This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.
On to Week 6 we go with a collection of top-25 teams set to square off. The best of the bunch in terms of real games is Iowa-Penn State, featuring two undefeated Big Ten teams, both ranked in the top five and a 1.5-point spread. Unfortunately, the slugfest is expected to lack in the scoring column with a slate-low 41 over-under. For our purposes, this game isn't exactly an interesting one.
Fantasy points are the name of the game, and real points is often a way to secure them in large quantities. Expected to lead the pack this week is Ohio State (46.0) facing Maryland at the Horseshoe, with the game also featuring the highest over-under at 71.0). North Carolina is the only other team expected to top 40 (41.0), while Ole Miss and Louisville are both expected to clear 35 each at 36. However, it's worth noting that Ohio State (-21.0) and North Carolina (-17.5) are heavy favorites in their respective games, so backups could see the field if either contest turns into a blowout. In terms of over-unders after Ohio State-Maryland, we have Louisville-Virginia (69.5), Ole Miss-Arkansas (66.5) Noth Carolina-Florida State (64.5), Texas-Oklahoma (63.5) and Texas Tech-TCU (60.5) all expected to clear the 60-point hurdle.
Possible Weather Impact (Subject to change)
Florida State at North Carolina : Decent chance of rain during the first half of the game.
TCU at Texas Tech Red Raiders : Winds could sit above or at 15 MPH for most of the game which can have a slight impact on overall scoring.
Boise State at BYU : A good chance of rain early in the game that should be settled down by halftime.
Notre Dame at Virginia Tech : Slight chance of rain throughout the contest.
Penn State at Iowa : Chance for winds in the 10-15 MPH range throughout the game.
JT Daniels, Georgia - Did some soft toss earlier in the week without issue but his status for Saturday is unclear.
Jaren Hall, BYU - Anticipates returning to action against Boise State on Saturday.
Gunner Romney, BYU - Left last week with a head injury and his status for this week remains unclear.
Tahj Brooks, Texas Tech - Considered questionable for Saturday.
Jabari Small, Tennessee - Injured his shoulder early last Saturday and didn't return. His status is unclear for this week.
Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss - In concussion protocol and believed to be questionable for Saturday.
George Holani, Boise State - Aggravated an injury last week
Chadarius Townsend, Texas Tech - Ou for the season following a fractured Scapula. Had two or three carries in each of the last three games.
Caleb Hood, North Carolina - Status unclear for Saturday but was expected to practice this week.
Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech - Has a chance to return Saturday after sitting out last week.
Kayshon Boutte, LSU - Returned to practice in regular jersey Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday. Seems likely to play (my thoughts).
Quentin Johnston, TCU - Left prior to halftime last week and didn't return but coach Gary Patterson said after the game he should be fine so. No word since so seems likely to play this week.
Josh Vann, South Carolina - Was limited last Saturday by a groin issue suffered during practice earlier in the week, but there doesn't seem to be much concern surrounding his injury.
Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss - Sat out last week with his foot in a boot and no update on his status this week.
Josh Ali, Kentucky - Will miss the next two games due to an undisclosed injury.
Caleb Chapman, Texas A&M - Considered day-to-day leading up to Saturday so questionable is presumably his status at this point.
Trey Palmer, LSU - Was in a non-contact jersey for practice Wednesday after not practicing Tuesday so his status should be monitored.
Chase Lane, Texas A&M - Also considered day-to-day so another questionable status for an Aggies receiver.
Joe Wilkins, Notre Dame - Suffered a torn MCL and will miss the remainder of the 2021 season.
Koy Moore, LSU - Returned to practice Wednesday and even saw some snaps at running back, so there could be some gadget plays in the book for him this week.
Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, Georgia - Listed as questionable for Saturday.
Jelani Woods, Virginia - No update on his injury this week after he sat out Week 5 due to a foot issue.
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Week 6 Plays
Top Tier Value
This is a week where I'm targeting a trio of quarterbacks at or near the top of the board. The group of Malik Cunningham ($11,500), Sam Howell ($11,200) and C.J. Stroud ($10,700) all have the intriguing combination of a very favorable matchup and the proven upside to warrant consideration in this range.
Cunningham is the most consistent of the group, finishing with 29.98 points or more in every game this season. He should be guaranteed to get you some bang for your buck but also sports the largest salary of the group. He also has a matchup versus a Virginia defense that has allowed nine passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks over the last two games. Howell also ran for 112 yards against the Cavaliers earlier this season and Cunningham has run for a pair of scores in every game of ar this season.
