This is the Pace of Play Report: Week 11! We have reached Thanksgiving in 2022, and doesn’t it seem like the season has gone by quickly? The remaining few weeks will whip by at a considerable pace too, I assure you. Speaking of pace, welcome to the weekly look at the pace of play of each NFL team. Here, we look at how many plays per minute each offense is snapping off, which is information of vital importance across the fantasy football landscape. After all, the more plays a team runs, the more fantasy points players can score. So which teams are princes of pace, and who are devotees of dragging out each play clock?
The Denver Broncos jumped from No. 18 to No. 15 in the rankings after Week 11. It’s hardly a wild jump, as they are still averaging less than two plays per minute. But it was the first game with Klint Kubiak calling the plays, so maybe they will become a more pace-based offense than in previous weeks. Still, it would need to be a special transformation to make them a fantasy-relevant squad. There are only a handful of Broncos that fantasy managers should really care about in 2022. Their quarterback is not one of them.
The Buffalo Bills also saw their pace of play increase from last week to this. They were in a pretty close game with the Cleveland Browns in Detroit. With Josh Allen at less than 100-percent, this is certainly noteworthy. It’s also notable that Allen had his worst fantasy game of the year in Week 11. Something to keep an eye on moving forward, I would think.
The New England Patriots played out one of the all-time ugly on-the-eye games in NFL history against the New York Jets in Week 11. Yet, they clearly were enjoying what they were doing and wanted to savor every moment. Why else would their pace of play drop from 1.879 (No. 27) a week ago to 1.843 (No. 31)? Because the Patriots have clearly decided, in the words of the Mandalorian, that this is the way. This is another fantasy offense that we really don’t want too many pieces of.
The New Orleans Saints enjoyed some success in Week 11 against the listless Los Angeles Rams, and this allowed them to take things slower than usual. The Saints dropped out of the top ten this week as their pace of play fell to 2.020. That puts them just a tick faster than the Carolina Panthers and just behind the Philadelphia Eagles. One encouraging thing to emerge from their slowing down was the effect it had on Alvin Kamara and his snap share. Kamara played 100-percent of the offensive plays although he was only able to post RB18 numbers. If the Saints find a way to keep him on the field for every play, then maybe better fantasy days are ahead. Even if they play slower than we’d like.
The Week Ahead
The most eye-popping matchup from a pace perspective is the clash between the Arizona Cardinals (No. 3) and the Los Angeles Chargers (No. 2). The Chargers finally have some offensive pieces getting back healthy and a plethora of plays should keep Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen and Josh Palmer fantasy relevant. Even Gerald Everett, if he can get onto the field, should see plenty of opportunity. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have DeAndre Hopkins. And that’s all we really need to care about.
The Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers matchup is another clash between two top-ten speedy sides. The Bucs’ offensive players were just starting to round into form before their bye, and a lot of plays mean good news for Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and probably Rachaad White. As for the Browns, there is Amari Cooper and Nick Chubb, but don’t forget about Donovan Peoples-Jones. He’s become almost an every-down player for the Browns recently, clearing 70 receiving yards in six of his last seven games.
The game that should see the play clock approaching triple zero before a snap is taken the most this week should once again feature the Tennessee Titans. They take on the Cincinnati Bengals, who are not exactly whippets themselves when it comes to running plays. Still, the Titans are something of a pass funnel defense, so we want Tee Higgins if Ja’Marr Chase sits out, and probably both if Chase is healthy. For the Titans, we want Derrick Henry. And nothing else.
Happy Thanksgiving, folks.