The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 8
Week 8 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 8.
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 8's results:
- DeAndre Hopkins racked up 224 yards on the Seattle Seahawks by catching 8 of 11 targets. Hopkins added a touchdown, and his 17.06 Reception NEP was the highest single-game mark this season. It may seem strange that Deshaun Watson is so low on the list, considering that he threw for 402 yards and 4 touchdowns, but he also had 3 interceptions and generated just 6.78 points on his drop backs (he lost 7.41 on his 5 sacks). Will Fuller posted 12.35 Reception NEP and added 2 more touchdowns to his ridiculous total.
- By comparison, Russell Wilson added 23.64 Passing NEP while throwing for 452 yards and 4 touchdowns. He lost just 0.04 points on his two sacks. Paul Richardson posted 10.70 Reception NEP on 7 targets (6 catches, 105 yards, 2 touchdowns).
- JuJu Smith-Schuster was the best performer outside of that game in Seattle. Smith-Schuster turned his 10 targets into 7 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown (15.48 Reception NEP).
- Melvin Gordon ripped off an 87-yard touchdown against the New England Patriots and totaled 132 rushing yards on just 14 carries. He produced a week-high 6.73 Rushing NEP (the eighth-most in a single game by a running back this season).