The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 15
Week 15 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 15.
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 15's results:
- Kareem Hunt has returned to his old form and turned his 24 carries and 9 targets into 206 yards and 2 touchdowns, earning him a perfect score on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Chargers. Hunt added 9.41 Rushing NEP and 5.09 Reception NEP in the big division win. Melvin Gordon did his best to keep the Chargers afloat in this game. Gordon caught 6 of 8 targets for 91 yards (4.95 Reception NEP). Gordon also rushed 19 times for 78 yards and a touchdown (3.83 Rushing NEP).
- Like Hunt, Todd Gurley also carried his team to a vital division win over the Seattle Seahawks. Gurley racked up 8.56 Rushing NEP on his 21 carries (152 yards and 3 touchdowns) and had a fourth touchdown through the air. In what turned out to be a 42-7 win, Gurley's stat line got abbreviated, as he played a season-low 63% of snaps (tied with a 63% rate in Week 9).
- Keelan Cole took advantage of an early injury to Marqise Lee and generated 15.22 Reception NEP on 9 targets (7 catches, 186 yards, and 1 touchdown). On passes traveling 16 yards or more downfield, Cole caught recorded 3 catches on 4 targets for 156 yards and 11.02 Reception NEP.
- Christian McCaffrey led all running backs with 8.50 Reception NEP, thanks to 6 catches on 7 targets for 73 yards and a touchdown, which came after this memorable moment between Cam Newton and Clay Matthews.
- Rob Gronkowski had the best outing of anyone in the Pittsburgh Steelers/New England Patriots game, which was decided on a last-minute overturned touchdown. Gronkowski didn't find the end zone but accounted for 168 yards on 13 targets. He was 4 for 4 with 105 yards on deep targets (7.58 Reception NEP) and added 13.92 expected points to the Patriots' offense overall.