NFL DFS Pace of Play: Week 4 (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 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 4, 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.
Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens (+3.5)– O/U: 52
There is little question about what game we should be attacking this week from a DFS stacking perspective. Josh Allen is passing at an unreal level as the Bills have all but abandoned throwing the ball. Lamar is in a different stratosphere scoring the most fantasy points by a QB through the first three games of a season.
Lamar Jackson is absolutely DESTROYING the blitz this year
#1 in EPA/att
#2 in YPA
#3 in success rate
he has 6 passing TDs vs the blitz thru 3 games
but not only is he the NFL's best passer vs the blitz this year… pic.twitter.com/kZTqJDWPMp
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) September 27, 2022
Baltimore’s transformation into letting Lamar loose as a passer with highest pass rate (59.6%) of his career while ranking 6th in expected points per pass attempt. We’re getting a fully evolved version of Lamar that is throwing deeper down the field and not taking off to scramble as much.
|Year||aDOT||% of Att. 20+ Yards||Scramble Rate|
Stacking Lamar with Mark Andrews is cost prohibitive this week taking up 30.8 percent of your salary. That is the breaking point for me to consider stacks because of what the rest of your roster must do to make up the difference. You need 70+ points combined from the two. But if you consider that Travis Kelce is not on this slate and place Andrews in the receiving category, it makes sense. As I mentioned in the First Look article, Andrews has an insane 36.5 percent target share and ranks 2nd in the NFL in “first-read” target share at 40.3 percent. Single-stacking Lamar is preferred in small fields but if you are playing in a large field, you need something more than Lamar + Andrews if this game hits. Devin Duvernay sounds like a sneaky option but he has eight total targets on the year even if big plays have occurred. Rashod Bateman came back down to earth last week after a few long bombs helped boost his fantasy output. The Buffalo defense is allowing the 6th highest target share to the WR position so Bateman is more of a runback or leverage point from Andrews for me. I do expect J.K. Dobbins to get more involved after seeing nine total opportunities last week. As Chase Edmonds stole two bunny TDs last week, Dobbins is only advisable if you want to wipe out all other BAL options. We took the under on his rushing line recently.