NFL

The 20 Best Offensive Players From 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.

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:

PlayerPositionRating
Chris ThompsonRB100
Stefon DiggsWR100
Kareem HuntRB100
Case KeenumQB99
Kirk CousinsQB99
Sammy WatkinsWR97
Jared GoffQB96
TY HiltonWR96
Blake BortlesQB94
Brandin CooksWR94
Devonta FreemanRB93
Michael ThomasWR91
Corey GrantRB90
Doug BaldwinWR89
Russell WilsonQB89
Pierre GarconWR88
Antonio BrownWR88
Drew BreesQB86
Eli ManningQB86

- 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.

- Kareem Hunt basically doubled up the field in terms of Rushing NEP in Week 3. The closest player to his 10.74 Rushing NEP was Jordan Howard at 5.28.

- 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.

- Blake Bortles had a strong showing in London on 20 of 31 passing for 244 yards and 4 touchdowns, adding 18.06 expected points to the Jacksonville Jaguars' output and taking no sacks.