NFL DFS Pace of Play for Week 8 (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. 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.

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 hovering UNDER 40 which gives you zero confidence in DFS.

For Week 8, 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.

Miami Dolphins  @ Detroit Lions (+3) – O/U: 50.5

Team Sec/Play Neutral Sit. Pace Pass Rate Over Exp.
Team Implied Total
Miami Dolphins 23 29 7 26.8
Detroit Lions 2 6 24 23.8

Both of these teams’ pace metrics feel a bit off at first glance. The Dolphins have gone all-in on throwing the ball this year ranking 7th in pass rate over expectation but playing slower than you think. The Lions, on the other hand, look like they play fast but rank 24th in PROE and 3rd in rush rate in the 1st half. The Dan Campbell way is to win in the trenches but spoiler alert: this team ain’t it. The Lions are always trailing: in the second halves of games, they’ve held the ball under 45 percent of the time, 31st in the NFL ahead of only the lowly Carolina Panthers. This is all about projecting the proper game flow.

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This game has the highest total on the slate but I wouldn’t be surprised if it closes at 50 or slightly below. While I might have some questions about the pace, both teams rank top-5 in explosive pass rate (MIA- 2nd, DET- 4th) giving us room for big plays to happen. This game also scores well in our GPS metrics given how affordable the pieces are outside of Tyreek Hill on both FanDuel and DraftKings. Last week Tua Tagovailoa was good, not great leading the Dolphins to an ugly 16-10 win over the Steelers. It’s worth noting that while that monster 6-TD game in Week 2 versus the Ravens remains in our minds, Tua has been much more turnover-prone than you might realize:

The Miami offensive line is upgraded from 2021 but still allows the 3rd highest pressure rate in the NFL. When Tua is pressured, his aDOT shrinks preferring to get the ball out quickly with 55(!) percent of his dropbacks going under 2.5 seconds, 7th lowest in the NFL.

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% of Dropbacks Comp % YPA aDOT TDs PFF Grade
Under Pressure 23.1 54.8 6.7 7.6 1 27th
Clean Pocket 76.9 70.6 9.1 9.6 8 10th

Luckily, Detroit ranks 31st in pass DVOA with CB Amani Oruwariye being a major issue across from budding star Jeffrey Okudah. The issue is figuring out what to do with a chalk piece like Raheem Mostert. Tua’s had a mostly negative correlation with his running mate in the backfield through 26 starts. Tua double stacks are what paid off in Week 2 and we recommend the same this week.

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