Pittsburgh’s pace will push the passing game

Pat Thorman examines fantasy-relevant trends from a no-huddle and snaps-based angle.

| 12 months ago
(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

Pittsburgh’s pace will push the passing game

Welcome to Snaps, Pace, and Stats, which examines trends in snap totals and no-huddle usage. This year I’ll be looking at individual players on Fridays in Advanced Matchup Plays, and it will appear both here and on RotoGrinders. Before that, however, it is helpful to take a 30,000-foot view of the upcoming games, in the hope of finding out which ones will be played on fertile fantasy soil.


Rank Week 8 Snaps 2015 Snaps/Game Opponent Wk 8 Snps 2015 Opp Snps/Gm
1 Indianapolis (84) Houston (74.1) Carolina (84) Carolina (73.0)
2 Arizona (77) New Orleans (71.4) Cleveland (77) N.Y. Giants (70.1)
3 New Orleans (76) San Diego (70.6) N.Y. Giants (76) Indianapolis (70.0)
4 Atlanta (73) Atlanta (70.3) Tampa Bay (73) Philadelphia (69.3)
5 Carolina (73) NYJ / PHI (68.1) Indianapolis (73) Oakland (69.1)


Oakland at Pittsburgh

While both teams rank in the bottom-six in plays per game, and just inside the bottom-10 in seconds-per-snap, we should expect increased snap volume on each side. The Raiders surrender the fifth-most plays per game and the Steelers allows the 11th-most. Pittsburgh’s pace is nearly three seconds quicker per play when Ben Roethlisberger plays a full game. Oakland’s 10th-ranked passing game (+10.0) has a clear matchup advantage against Pittsburgh’s 31st-graded pass coverage (-26.2).

DeAngelo Williams will be fine in place of Le’Veon Bell, but the Raiders’ run defense grades sixth-best (+16.0) and allows 3.6 yards per carry (second-lowest). Pittsburgh’s passing game, which ranks seventh despite Roethlisberger missing much of the season, has the edge on Oakland’s pass coverage (-6.1). Plus, during the three weeks that the Raiders faced up-tempo teams, they allowed 73.3 plays per game, and, as we’ll discuss in No-Huddle Notes, the Steelers will want to push the pace.


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Pat Thorman is a Lead Writer for PFF Fantasy and was named 2013 Newcomer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @Pat_Thorman

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

  • Chris Traina

    where is PFF grades of team run defense?