This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.
Before we kick thing off, it's worth mentioning that the North Carolina-UNC-Charlotte game that was originally scheduled to be on Saturday's slate has been canceled, taking the top quarterback (Sam Howell) off the board. In terms of the biggest scorers of the week, Oklahoma State leads the way with an expected 44.75 against Tulsa, with SMU also tipping the scales as the only other team expected to top 40 at 41.25 versus North Texas. Those two games also lead the way in terms of expected overall scores, with North Texas-SMU topping the charts at 68.5 and Oklahoma State-Tulsa coming in at 66.. rounding out the expected 60-plus point totals are Louisville (-2.5) against Miami at 64.5 and Georgia Tech versus UCF (-7.5) at 63. Of the teams on this slate, seven are set to open their 2020 seasons this weekend. Oklahoma State-Tulsa and Baylor-Houston are the only games featuring two teams both playing their first of the year.
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Week 3 Plays
Shane Buechele, SMU ($10,100) at North Texas
This should be a fairly chalky play versus a North Texas team that surrendered 480 passing yards to Houston Baptist's Bailey Zappe last week but I'm willing to oblige. While Buechele's final fantasy line didn't return as much value as many (myself included) anticipated last week, he did throw for 367 yards and a touchdown in a game that turned out to be a close one, with the Mustangs emerging victorious by just a touchdown. North Texas figures to be a similar challenge for SMU's defense and will likely require plenty of scoring given that the pair of teams both like to play fast. I anticipate a little more of that scoring coming through the air this week.
Charlie Brewer, Baylor ($9,300) vs. Houston
One of the two double-debuts for teams features Brewer against a Cougars defense that let up nearly 300 passing yards per game during the 2019 campaign. While Brewer loses his top target from last season in NFL-bound Denzel Mims, he returns No. 2 in Tyquan Thornton (45-782-5 last season) and No. 3 R.J. Sneed (42-437-3) and regains the services of Gavin Holmes, who missed each of the last two seasons due to injury. The game is expected to remain fairly close, so the passing attack should remain in full force throughout the contest. Brewer is also no slouch as a runner, leading Baylor with 11 rushing touchdowns last season.
Sam Hartman, Wake Forest ($8,000) vs. N.C. State
Hartman's 2020 debut is certainly one to forget, but it's also one to take with a grain of salt versus a Clemson team that will likely go unchallenged again in the ACC by anyone other than perhaps Notre Dame in its one-year cameo. The down week may provide the perfect opportunity to strike. While his salary did increase by 400 over last week, it still sits in a highly manageable range likely thanks to the poor showing. The matchup yields a far better outlook this week as he prepares to take on a Wolfpack secondary that has undergone plenty of turnover despite surrendering more than 250 passing yards per game (103rd nationally) and a 24:4 TD:INT ratio over 12 games a season ago.
Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State ($10,400) vs. Tulsa
While it was an eventful offseason for Hubbard, he eventually elected to return to school and will play for the Cowboys in 2020 as a redshirt junior. Hubbard should kick off the season in style as he prepares to face a Golden Hurricanes defensive front that allowed nearly 4.5 yards per carry, more than 185 rushing yards per game and 29 rushing touchdowns over 12 contests (2.4 per game). Hubbard played a big part in ballooning those numbers, racking up 256 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries last season and figures to handle to the rock plenty in 2020 as the team's workhorse back. As 23.5-point favorites, the expected game flow also portends to a heavy rushing attack.
Cam'Ron Harris, Miami ($9,300) at Louisville
Harris collected 17 carries for 134 yards and two touchdowns against UAB a week ago, which came despite his night being shortened by an undisclosed issue that isn't expected to be a problem moving forward. While Louisville's defense held up last week versus Western Kentucky, I'm not convinced that the Cardinals have completely fixed a rush defense that surrendered 5.37 yards per rush and more than 200 rushing yards per game a season ago. With the game expected to be a close one, Harris should get plenty of work again, and he's also expected to be included in the receiving game after claiming five targets and four receptions in the opener.
