This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.
Ho ho ho, off to bowl season we go. Below are some of the tools designed to assist you as you enjoy the holiday season with some college football.
The third round of Saturday bowl games features the biggest games of the bowl season, the college football playoffs. Unsurprisingly, Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma check in as the top three teams in terms of implied points. The status of Oklahoma burner Marquise Brown headlines the injuries on the slate, with his absence potentially making things much more difficult for the Sooners.
A full picture of some key statistical categories can be seen in the table below:
Note: All stats are opposing defense. I switched out plays per game for S&P+, which is a metric designed to look at passing and rushing defense independent of matchup.
YPA=Yards Per Attempt
The following are players to consider targeting in the main slate this week.
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (vs. Oklahoma), $10,300
Although Tua may not be 100 percent, his ankle issue shouldn't prevent him from slinging the ball around against an Oklahoma defense that ranks worst on the slate. The sophomore and the Crimson Tide offense may need to score more points than they are used to scoring, squaring off versus the nation's best offense. Tua has topped 30 points on three occasions this season despite playing three quarters or less often, but he should play the entire game Saturday if his ankle holds up.
Justice Hansen, Arkansas State (vs. Nevada), $9,900
While Hansen's output has declined slightly in the last four weeks, the senior signal-caller still has three 30-plus point games under his belt, with one of those reaching the 40s. Squaring off against a Nevada defense that allows 7.2 yards per pass attempt and 2.3 passing touchdowns per game, there's plenty of reasons for optimism that Hansen will buck the recent trend in favor of a big outing in his last collegiate game.
Tournament Play: Ty Gangi, Nevada, $9,000
Considering the price difference between Gangi and the top quarterbacks on the board is $1,500 or less, it may be best to pay the difference this week for a pair of the big ones. However, if you're looking for a cheaper option, Gangi fits the bill. Arkansas State allows 6.9 yards per pass attempt and 1.8 passing touchdowns per game this season, and Gangi owns a pair of 40-plus point efforts to his name this season. Arkansas State ranks 40th in terms of S&P+, which sits third-worst among teams on the five-game slate.
Chris Evans, Michigan (vs. Florida), $8,800
The strongest part of the Wolverines' attack this season, by far, has been the ground game. With no Karan Higdon in the mix, Evans figures to get as much work as he can handle versus a Florida defense allowing 169.7 rushing yards per games and 4.4 yards per attempt. Evans rushed for 85 yards on 18 carries in his only start of the season and has caught a pass in every contest this season, suggesting he should be heavily involved in the game plan Saturday.
Secondary top-tier option: Travis Etienne, Clemson, $10,000
Toa Taua, Nevada (vs. Arkansas State), $8,600
Taua sees one of the most enticing matchups, facing off against an Arkansas State defense that lets up a slate-worst 5.0 yards per carry and more than 200 yards per game on the ground. At just $8,600, Taua provides a fairly safe floor, notching 15.5 points per game. While he's scored more than 18.46 just once this season, a mid-teens output at $8,600 should be beneficial on a small schedule.
Tournament play: Tru Wilson, Michigan (vs. Florida), $6,800
With Evans moving into the lead role, Wilson will presumably step into the lead backup role. He's earned his way into the rotation recently as well, averaging seven carries per contest in the last three games. While Evans will take the majority of the carries, Wilson should receive a bump and could provide some value as a tournament stab at a low-dollar option in a run-heavy offense.
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (vs. Oklahoma), $9,500
Jeudy fits the bill of a No. 1 receiver, and that's exactly who Oklahoma has had issues covering this season. Lil'Jordan Humphrey had what would be considered a down game in the Big 12 Championship, which resulted in seven catches for 51 yards and a score. Jeudy has averaged seven targets per game this season, and that number rises to more than nine per contest over the last five games. Combine that with the worst passing defense on the slate, and Jeudy has all of the ingredients of a big day on tap.
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (vs. Alabama), $8,600
On the opposite side of the contest, Lamb checks in as the eighth-most expensive wide receiver. The No. 2 option in Oklahoma's air raid attack, Lamb has been the target of seven or more targets in each of the last three games. That mark could increase Saturday, especially if star wide receiver Marquise Brown (leg) is less than 100 percent healthy for the contest. The Sooners are 14-point dogs for the matchup, so if the narrative holds true, Oklahoma may be forced to chuck the ball around often.
Tournament Play: Tarik Black, Michigan (vs. Florida), $6,000
I've unexpectedly recommended a trio of Michigan players on the slate, but Black, who is reportedly the healthiest he's been all season, could be a bargain against Florida if he's anywhere near 100 percent. The sophomore snared two passes for 83 yards and a touchdown last season against the Gators in his first ever collegiate game, and Black could see a large volume of snaps in the bowl game if his foot allows him to run more routes than the limited number he's been able to run in his previous contests.
Secondary tournament play: Grant Calcaterra, Oklahoma ($7,100)