NFL DFS Pace of Play for Week 15 (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 15, 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.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans (+14)- O/U: 49.5
We know who the Chiefs are as the NFL’s preeminent passing offense ranking 1st in pass rate over expectation, 1st in EPA per pass attempt, and 2nd in points per game. The issue for any team facing the Texans is they don’t need to throw. The metrics need context as at first glance, it looks like Houston is elite allowing the 3rd fewest completions per game and the fewest passing TDs (11) in the NFL. Why? Because teams can run all over them as they’re allowing the most rushing yards per game & most 15+ yard runs. But on a per-play basis, they rank 28th in explosive pass rate and 31st in PFF’s coverage grade. Isiah Pacheco can get into the end zone twice if you want to go that route. But Mahomes can slay in these spots and put up 300 and three. His strongest correlation coefficient (0.56) over his last 19 games played is of course with Travis Kelce.
The issue is: can the Texans actually help us? Mahomes has been a 14+ point favorite five times in his career and his opponent averaged 13.9 points in those games including the last three all scoring ten or fewer points. This Texans team is a hodge-podge of players that will be out of the league in 2-3 years including whatever weird Frankenstein experiment they are trying out at QB with Davis Mills and Jeff Driskel. Despite ranking 13th in pass rate, the Texans are dead last in EPA per pass attempt and total yards per game. Let everyone else chase Chris Moore‘s points from last week with Nico Collins returning to action. I’m totally fine not bringing anyone back.