Sets, Snaps, & Stats: Week 14

Pat Thorman examines the fantasy impact of up-tempo offenses and other emerging trends after 14 weeks of NFL action.

| 4 years ago

Pat Thorman examines the fantasy impact of up-tempo offenses and other emerging trends after 14 weeks of NFL action.

Sets, Snaps, & Stats: Week 14

PittaThe 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.

With the offseason rapidly approaching, there will be plenty of time for big picture snap data ramblings in the coming weeks and months. For now we all share less of a macro focus than one that is locked in on Week 15. For that reason we are going heavier on specific players and matchups this week in the hopes of unearthing some gems and avoiding mirages. But first we will go through the paces of an abbreviated version of the weekly snap recap:


Week 14 Snaps

2013 Snaps (Avg/Gm)

Opponents (Avg/Gm)


Denver (91)

Denver (73.8)

Philadelphia (73.0)


Houston (80)

New England (71.5)

Minnesota (70.6)


Baltimore (79)

Washington (69.3)

New England (70.2)


New England (77)

Baltimore (69.3)

Cleveland (69.7)



Houston (69.2)

Buffalo (69.0)

The Broncos broke 90 plays for the first time this season and it had a lot to do with their going no-huddle on 69.2 percent of snaps, the highest percentage in the league for the week. Denver’s 91 total plays also had a lot to do with the Titans not breaking 50.

The Patriots and Browns combining for a Week 14 high of 147 plays was not a surprise considering their respective rankings on both the plays run and surrendered lists. The game produced two quarterbacks, a running back, wideout, and tight end in the top 10 on their respective positional fantasy scoring lists. Julian Edelman made the top 20, and Rob Gronkowski was well on his way before being lost to injury. It was yet another example of how even ancillary players are useful when a matchup promises high play volume.


Week 14 Snaps

2013 Snaps (Avg/Gm)

Opponents (Avg/Gm)


Tennessee (48)

Dallas (59.3)

Houston (58.3)


Seattle (50)

San Francisco (59.8)

Carolina (58.9)


St. Louis (50)

Seattle (60.9)

San Diego (60.1)


NY Giants (54)

St. Louis (61.7)

New Orleans (60.2)


Dallas (55)

NY Giants (61.7)

Detroit (61.6)

The Jaguars went no-huddle on 14 percent of their 57 plays against the Texans. While eight total up-tempo snaps are not eye-popping, and 57 plays ranked as the 27th most for the week, each of their three touchdown drives incorporated the hurry-up. The Chad Henne led offense is by no means prolific, but they have shown a willingness to sprinkle in the no-huddle to help spark a drive or two and it has been moderately successful. The Texans inserted deposed starter Matt Schaub while in comeback mode and immediately cranked up the tempo, running 10 hurry-up plays after Case Keenum was benched. Alas, with Gary Kubiak’s ouster it will be the last we see of Schaub this season, barring injury.

Now on with the rest of this week’s Sets, Snaps & Stats, after a look at notable Week 15 games from a snaps and tempo perspective:

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

When these two teams met in Week 10 the expectation was at least one of them would go up-tempo, yet neither ran a single no-huddle snap. At that point the Chargers were distributing backfield touches more evenly than they are now. Ryan Mathews has seen the lion’s share of work recently, and will face a stiff test against PFF’s 11th ranked run defense (+29.9). However, the Broncos have surrendered 13 rushing touchdowns and resultantly allow the eighth most fantasy points to running backs. San Diego gives up the third fewest plays and Denver runs the most, although they only snapped it 60 times in their first meeting – nearly 14 less than their average. The Chargers grade abysmally against both the run (-40.4, 29th) and the pass (-54.8, 31st), so it will be a surprise if they again hold the Broncos under 30 points.

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

The Patriots have abandoned the no-huddle and it is unlikely to resurface on the road against an improving Dolphins’ defense. In their Week 8 matchup, New England staged a second half comeback but went up-tempo on only 25.8 percent of snaps, most of which came before halftime. Their Week 14 comeback against Cleveland included only three fourth quarter hurry-up plays, and 6.5 percent up-tempo for the entire contest. Expect another deliberate approach from the Patriots as they readjust to a Gronkowski-less passing game, and renew focus on their rushing attack – which happens to be the Dolphins’ defensive weakness. Miami has surrendered the 11th fewest snaps per game over the last five weeks (61.8), which is a significant drop from the 70.9 they gave up before that. They lead all teams in PFF pass rush grades (+44.8), and New England has shown pass protection inconsistency.

Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota gives up the second most plays per game (70.6) and even though most teams have given up fewer over the last five weeks, they have surrendered more (71.2). The Vikings are snapping it 70 times per game themselves in their most recent five contests, good for fifth most. Philadelphia gives up the most plays in the league and, you might have heard, they like to run a lot of plays from the no-huddle. Considering that this potential track meet is being played in a dome, it is easily Week 15’s best bet for huge snap totals. The Vikings are top five in fantasy points surrendered to quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, and they rank seventh for running backs. The Eagles give up the most points to wideouts, and the 12th most to passers. With an injury riddled backfield, Minnesota is even more likely to take to the air, at the very least when they eventually are in catch-up mode.

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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.

  • sjg

    Would you bench Vernon Davis for Pitta?