NFL

The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 5

Melvin Gordon had a big day for the Chargers in Week 5. Was he the best offensive player of the week?

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 5's results:

PlayerPositionRating
Alex SmithQB99
Melvin GordonRB99
Ed DicksonTE98
Antonio BrownWR96
Carson WentzQB96
Aaron JonesRB96
TY HiltonWR96
Deshaun WatsonQB95
Cam NewtonQB94
Aaron RodgersQB90
Marlon MackRB90
Brian HoyerQB98
AJ GreenWR97
Mike WallaceWR86
George KittleTE86
Leonard FournetteRB85
DeAndre HopkinsWR82
Dak PrescottQB82
Orleans DarkwaRB81
Marquise GoodwinWR81

- Alex Smith continued a renaissance season and completed 29 of 37 passes for 324 yards and 3 touchdowns on Sunday Night Football. His 28.31 Passing NEP was nearly 5 full points higher than any other quarterback and at least 10 points higher than all but two passers in Week 5.

- Melvin Gordon took advantage of a wavering New York Giants defense on Sunday. Gordon ran 20 times for 105 yards with a 40.00% Rushing Success Rate (the percentage of carries increasing NEP). Where he really did his damage was through the air: 6 catches on 8 targets for 58 yards and 2 touchdowns, good for a position-high 8.05 Reception NEP.

- Ed Dickson hauled in all 5 of his targets for 175 yards and caught 4 deep passes (at least 16 yards downfield) for 162 yards in the Carolina Panthers' win against the Detroit Lions.

- Antonio Brown was targeted 19 times in Week 5. He caught 10 passes for 157 yards, and 10 of his attempts were classified as deep attempts. That's a season-high in a single game. Brown added 13.25 expected points on his receptions, despite not reaching the end zone.

- Carson Wentz completed 21 of 30 passes for 304 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception against the Arizona Cardinals in a big win for the Philadelphia Eagles. Wentz added 22.31 Passing NEP, 0.72 expected points per attempt.

- According to our metrics, Aaron Jones had the best day of anyone in the Dallas Cowboys/Green Bay Packers thriller. Jones totaled 134 yards on 20 touches and had a rushing touchdown as well.

- T.Y. Hilton made the most of his 9 targets, catching 7 of them for 177 yards. He didn't score, but he added 12.95 expected points on his catches.