Sets, Snaps and Stats: Week 1
The weekly Sets, Snaps and Stats report is a summary of participation, formation, target and other relevant data mined by PFF’s game charters. Used with PFF Fantasy’s own Signature Stats, our aim – as always – is identifying relevant trends to provide our subscribers with a competitive advantage.
It is no secret that an increasing number of NFL offenses are striving to run as many plays as they can. While not every team will see this approach result in more wins tacked on to their year-end record, the proliferation of the hurry-up offense is undeniably boosting statistical totals around the league. Fantasy owners would do well to regularly take notice, and not only of which squads are eschewing huddles for quicker snaps, but of who their opponents are.
This is especially the case for IDP league participants, who will reap the rewards of more resulting defensive statistics when their players face up-tempo outfits. Offenses whose counterparts prefer quick snaps are usually in for elevated play counts of their own. However, this is not always the case, and even when it is it may not be dramatic.
For instance, the hurry-up loving 2012 New England Patriots tallied the most plays in the league, but their opponents collectively only ran roughly one more play per game than their yearly average. Eight opponents ran fewer plays than their seasonal per game average when they faced New England. Whether that was due to play calling, taking longer between snaps to give their defense a breather, or simply because those teams were not good enough on offense to hold the ball – the point is to not go overboard expecting up-tempo teams’ opponents to regularly match their high play counts.
The surest way to play the up-tempo revolution is to concentrate on which teams are actually running more plays. In Week 1, the top five were the Patriots (89 snaps), Ravens (87), Eagles (77), Lions (76), and 49ers (75). New England, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Baltimore all finished in the top 10 in most offensive plays run last season.
The Buffalo Bills are taking an up-tempo approach this year as well. They were in shotgun and running the hurry-up on nearly every snap against the Patriots. However penalties, which are not counted in PFF snap data, short circuited their upset of New England. We will keep a close eye on them, and other tempo trendsetters, in the coming weeks.
Until then, here are the upcoming matchups involving notable up-tempo offenses, followed by the rest of Week 1’s Sets, Snaps and Stats:
New York Jets at New England Patriots (Thursday Night Football)
How much hurry-up will the Patriots be running with a triage unit currently doubling as their offense? Even if it is less than usual, expect some up-tempo from New England.
Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills
Carolina ran the fewest Week 1 plays, but that will change when they shuffle up to Buffalo. Expect statistical boosts on both sides of the ball for all fantasy-relevant Panthers. Other than Jonathan Stewart.
Please note that penalty plays are removed from the snap totals and will differ from what is posted in our Premium Statistics game logs.
Pat Thorman is a Lead Writer for PFF Fantasy. You can follow him on Twitter at @Pat_Thorman