This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.
With the SEC set to open play this weekend, there is a heavy flavor of the conference on Saturday's slate. Six of the 12 games feature two SEC teams clashing, with the second-highest scoring expectation on the slate coming from Alabama (41.75) as the Crimson Tide prepare for Missouri. Leading the way are the Sooners, who begin their Big 12 journey versus Kansas State as 28-point favorites after thrashing FCS Missouri State in the opener and the Wildcats' upset loss at the hands of Arkansas State. Another Big 12 clash is expected to headlining the scoring overall, with Texas-Texas Tech featuring an expected total of 70.5 points. That contest paces the rest of the field by 10 points. Oklahoma-Kansas State (60.5) is the only other game featuring an expected score north of 60, while South Carolina-Tennessee (43.5) and TCU-Iowa State (44.5) may be games to avoid as the lowest marks.
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Week 4 Plays
Sam Ehlinger, Texas ($10,800) at Texas Tech
I don't think there is more of a slam dunk on the slate in terms of upcoming production than this one, hence him sporting the largest salary. Ehlinger displayed no signs of rust in the opener versus UTEP, throwing for 426 yards and five touchdowns while running for another 12 yards on three carries. While the competition figures to step up slightly Saturday, the Red Raiders couldn't stop FCS Houston Baptist quarterback Bailey Zapp from throwing for a whopping 567 yards and four touchdowns as they squeaked out a two-point win. Ehlinger has the weapons at his disposal to take full advantage of that leaky defense and should do just that. Texas is only favored by 10 points, so Ehlinger, who ceded some reps to Casey Thompson in the opener, could be in for the full game filling the box score.
Alan Bowman, Texas Tech ($9,000) vs. Texas
On the flip side of the same game, Bowman and the Red Raiders' passing attack will likely need to be in full force to keep pace with the Longhorns. A close game versus Houston Baptist in the opener led Bowman to toss 52 passes, completing 38 of them for 430 yards and two scores. Bowman has flashed his abilities throughout his career when healthy, but he missed all but the first three games of 2019 due to injury. Bowman should be in line for a hefty volume of pass attempts again Saturday, especially if the Red Raiders fall behind early. The vast majority of the receiving production returns from last season, so Bowman should be in line for another solid season and could have a big day ahead again Saturday.
While the raw 229.2 passing yards allowed per game last season seems somewhat decent on the outside looking in, a slightly deeper dive displays how that isn't exactly the case. The Razorbacks' defense likely surrendered mediocre passing numbers because there was a ton of rushing in the second halves of games with the club trailing by multiple scores. Arkansas allowed opposing teams to average 8.1 passing yards per attempt (T-102nd nationally) and a 66.6 completion percentage (126th of 130 teams) in addition to just a 25:6 TD:INT ratio. That should play into the hands of whoever gets the starting nod for Saturday's contest. As of the writing of this article, Daniels has yet to be cleared medically, but the team anticipates that being a possibility before Saturday. This situation is one to keep an eye on either way.
Najee Harris, Alabama ($10,000) at Missouri
Harris is the guy in Alabama's backfield again in 2020 after posting 1,022 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on 171 carries last season. While the passing game still sports DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, the losses of Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs likely leave a bit of a hole in what has been one of the most explosive passing attacks in the nation. That could result in an expansion of the running game a bit more this season and a few more checkdowns to the running back from new signal-caller Mac Jones. While Missouri allowed just 3.8 yards per attempt to opposing backs last season, that number jumps to 4.1 per tote during conference play. As significant favorites in the contest, the second half may feature a run-heavy approach for the Crimson Tide, with Harris heading that at least until it gets out of hand, assuming it does.
Shaun Shivers, Auburn ($8,200) vs. Kentucky
Shivers has claimed the top spot on Auburn's depth chart going into the opener versus a Kentucky defense that surrendered 21 touchdowns and more than 2,000 rushing yards over 13 games last season. Of the 21 scores, 15 came in conference play, during which the Wildcats allowed 5.1 yards per rush attempt. Shivers displayed some upside in minimal attempts last season, reaching double digits twice in the fantasy column despite never topping 12 carries in a contest. Assuming his undersized frame can handle the workload, Shivers should be in for a solid contest for an Auburn squad that currently sits as 14.5-point favorites, supporting a run-heavy game flow as well.
