This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.
This marks the first week where the entire FanDuel slate has at least one game worth of a sample size under its belt to provide some data. After putting up a combined 100 points in the first two games, UCF again sits atop the expected scoring column at 46.75, also ranking third in terms of the largest spreads on the slate. Mike Leach's air raid offense at Mississippi State checks in second (43.25) after putting up 44 on the defending champs in the opener, with last season's runner-up, Clemson, rounding out the teams expected to top 40 at 42.75. The Tigers are also the biggest favorite at -30.5, with Oklahoma State as 22-point favorites sandwiching between Clemson and UCF. In terms of game scoring totals, SMU-Memphis tops the chart at 74, with UCF-Tulsa rounding out the 70-plus games and Mississippi State-Arkansas missing by a point (69.0).
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Week 5 Plays
K.J. Costello, Mississippi State ($10,500) vs. Arkansas
Costello's decision to transfer from Stanford ahead of 2020 looks to be paying off already, having thrown for a school-record 623 yards and five touchdowns in an upset win over LSU last Saturday. Mike Leach's air raid offense has churned out numerous pro quarterbacks over the years and resulted in 48 touchdown passes from Anthony Gordon last season. Costello should have a similarly strong showing versus Arkansas, though he may not quite require the same 600-yard effort he posted in his debut to earn a victory. Arkansas held up reasonably well against the pass in the opener versus Georgia, but that Bulldogs had plenty of unrest at the quarterback position and couldn't find their footing under center. I don't see a repeat of that coming this week. It's worth noting that Arkansas and Mississippi State ranked first and second in terms of opposing team plays on this slate, so there could be plenty more on the way Saturday.
Terry Wilson, Kentucky ($8,700) vs. Ole Miss
There was no semblance of defense in the Ole Miss-Florida game last week, with the Rebels' quarterbacks averaging 13.4 yards per pass attempt and Kyle Trask going for 9.9 per attempt. While Terry Wilson might not be quite on the same level, he did complete 65 percent of his passes for 239 yards and ran for another 42 versus an Auburn defense that typically ranks among the best in the country. The same can't be said for Ole Miss – a defense that allowed nearly 280 passing yards per game last season and surrendered 446 yards to Trask last week. While Wilson seems unlikely to top the 400-yard mark passing like Trask, he could easily surpass 300 and has the rushing ability, running for 547 yards and four scores back in 2018, to take advantage of that porous defense.
Feleipe Franks, Arkansas ($7,600) at Mississippi State
Franks' opener against Georgia certainly didn't win any fantasy awards, but it's not exactly surprising that he couldn't find success against a Georgia defense that, much like Auburn, consistently grades out among the best in the country. On the flip side, I'm not convinced that Mississippi State's defense has improved at all from the one that allowed 8.7 yards per pass attempt a season ago. With the offense now able to churn out points under Mike Leach, more possessions should turn into high scoring totals from the opposition as well. Franks benefits from that matchup this week and proved multiple times while at Florida that he can turn in some big fantasy performances in the right matchup, going for 24 or more points in six of his eight games back in 2018 (he missed most of last year with a knee injury). One of Franks' biggest assets is his 6-foot-6, 228-pound frame, which he's not afraid to use to barrel into the end zone around the goal line. Franks ran for seven scores in 2018 and could be in line to do the same once or twice Saturday.
Kylin Hill, Mississippi State ($9,500) vs. Arkansas
Hill may have rushed just seven times in the opener versus LSU, but he was also targeted a whopping 11 times in the contest, turning in eight grabs for 158 yards and a score. He is tied with SaRodorick Thompson (who has played two games) for the most targets in the country at the position and should be heavily involved again Saturday. Given that the Bulldogs are also 17.5-point favorites this time around, there may be room for a larger chunk of the running game in the second half, which could pay significant dividends for a back who is likely among the best Mike Leach has had.
Michael Carter, North Carolina ($7,500) at Boston College
North Carolina got off to a slow start in its opener versus Syracuse, tallying just seven points the entire first half. It seems unlikely the same will be said this time around, which could afford the rushing attack this time around. Carter made the most of his 13 touches (seven carries, six receptions) in the opener, turning it into 78 rushing yards and 60 receiving yards on the day. That kind of efficiency should lead to the coaching staff looking to get the ball in his hands more often in the future. While Carter isn't the biggest back at just 5-foot-8, he's still fairly densely built, tipping the scales at nearly 200 pounds. Look for him to see a good amount of usage again Saturday in both aspects of the offense.
