This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.
A massive college football slate hits the airwaves this weekend, featuring numerous top-25 clashes with plenty of intrigue. From a fantasy perspective, the 70.0 total for Oregon-Colorado headlines the weekend, followed by TCU-SMU projected for 62.5 points. Those are the only two contests expected to surpass the 60-point barrier, but seven games on the slate are also projected for between 54.5 and 58.5 points.
Oregon paves the way in expected scoring at 45.5, while LSU, coming off a strong showing last week, sits second (36.0). Oklahoma rounds out the expected 35-plus point scorers at 35.5, though TCU also falls just short at 34.5. The Ducks are also the heaviest favorite on the slate (-21.0), but there are five double-digit favorites on the slate. LSU (-17.5) is the closest, with Penn State and Baylor (both -14.5) next and the Sooners not far behind (-13.5) to round out the cluster.
Potential weather impacts (winds over 10 MPH indicated)
- SMU at TCU - Potential for winds around 14 MPH throughout the game
- BYU at Kansas - Wind could sit around 14-15 MPH during the game
- Iowa at Penn State - Winds 10-11 MPH and rain expected throughout
- Texas at Baylor - Winds 11-13 MPH
Notable Injuries/Absences for Week 4 in College Football
Will Howard, Kansas State - Likely a game-time call
Cameron Rising, Utah - Status remains uncertain, but Vegas line movement could indicate he'll return.
Treshaun Ward, Kansas State - Considered day-to-day but is seemingly doubtful to play.
Nakia Watson, Washington State - Tweaked his ankle last week but is expected to play.
LJ Johnson, SMU - Game-time decision due to a nagging ankle issue.
Raheim Sanders, Arkansas - Making progress but status still in question for Saturday.
Dominic Richardson, Baylor - Not expected to play, dealing with a high-ankle sprain.
Aidan Robbins, BYU - At less than 100 percent, didn't play last week and his status for Week 4 is unclear.
CJ Baxter, Texas - Good chance to play against Baylor.
Alton McCaskill, Colorado - Started contact practice Tuesday. Could make his Buffs debut.
Tre Harris, Ole Miss - Limited participant in practice Tuesday; status uncertain.
Zakhari Franklin, Ole Miss - Shed his non-contact jersey Tuesday but still doesn't seem 100 percent.
Harrison Wallace, Penn State - Expected to return
Dylan Wright, TCU - Missed last week, and it's unclear if he will be available in Week 4
Devaughn Vele, Utah - Didn't play last week and status remains unclear
Mycah Pittman, Utah - Didn't play last week and status unclear
Brant Kuithe, Utah - No indication of when he will return
Caden Prieskorn, Ole Miss - Non-contact Tuesday but was active in practice
Mason Taylor, LSU - Listed as probable for Saturday
College Football DFS Tools
- FanDuel Lineup Optimizer
- Matchups Page (Vegas odds, opponent averages, etc.)
- Advanced Lineups Page
- Team Trends
- Defense vs. Position
- Team Rankings
Week 4 CFB DFS Plays on FanDuel
Bo Nix, Oregon ($12,200) vs. Colorado
Colorado's 3-0 start to the 2023 campaign is impressive, given where the team was a season ago. That said, the team's defense yielded 35 points to Colorado State last week and 42 to TCU in the opener, so there's clearly room for improvement on that side of the ball. Vegas agrees, with the Ducks expected to score 45 points in Saturday's contest, and Nix figures to make an impression both as a passer and a runner. Nix has limited his hits early in the season against inferior opponents, recording a goose egg in the rush column against Portland State and just a pair in Week 3 against Hawaii, but he took off nine times for 46 yards against his only power-five opponent -- Texas Tech -- in Week 2. I'm expecting the Ducks to open the playbook in this one and for Nix to be impactful as a dual-threat option.
Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma ($10,700) at Cincinnati
The Bearcats may have allowed just 197.7 passing yards per game on the season, but they are still yielding 7.7 yards per pass attempt and 2.3 passing touchdowns per contest, both at or near the top of the slate-worst ranks. Brett Gabbert threw for 237 yards and three touchdowns on only 20 attempts last week in an upset of the Bearcats, and this seems to be heading toward a rude awakening for the Bearcats in their first taste of Big 12 conference play. Gabriel has thrown for nine touchdowns in his last two games, and I wouldn't anticipate a significant upgrade in resistance this week.
Quinn Ewers, Texas ($10,100) vs. Baylor
It's true that Baylor has surrendered just 163.7 passing yards per game this season, but that needs to be contextualized. In Week 2, Baylor faced Utah's third and fourth-string quarterbacks, and last week featured a matchup versus a non-FBS opponent, leading to only 40 yards passing and an average of only 100 yards over the last two. The Bears allowed 298 passing yards to TJ Finley and the Bobcats in the opener, and Finley hasn't matched that total since. Ewers and the Longhorns certainly have the firepower to equal and exceed the Bobcats' passing attack, and he ranks 10th among the 28 starting quarterbacks in terms of salary this week.
