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NFL Advanced Stats – Game Script Adjusted Rush % and Pace

Alex Baker



Football is a sport where the optimal strategy for teams changes drastically throughout the game based on the score and the time left on the clock. Knowing team tendencies is critical to success in fantasy football, but it can be confusing looking at box scores and trying to draw conclusions about team tendencies without really digging into the details about how the game flow went. The best data comes from neutral game-script scenarios, which can be extrapolated into overall team tendencies.

To determine what plays qualify for neutral game script, we looked at ones where the score threshold and time left on the clock is within a close enough range to not change the team’s optimal strategy. In addition, plays that took place inside the 2-minute warning in each half where passing is heavily incentivized, were disregarded.

Game Script Adjusted Rush %

Game Script Adjusted Pace

The team rushing percentage is simply the ratio of rushing plays to the sum of rushing and passing plays. Penalties and special teams plays aren’t included in this metric. The average column is the total percentage of plays that were rushing plays throughout the season. The data for each week is also included to help make observations about recent trends.

Our pace statistics are measured in plays run per 30 minutes of possession in a neutral game script. While most teams play quickly within the 2-minute warning or when playing catchup, there’s a large range of pace between NFL teams in neutral game scripts. The data for each week can help determine how big changes like a QB switch impact the team’s pace.

To create the Stokastic NFL Projections, we take into account the matchup and account for likely game scripts and add back in the plays that are disregarded in the creation of the neutral game-script statistics. This includes the fact that teams that are ahead in NFL games tend to rush at a higher rate and play at a slower pace. Personnel changes and likely strategic changes are also accounted for. These full-game projections are included in the NextGame column.

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Alex is better known to fantasy players by his handle "Awesemo" from seeing him in every big tournament in the industry. Playing poker professionally from 2009-2015, he heard that daily fantasy was the next big game picking up steam, and he quickly saw the potential of the relatively new game. Growing his bankroll from 2015-2016, he made a big step in 2017 by claiming the #1 overall ranking on RotoGrinders for the year. After completing his primary objective, he was looking for what's next. Attending dozens of fantasy events, Alex realized that everyone was repeating the same story: wanting to be a great DFS player while holding down a full-time job. He realized that the resources available to fantasy players while great weren't enough to help hobbyists get to the level of competing with the top pros. Having met Tom Kennedy during the FanDuel Scottish Open, the two decided to take on the realm of fantasy content along with co-founder Eddie Lai. Alex creates his own projections for each sport he plays, publishing rankings derived directly from them updated for each major slate. He also writes strategy content for how to become a better DFS player in his Game Plan series. You can contact Alex by emailing [email protected].

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