This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.
This week features a mixed bag of expected blowouts and several exciting contests. There is no real headliner on this slate, but from a fantasy perspective, Maryland and SMU (72.5 total points) will have to do. Five more games should reach 60-plus points.
Only three teams this week top 40 expected points, led by Ohio State (47.0), with only Florida (42.5) and Georgia (40.0) joining them. Ole Miss (39.5), Oklahoma (37.5), Maryland (37.5) and SMU (35.0) round out the list of teams expected to chart 35 or more points on the weekend.
Oklahoma at Nebraska : Rain likely for first half of game and windy throughout
California at Notre Dame : Wind speeds in double digits for the contest. Could slightly impact passing
South Florida at Florida : Good chance of rain early but tapers off after first hour.
Notable Injuries/Absences for Week 3 in College Football
Tyler Shough, Texas Tech - Out at least one more game due to a shoulder issue.
Tyler Buchner, Notre Dame - Sidelined with Grade 5 clavicle spring and will likely miss the remainder of the season.
King Doerue, Purdue - Out this week with a calf issue.
Tre Siggers, SMU - Missed last week with a minor groin issue, so may have a decent chance to suit up Saturday.
Gabe Ervin Jr., Nebraska - Role remains to be determined but has dealt with an injury early in the season.
Challen Faamatau, Maryland - Hasn't played yet this season and the timetable for return is unclear.
Adonai Mitchell, Georgia - Not expected to suit up Saturday due to an ankle issue.
Corey Rucker, South Carolina - Deemed questionable for Saturday.
Broc Thompson, Purdue - Doubtful to play.
Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen, Purdue - Doubtful to suit up.
Puka Nacua, BYU - Game-time call for Saturday due to an ankle injury.
Gunner Romney, BYU - Game-time decision for Saturday due to injury.
Malcolm Johnson, Auburn - Should suit up for the Tigers on Saturday.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State - Should return to action Saturday versus Toledo.
Julian Fleming, Ohio State - Expected to play against Toledo.
Jake Bailey, SMU - Game-time decision for Saturday after getting hurt in the opener and missing last week. Has been practicing all week.
Ajou Ajou, South Florida - Hopeful to take the field.
Rome Odunze, Washington - In line to play Saturday.
Jayden Reed, Michigan State - Dealing with soreness and status for Saturday is unclear.
Travis Vokolek, Nebraska - Remains day-to-day.
Theo Johnson, Penn State - Took part in practice Wednesday, putting him in an excellent spot to play this week.
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 3 CFB DFS Plays on FanDuel
Garrett Shrader, Syracuse ($11,200) vs. Purdue
While running back Sean Tucker deservedly receives most of the fanfare for the Orange, Shrader has quietly made a name for himself on the fantasy front through two weeks, combining for eight total touchdowns -- five passing and three rushing -- in addition to running for more than 100 yards total. The Boilers held Penn State largely under wraps on the ground in the season opener and will likely key on Tucker again Saturday, which could provide Shrader with a window to post a big outing. Shrader also possesses running capabilities that aid his fantasy efforts, whereas others near the top of the board -- namely Will Rogers and C.J. Stroud -- do not.
Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland ($10,600) vs. SMU
Tagovailoa has a solid base to work from, attempting at least 31 passes and 290 passing yards in each of his first two contests. There's little reason to anticipate a drop-off in a game that could feature heavy offensive outputs on both sides. Maryland has stocked its receiving corps full of talent and the ground game remains a bit uneven after Tayon Fleet-Davis' departure following last season, so look for a heavy dosage of throws again. Tagovailoa squares off against an SMU defense that has yet to be tested through the air against the likes of North Texas and Lamar, so the numbers look better than they will after this week. To reach the 37.5 expected score listed for the Terps, Tagovailoa will need to put his arm on display in this one.
Michael Penix Jr., Washington ($8,900) vs. Michigan State
If you decide to save up a bit at the quarterback position, Penix may represent your best option. Through the first two tilts, albeit against underwhelming competition, Penix has topped 300 yards passing in each and has thrown for a combined six passing touchdowns. While he hasn't faced them since 2020, he's undoubtedly familiar with Sparty's defense, throwing for 600 yards and five touchdowns in his two games against them during his time at Indiana. Also, don't be quick to forget that Michigan State's pass defense ranked worst in the country last year, leading to shootouts in most of their contests. So it wouldn't shock me to see Penix easily surpass the 300-yard passing mark again, and the junior sports enough upside to warrant a look at a salary that ranks 17th out of 28 starting quarterbacks on Saturday's slate.
Anthony Grant, Nebraska ($9,500) vs. Oklahoma
When looking near the top of the board, I'm aiming for a running back that I can count on for a healthy workload, and Grant is the best option to fit that bill. He's toted the rock a combined 50 times over the last two weeks. That's enough for me to begin with, not to mention that this is a deeply-rooted rivalry game for the Huskers on their home turf, and they are playing under a new head coach. Despite losses in the team's first two games, Nebraska is only a 10.5-point dog in this contest, so the contest could remain within reach enough to use the rushing attack into the second half. The Huskers need Grant and the rushing attack at the top of its game in this one, and it would shock me if this contest -- already second on the slate in total points -- goes over the 64.5-point line.
