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Snaps, Pace, & Stats: How Week 7 shapes up for fantasy

Sep 20, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) celebrates after Cleveland Browns running back Carlos Hyde (not pictured) scores a touchdown during the second half against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Week 7 edition of Snaps, Pace, & Stats, where we examine trends in snap totals and no-huddle usage. 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 6 Snaps 2018 Snaps/Game Opponent Wk 6 Snaps 2018 Opp Snaps/Gm
1 Miami (75) Baltimore (75.8) Chicago (75) Cleveland (72.7)
2 New England (75) Cleveland (73.5) Kansas City (75) Arizona (72.5)
3 Baltimore (72) Indianapolis (70.5) Denver (72) Kansas City (71.3)
4 Cleveland (72) Philadelphia (69.2) Jacksonville (72) Cincinnati (69.5)
5 DAL / LAR (72) Green Bay (69) LAC / TEN (72) Indianapolis (69.5)

Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Browns may not always take advantage, but they create a fountain of fantasy opportunity. The 146.2 combined plays their games are averaging lead the league by a significant margin. The figure is elevated due to 72 total overtime snaps, but the Browns would still rank fifth-highest without them (134.2). Cleveland would fall from the second- to the third-most plays per game if not for their own overtime snaps. They want to be a balanced offense, but in neutral situations, their pass rate ranks eighth-highest, and since his first game as starter in Week 4, Baker Mayfield ranks third in dropbacks. Opponents throw against the Browns at the eighth-highest rate (70%). Perhaps the Chargers grinding them up on the ground last week will change things, but for now, the Browns profile as a high-play-volume catalyst.

The Buccaneers do not look like the team to grind up the Browns. They pass at the fifth-highest rate, and their running game looks like something thrown together so Mike Smith’s defense felt better about itself. Tampa Bay’s quality run-stopping extends beyond the practice field, however, as the Bucs’ top-12-graded run defense allows the seventh-fewest rushing yards per carry (3.8) and fifth-fewest per game (84.2). That might have something to do with opponents instead choosing to complete the highest percentage of passes for the most yards per game, and the lowest interception rate with the highest touchdown percentage. Perhaps. We may never know. Whatever the reason, Mayfield will feel like he’s watching Redtube when he turns on the Bucs film this week. More passing means more plays, which facilitates fantasy scoring. This is a matchup of teams going nowhere this year, but at least there should be a lot of it.

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