NFL DFS Pace of Play & Stacks to Consider for Week 9

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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.

For Week 9, I’ve sorted by all 32 team implied totals while focusing on pass rate over expectation (PROE), 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.

I added EPA (Expected Points Added) to our colorful spreadsheet as seven games start to give us somewhat of a trend of how these teams are functioning. 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.

Make sure to check out the DFS & Betting Podcast where Betz and I break down the main slate and highlight some of our favorite plays of the week. Keep in mind we focus on the “main slate”.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

The last couple of games between these division rivals have given us some absolute fireworks. Here are the last four making this far and away the best game of the week:

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12-24-22 10-16-22 01-08-22 09-27-21
Total Points 74 43 77 62
Total Plays 144 138 136 131
Total Pass Att. 75 63 62 65

Dallas is a tough code to crack because they have been involved in some of the most lop-sided games of the year. Their neutral situation ranks are encouraging ranking 6th in PROE but super slow in terms of seconds per play (30th) thanks to the 4th highest time of possessions percentage (54&) in the NFL. In other words, if this game is as close as Vegas thinks, the passing game and the matchup against this Philadelphia secondary is what we want to lean into. The Eagles rank 23rd in pass DVOA and dead last in DvP versus fantasy WRs. Ceedee Lamb should be a focal point for stacking after an insane 41% target share last week. Brandin Cooks will also be a worthy add-on although his ceiling looks capped and Jake Ferguson is tied with Travis Kelce for the most red-zone targets. The biggest question for Dallas is what do you do with Tony Pollard? He has the 2nd most 10-zone carries in the NFL but only two rushing TDs to speak of. The narrative will be the Philly rush defense which ranks #1 in rush DVOA and is allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs highlighted by stonewalling every run game thus far. In fact, no RB1 has surpassed 60 rushing yards in a game. Pollard is a large-field leverage play only with his great price tag.

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