The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 12
Week 12'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 12.
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 12's results:
- Amari Cooper turned 9 targets into 8 catches, 180 yards, and 2 touchdowns for 16.68 Reception NEP, the best single-game performance against Washington this season. Cooper also set a single-game high for the Dallas Cowboys, easily surpassing Cole Beasley's 10.40 Reception NEP in Week 6.
- Christian McCaffrey did it again, this time against the Seattle Seahawks. McCaffrey compiled 237 total yards and 2 touchdowns on 28 touches. His 8.13 Reception NEP (11 catches, 112 yards, and 1 touchdown) was a season high for him and a top-10 mark for a running back all season.
- Kenyan Drake saw just 13 touches (8 carries, 5 targets) in a narrow loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He totaled 96 yards and 2 scores on them, however. On the ground, he actually lost 0.15 expected points but made up for it with 8.30 Reception NEP.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster rode a 97-yard touchdown and heavy volume to a top-five finish. Smith-Schuster's 13 catches (on 17 targets) added 13.08 expected points to the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense in a 24-17 road loss to the Denver Broncos.
- Joe Mixon, like Drake and McCaffrey, generated expected points through the air. He caught all 7 targets thrown his way for 66 yards and 6.96 Reception NEP. His 14 carries for 89 yards added just 0.66 expected points to the Cincinnati Bengals' offense in a home loss to the Cleveland Browns.