NFL DFS Pace of Play for Week 14 (Fantasy Football)
Pace of play gives the prospective DFS player an opportunity to consider not just Vegas totals but how the game will be played out in a given week. Game flow is a tricky rabbit hole to jump down when you consider the endless scenarios that can play out in a game. Stacking up-tempo offenses who can keep the ball moving is crucial to gaining an edge in DFS. Even slight differentiations of team trends matters in a world where volume is king. Over the last three years, on average, teams ran a play 0.8 seconds per play slower in positive game scripts than they did in neutral game script.
Each week I’ll highlight five game environments factoring in their pace metrics, stacks to consider for tournaments, and five dart throws to shoot for the moon with.
Game Pace Score
A reminder on a simple metric I introduced last year: Game Pace Score(GPS). I liked the acronym to also give you a “compass” of how the game total and neutral pace statistics come together. These scores are ranked 1-5 with five indicating the pace of the play is everything you want for a DFS bonanza.
- 5– Back-and-forth shootout is looming. Both teams are pace up and both sport team implied totals of 25+.
- 4– An up-tempo spot worth game stacking in DFS in multiple ways. Consider multiple game scripts in play.
- 3– This game could go either way. Often, these are onslaught spots for teams with healthy implied totals or games that hit the under because two middling offenses collide.
- 2– Strong indications of a game you want to stay away from. Usually, the pace is dragged down by one team with an absurdly slow neutral pace or a team with a team implied total so low it drags the entire game environment through the mud.
- 1– This has all the makings of a plodder. These games have totals UNDER 40 which gives you zero confidence in DFS.
For Week 14, I’ve split up each team’s implied totals, seconds per play, neutral situation pace, and combined that for a final GPS score.
Make sure to check out the DFS Podcast where Betz and I break down the main slate and highlight some of our favorite plays of the week.
Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions (-2.5)- O/U: 52.5
There is a reason this game sits above all others beyond just the 50+ total. We’ve mentioned this stat before but Detroit home games average 60+ total points per game this year. Both teams rank top-10 in seconds per play and neutral situation pace noting that both play their games indoors. That last part is key because we only have two dome games on this slate (MIN/DET & HOU/DAL) and these two teams both have defenses that can be exploited. The line opened at Minnesota -1.5 and now the Lions are favored by 2.5. It is a bit shocking when you realize how tight each team has played this year. The Vikings are 9-0(!) in one-score games with their only two losses this year coming in blowout fashion to Dallas and Philadelphia. The Lions have been the “Cardiac Kitties” all year going 3-5 in those one-score games probably giving Dan Campbell a heart attack or two. Expect another close contest.
The Detroit RBs both profile as intriguing options this week with D’Andre Swift finally out snapping Jamaal Williams last week and finishing with a season-high 20 opportunities. Pass-catching RBs have had their way with Minnesota this year as they’ve surrendered the 2nd most RB receiving yards in the NFL. Jared Goff can easily be double-stacked with Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown. In fact, that combination might be a bit too obvious but you still have enough salary to pay up elsewhere with a Justin Jefferson bring-back. The Vikings have allowed the most passing yards and the highest yards per attempt (7.6) in the NFL. The Sun God’s matchup in the slot is arguably one of the best out there this week.
On the other hand, the reason we like Lions games is that their defense feels like a weekly punching bag. They rank dead last in total yards per game allowed, explosive pass rate allowed, and points per game… aka the trifecta of defensive ineptitude. The Vikings have the 4th highest pass rate when trailing and the 2nd highest when leading this year. In other words, we trust that the Vikings’ passing game can do work, especially in a plus matchup. Justin Jefferson might’ve had a stain (3/14/0) on his game logs when these two teams played in Week 3 but just forgetaboutit! T.J. Hockenson is one of my favorite plays this week in a revenge game spot. He’s basically stepped in as the clear No. 2 option despite Adam Thielen still running a full amount of routes. Dalvin Cook will garner some roster percentage given the matchup but don’t use Detroit’s season-long RB stats as a gauge. Since Week 9, they rank 2nd in terms of schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to the RB position.