Devin Neal, Kansas ($11,000) vs. BYU
Neal has clearly asserted himself as the lead runner for the Jayhawks and has earned himself the top salary on Saturday's slate. That could deter many, given that BYU has allowed just 13.1 fantasy points per game to opposing backs thus far. What that fails to take into account is that the Cougars faced Sam Houston State and Southern Utah in the first two weeks. Even without star back Raheim Sanders last week, Arkansas' running backs accumulated 147 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns, adding three receptions for 12 yards. Neal helps as both a runner and a receiver and should follow right in the Razorbacks' footsteps en route to a big effort.
Will Shipley, Clemson ($8,200) vs. Florida State
Taking the running back for an underdog isn't always the most advisable move, but Shipley is the most reliable part of Clemson's offense and is the best runner/receiver the Tigers have out of the backfield. Florida State displayed a chink in the armor last week against Boston College, and the Eagles were without two of their top three backs for the contest. LSU had relative success on limited attempts in the opener, and Southern Miss also produced some yards against the Seminoles. Clemson should keep this game close enough to be able to utilize the ground game, and Shipley can also get involved heavily as a receiver, and this salary is too enticing to pass up.
Noah Whittington, Oregon ($7,300) vs. Colorado
In addition to allowing big passing numbers, the Buffs tend to yield big efforts overall. The problem for the Ducks is that the backfield splits a lot of work, albeit efficient work, between the backfield members. Bucky Irving is still the starter and lead back in the room, and Jordan James remains a sizable part of the rotation, but Whittington has seemingly been left behind on the fantasy salary front. He missed the opener and has just 12 carries in his first two games, but he's also been targeted 10 times. Whittington toted the rock 139 times a season ago and is far from out of the backfield equation, so if I'm taking a chance on the Ducks' running back room expecting the team to be the highest scorers of the day, Whittington is who I'm willing to put my salary behind.
CJ Baxter, Texas ($5,000) at Baylor
Baxter's early fantasy returns have fallen flat, to say the least. He was minimally involved in the opener, toting the rock five times for 38 yards, and he produced an inefficient 31 yards on 11 carries against Alabama, though he added four catches for 21 yards before missing last week's game versus Wyoming. Sure, Jonathon Brooks had a big game, and that could scare some people off. But, Baxter is expected to be part of a two-back committee headlining the Longhorns' rushing attack, and I don't think a one-game effort from Brooks will steer the staff away from the five-star freshman. Baylor has also failed to stop opposing rushing attacks thus far, allowing a combined 308 rushing yards and three scores and five catches for 61 yards and a pair of scores to opposing running backs in the team's two FBS matchups. Baxter has the talent to put up big numbers in a given week, and I wouldn't be shocked if Saturday is the first glimpse of the future, assuming he plays as expected.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Xavier Worthy, Texas ($8,500) at Baylor
A pattern is forming with some of these selections, as this is the third Longhorns player I've selected. The salaries are just too ripe for the picking here with Texas, and Worthy is a player who has explosive upside in him and faces a Baylor secondary that grades out among the worst on the slate, according to PFF. The Bears' defensive struggles were highlighted in my section for Ewers above, and Worthy is still the go-to target in the offense, averaging 8.7 per game. While he's put up good numbers in the early going, he's due for a huge showing in Waco.
Andrel Anthony, Oklahoma ($8,000) at Cincinnati
Cincinnati's pass defense is suspect, to say the least, in 2023, and Anthony has been the favorite target for Dillon Gabriel early in the season, amassing 14 combined over the last two weeks. He's a deep-ball threat and can also be found near the red zone, standing 6-foot-1, 192, so there's potential here for some big plays and/or end-zone looks for Anthony.
Silas Bolden, Oregon State ($7,500) at Washington State
Washington State's run defense is stout, so this may be a game the passing attack will need to take on its shoulders to emerge victorious. While Anthony Gould ($8,100) is the team's most explosive wideout, Bolden has been quarterback D.J. Uiagelelei's favorite target in the early going, racking up 11 last week to give him 23 for the season. If the Beavers are forced to throw the ball around, Bolden should get plenty of looks, which could lead to a bigger effort than the one we saw from him last week if the two can connect a bit more frequently.
Kobe Hudson, UCF ($6,600) at Kansas State
While last week's six-catch, 147-yard effort came against FCS Villanova, it marks back-to-back weeks Hudson has surpassed the century mark in the receiving column, and he sported a season-high nine targets from fill-in starter Timmy McClain. McClain will be back under center this week, so I'm expecting plenty of passes heading Hudson's way again, and Kansas State showed last week against Missouri that they can be vulnerable against the pass, allowing north of 300 yards passing.