Welcome back to the Pace of Play Report: Week 17 where we examine each NFL team’s pace of play. Here, we look at how many plays per minute each offense is snapping off, giving their players the maximum opportunities to score fantasy points. So, with just one week left in the 2022 season, which teams are the true sultans of speed? Who are the princes of plodding along?
Grounding the Birds
We have talked for much of the season about how important pace is for an offense. Getting plays in and getting them run is, of course, the best way to generate yards and by definition fantasy points. But Week 17 saw one team milk the clock spectacularly, thereby hampering not only their players’ fantasy output but also that of their opponents.
The New Orleans Saints, who have flitted between No.9 and No. 17 all season, have fallen to No. 21 after Week 17. They called 68 offensive plays last Sunday with a mind-numbing 31.8 seconds per snap average. This ball control method restricted the high-powered Philadelphia Eagles offense to just 55 plays, well below their season average. Playing behind on the scoreboard, and also the clock, the Eagles were forced to go no-huddle at a higher rate than normal and also pass more. They went with a 71-percent pass rate against the Saints. This helped both A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith post WR1 numbers last week. But it continued the fantasy post-season slump for Miles Sanders. Sanders played a season-low 41.9-percent of the snaps and posted his second-straight 6.1 fantasy outing.
Elsewhere, it is interesting that the Tennessee Titans now sit at No. 27 in the pace of play standings. Before this week, they had not been higher than No. 30 all season long. They were one of the quickest offenses across the entire league last week but served as a warning. Speed does not also equal productivity. They only ran 65 plays, which is a lot for them based on their season average. But it’s still only around the league average.
The Week Ahead
I’m not going to lie to you. This slate of games has some absolute doozies. We have a match between the fastest offense in the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the slowest in the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints have shown that they are not afraid to suck the air out of a game on offense, and they clash with the Carolina Panthers who have fallen from No. 9 after Week 2 all the way to No. 24. Boy, the NFC South has been something this year, hasn’t it?
There is just one game between two sides that are currently sitting inside the top ten. That is the clash between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Denver Broncos. But if you are playing Week 18 DFS, you need to seriously ask yourself a question. How many players in this game are you thinking of playing? And does this tally increase/decrease just because both sides want to get to the line quicker than other teams?
I didn’t think so.