This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.
We enter Week 6 with some really intriguing matchups ahead on the schedule, though there isn't a ton of overlap with those and many of the most fantasy-relevant contests on the slate. Since this is a fantasy article, we'll highlight those instead. Topping the charts in terms of the over-under is the Red River Showdown between Oklahoma and Texas at 72.5. The only other game to surpass the 70-point expectations is Alabama-Ole Miss at 70.0, featuring a Crimson Tide squad that is the largest favorite on the slate (-23.5). As such, they have an expected score of 46.75 to lead the way, with a glob of six teams sporting expected scores between 38.5 and 34.5. With a number of high-scoring teams expected this week, there should be a number of sources to find good fantasy value.
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- Team Rankings
Week 6 Plays
Sam Ehlinger, Texas ($11,000) at Oklahoma
After moving off of Ehlinger for the first time this season last week (and glad I did), I had a hard time deciding between Ehlinger and Mac Jones when looking for quarterbacks at the top of the slate this week. Despite Oklahoma bowing up versus the passing game when it comes to scoring (0.7 passing TDs per game allowed), I ultimately settled on Ehlinger because he has the ability to score both in either facet of the offense and frequently impacts the game as a runner, totaling 118 rushing yards between the last two contests, plus his weather conditions appear to be much more favorable. The game script in Texas-Oklahoma also portends to a heavy passing volume for Texas, while Alabama could pull ahead comfortably and rely on the rushing attack again in the second half. The Sooners' defense has still surrendered 9.7 yards per pass attempt, including eight passes for more than 25 yards on just 41 completions (nearly one per every five). If that ratio remains true Saturday, Ehlinger, who has completed 25 or more passes in two of the three games and 12 passes of 25 plus yards, would be in line for a healthy day of big chunks in the passing attack.
Brock Purdy, Iowa State ($8,600) vs. Texas Tech
It's been the Breece Hall show so far this season for the Cyclones, but Saturday may present an opportunity for Purdy to get in on the fun. While he hasn't topped 18 FanDuel points yet this season, it's worth noting that Purdy surpassed 20 six times last season and had 36 or more fantasy points four times. In his showdown with Texas Tech last year, Purdy completed 72 percent of his passes for 378 yards, his third-highest total of the campaign, and three scores en route to 26.8 FanDuel points. The Red Raiders have shown major weaknesses versus the passing game, surrendering more than nine yards per attempt to opposing passers, including Kansas State's backup quarterback last week after Skylar Thompson left due to injury. It's worth monitoring the status of Tarique Milton leading up to the contest, who could be a target for DFS purposes if healthy.
Hendon Hooker, Virginia Tech ($8,000) at North Carolina
Assuming he's given the all-clear for Saturday's contest as expected, Hooker should be a viable fantasy option Saturday. The Tar Heels' defense hasn't been truly tested by a good offense to date, yet it still surrendered 313 passing yards and 22 points to Boston College last week. Hooker truly handled the starting job for just nine games last season and averaged just short of 19 FanDuel points per contest. However, he finished with 22.8 or more points in four of the nine contests and topped 30 versus Miami. Hooker also ran for 360 yards and five scores, displaying the rushing upside that makes him an intriguing option in a game I actually anticipate the Hokies winning outright. While DeShawn McClease opted out of the 2020 campaign, Khalil Herbert and Raheem Blackshear have filled in admirably and should be able to take some of the focus off of Hooker in his first game back.
Najee Harris, Alabama ($10,500) vs. Ole Miss
Since I stepped away from Mac Jones in the passing game due to potential game script, it only seems right to include Harris as my pick at the top of the running back board. Yes, he is the most expensive option on the slate, but it will be tough not to fork up the salary required versus an Ole Miss defense giving up a slate-high 7.1 yards per rush attempt and north of 300 rushing yards per game. Last week alone, the Rebels' defense surrendered a whopping six rushing touchdowns to Kentucky in addition to allowing three different players to top 100 rushing yards. Ole Miss should be able to put up some points against the Crimson Tide, and the 23.25 expected for the underdogs could keep the game within shouting distance long enough for Harris to rack up some huge numbers. Another factor in this could be weather, as the contest may feature some wind and rain or storms, which could make the ground game a more appealing option for the Crimson Tide.
Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State ($8,700) at TCU
If you're looking to save some salary without sacrificing matchup, look no further than Vaughn, who will face a Horned Frogs defensive front that has yielded 7.0 yards per carry, two rushing scores per game and 182 rushing yards per contest. Despite Harry Trotter being part of the mix last week, Vaughn touched the rock 19 times and produced 194 all-purpose yards and two scores. There's little reason to believe that his opportunities will trail off this week, and Vaughn has proven to be the best option among pass-catchers out of the backfield as well, so he should remain part of the fold even if the Wildcats fall behind as Vegas believes will be the case. The primary downside is that TCU allows opponents just 55 offensive plays per game, so Vaughn will need to be efficient with his touches again to finish with a solid day. That didn't stop Breece Hall from rushing for 154 yards and three scores on 18 carries in the opener, and Vaughn seems to have the ability to near those efficiency numbers.
