News & Analysis

Snaps, Pace, & Stats: How Week 3 shapes up for fantasy

By Patrick Thorman
Sep 19, 2018

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Dec 24, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) celebrates with center Daniel Kilgore (67), offensive guard Laken Tomlinson (75), quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) after a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the third quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Week 3 edition of Snaps, Pace, & Stats, where we examine trends in snap totals and no-huddle usage. It is meant to be 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.

Week 2 brought nearly as much scoring as the NFL’s opening week point-fest, and play volume levels remained elevated. While the 63.2 play-per-game average of this past week didn’t match Week 1’s mark (64.9), it would have ranked sixth-highest last season.

The overall no-huddle rate was also down from Week 1 but would still have ranked as the fifth-highest weekly mark last season. Things are still looking up, despite a week where there weren’t an overwhelming number of compelling offensive matchups. Week 3 appears to contain more, so let’s dive in.

Up in pace

Rank Week 2 Snaps 2018 Snaps/Game Opponent Wk 2 Snaps 2018 Opp Snaps/Gm
1 Baltimore (81) Baltimore (77.5) Cincinnati (81) Cincinnati (79)
2 Philadelphia (75) Pittsburgh (77) Tampa Bay (75) Kansas City (74)
3 Pittsburgh (74) Washington (73) Kansas City (74) San Francisco (72)
4 Detroit (73) Cleveland (72.5) San Francisco (73) Arizona (71)
5 Washington (71) Detroit (70) Indianapolis (71) Cleveland (70.5)
San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs

Neither the Chiefs nor the 49ers has run a ton of plays. Yet each has given up a truckload of snap volume, ranking second (74 per game) and third (72), respectively, in plays allowed. While they haven’t approached Kansas City’s level of extreme efficiency, San Francisco’s offense has been respectable, considering the team opened in Minnesota and has absorbed a couple key injuries. The 49ers finished 2016 sixth in snaps and third in snaps allowed, with their contests averaging the league’s most combined plays. To keep up with the Chiefs, Jimmy Garoppolo will need to throw at an elevated clip and take advantage of Kansas City’s porous secondary – and we know how more passing leads to more plays.

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