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Snaps, Pace, & Stats: How Week 5 shapes up for fantasy

Sep 23, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) makes a long touchdown catch against New Orleans Saints cornerback P.J. Williams (26) in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Week 5 edition of Snaps, Pace, & Stats, where we examine trends in snap totals and no-huddle usage for fantasy football purposes. It is meant to be a 30,000-foot view of upcoming games, with the goal of identifying which matchups will – and which will not – be played on fertile fantasy soil.

Up in pace

Rank Week 4 Snaps 2018 Snaps/Game Opponent Wk 4 Snaps 2018 Opp Snaps/Gm
1 Oakland (90) Baltimore (74.8) Cleveland (90) Cleveland (73.5)
2 Houston (84) Cleveland (73.3) Indianapolis (84) Cincinnati (72.5)
3 Indianapolis (83) Philadelphia (73) Houston (83) Indianapolis (70.5)
4 Philadelphia (76) Oakland (72) Tennessee (76) Pittsburgh (70.5)
5 New England (75) Houston (69.8) Miami (75) MIA / SF (69.8)

Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers

Jamming enough exposure to this matchup into fantasy lineups will look something like Ben Roethlisberger squeezing his helmet on. The Falcons score the sixth-most points per game and allow the fourth-most. They operate at the seventh-quickest seconds-per-snap pace, and their games average the ninth-most combined plays. During neutral situations (game is within one score), Atlanta passes at the seventh-highest rate and their opponents throw against them at the eighth-highest clip. Their 24th-graded pass rush will not deter foes from throwing it around, and it’s tough to envision them gaining traction on grass against Pittsburgh’s fifth-best-graded pass-blockers.

Despite a September they’d rather not remember, the Steelers average the sixth-most plays (69) while operating at the third-quickest pace and passing at the 10th-highest situation-neutral rate. They rank 10th in points-per-game. While Le’Veon Bell garners headlines for holding out, Pittsburgh’s defense hasn’t shown up either. They allow the seventh most points per game and pair the 25th-graded pass rush with the 25th-graded coverage. Only three teams allow more plays per game, and Steelers contests average the third most combined snaps. We can expect more of the same with this matchup waged in Pittsburgh, where the home team has a 39% no-huddle rate (versus five% on the road).

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