Seth McGowan, Oklahoma ($7,100) at Iowa State
McGowan had a costly fumble in last week's surprise loss to Kansas State, but he's clearly the most talented option in the Sooners' running back room, running 13 times for 73 yards and a touchdown last week. With only the inefficient T.J. Pledger sitting in his way, it seems unlikely coach Lincoln Riley will be able to the true freshman off the field too much longer. Despite the loss, the Sooners are nearly touchdown favorites over Iowa State this week. While I don't see quite the same explosiveness from Oklahoma that they've had in the past, Iowa State has given up north of 30 points to each of its first two opponents, so it wouldn't shock me to see Oklahoma top the 40-point mark this week. While Iowa State's defense appears to be formidable against the run (2.7 yards per carry), it's worth noting that TCU's quarterbacks were sacked seven times last week, skewing the totals. The Horned Frogs' lead back, on the other hand, churned out nearly five yards per tote.
Corey Taylor II, Tulsa ($5,500) vs. UCF
It may seem counterintuitive to take a running back for a team that is one of the biggest underdogs on the slate, but the potential value is too big to pass up. Taylor was just coming out of quarantine prior to the Golden Hurricanes' first game and was expected to see limited carries, so his dud of an opener shouldn't detract from his earlier collegiate production. Taylor was second on the team in rushing last season to Shamari Brooks, who is out for 2020 after suffering a torn ACL. That should position Taylor, who has run for more than 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns over the last two seasons, for a considerable workload. While UCF may eventually pull away in the contest, Tulsa showed some mettle against Oklahoma State. If the defense can keep it within reach for a while, Taylor should be able to take advantage for a UCF defense that has allowed 4.8 yards per carry and a slate-high 235.5 rushing yards per game to its two prior opponents.
Another dart to consider: LD Brown, Oklahoma State ($6,200) at Kansas
Marlon Williams, UCF ($9,600) vs. Tulsa
Williams' numbers through two games are too overwhelming to ignore. He leads any receiver with at least two games under his belt by seven targets, averaging 15 per contest through the first two games for a 35.7 target share percentage. That target share was much greater in the last game versus East Carolina with Tre Nixon (undisclosed) on the mend. Nixon is expected to be a game-time call again this week, which could pit Williams as the undisputed top target again if Nixon is unable to recover in time. While Tulsa did a decent job of corralling the Oklahoma State passing attack in its opener, that was partially the result of Cowboys starting quarterback Spencer Sanders exiting early and star wideout Tylan Wallace also dealing with an issue. Despite playing limited reps and with a backup quarterback, Wallace still managed four catches for 99 yards, so Williams could be in for another big day.
Rashee Rice, SMU ($8,000) vs. Memphis
Rice is coming off a down week from a fantasy perspective, turning in just three catches for 37 yards in a blowout win over FCS Stephen F. Austin. However, that was just a case of circumstance, as even top dog Reggie Roberson Jr. managed two grabs for 29 yards in the contest. In the other two games, Rice has topped the century mark in receiving and he trails Roberson by just five targets through the first three weeks The primary difference in fantasy output thus far has been touchdowns, where Rice has come up empty thus far. That seems unlikely to continue over the course of the year, given his big-play ability. Rice holds a fairly safe floor in the SMU offense regardless of his touchdown outcome, but he has a high ceiling if he can find the end zone in what figures to be a shootout.
Marvin Mims, Oklahoma ($7,500) at Iowa State
Although he's a true freshman, Mims has taken hold of a starting job early in the season and looks to be among the best the Sooners currently have to offer at the position Through two weeks, he's hauled in eight of his 10 targets for 111 yards and three touchdowns. With the Sooners facing a rather lackluster Iowa State defense. He should see plenty of work Saturday and his salary comes in at a vastly lower rate than teammate Charleston Rambo ($8,600), who has produced smaller results in the early going despite seeing a slightly larger target share. Look for Oklahoma to try to make a statement Saturday, as they will need to do on a weekly basis moving forward to creep back into playoff discussions.
JaVonta Payton, Mississippi State ($7,000) vs. Arkansas
Payton is another puzzler in terms of salary after he turned in six catches for 122 yards in the opener versus LSU. Payton is one of numerous Bulldog receivers who will benefit from Mike Leach's air raid offense and he should be a major target of quarterback K.J. Costello again this week. While he is unlikely to match that of teammate Osirus Mitchell in the scoring column given his comparatively smaller frame, Payton has a game-breaking speed that should allow him to find the end zone a few times on deep balls. Even if he doesn't reach pay dirt this week, Payton has the floor to warrant his current salary before it presumably balloons.