The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 3
Week 3 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 3.
But that's not really a concise headline.
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 value 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 3's results:
- Calvin Ridley didn't take long to have his breakout game. He caught 7 of 8 targets for 146 yards and 3 touchdowns in an overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints. Ridley accounted for nearly half of the Atlanta Falcons' air yards (150 in total). He added 18.14 Reception NEP, as well. His quarterback, Matt Ryan, completed 26 of 35 passes for 374 yards and 5 touchdowns overall. Ryan led the week with 24.93 Passing NEP.
- Opposite Ridley in that overtime game was Drew Brees, who threw 49 times for 396 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also added 2 rushing scores. Brees was 4 for 6 on passes traveling at least 16 yards downfield for 106 yards. Brees added 23.25 expected points -- just with his passing.
- Jordy Nelson had a revival, catching 6 of 8 targets for 173 yards and a touchdown. Nelson, though, had just 75 air yards and did the majority of his damage after the catch. He tallied 14.02 expected points on his catches.
- Patrick Mahomes finds himself in the top five with another stellar outing to start the season. Mahomes went 24 of 38 for 314 yards and 3 scores, totaling 20.15 Passing NEP. He's added 0.60 expected points per drop back this season, a rate nearly double that of the league leader last year (Jimmy Garoppolo at 0.34).