The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 1
Week 1 games aren't over yet, so maybe the title of this article is a little misleading. It should read something like The 20 Best Offensive Players From the Thursday and Sunday Games in Week 1.
That just doesn't flow all that well.
As you know, we like math here at numberFire. Our algorithms help tell a better story about sports -- they're able to dig through the nonsense, helping us look at things that matter on the court, field or rink.
With football, we love our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, which measures the number of points a player adds (or loses) to his team versus what he's expected to add. Rather than counting statistics like yards, touchdowns and receptions, NEP looks at down-and-distance situations and field position and relates these instances to history. When a player outperforms what's happened in the past, he sees a positive expected points value on the play. When he doesn't, his expected points gained on the play is negative. All of these little instances add up, then, to be a player's Net Expected Points total.
You can read more about NEP in our glossary.
Using a formula that compares individual single-game performance to history, the numberFire Live platform takes this Net Expected Points formula and assigns a rating to a player's performance. Each week, that's what we'll show here -- the 20 best ratings from the Thursday and Sunday games.
Here are Week 1's results:
- Nobody bested Kareem Hunt's Thursday-night outburst on Sunday. Hunt tallied 22 touches for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns. Despite a fumble on his first carry, Hunt added 2.88 Rushing NEP, which may not sound like much, but it was second only to Tarik Cohen's 5.93 in Week 1 so far. Excluding his fumble, Hunt added 7.21 expected points on the ground, and 10 of his 17 carries (58.82%) added points to Kansas City's offense. Hunt also posted 8.74 Reception NEP, the most for any running back.
- Antonio Brown caught all 11 targets for 182 yards. He didn't score a touchdown, but he did add 14.03 points of expected scoring on his catches, most of any player in Week 1.
- Alex Smith and Tyreek Hill also had big showings by our metrics in Week 1. Smith completed 3 of 7 attempts on passes that traveled 16 yards or farther downfield for 11.97 Passing NEP. Hill caught 1 of his 2 deep targets, a 75-yard touchdown. In all, Hill had 7 catches for 133 yards and another 5 yards on the ground.
- Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper needed only two targets to make a huge impact on their game against the Chicago Bears. Both of his targets came on passes longer than 16 yards from the line of scrimmage, resulting in 2 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. He also gave us a highlight-reel stiff arm on the way to the end zone.
Austin Hooper just did this to Quintin Demps on his way to an 88-yard TD pic.twitter.com/3YhFtgVjjQ
â€” Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) September 10, 2017
- Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp took advantage of a depleted Indianapolis Colts defense on Sunday. Kupp caught all 3 of his deep targets for 70 yards and a touchdown, and Goff completed 6 of 7 for 157 yards and that touchdown. Goff totaled 17.59 Passing NEP, after recording a mark of -64.59 last season.
- Nelson Agholor turned his 8 targets into 6 catches, 86 yards, and a touchdown against Washington. That was good for 10.89 Reception NEP, 1.39 per target. In 2016, he added just 0.46 Reception NEP per target.
- Five quarterbacks -- Matt Ryan (15.12 Passing NEP), Dak Prescott (11.78), Derek Carr (13.73), Marcus Mariota (9.53), and Tyrod Taylor (7.94) -- rounded out the top 12. Taylor also paced the league in Rushing NEP, adding 6.03 points with his legs.