Picking up the pace: Fertile fantasy soil in the playoffs

Pat Thorman investigates which playoff games will and won't offer fantasy-helpful paces this weekend.

| 5 months ago
Raiders QB Connor Cook

(Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Picking up the pace: Fertile fantasy soil in the playoffs


Welcome to the Wild Card round 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.

2016 Snaps Per Game NFL Rank Last Four Games NFL Rank
Houston Texans (66.9) 5th New York Giants (70.5) 3rd
Oakland Raiders (65.5) 11th Houston Texans (69.0) 4th
Green Bay Packers (64.3) 13th Seattle Seahawks (67.3) 8th
Pittsburgh Steelers (64.1) 14th Pittsburgh Steelers (65.8) 11th
New York Giants (63.6) 16th Detroit Lions (64.8) 12th
Seattle Seahawks (63.3) 19th Oakland Raiders (64.0) 14th
Detroit Lions (61.3) 29th Green Bay Packers (60.8) 25th
Miami Dolphins (57.1) 32nd Miami Dolphins (57.0) 31st

 

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans

Even if the Raiders avoided their quarterback apocalypse, this would project as a slow-paced matchup. Oakland allows the fourth-fewest plays per game (61.7) and the second-fewest during the last month (57.3). They wanted to be a run-based offense with Derek Carr. Now that he’s gone, they will hide whoever takes snaps — whether it’s an injured Matt McGloin or, more likely, a raw Connor Cook. The Texans’ run defense grades 18th-best, while their pass coverage ranks fifth. Oakland will rely on their fifth-highest-graded run-blocking and gaggle of running backs to hammer Houston’s relative weakness. As long as the game stays close, they won’t be in a rush to snap it again.

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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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