NFL DFS Pace of Play for Week 17 (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 17, 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.
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions (-6)- O/U: 52
Well, here we are. Did you project the Bears and Lions to be the game of the week way back in the summer when you preparing your best ball tournament lineups? This year has been a rager at Ford Field with Lions home games averaging 60+ combined points and the most plays per game. Jared Goff‘s home splits are now part of our regular vernacular (avg 277 & 2.6 TDs) but it’s the Lions’ defense that unlocks this team as a DFS gem. The Lions rank dead last in total yards per game, EPA per play, and points allowed. To emphasize this further, teams are gaining a 1st down via the pass on almost 39 percent of their pass attempts, the highest in the NFL. But last week’s formula against this defense was a “high-T” approach of the Panthers running it until the Lions could stop it. Spoiler: they could not stop it. D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard ran the ball 33 times for a combined 290(!) yards. That is just the way the Bears like it ranking #1 in rush rate, rushing yards per game, and 2nd in 15+ yard runs. If the Bears are going to keep things close, it’s going to be on the back of the running game.