NFL DFS Pace of Play for Week 16 (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 key game environments factoring in their pace metrics and stacks to consider for tournaments.
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.
Seattle Seahawks @ Kansas City Chiefs (-10)- O/U: 49
This is clearly the game of the week. The temperatures could get to 10 degrees but without any real threat of sustained winds, I ignore any weather concerns.
There isn’t much to add about the Chiefs that I haven’t mentioned before. The Chiefs are the passing offense to bank on in the NFL ranking 1st in pass rate over expectation, 1st in EPA per pass attempt, and 2nd in points per game. You get efficiency and volume which is the best thing you could ask for. We love the Chiefs because even when they are up in games, they just keep throwing. They have the 4th highest pass rate when leading in the NFL. Double-stacking Patrick Mahomes is paying off for those willing to pay up. He will be arguably the most popular QB on the slate so getting different can be a key.
The Seahawks offense is predicated on throwing on early throwing 63 percent of the time on 1st downs, 2nd only to the Bills. Geno Smith‘s efficiency and ability to drive the ball downfield is allowing this offense to have spike weeks at multiple spots. With Tyler Lockett now out, D.K. Metcalf should see 30 percent of the targets with Marquise Goodwin likely being a popular additional cheap piece this week. Opponents are throwing on the Chiefs 67 percent of the time (4th highest in the league) while the Seahawks rank 3rd in explosive pass rate. It’s a great combination to utilize in tournaments with Geno stacks. Kenneth Walker III might be the true decision point for this game. The KC front has been fairly stout against the run ranking 6th in rushing yards per game allowed. However, if the Seahawks somehow gain a lead, don’t be surprised if they go full 2TE and continue to hand him the rock.
- Patrick Mahomes + Jerick McKinnon or Juju Smith-Schuster + Travis Kelce || D.K. Metcalf or Kenneth Walker III
- Geno Smith + D.K. Metcalf + Noah Fant || Jerick McKinnon or Juju Smith-Schuster
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys (-5)- O/U: 47
This game certainly turned on its head with the Jalen Hurts news on Monday. The line dropped dramatically and brought it into question if this is one you can stack. We haven’t received any other news about other Eagles players being limited in snaps in any way. Gardner Minshew will be fine in cash and his salary allows you to do all sorts of things for unique lineup constructions. Here’s how the Eagles’ offense functioned last year in his two starts compared to their 2021 & 2022 averages.
The return of Dallas Goedert muddies the water for going all-in on the Eagles WRs. He’s had negative correlation with both A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith this year. If you are stacking this game, I’d prefer just one WR as a bring back or Miles Sanders.
My fear is that the Cowboys gain an early lead and go into cruise control. Over their last five games, they are running the ball at over a 50 percent clip but this team is a speed merchant at snapping the ball so it counteracts some of the concerns. Dallas ranks top-5 (for the 2nd year in a row) in neutral situation pace and the RBs have been of the main hub of the offense. Ezekiel Elliott is all TDs and he’s yet to hit the 20+ fantasy point mark this year so a ceiling outcome doesn’t seem to be in store in this 50/50 time split. The Cowboys’ passing attack might come in below the radar compared to other games. Ceedee Lamb is a solid one-off play but attaching Dalton Schultz to a Dak stack can work as well. It’s hard figuring out if Noah Brown is a thing or if Michael Gallup will finally emerge. He did get paid this off-season but the monster yardage games we’ve seen in the past just haven’t been there.
- Tony Pollard + Dallas DST || A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith
- Dak Prescott + Ceedee Lamb + Dalton Schultz || Miles Sanders or A.J. Brown
New York Giants @ Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)- O/U: 48
The Vikings are giving NFL fans, bettors, and anyone within shouting distance of a TV heart attacks every single week. They now are 10-0 in one-score games and since the beginning of 2021, 26 of their 31 games have been nail-biters. The defense is quite generous (just in time for the Christmas season) allowing the most 1st downs via the pass, the 2nd highest yards per attempt (7.5), and the 2nd most total passing yards. Over Minnesota’s last seven home games, the games have averaged 55 total points. We love it for DFS purposes making both sides of this game easily stackable.
Dalvin Cook finds himself in an advantageous position against a porous Giants run defense allowing the most yards per carry and the 3rd highest expected points per rush attempt. His salary on DraftKings ($7200) doesn’t make sense to me. You can use him as a correlative piece or a one-off if you want to escape this game with the field likely playing a ton of it. Kirk Cousins at home is always on the table. In Minnesota wins this year (11 of them), he’s averaging 39.5 pass attempts per game which is impressive. Kevin O’Connell preached more passing volume and he was dead on. In case you missed this interview from Giants DC Wink Martindale, have some fun:
Wink Martindale on going up against Kevin O'Connell's Vikings offense:
"It's unfair. I'm the blue-collar guy going against Harry Styles" 😂 pic.twitter.com/olk4Utpzoy
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) December 21, 2022
Can Daniel Jones provide us with some fantasy goodness? The Giants play slow and fairly controlled with the 6th highest rush rate when trailing in 2nd halves this year. He has three true dome games in his career averaging 39 pass attempts and 305 passing yards.You’d kill for that type of volume against this Vikings pass defense. Double stacking Jones with Saquon and another Giants pass-catcher is affordable and it wouldn’t be shocking to see this game hit the over. With a Giants stack, you’re hoping they play catch up or hit on a long bomb against a defense allowing the 2nd highest rate of 15+ yard pass plays.