NFL DFS Pace of Play & Stacks for Conference Championships (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 matter in a world where volume is king.

Each week I’ll highlight my favorite 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 of a simple metric I introduced a couple of years ago: 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– A 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.

I’ve sorted the final four by team implied totals while focusing on pass rate over expectation (PROE) and EPA metrics and factor that for a final GPS score.

If you’d like another visual format of Expected Points per Play, shout out to nflelo and one of my favorite websites for analytics & EPA tiers.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens

Well, well, well. We find ourselves in a peculiar situation where we’ve seen Mahomes/Jackson matchups before but never in the AFC Title game. The Ravens put together arguably one of the best all-around team performances in analytics history including the highest weighted DVOA ever through the Divisional Round. Baltimore stood up to every single test this year winning seven games against playoff teams. However, the games they dropped with starters playing were real head-scratchers: IND in OT, @ PIT, and CLE with Deshaun Watson. It’s a tough team to projection but where they should have the most success is running the ball. Kansas City ranked 28th in EPA per rush attempt, 27th in rush DVOA, and 26th in yards per carry allowed. I’m a fan of Gus Edwards on this 2-game slate (especially on FanDuel) as either a wipeout pick or a bring-back from Mahomes stacks. Lamar is priced as the QB1 for fgood reason after averaging 2.6 passing TDs over his last give games and some healthy rushing lines in the past against Steve Spagnuolo defenses. Lamar skinny stacks are what we usually employ and while he has the best correlation with his TEs, they might end up eating into each other’s playing time. With the other TEs available on this slate, I like shooting a dart at Rashod Bateman. He’s in on 2WR sets and Odell Beckham Jr. inexplicably ran just eight total routes last week. Zay Flowers is more expensive than I want him to be and KC shut down opposing WR1s all year long. Against the blitz, Lamar averages a healthy 8.5 yards per attempt making a deep shot certainly in play.

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