The 10 Best Offensive Players From Wild Card Weekend
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 10 best ratings from the prior weekend of football.
Here are the results from the wild card round:
- Derrick Henry played a crucial part in the Tennessee Titans' upset win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Henry ran 23 times for 156 yards and a score (8.80 Rushing NEP) and added 35 yards on 2 catches (2.47 Reception NEP).
- Robert Woods' Los Angeles Rams fell to the Atlanta Falcons, but Woods -- despite not scoring -- added 15.08 expected points, thanks to 9 catches and 142 yards on 14 targets. No other player added more than 10.79 Reception NEP this weekend.
- Drew Brees racked up 376 yards on 33 attempts against the Carolina Panthers in a home win for the New Orleans Saints. He also had two touchdowns and a pick, resulting in 21.89 Passing NEP. No other quarterback accounted for more than 8.97 Passing NEP during Wild Card Weekend.
- A pair of Panthers round out the top five. Christian McCaffrey had only 12 touches but made the most of them: 6 carries for 16 yards and 6 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. He added 9.16 expected points via his receptions. Greg Olsen also broke 100 yards receiving and scored (8 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets). That accounted for 10.79 Reception NEP in the Panthers' 31-26 loss.