Sets, Snaps, & Stats: Week 16

Pat Thorman examines the fantasy impact of up-tempo offenses and other emerging trends after 16 weeks of NFL action.

| 3 years ago

Pat Thorman examines the fantasy impact of up-tempo offenses and other emerging trends after 16 weeks of NFL action.

Sets, Snaps, & Stats: Week 16

JJerniganThe 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 our subscribers with a competitive advantage.

Happy Holidays and hopefully Happy Fantasy Championship as well. If you did not take down your league and are angling to finish strong in DFS, or misguidedly use Week 17 before that determination is made, you will find some late-season help below.


Week 16 Snaps

2013 Snaps (Avg/Gm)

Opponents (Avg/Gm)


Detroit (81)

Denver (72.1)

Philadelphia (72.4)


New Orleans (80)

New England (71.3)

Minnesota (70.7)


Buffalo (T – 77)

Buffalo (69.9)

New England (69.9)


Cincinnati (T – 77)

Detroit (69.3)

Cleveland (69.8)


N.Y. Jets (75)

Baltimore (68.8)

Miami (68.7)

They are nowhere to be found on the leaderboard, but the Jaguars surrender the ninth most plays per game (67.6), and over the last four weeks have given up the most (74.5). That is partly attributable to a run defense that has grown more stout since their Week 9 bye, as well as increased usage of the no-huddle (16.4% of Week 16 snaps). They give up the fifth most fantasy points to quarterbacks and are set to close out their season on the road against Andrew Luck and company. Luck threw for 257 yards, two scores, and added 26 rushing yards when they met back in Week 4.

The Jaguars pass defense is especially weak in the middle, and they struggle against slot receivers and tight ends. Their primary slot corner, Mike Harris, ranks 27th best in slot cover snaps per reception and allows a 108.4 quarterback rating (QBR) while guarding the inside. He gave up three catches on four attempts into his coverage, for 45 yards and a 111.5 QBR against, during that Week 4 meeting. Will Blackmon has gotten some snaps covering the slot of late, and he is even worse (158.3 QBR against). They also give up the third most fantasy points to tight ends. The Colts are a good bet to run more plays against this opponent than Indy’s 21st place snaps per game ranking would suggest, and Coby Fleener is a sneaky play despite his pathetic production over the last month (10 catches, 89 yards, and 0 touchdowns in his last four games).


Week 16 Snaps

2013 Snaps (Avg/Gm)

Opponents (Avg/Gm)


Carolina (44)

Dallas (59.5)

New Orleans (58.7)


Minnesota (48)

San Francisco (60.1)

San Diego (59.2)


Seattle (51)

Seattle (60.6)

Houston (59.7)


Miami (T – 52)

Tampa Bay (60.9)

Carolina (60.3)


Dallas (T – 52)

St. Louis (61.1)

CHI/WAS (61.6)

Tampa Bay ranks 29th in total plays (60.9 per game), and over the last month nobody has averaged fewer (53.3). They wrap up their season with a trip to New Orleans, where the Saints perform significantly better than they do on the road. If you are deciding whether to start any Bucs on Sunday, consider that while Sean Payton’s crew has hit a rough patch of late, they surrender the fewest snaps per game (58.7) and even fewer during the last four (57.3; 31st most).

The Saints give up the 28th most fantasy points to quarterbacks and receivers, 25th most to tight ends, and 21st most to running backs. Their 4.4 yards per carry allowed ranks 24th best, but opponents have only handed the ball off 28th most often against them. They sport a cumulative 0.0 PFF pass coverage grade on the season, with the negative grades from four of their last five contests adding up to -12.5. Yet opponents have attempted the second fewest passes against them. New Orleans’ season has been a perfect example of the statistical ramifications of when a team is successful in hiding a mediocre defense.

Now on with the rest of this week’s Sets, Snaps, & Stats, after a look at some Week 17 games that are interesting from a snaps and pace perspective:

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons are playing a bit better of late and have run the ninth most plays over the last four weeks (68.3), which is nearly five more than their seasonal average (63.5). However, they face a Carolina squad that has everything to play for and surrender the fourth fewest snaps per game (60.3). The Panthers’ rushing attack and relative strength in the trenches will result in scant opportunity for Atlanta to pile up fantasy worthy stats.

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Browns have allowed the fourth most snaps in the league this season (69.8), an average that balloons to 72 over the last month (2nd most). The Steelers rank 17th in plays per game, but have markedly increased their usage of the no-huddle of late (43.1% of Week 16 snaps) and should have little trouble moving the ball on a Cleveland group that seemingly has been mailing it in since their Week 10 bye. They have surrendered 31.5 points per game and lost all six.

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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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