioned in Young's section, the Longhorns' defense allowed 30-plus points in six straight games last year. Well, that defensive front allowed more than 200 rushing yards per game in a typically pass-happy Big 12 as well. I also wouldn't be shocked if we see more of Gibbs than we did last week, though he doesn't necessarily need a massive workload to put up big numbers behind the Bama offensive line.
Ta'Zhawn Henry, Houston ($5,500) at Texas Tech
Henry's salary took a nosedive in Week 2 due to a lack of workload in the opener. The problem with that is Henry's primary reason for falling behind Brandon Campbell in the carry count was an injury. Henry should resume his duties as the top back this week and should see plenty of looks in a game that features just a 3.5-point spread. Finding a lead back in this range is tough, so Henry is the perfect option if you're looking to save up.
Other options: Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State ($9,500), Raheim Sanders, Arkansas ($8,000)
Wide Receiver/Tight End
A.T. Perry, Wake Forest ($9,200) at Vanderbilt
I was anticipating Jordan Addison to go in my top spot on the board, but I have some concerns about the consistent passing volume, yardage and touchdowns in Lincoln Riley's offense headed by a dual-threat quarterback. While most would also characterize Hartman as a dual-threat, he also threw the ball for 300 or more yards seven times last season. Perry was one of the primary beneficiaries on that front, finishing the year with 71 grabs for 1,293 yards and 15 scores. So while the opener featured a bit more of the run game and a small production from Perry, Hartman's return should provide a direct benefit for him.
Traeshon Holden, Alabama ($8,300) at Texas
A player I mentioned last week, Holden is drawing closer to an appropriate salary point. Still, the Crimson Tide offense continues to run through Heisman candidate Bryce Young and he didn't shy away from the junior in the opener, targeting eight times -- two for touchdowns. Holden impressed all camp and sports the size (6-foot-3, 214 pounds) to be a significant contributor anywhere on the field. He and Jermaine Burton ($8,600) are options in this range, but it never hurts to shave a few extra hundreds off on salary to use elsewhere.
Isaiah Williams, Illinois ($7,600) vs. Virginia
After giving it a go at quarterback, Williams has settled in as a receiver over the last two seasons. He received offers from elite schools across the country to play wideout but elected to join the Illini for a chance as a signal-caller. He's now proving why big schools looked at him as a receiver, hauling in nine passes for 112 yards and a touchdown last week. Virginia's defense wouldn't seem to be up to covering him this week, either. Williams is the clear favorite target of new quarterback Tommy DeVito, drawing a 33.3 percent target share through two games.
Luther Burden, Missouri ($7,500) at Kansas State
Burden is a talent that the Tigers intend to make full use of during his time with the team. He graded out as the top wideout in the 2022 class, per 247Sports Composite, and the No 3 recruit period in the country. So, it's no wonder the coaching staff got him both receptions and carries in the opener against Louisiana Tech, tallying eight total touches and a pair of scores. Brady Cook is still a bit of a question mark under center, but I still anticipate the coaching staff making sure Burden gets the necessary touches to take advantage of his talent.
Caution to the wind play: Sam LaPorta, Iowa ($5,400) vs. Iowa State
Iowa scored seven points last week against FCS South Dakota State. No touchdowns. A field goal. Two safeties. Ya, it was a rough one. The oddsmakers still like the Hawkeyes to churn out around three touchdowns (21.5 points) this week. I don't see much talent across the board in Iowa City to get it done, either on the ground or in the air. Gone are Tyler Goodson (NFL), Charlie Jones (transfer to Purdue) and Tyrone Tracy (also to Purdue), and Keagan Johnson is expected to sit for a second straight week. Arland Bruce ($6,000) seems like the most reliable wide receiver who will suit up for the Hawkeyes this weekend, Making LaPorta a key piece in the passing attack. LaPorta only reeled in two passes last week, but Spencer Petras targeted him on seven occasions. Add to that LaPorta's 13 catches for 184 yards and a touchdown over the final two games last season and the fact that things can't get any worse for the Hawkeyes offensively, and you have a play that very few will feature in a lineup this week.