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 8 NFL Pace & Efficiency Preview (2023)
Teams Projected for High Week 8 Snap Counts
New Orleans Saints
I wrote last week about how New Orleans was the biggest riser in week-over-week CER, but they’ve also been charging up the leaderboard in pace as well. The Saints now also rank second in plays/60 minutes and third in neutral situation pace. They have a decent matchup against Indianapolis, who I think looks better by the numbers than the eye test would think and that’s reflected in their matchup score.
The Browns are another team I wouldn’t expect to project for a high snap count, but they have a ton working for them. They lead the NFL in plays/60 minutes with a whopping 71.2 and the fifth fastest pace. Most importantly, they have a historic defense that ranks first in DVOA. This lessens the probability that their opponent will dominate the play count in garbage time. Their opponent, the Seahawks, can certainly give them a fight, but I like Cleveland to run 65 or more plays regardless of the game script.
The Eagles are a frequent visitor in this article, and their matchup this week makes them even more enticing. Philadelphia doesn’t run the fastest pace, but they rank fifth in both plays/60 minutes and CER. Additionally, they have a strong defense. This leads them to control the game, run a ton of plays, and often score a lot of points. They have a plus matchup against a Washington team they dropped 34 points on while running 67 plays in an overtime contest. I doubt this one will be as close as their last meeting, but I suspect the Eagles will still run a significant number of plays.
Teams Projected for Low Week 8 Snap Counts
You definitely have to tune out what you saw last time they played the Chiefs. This is a team that’s been pathetic in every metric on the table, save CER where they’re around league average. The Chiefs defense has now also found its footing, ranking fifth in DVOA. Perhaps there’s some back-door potential to run a higher number of plays, but this projects as the worst matchup of the week for a team that has already struggled to run many plays.
The Titans are off their bye and on the article. They have been horrid all year in terms of pace and efficiency, and now they get an Atlanta team that has been competent, but who has historically played a pretty slow and grind-it-out pace (remind you of anyone?). Tennessee might also be headed for a firesale, as they traded all-pro safety Kevin Byard to the Eagles this week. This should be a dud of a game, with Tennesee drawing nearly dead to run more than 59 plays.
Las Vegas Raiders
It appears Vegas will be getting back Jimmy Garoppolo, but I’m not sure how much that will matter. They’re below average in every major category on my table and have a tough matchup against a Lions team that will be looking to lick their wounds and get their pride back. My matchup score has them with the second toughest outlook of the week from a pace and efficiency standpoint, and I think that’s a fair assessment.
Notes and Trends
- The biggest riser in CER this week is the Baltimore Ravens. They clobbered the Lions and Lamar looked like his MVP self. The AFC is beginning to feel more and more open, so watch out for the Ravens to make a run as the season progresses.
- The biggest faller in CER this week is the Arizona Cardinals, yet again. Like I said last week, Joshua Dobbs has come down to earth and the Cardinals are becoming the team we thought they were. Unfortunately, this means that the days of Zach Ertz and Marquise Brown being massive values in DFS are likely over.
**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