Sets, Snaps, & Stats: Week 13

Pat Thorman examines the fantasy impact of up-tempo offenses and other emerging trends after 13 weeks of NFL action.

| 3 years ago

Pat Thorman examines the fantasy impact of up-tempo offenses and other emerging trends after 13 weeks of NFL action.

Sets, Snaps, & Stats: Week 13


Danny-WoodheadThe weekly Sets, Snaps and Stats report is a summary of participation, formation, target and other 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 out subscribers with a competitive advantage.

As we head down the stretch of the 2013 season it continues to be both interesting and instructive to monitor the level of no-huddle usage around the league. Targeting players who will be participating in games with a high probability of elevated snap counts may provide a crucial edge in fantasy playoff matchups.

Week 13 provided a glimpse of which teams are still largely committed to going up-tempo, like Baltimore (77.4% of snaps), Philadelphia (67.1%), and Denver (34.8%), which teams have discovered (Pittsburgh; 47.5%) or rediscovered the no-huddle (Buffalo; 49.2%), as well as teams that have temporarily abandoned it, like New England (2.9% of snaps), San Diego (0%), and Green Bay (0%). There were also a pair of young quarterbacks who piloted a hurry-up drive or two, and left their fans wanting even more.

After using the no-huddle to spark a sluggish offense against the Dolphins in Week 12, the Panthers once again found success when they went up-tempo against Tampa Bay. Following an early touchdown, Carolina went three-and-out twice and Cam Newton was intercepted. Five hurry-up plays during a drive that resulted in a field goal helped to right them, and a 7-6 lead quickly stretched to 17-6 before the half.

Washington jump started its offense by going up-tempo, something that they had toyed with earlier in the season. Seven no-huddle snaps on a scripted opening drive ended in a touchdown for the Skins, and another scoring drive at the start of the second quarter benefitted from the hurry-up. In total, Washington used it on 27.9 percent of their Week 13 snaps, but only six second half plays. They scored 14 of their 17 points in the first half.

On the other side of the ledger, the Patriots and Chargers are two teams that have used the no-huddle to varying degrees but thought better (or worse, in San Diego’s case) of it during Week 13 action. New England, despite being behind by double digits at halftime for the second week in a row, only went with the hurry-up on two plays right before the half. They also skipped it against Denver last week, even though they were in Foxborough. The Chargers were at home, but perhaps were worried about their perpetually shuffling offensive line, and continued to shy away from the up-tempo approach that served them well earlier this season.

Ranking

Week 13 Snaps

2013 Snaps (Avg/Gm)

Opponents (Avg/Gm)

1st

Minnesota (86)

Denver (72.3)

Philadelphia (74.3)

2nd

Atlanta (83)

New England (71.1)

New England (70.2)

3rd

Miami (80)

Detroit (69.8)

Minnesota (69.9)

4th

Detroit (77)

Buffalo (69.8)

Buffalo (69.6)

5th

Tennessee (74)

Washington (69.7)

Denver (69.3)

The Week 13 snaps leaderboard is topped by two squads who wound up in overtime, followed by a pair that faced abominable offenses. While we cannot forecast ties, although Minnesota would be a good place to start, Miami and Detroit are examples of offenses that were likely to enjoy high play volume due to the train wrecks their opponents were starting at quarterback. It may not be pretty to watch, mainly because a team like the Jets is strong defensively, but the end-of-game statistics are usually there. This is one of the reasons the Jets surrender the third most fantasy points to kickers.

New York’s pop-gun offense guarantees that they will not run away on the scoreboard and negate the usefulness of three points for their opponents. Their offense, most often operating on their own side of the field, is mistake prone enough to surrender possessions that begin in their territory. The Jets’ defense is stout enough to often stall drives in field goal range. Over the last seven games, the Jets have twice given up two, three, and four field goals. The seventh game was a blowout against the Bengals where they gave up seven extra points. Check in with Sebastian Janikowski to see if he is available to kick for you, and against New York, during the first week of the fantasy playoffs.

Ranking

Week 13 Snaps

2013 Snaps (Avg/Gm)

Opponents (Avg/Gm)

32nd

Green Bay (42)

San Francisco (59.4)

Houston (58.4)

31st

Tampa Bay (46)

Dallas (59.7)

Carolina (58.7)

30th

New Orleans (53)

Seattle (61.7)

New Orleans (60.1)

29th

NY Jets (54)

Tampa Bay (62.2)

San Diego (60.6)

28th

NY Giants (54)

Oakland (62.2)

Detroit (61.1)

The Saints offense has protected their defense all season by possessing the ball and minimizing snaps for Rob Ryan’s resurgent crew. That is more easily done against Dallas’ or Buffalo’s defense, than against the Seahawks in Seattle. The Week 13 matchup resulted in the Saints surrendering their second highest play total of the year. Although their average is 60.1, New Orleans has surrendered 67.5 plays per game in their last two. And although their average is 65.5, New Orleans has run just 56 plays per game in their last two.

Back in Week 9, we advised Drew Brees owners to explore trading him after his upcoming game against Dallas. Before that point he was the second highest scoring fantasy quarterback and he is 17th best since. This is not brought up for horn-tooting reasons (okay, maybe a little), but to illustrate how dependent on game flow the Saints are, and how it is not outlandish to consider benching Brees in the playoffs if another strong option is available. His pass protection is no better now that it was when we examined it five weeks ago and the Panthers, who they face twice, are still an excellent pass rushing team. The Saints defense is susceptible, especially against the run, when forced to play too many snaps – and we got a glimpse of it on Monday Night Football.

Now on with the rest of this week’s Sets, Snaps & Stats, after a quick look at notable games from a snaps and tempo perspective:

Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles surrender the most plays to opponents by more than four plays per game, and the Lions run the third most. Detroit has averaged 73.7 snaps per game over their last three and Philly has given up 73.3 in theirs. The Lions give up the fifth fewest snaps, and just 45.5 per game in their last two, while the Eagles had been below their season average every week since Week 7 before running 73 plays against the Cardinals. It will be interesting to see if Detroit can hold the Eagles down while on the road. They have surrendered an average of 69 snaps while away from Ford Field, where they only allow 53.2 per game.

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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



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

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