The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 4
Week 4 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 4.
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 4's results:
- Despite a 57-point outburst from the Houston Texans, Todd Gurley was just as impressive as rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson in Week 4. Gurley turned 23 carries into 121 yards and 2.70 expected points by our metrics on a strong 47.83% Success Rate (league average in 2017 is around 32.00% for running backs). But Gurley really made his mark as a receiver, with 7 catches and 94 yards, good for 7.26 Reception NEP to lead all running backs entering Monday Night Football.
- Watson leads all quarterbacks this week in Passing NEP (24.61) entering Week 4's final game on 25 of 34 passing for 283 yards and 4 touchdowns (with an interception, as well). DeAndre Hopkins leads all pass-catchers with 14.18 Reception NEP entering Monday Night Football. Hopkins turned 12 targets into 10 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown.
- Cam Newton had a renaissance against the New England Patriots defense in Week 4. Newton was 22 for 29 for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns, good for 21.23 Passing NEP. He also ran 8 times, adding 3.57 points on the ground. Newton ran eight or more times in four games in 2016 but hadn't hit that mark yet in 2017.
- Keenan Allen (13.16) was the only other pass-catcher to top 11.00 Reception NEP through the week's first 15 games. Allen caught just 5 of 11 targets but turned them into 138 yards.
- Lamar Miller maintained a stranglehold on the Texans' running back duties, seeing 19 carries and 5 targets. He added 6.73 Reception NEP on his four catches but just 0.61 Rushing NEP on his carries. He's out-snapped D'Onta Foreman in every game so far, as well.