Ohio State running backs vs. Toledo
This tilt ranks as the most lopsided, with Ohio State landing on the right side of a 31.5-point spread that clears the next game by a touchdown. TreVeyon Henderson ($8,800) possesses the talent to easily bust 2-3 of his totes for sizable gains and a touchdown or two to return value, similar to his output last week against Arkansas State. Miyan Williams ($6,400) also remains a regular part of the rushing attack and could warrant consideration at his salary if he reaches pay dirt as he did against Notre Dame. As far as getting a piece of the Ohio State offense, you could do worse than working in Ohio State running backs in a one-sided game.
Eric Gray, Oklahoma ($6,800) at Nebraska
Possibly my favorite play on the slate, Gray undoubtedly heads the Oklahoma rushing attack, more than doubling Marcus Majors' touches on the season. Gray's one downside from a fantasy perspective is that at 219 pounds, Majors fits the bill of a goal-line back a bit better than he does at 211. However, the size difference is relatively minuscule, and the matchup couldn't be better. Though two weeks, the Huskers have surrendered 5.7 rushing yards per carry, 207.3 per game and 2.7 rushing scores. Gray should build on those ground efforts Saturday and could be a significant value if he can find pay dirt for the first time this season. I think he does, though he may not even need to do so to reach 2x or even 3x value.
Kendall Milton, Georgia ($5,900) at South Carolina
Kenny McIntosh gets the boosted salary ($8,700) due to his prowess as a pass-catcher, but it's Milton who has handled more carries (18-12) and snaps (21-14) through the first two games. Add in a Gamecocks defensive front that has been amenable to opposing backs, yielding a slate-high 247.5 rushing yards and 3.0 rushing scores per game, and you have the makings of some upside in this matchup for Milton. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the Bulldogs are 25-point favorites and will likely spend much of the second half salting away the clock, and it could prove even more beneficial for Milton if the Gamecocks can find a way to score a few times to keep the game within reach.
Dylan Downing, Purdue ($5,300) at Syracuse
Downing may share some of the duties Saturday, but he's still likely the lead option for the Boilers with King Doerue set to miss the game. A blowout last week allowed the Boilers to include a multitude of backs, but Downing was the only one to see snaps (four) in the opener other than Doerue (16). Getting a potential lead back at $5,300 doesn't occur very often, so it's worth taking a shot if you're looking to save up at running back.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Charlie Jones, Purdue ($10,400) at Syracuse
Jones sits atop the wide receiver board and for a good reason. The senior has amassed 29 targets between his first two tilts and turned those into 21 grabs for 286 yards and four touchdowns. The Purdue passing attack should thrive in dome conditions for this one, and it could lead to a shootout between two high-powered offenses. The Boilers have highlighted a wide receiver in the last 2-3 seasons, with David Bell and Rondale Moore putting up huge numbers. With both of them gone, Jones looks to be the new feature. With no weather conditions to battle and the Boilers' starting running back sidelined, I expect Aidan O'Connell to throw early and often in this one.
Rashee Rice, SMU ($9,800) at Maryland
While I don't typically like to recommend two of the top three options on the board, Rice and Jones are staring me in the face this week. Rice is an explosive athlete who has averaged 8.5 yards per target or more in his first three college seasons. While his 11.9 YPT to begin the season figures to regress, this contest should feature enough passing that even a decline in that area shouldn't impact Rice's ability to hit value. He's another double-digit target-per-contest guy, and the Mustangs will need him, especially if Jake Bailey remains sidelined.
As mentioned in the Penix section above, lest we forget Sparty's defense of 2021, which finished dead last in the country, allowing 324.8 passing yards per game. I'm not saying that I expect the same outcome in 2022, but I find it hard to believe the staff can fix it overnight. McMillan and Odunze lead the way in the Huskies' receiving game. Odunze ran 39 routes and McMillan 32 in the opener. Odunze missed last week but is good to go Saturday and may be the better value of the two overall. Ja'Lynn Polk ($5,500) wasn't too far behind the pair in receiving snaps during the opener, so he could be an under-the-radar part of the Huskies' passing attack.
Cam Camper, Indiana ($6,400) vs. Western Kentucky
Although Camper has yet to reach paydirt and finished last week with just four grabs for 41 yards, he compiled 28 targets between the first two contests. Camper's size (6-foot-2, 202) also suggests he should be an option anywhere on the field. He seems due for a breakout game at some point, and it wouldn't surprise me if it comes in this contest versus a Western Kentucky team that leans heavily on the passing attack, suggesting a healthy play count for the Hoosiers.