This article is part of our FanDuel College Football series.
We have hit Week 4 of the college football season and have some handy tools at your disposal for the upcoming FanDuel slates. Included among those is our always handy lineup optimizer, the weekly rankings by position and some tools to explore on your own like targets, team trends,odds and Defense vs. Position. With all of this information at your disposal, we aim to arm you as much as possible each week.
The main slate this week arrives at noon ET with a total of 10 games. Below is a table with some useful information regarding the slate.
Note: Passing and rushing stats are opponent defensive stats.
YPA=Yards Per Attempt
Without further adieu, the following are some of the players I may target in the main slate this week.
Anthony Brown, Boston College (at Purdue) $10,000
Projected for the fifth-highest implied total on the slate, Brown and the Boston College offense take on a Purdue defense that surrendered more than 300 passing yards on back-to-back weeks to Eastern Michigan and Missouri. Brown has shown early in the season that he can spin it, throwing for nine touchdowns combined in the two games he saw significant action. Both Purdue and Boston College can rack up points, so Brown likely won't be afforded an opportunity to take the foot off the gas pedal against a defense allowing 8.4 yards per pass attempt this season.
Jake Fromm, Georgia (at Missouri) $9,200
Fromm and the Bulldogs travel to Columbia on Saturday as 14-point favorites to take on a Missouri defense fresh off of a game in which they allowed 572 yards and three touchdowns passing to David Blough and Purdue. While that slightly skews the team's 305 passing yards allowed per contest, it's also worth noting that the Tigers faced a bad Wyoming offense and FCS UT Martin in the first two weeks, boosting those totals. Missouri's defense has limited opponents to just 3.0 yards per carry and a slate-best 74.7 yards per contest, which could prompt the Bulldogs offense to predicate more on the passing game Saturday.
Khalil Tate, Arizona (at Oregon State), $9,100
If Fromm doesn't satisfy you, Tate quarterbacks an Arizona offense that owns the third-highest implied total on the entire slate at 41.3, in what is expected to a close and high-scoring (75.5 over-under) affair. He also squares off against an Oregon State defense that has allowed 295.7 passing yards and 226.3 rushing yards per contest. An ankle issue has limited his rushing ability early in the season, but Tate is a massive running threat when healthy. He has still rushed for a touchdown in two of the three weeks and fared well in the pocket last week against Southern Utah, throwing for 349 yards and five touchdowns in the contest. There's too much upside in terms of both the matchup and his rushing ability to pass on him as the 12th-highest priced quarterback on the slate.
Bargain Bin (<$8,600)
Ian Book, Notre Dame (at Wake Forest) $4,300
Rumors began flying Thursday that Book would receive the start under center for the Fighting Irish on Saturday against Wake Forest and, while coach Brian Kelly wouldn't confirm it, he did say that Book will play in the game. At $4,600, Book could be a steal if he sees significant time under center against a Wake Forest defense allowing 310.0 passing yards per game and 3.3 passing touchdowns per contest. Book has proven to be a more accurate passer than Brandon Wimbush, which could play up in this matchup.
Elite ($9,000 and up)
Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State (vs. Arizona) $9,200
Jefferson and the Beavers land on the other side of the coin as seven-point underdogs to Arizona at home Saturday, but they still rank eighth out of the 20 teams with 34.3 implied points. Add to that an Arizona defense that has surrendered 224.3 rushing yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry and the fact that Jefferson ran 25 times last week against Nevada in the wake of Artavis Pierce's injury, and Jefferson should have a big day in store. Pierce will miss Saturday's game against Nevada as well, solidifying Jefferson's status as the lead and workhorse tailback.
J.J. Taylor, Arizona (at Oregon State) ($8,000)
While Taylor received just eight touches last week against Southern Utah, he's toted the rock 18 times during each of the two meaningful games Arizona has had this season. Taylor should remain the lead back heading into Saturday's matchup against Oregon State and should be able to take full advantage of an Oregon State defense allowing 5.6 yards per carry this season, second-highest on the slate.
Bargain Bin (<$7,500)
Martell Pettaway, West Virginia (vs. Kansas State) $6,200
There isn't a clear backfield value option that fits into the bargain big category this week. Pettaway enters Saturday's matchup as part of a four-way committee and without having found paydirt this season, so why the recommendation? Pettaway received most of the early touches in each of the last two games, when West Virginia had yet to pull out to a big lead. He's also third in price among the Mountaineers' running back behind Kennedy McKoy ($7,700) and Leddie Brown ($7,000) despite being a touchdown away from similar, if not better numbers. He's also averaged 6.3 yards per carry this season and squares off against a Kansas State defense that has fared well against the pass, but one that has allowed 201.3 rushing yards per game and a slate-worst 6.1 yards per carry. The game is set up for some running success, and Pettaway has as good of a chance as any to benefit.
Elite ($9,000 and up)
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (vs. Texas A&M) $9,800
With Alabama projected for the second-most points on the slate (43.5), it's definitely worth getting a piece of the 26-point favorite Crimson Tide. Jeudy certainly fits the bill of a top-tier wideout, hauling in two touchdown passes in each of the first three contests. The Aggies took Clemson to the wire two weeks ago, so you can bet Nick Saban will not take the foot off the gas unless the game is comfortably in hand. The A&M defense has allowed just 87.0 rushing yards per game so far this season, so the offense may attempt to establish its passing game versus a secondary allowing 8.4 yards per attempt on the campaign. Jeudy should be one of the main beneficiaries of that, receiving seven targets in the opener against Louisville and should have a good chance to reach the end zone again Saturday.
Jeff Smith, Boston College (at Purdue) $8,300
Smith, like most of the Boston College starting offense, didn't have to do much during Week 2 against Holy Cross. That small effort dilutes an otherwise strong effort from him so far this season. He was targeted 14 times combined in Weeks 1 and 3, reaching the end zone twice last week against Wake Forest. Purdue also has arguably the worst pass defense on the slate, allowing 319.0 passing yards per game and 8.4 per attempt. Smith should see plenty of action in what's projected as a high-scoring contest and, as an added bonus, he has rushed eight times for 97 yards on the season and could see some work there as well.
Bonus Pick: Timmy Hernandez, Oregon State ($7,800)
Bargain Bin (<$7,500)
Austin Mack, Ohio State (vs. Tulane), $7,100
Finally, a piece of the team with the highest implied score (52.8) on the main slate! Ohio State enters this game as 37-point favorites and squares off against a lackluster Tulsa defense that has allowed 23.7 points per game this season. Ohio State's offensive 11 blows away any competition the team has faced thus far, and Mack has proved a key contributor to it. He was targeted a team-high nine times last week against TCU and leads all Buckeyes with 18 targets through the first three games this season. While he hasn't scored yet, Mack's 6-foot-2 frame suggests it's only a matter of time before that's the case. If it happens Saturday, he should easily provide value at just $7,100.