Sean Tucker, Syracuse ($6,700) vs. Duke
The Orange will likely be underdogs in most of the games the rest of the way, but this is one that should allow them to keep things close enough to consistently use the rushing attack. With that, it was Tucker who has emerged from the pile to seemingly secure the top back role after Jawhar Jordan failed to impress in his attempt to do so through the first two games. Tucker was leaned on heavily Sept. 26 versus Georgia Tech, rushing 24 times for 112 yards and a pair of scores. With the passing attack still out of sorts under the direction of Tommy DeVito, it wouldn't be shocking if a similar heavy volume of attempts is given to Tucker again Saturday.
Zach Evans, TCU ($4,700) vs. Kansas State
If you're looking for a punt play to fill out the roster, Evans may fit the bill this week. The five-star recruit got on the field for the first time last Saturday after being sidelined previously due to COVID-19 contact tracing. He's still part of a muddled backfield that distributes carries to a number of backs, but coach Gary Patterson pointed him out as a player who should receive more run, which could be especially true if Emari Demercado is unavailable for the contest. Demercado has been deemed questionable, so this is news to keep an eye on. However, the 4 PM ET start and minimal salary may force you to commit to him regardless of Demercado's status. This is likely only a viable option in GPP formats but could pay dividends should he find pay dirt Saturday versus a Kansas State run defense giving up 4.8 yards per carry and 164.3 rushing yards per contest.
Another to consider: C'Bo Flemister, Notre Dame ($5,500)
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Kyle Pitts, Florida ($9,400) at Texas A&M
With sloppy conditions potentially headed to Oxford on Saturday, it may be best to pivot off of the Alabama passing game. Instead of Jaylen Waddle, Kyle Pitts may be the perfect play atop the board against the Aggies, who have allowed more than 10 yards per pass attempt. While that may be skewed slightly by facing Alabama last week, it also balances out when you factor in a Vanderbilt team in the opener who has tallied a combined 19 points in the first two games and appears destined for the cellar of the SEC. Pitts is basically a wide receiver in a tight end's body and should be the primary red-zone target yet again after notching a combined five receiving touchdowns through the first two games. Given that the Texas A&M front has proven fairly stout against the run, I anticipate a large pass emphasis this week for the Gators this week with Pitts at the forefront.
KeSean Carter, Texas Tech ($8,400) at Iowa State
Carter has found his way to paydirt in each of the first three games, but last Saturday marked his largest target count of the season (11). This could make him a particularly appealing option if the Red Raiders are forced to turn to Henry Colombi, who was responsible for 42 of the 49 total pass attempts last week, again this week under center with Alan Bowman a question mark. In fact, 10 of the 11 targets that headed Carter's way came from Colombi, which would equate to a 23.8 percent share. That's well above Carter's 17.1 percent share for the season and could suggest he's headed for a big day if Colombi gets the nod versus an Iowa State defense that has yielded 8.8 yards per attempt, 284.3 passing yards per game and 2.3 passing touchdowns per contest through three games.
Brennan Eagles, Texas ($7,000) at Oklahoma
As mentioned in Ehlinger's section above, Oklahoma is prone to giving up the big play. Well, that fits exactly into Eagles' game. Through three weeks, he has amassed a total of just five catches but has turned them into 111 yards (just over 22 per catch) and three touchdowns. even more encouraging is that he has been targeted at least four times in each contest, so there is room for improvement on those numbers if the two can connect a few more times Saturday. While Joshua Moore leads the team in targets, his 15.9 percent target share (albeit, he did miss some time during last week's game) isn't quite high enough to warrant the salary difference. Given the red-zone rushing threat of Ehlinger that could steal away some touchdowns from the passing game, I'll take my chances with a couple of big-play splashes and a touchdown from Eagles at a much lower rate.
If you're looking for a pass-catching option to pair with Purdy on Saturday, these would be the primary ones to target in my eyes. Milton represents the team's primary big-play threat but has been dinged up in the early going and his status for Saturday remains a bit foggy. If he can go, Milton could be an overlooked option in the passing game after a slow start. Four of the 11 passing touchdowns the Red Raiders have allowed this season have come from more than 60 yards out, which would fit right into the gameplan for a big Milton splash. He posted a solid day against the Red Raiders last year to the tune of four grabs for 98 yards. On the other hand, it was Kolar who finished the day with most of the scoring, amassing three grabs for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Kolar has been targeted seven times in his first two games after sitting out the opener due to injury. He should warrant a hefty share of the looks again Saturday and should serve as the primary red-zone threat versus a Red Raiders pass defense that has given up six red-zone passing touchdowns in just three games.