NFL DFS Pace of Play & Stacks for Week 14 (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 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.
For Week 14, I’ve sorted by all 32 team implied totals while focusing on pass rate over expectation (PROE), and no-huddle rate from the 1st three weeks, and factor that for a final GPS score. As I mentioned at the beginning of the season, no-huddle rate had one of the strongest correlation coefficients year-to-year.
At this time of the year, weather does play a small role in how we project for DFS. I want to emphasize how incredibly hard it is for people trying to forecast fake football outcomes much less turn into amateur forecasters. We’re not good at either and when you combine them, it is ugly. There are a couple of industry names that are tried and true over the years such as Kevin Roth if you want to give him a follow.
🏈☔️ Another active week for NFL weather. Current thinking is that the east coast games (BAL, NYJ) get the worst of the weather, while Midwest games (CLE, CHI, CIN) are in better shape.
Keep in mind this can and likely will change some by Sunday, full thoughts:…
— Kevin Roth (@KevinRothWx) December 6, 2023
Notice that none of the three games listed here have any current potential weather concerns. There is a reason their totals stand above the rest as Betz pointed out in the Vegas Report.
📈Week 13 NFL Team Trends📉
EPA per drive team tiers:
The Ravens' defense has taken over as the best by EPA per drive allowed pic.twitter.com/1kfPGexvEM
— Sam Hoppen (@SamHoppen) December 6, 2023
2023 hasn’t been the kindest to us for high-scoring affairs for DFS. The Bills & Chiefs are not the carbon copies of yesteryears and Vegas agrees. However, at 47.5, this is still a pace-up spot considering the elevated PROE of each team. Buffalo’s defense is starting to unravel and over the last month, Buffalo games have averaged almost 52 points per game. If you zoom in since October, Buffalo ranks 26th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points to QBs, 26th to RBs, and 26th to TEs. That sounds like a Patrick Mahomes special waiting to happen. While he normally slays on the road throughout his career, his home splits have been much better this year averaging 37.8 pass attempts, 2.3 passing TDs, and a QB rating of 101 in Arrowhead. A Mahomes double-stack hasn’t paid off since Week 7 but this is the spot to dive in. Rashee Rice is the only WR you can have confidence in given his strong per-route metrics (26% TPRR, 2.41 YPRR) and the lack of any other WR on the roster who is more than a dart throw (Hint Hint.) For Kelce, his dominant stretch of five top-5 finishes in his first six games came down to the consolidation of KC targets, something we have not seen over the back half of the season.