Seth McGowan, Oklahoma ($7,300) vs. Kansas State
McGowan wasn't guaranteed a consistent role entering the 2020 season, but a Week 1 absence from Pledger opened the door a sliver and he did the rest himself with nine carries for 61 yards and a score and a 37-yard receiving touchdown. His salary hasn't quite caught up to the performance, likely because Marcus Major saw more carries than he did and T.J. Pledger (undisclosed) could be back. However, McGowan's output should afford him a larger workload either way, and the Sooners take on a Kansas State club who surrendered 4.8 yards per carry in the opener versus Arkansas State. Even if Pledger returns, it would seem McGowan should be in a position to retain some workload ahead of Major.
Vincent Davis, Pittsburgh ($7,800) vs. Louisville
Davis was given the lead job last week versus Syracuse and finished the day with 17 totes for 66 yards against the Orange. He added two grabs for another 26 yards, finishing the day with 8.2 fantasy points. While that doesn't stand out at this salary, he gets a Louisville defense this week that allowed 5.4 yards per carry a season ago and 5.3 per tote last week against Miami in their first action against another power-five team. Pitt likes to run the ball and Davis seems to be at the center of the attack at this point. Given the matchup and expected workload, he should be able to return value for the Panthers this week.
GPP Dart: John Emery Jr., ($5,800) vs. Mississippi State
Emery is one of three co-starters in the backfield and has a pedigree (5-star in 2019 class) that is unmatched by the other two on the list. He also sports the lowest salary of the three despite all of them being listed as a committee approach, so there's a chance he will see a large chunk of carries in a high-powered LSU offense.
Joshua Moore, Texas ($8,500) at Texas Tech
Moore led the way in the Longhorns' receiver group in the opener, hauling in six of his seven targets for 127 yards and a touchdown. He seems destined to be a major factor in the Longhorns' passing attack this season and should have a great opportunity to back up the opener versus a Texas Tech defense that was blown up in the opener – highlighted above in the Ehlinger's section. He has the game-breaking speed to turn a short pass into a long touchdown, evidenced by this 78-yard touchdown reception versus UTEP, so target volume is just an added bonus.
KeSean Carter, Texas Tech ($7,200) vs. Texas
Carter was one of four receivers to log at least seven targets in the opener versus Houston Baptist. While he was last among the group at seven, he also did the most with it, averaging 12.3 yards per target for 86 yards and a touchdown. In what figures to be a shootout again Saturday with the Red Raiders needing to toss the rock around to keep pace, Carter should be in the mix for a large amount of targets again Saturday and sits an affordable rate for a pairing with Bowman if you're looking to connect the Red Raiders' passing attack.
Kayshon Boutte, LSU ($6,400) vs. Mississippi State
A five-star true freshman, Boutte didn't need long to earn his way into a starting role for the Tigers. He won't have Joe Burrow tossing the ball his way, but Myles Brennan is a highly regarded signal-caller and his competitors in the target department haven't really established themselves outside of Terrace Marshall. Prepping for a Mississippi State defense that allowed nearly 250 passing yards per game last season, Boutte could be one of the primary targets in the passing game and comes at a reasonable salary.
Brenden Schooler, Texas ($6,300) at Texas Tech
Forgive me for double-dipping in the Longhorns' receiver pool, but there's a reason this game paces the field by a wide margin. With the news that Jake Smith (hamstring) will be sidelined again for Saturday's contest and Jordan Whittington also unavailable for the foreseeable future, Schooler is set to start in the slot Saturday. He made the most of his opportunity in the opener, turning his two catches into 65 yards and a touchdown. His target count could balloon from the three he saw in the opener with him taking a starting spot that has been held by NFL-bound players in Devin Duvernay and Lil'Jordan Humphrey in the last two seasons. Schooler is no stranger to the limelight either, seeing action at Oregon in each of the last three seasons prior to his offseason transfer to Austin.