Speaking of Howell, his matchup couldn't be any better versus a Seminoles defense that yields a slate-high 29.6 FanDuel points per game to opposing quarterbacks, clearing the next defense (North Carolina ironically) by almost five points per contest. The Noles allowed 7.6 yards per passing attempt to go along with 25.2 passing yards per game and a slate-high 2.2 passing touchdowns per contest. They've also had trouble covering the ground game, allowing five rushing scores and 191 rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks in the last two games. Howell has proven he can take advantage of that, posting a pair of 100-yard rushing efforts and three rushing scores so far. He's also delivered an upside of 40-plus FD points on two occasions this year. One of the main drawbacks for Howell would be the weather mentioned above. There's a pretty good chance for rain in the first half of the contest, which can impact the passing game and the reliance on it, especially in a game where North Carolina is a heavy favorite.
Stroud shouldn't have weather concerns, but he does theoretically face the toughest matchup of the group versus a Maryland defense that sits mid-pack on the slate allowing 16.3 points per game to opposing QBs. That being said, the Terps have allowed 263.3 passing yards per game when you exclude FCS Howard from the mix and 591 yards over the last two games versus Kent State and Iowa, who is typically a run-heavy team. The only thing really keeping the Terp afloat in that area is a lack of passing touchdowns allowed so far. That finally fell through a bit last game, however, with the Hawkeyes throwing for a trio of scores. Stroud has the ability to match that output and more given his weapons at the wide receiver position. He's also coming off his best game under center to date, which included the first-team leaving the game early because it was a blowout. Maryland should put up a bit more of a fight than Rutgers last week, potentially keeping Stroud in the game longer.
Casey Thompson, Texas ($8,500) vs. Oklahoma
This game has typically screamed barn burner for the two clubs and has featured scoring up the wazoo. Over the last four contests, the two teams have combined to average 79.5 points per contest, so color me skeptical of the 63.5-point over/under on this one. The best way for the Longhorns to take advantage of the Sooners' defense seemingly comes through the air, as the Sooners surrender a decent 241.4 passing yards and 1.4 passing touchdowns per game while yielding 6.7 yards per pass attempt as well. Pair that with a run defense yielding a measly 2.6 yards per attempt and the second-fewest rushing yards per game on the slate (79.4 per game) and you have the makings of a pass-heavy approach to attacking the Sooners. Thompson has also displayed his upside as a passer versus Texas Tech, totaling six touchdowns and 40.02 points, so there's certainly some value to be had.
Tyler Allgeier, BYU ($9,500)
Allgeier could wind up as one of the best values on the board Saturday. He's coming off of his best game to date due, in large part, to facing PAC-12 opponents in the first three games. In his two games facing group-of-five opponents the last two weeks, Allgeier has averaged 32.25 points per contest, including five rushing scores. That trend has a great chance of continuing with a Broncos defense on tap that has allowed 30-plus points to opposing running backs in three of the five games this season and an average of 32.4 points to backs outside of the UTEP game. That number jumps slightly to 33.2 over the last three weeks. Game flow should also work in Allgeier's favor if the six-point spread is to be believed. That should work well for allowing a ground-heavy approach against an amenable defense at an affordable rate atop the board.
Tiyon Evans, Tennessee ($8,100) vs. South Carolina
Evans has typically split the backfield with Jabari Small this season, but Small left last week due to injury and his status for this week remains unclear at this point. If Small sits, I'm pushing all of my chips Evans' way versus a South Carolina defense yielding 4.3 yards per carry on the year. If you examine it a bit closer, the Gamecocks' rush defense gets boosted by early games against Eastern Illinois and East Carolina. Over the last three, South Carolina has let up 34.1 FD points per game to opposing running backs. Even though Evans still shared the backfield last week, it's worth noting that he received the vast majority of carries when the game was still within reach. Only when the game turned into a blowout did the other backs seem to get involved more consistently. I'd roll the dice with Evans this week, especially if Small is out of commission again.
