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Snaps, Pace, & Stats: How Week 8 shapes up for fantasy

Sep 16, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) celebrates as he scores a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Week 8 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 7 Snaps 2018 Snaps/Game Opponent Wk 7 Snaps 2018 Opp Snaps/Gm
1 Tampa Bay (88) Baltimore (74.1) Cleveland (88) Cleveland (74.9)
2 Chicago (77) Cleveland (71.9) New England (77) Arizona (70)
3 Kansas City (70) Green Bay (69.2) Baltimore (70) Cincinnati (69.6)
4 New Orleans (70) Indianapolis (69) Cincinnati (70) Kansas City (68.9)
5 N.Y. Jets (69) Philadelphia (68.6) Minnesota (69) Pittsburgh (68.3)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals

The Buccaneers profile as a snap-generating offense, even if their totals have thus far flown just below the radar. They rank ninth in plays per game (66.7) and their contests average the eighth-most combined snaps. Since Jameis Winston took over, however, things are picking up (more in No-Huddle Notes). Tampa Bay’s ninth-best-graded run defense remains stout despite a rash of front-seven injuries. Their pass defense is a well-documented disaster and opponents are beginning to catch on, as they’re facing the 13th-highest pass rate during neutral situations – and it’s rising. The Bucs offense also skews pass-heavy when games are close (64%; sixth-highest), which makes sense considering their embarrassment of receiving riches and dearth of rushing talent. Facing a Bengals defense that’s being thrown at on 61.8% of situation-neutral snaps (seventh-highest) will keep Winston lubed up.

Cincinnati is apparently back to their old tricks. They finished last in the league with 57.9 plays per game a season ago, and after three weeks in which they averaged 56.7 snaps, the Bengals rank sixth-lowest this year (59.7). Of course, they allow 69.6 plays per game (third-highest), so this is not a Cowboys-esque universal snap drain. Despite the lack of play volume, there is hope for Cincinnati this week. The Bucs invite passing, and the Bengals are throwing at the third-highest situation-neutral rate (67.6%). Converting a few more third downs against Tampa Bay’s barely-there pass defense will do wonders for an offense’s snap volume. Considering the Bengals are scoring the sixth-most points on a per-snap basis, while the Bucs allow a league-high, loading a handful more plays into the red rifle should lead to a shootout.

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