The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 3
Week 3 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 3.
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 3's results:
- Washington running back Chris Thompson again made the most of limited touches in Week 3 against Oakland. Thompson actually lost 0.53 expected points on his 8 carries but posted 16.34 Reception NEP, second-most of any player in Week 3. Kirk Cousins added 28.16 expected points on just 30 attempts and was 4 of 6 on deep passes (passes traveling at least 16 yards downfield) for 2 touchdowns in Week 3.
- Only Stefon Diggs (16.99) added more expected points with his catches than Thompson did. In all, Diggs caught 8 of 11 targets for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns, including 5 of 6 catches on deep passes for 157 yards and both touchdowns. Case Keenum led all passers with 28.71 Passing NEP in Week 3 and was 8 for 10 for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns on deep passes alone.
- Sammy Watkins and Jared Goff provided some dynamite plays on Thursday Night Football in Week 3, as Goff tallied 22.87 Passing NEP on 22 of 28 passing for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns. Goff was also 3 for 4 on deep passes for 99 yards. Watkins' 13.29 Reception NEP (6 catches on 7 targets for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns) ranks third for the week entering Monday Night Football.
- T.Y. Hilton ranks just below Watkins with 13.04 Reception NEP on the week. Hilton turned 9 targets into 153 yards and a touchdown. Brandin Cooks got on track with the Patriots with a two-touchdown game. He added 12.13 expected points on 5 catches for 131 yards.