NFL DFS Pace of Play for Week 16 (Fantasy Football)

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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. In 2020, on average, teams ran a play 0.8 seconds per play slower in positive game scripts than they did in neutral game script.

A reminder on a simple metric I introduced earlier: 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 hovering close to 40 which gives you zero confidence in DFS.

Keep in mind that we must analyze these pace-up spots within the context of the slate. In other words, while each game is played between just two teams, the selections you make in DFS are not. You can only roster one QB and thus his stacking options with him. 

This week I’ll highlight one game, one onslaught candidate and five other correlative plays factoring in their pace metrics, stacks to consider for tournaments, and five dart throws to shoot for the moon with. Normally I would consider full game stacks but this isn’t one of those weeks.

Make sure to check out the DFS Podcast where Betz and I breakdown the main slate and highlight some of our favorite plays of the week.

Los Angeles Rams @ Minnesota Vikings (+)- O/U: 49.0

Team

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Team Implied Total Neutral Pace 2021 Pass Rate
Los Angeles Rams 26.0 1st 62.4%

Minnesota Vikings

23.0 14th 59.0%

This is easily the best game environment of the week but perhaps for reasons you might be unaware of. We know the Rams are a dream scenario ranking 1st in neutral pace and Stafford ranking 1st in EPA per pass attempt. On TuesdayNightFootball.com, Stafford for 244 & 2, but it felt like all of that went to Cooper Kupp. We are running out of ways to describe Kupp and fading him feels like only a stupid alternative. The Minnesota secondary is among the easiest to exploit in the NFL. They’ve allowed the 4th most passing yards, the 2nd highest passing rate inside the 10, and the most fantasy points to opposing WRs. We don’t have to overcomplicate things. Go through the WRs and figure out ways to double-stack and attach lower rostered players. I still like Odell Beckham Jr. despite a down game on MNF.

The Vikings run the 6th most plays in the NFL not by pure speed but by efficiency.  Kirk Cousins will be destroyed for his performance on Monday Night. He averaged 3.6 YPA versus the Bears as the 6th QB in the last decade to win a game with that low of a YPA & 20+ attempts. However, on the season, he’s been getting in done through the air with the 6th highest EPA per pass attempt and 76 percent of the team’s TDs coming through the air. This is where I want to attack this game: Cousins and the Vikings passing game. Justin Jefferson might be my favorite play on the slate as he is an absolute slate breaker at home as I detailed in the First Look article. Adam Thielen‘s status is up in the air but K.J. Osborn is way to get a lower rostered player with upside to boot. I also like Tyler Conklin as a lower-tier TE stacking option. The biggest question is what do we do with Dalvin?

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