This is sort of an all-or-nothing situation for me with Texas Tech on Thompson because the matchup is certainly there if things work out in his favor. Brooks sat out last week and holds a questionable designation for Saturday's contest. The Horned Frogs have allowed a combined 82.4 points to opposing backs over the last two games, including a season-high 42.6 to Texas last week. Most of that damage has been on the ground, which is where Thompson also can get most of his work done. Thompson is coming off of 12 carries for 48 yards and a pair of scores and carry shares in the 40-50 percent range over the last two games with Brooks out. However, in the only game the two backs both played, Brooks saw the heavier workload (nine carries to Thompson's four). In an offense where there isn't always a ton of totes to go around, I'd want to make sure Thompson is guaranteed to be the feature back before slotting him in. That can be risky given the team's late-game status, so you may want to line up a pivot option beforehand.
Trelon Smith, Arkansas ($6,800) at Ole Miss
Coming off of just three carries for four yards last week against Georgia, this could be the perfect time to pounce on Smith for some potential value. The Razorbacks get an uptempo Ole Miss team in a game that figures to feature a good amount of scoring from both teams, hence the 66.5 over/under line. The matchup doesn't jump off the page but context and game script need to be taken into account. Outside of Alabama last week, the Rebels have led comfortably in every game this season, leading the opposition to abandon the run for the most part for a more pass-heavy approach. In a game that is expected to be close Saturday, the Razorbacks can lean more on the ground than they could last week and Smith has still been the head guy, for the most part, this season, sporting carry counts of 22, 17 and 12 in three of the five games. I'll take my chances with him at the given price tag versus a defense that has allowed 312 rushing yards and five touchdowns to opposing backs over the last two games.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Chris Olave, Ohio State ($9,700) vs. Maryland
I really like Josh Downs atop the board as well, but the potential for rain in the contest scares me a little bit, so it may be worth monitoring how bad the weather in that contest will be when evaluating these top options. Downs has the advantage in terms of consistent target share, but Olave doesn't typically need a large target count to do damage. He proved that last week with five catches for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just six targets and goes up against a Maryland defense Saturday that has displayed cracks against more competent passing attacks the last couple of weeks, yielding a combined 74.7 points to opposing wide receivers versus Kent State and Iowa. Given the minimal price difference from Downs, Olave seems likely to see a lower usage rate lower than Downs as well, which could make him slightly more appealing in GPP formats.
Khalil Shakir, Boise State ($8,800) at BYU
Shakir operates in a Boise State offense that sports an expected score of just 25.75 on Saturday. That being said, with George Holani's status up in the air and the Broncos' running game suspect in general, matched with the expected game flow of the team trailing, I would anticipate the offense utilizing its best asset, the passing game, early and often in this one. Hank Bachmeier threw the ball 47 times last week alone. While only seven went Shakir's way last week, he's still averaging 9.0 per game on the year. I would be tempted to go with teammate Stefan Cobbs was it not just a $300 salary difference, but Shakir was a top CFF option for a reason to open the 2021 season and has topped 20 FD points in three of the five games, so I'll put my hat in that ring.
Xavier Worthy, Texas ($7,600) vs Oklahoma
Worthy is coming off a complete dud of a week versus TCU in which the passing offense fell flat in a game that I was expecting to feature a lot more of it. In the end, it was the running game that flashed and came up big for the Longhorns. It may be tough to replicate that this week versus a Sooners defensive front that has been stingy all season (see: Casey Thompson section above). For that reason, I'll recommend Worthy for a second week in a row hoping for better results at a greatly reduced salary from a week ago. Worthy has been Thompson's favorite weapon since taking over under center. While that came up nearly empty last week, Worthy still tied Joshua Moore for the most targets, drawing five of Thompsons' 22 passes on the day. He's perfectly placed this week to deliver plenty of value in a game that has been high-scoring in recent meetings.
GPP Dart: Marvin Mims, Oklahoma ($6,500) at Texas
I can't leave Oklahoma out of the Red River Rivalry fantasy fun. Mims has fallen off the map so far this season, with only a 117-yard effort in the opener against Tulane in the opener to show for fantasy relevance thus far. Another surprising element is that Mims has failed to score through five games after racking up nine receiving touchdowns a season ago. He certainly won't hit that threshold again this season, but he's due to find pay dirt again at some point and I would be willing to take a chance on him in what could be his chance to get back on track.
Another Dart to consider: Kamari Morales, North Carolina ($5,600) vs. Florida State
Morales gets a matchup in Florida State that yields a slate-worst 2.2 passing touchdowns per game. He's also a clear red-zone threat for the Tar Heels, posting all of his three scores in that area of the field. That could match up well in a game where North Carolina is expected to top 40 points on the day.