Tyjae Spears, Tulane ($8,200) vs. Navy
Spears proved to be a major part of the Tulane offense a week ago, collecting 105 rushing yards on 11 attempts and another 30 through the air on two receptions in his first career start for the Green Wave. It seems likely the showing will only net him more work this week against a Navy defense that left the door wide open for BYU to run through in the opener to the tune of 6.1 yards per carry, five rushing touchdowns and more than 300 rushing yards in the opener. Sharpe's 190-pound frame likely leaves him out of contention for a ton of goal-line work, but he should still do plenty of damage between the 20s and certainly has the ability to score on a long run. Considering two of the Cougars' five rushing scores came from 30-plus yards out last week, Spears should be positioned well for another big game.
Mulbah Car, Houston ($7,900) at Baylor
If you're looking for a play that will likely fly under the radar, Car seems likely to do just that. He owns a co-starter designation alongside Kyle Porter to open the campaign, but Car was explosive out of the backfield last season in the four games he played, collecting a combined 268 rushing yards in the last two. The match doesn't look great on paper versus a Bears defense that allowed just 3.7 yards per carry and 142.9 rushing yards per game a season ago, both ranking top-50 nationally. However, the Bears lost defensive coordinator Phil Snow to the pro ranks in addition to the majority of its starters on the defensive side of the ball. That leaves plenty of uncertainty with the Baylor defense heading into the opener.
Reggie Roberson, SMU ($9,800) at North Texas
Given the number of lower salary wideouts available to provide some relief on the slate, Roberson should be an option at the top that should fit nicely into a number of lineups and has the matchup and quarterback at the helm to warrant it. Roberson's eight targets led the way for the Mustangs in the opener, which he turned into six grabs for 99 yards and a score. Roberson should have an opportunity to do similar, if not greater damage against the Mean Green in what figures to be a shootout and has one of the best quarterbacks on the slate slinging passes around.
Taj Harris, Syracuse ($7,500) at Pittsburgh
While Harris' Week 1 box score total doesn't jump off the page, his 15 targets do. The output leads the slate among players who have seen action prior to this week and paced the nearest Orange receiver, Anthony Queeley, by 10. While it didn't produce major results in the opener, there's little reason to anticipate consistent inefficiency of that magnitude for Harris, and the target share figures to remain high considering the inexperience of the other receivers in Syracuse's wideout room. This suggestion isn't exactly a matchup-based proposition, as the Panthers showed well in the opener versus Austin Peay and were solid overall last year, but Harris' expected involvement in the offense is too much to ignore.
Taylor Morin, Wake Forest ($6,900) at North Carolina State
Like Harris, Morin led the Demon Deacons in targets last week, racking up 10 and turning that into nine receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown versus Clemson. His touchdown did come in garbage time and some a portion of his stats did as well, but Morin also contributed in earlier stages of the game and the overall showing should align him with plenty of work again this week. Given the lack of experience across the board in the Demon Deacons' wide receiver room, there's reason to believe Morin can emerge as one of the primary threats in a Demon Deacons passing game that has been lethal in recent seasons. The matchup, highlighted above, also favors a potentially strong bounceback for the passing game after a rough showing overall in the opener.
Braydon Johnson, Oklahoma State ($6,800) vs. Tulsa
Johnson is another player who likely falls by the wayside when looking at Saturday's slate. He didn't get much done last season for the Cowboys overall, but he picked up the pace toward the end of the season, posting his three largest target counts in the team's last three contests (19 total in those games), which accounted for more than half of his targets for the entire season. Johnson did a lot with those targets, turning in a team-high 14.4 yards per target, which could be important against a Tulsa defense that brings back the majority of its key contributors on a defense that surrendered just four red-zone passing touchdowns last season. The Golden Hurricanes allowed 14 passing touchdowns in total, so 10 of 14 came from 20-plus yards out, fitting right in Johnson's wheelhouse. Even if he doesn't absorb a huge target count Saturday, he has the ability to turn his opportunities into a big play for the Cowboys.
Another to consider: Danny Gray, SMU ($6,100) at North Texas