Welcome to FantasyPros’ weekly pace and efficiency report. Each week of the season, we’ll survey trends in snap count totals while examining pace and efficiency data. Opportunity is king in fantasy football, and teams that run more plays have more opportunities to score fantasy points.
Snap counts are the product of pace and efficiency, so examining each factor provides insight into future game environments, changes in coaching philosophy, and offensive growth or decline throughout the season.
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Fantasy Football Week 4 NFL Pace & Efficiency Preview (2023)
Teams Projected for High Week 4 Snap Counts
Kansas City Chiefs
This is almost as good as their spot against the Chicago Bears last week, if not better. They have by far the highest matchup score of the week, which is what you get when a fast efficient team with a good defense plays a fast inefficient team with a middling defense. It’s almost the perfect setup. As I and everyone else in the sports space have noticed, the Jets are going nowhere with Zach Wilson, both in the win column and up and down the field. Kansas City should blow them out and run a ton of plays.
I have my doubts as to exactly how good this team is, but they appear to be great for fantasy. Through three weeks, they rank in the top 10 in pace, have run the fifth most plays/60 minutes, and have a respectable 65.1 CER. Meanwhile, the Colts aren’t efficient, but they do play fast. So when they aren’t moving the ball, they’re at least getting off the field quickly. This is good for the Rams’ play outlook. I think this could be a sneaky good game to target in DFS as I suspect it won’t be highly owned.
The Chargers are a goldmine for fantasy. They’re fast and efficient. They have stars. They have a terrible defense. They are the fantasy nuts. Their opponent Las Vegas, is a dumpster fire that features little pace or efficiency. I don’t necessarily think this is a blowout spot, but perhaps a shootout spot. At worst, LA will control the game and run a ton of plays.
Teams Projected for Low Week 4 Snap Counts
New York Jets
I have little to add after what I’ve written on them above and in the previous two weeks. Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall are the only Jets I would consider playing, but even they are thin plays. They’re “avoids” in DFS and probably bench-worthy in redraft, depending on your team and league settings. They have a terrible matchup against one of the best teams and offenses in the NFL, the Chiefs. Avoid the playing Jets players if you can.
I was somewhat bullish on the fantasy potential of this squad in the offseason, but it’s beginning to just like “fetch”- it’s not happening. So many of the pieces on this offense are cheap in DFS but Philadelphia is such a tough matchup. They have a great offense and a great defense. They keep their offense on the field and yours off. Washington was nothing short of pathetic against Buffalo last week, and I suspect a similar performance this week.
While the Cardinals stunned the NFL world on Sunday, they still ran only 53 plays. They have a much tougher matchup this week against the 49ers, who are a pace and efficiency killer. They have the second-slowest pace but the fourth-highest CER. This means that they move the ball and score, but slowly. Additionally, they have a strong defense. Arizona will likely be left with few plays run and even those are against a staunch defense. They’re an avoid again this week.
Notes and Trends
- With our sample size growing, we're starting to see what we expect. The top 10 teams in CER all make sense. Since Week 1, the four teams with the biggest increase in their CER are Arizona (this will decrease in the coming weeks), Buffalo, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and Buffalo. Four out of the five of these are among the best teams in the league. This shows that our law of large numbers is slowly setting in, and we can take the metrics in this table more at face value than in previous weeks.
- The biggest faller in CER this week is Atlanta. We all have our questions about Arthur Smith's use of his best players, and it's appearing that's starting to rear its ugly head. It's so hard to play anymore in this offense besides Bijan with any level of confidence. At least they play a struggling Jacksonville team this week.
**Composite Efficiency Score is a statistic I created using regression analysis of the efficiency metrics on the table.
*** Matchup score is a weighted metric that accounts for a team's pace, efficiency, and defense, as well as their opponent's, to show which matchup is most conducive for running a high number of plays.