Picking up the pace: Don’t count on much action from MIN-PHI

The Vikings-Eagles game could be a slog Sunday, while others should have higher pace. Pat Thorman looks at all the variables.

| 8 months ago
(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Picking up the pace: Don’t count on much action from MIN-PHI

Welcome to the Week 7 edition of Snaps, Pace & Stats, where we examine trends in snap totals and no-huddle usage. It is meant as a 30,000-foot view of upcoming games, with the goal of identifying which matchups will — and which will not — be played on fertile fantasy soil.

The most interesting soil this week is in Kansas City, where the Saints will deploy their explosive offense and suspect defense. The question is if the Chiefs will continue a post-bye approach that saw them run on 63 percent of snaps in soggy Oakland. They held the Raiders to only 53 plays (third-fewest of Week 6) and were the slowest-paced team of the week (34.5 seconds per snap). Kansas City looked an awful lot like the outfit that won their final 10 games of 2015 while averaging 57.7 plays and pacing at the league’s slowest rate.

The matchup with New Orleans’ 20th-graded run defense, which allows the 11th-most yards per carry, invites a ball-control approach. Any Saints contest can turn into a fantasy-point explosion, despite their offense typically being muted in road games. This week is no exception. Yet, if Andy Reid truly recommitted himself to their 2015 approach during the Chiefs’ Week 5 bye, they could turn this game into their second low-volume slog in a row. Tread carefully, even if the soil is dry this week.

Up in pace

Rank Week 6 Snaps 2016 Snaps/Game Opponent Wk 6 Snaps 2016 Opp Snaps/Gm
1 Chicago (77) Baltimore (70.8) Jacksonville (77) N.Y. Giants (70.7)
2 Baltimore (76) Tampa Bay (70.6) New Orleans (76) Miami (69.8)
3 Carolina (76) New Orleans (69.2) N.Y. Giants (76) San Francisco (69.5)
4 Buffalo (75) Arizona (68.7) San Francisco (75) New Orleans (69.0)
5 New Orleans (71) Carolina (68.5) Carolina (71) San Diego (67.7)


San Diego Chargers at Atlanta Falcons

Neither the Falcons (63.7; 15th-most) nor the Chargers (61.3; 28th) run a ton of plays per game, but both allow plenty. San Diego surrenders the fifth-most (67.7), and Atlanta the eighth-most (67.3). Over the last four weeks, each team is giving up 68.3 snaps (fifth-most). Considering that they rank first and second in points per play, as well as in the top 12 for points allowed on a per-play basis, even a slightly elevated snap pace will bear fruit. They already rank first (Falcons) and second (Chargers) in total points.

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Pat Thorman is a lead writer for PFF Fantasy and a Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner.

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