The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 11
Week 11's 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 11.
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 11's results:
- Drew Brees threw just 30 times in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles but completed 22 of them for 363 yards and 4 touchdowns. In total, he added 32.30 expected points to his team's total, the highest single-game Passing NEP outing of the 2018 season. Tre'Quan Smith was a big part of that, and he caught 10 of those 22 completions (and had 13 of the 30 targets) for 157 yards and a touchdown. Smith added 14.71 expected points on his catches during his breakout game.
- Another quarterback-receiver stack made the top five, thanks to the big-play ability of T.Y. Hilton. Hilton caught all 9 targets thrown his way for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns over a big win against the Tennessee Titans. Hilton led the week with 14.88 Reception NEP, the eighth-highest single-game total of the season. Andrew Luck totaled 297 yards and 3 touchdowns on 29 pass attempts in the win, combining for 24.08 Passing NEP. For context, no other passer got to 16.5 other than Luck and Brees (32.30).
- Ezekiel Elliott didn't wait until Thanksgiving to feast, as he totaled 201 yards on 30 touches (23 carries for 122 yards and a score plus 7 catches on 8 targets for 79 yards). Elliott actually ranked just third on the week in Rushing NEP (5.59, behind Gus Edwards' 7.08 and Saquon Barkley's 5.83), but he added 3.59 Reception NEP, as well, good for sixth among backs in Week 11.
- D.J. Moore also busted loose for 157 yards on 8 targets in Detroit, totaling 13.54 Reception NEP, the first time a Carolina Panthers receiver has produced at least 10.0 expected points in a game this season.