The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 15
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.
Here are Week 15's results:
- Kenyan Drake absolutely lit up the Cleveland Browns and scored four rushing touchdowns on 22 carries -- to go along with 146 total yards (137 of them on the ground). Drake has now played at least 64% of the snaps for the Arizona Cardinals in every game since his mid-season trade. Drake is being given RB1 treatment for Arizona down the stretch.
- Julio Jones had a whopping 20 targets and caught 13 of them for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jones' 16.68 Reception NEP isn't one of the hugest we've seen this year, but his in-game impact was vital toward the Atlanta Falcons' upset win over the San Francisco 49ers.
- Jameis Winston and Breshad Perriman were a top-five tandem this week. In a game without Mike Evans and when Chris Godwin left early, Winston still lit up the Detroit Lions. Winston threw for 458 yards and 4 touchdowns on 42 pass attempts. His 26.38 Passing NEP is the seventh-best mark of the entire season, and Winston now has two of eight games with at least 25 Passing NEP this season. No other quarterback has multiple. Perriman did all of his damage on 6 targets: 5 catches, 113 yards, 3 touchdowns. He is now one of three players with at least 15 Reception NEP on 6 or fewer targets (Demarcus Robinson in Week 2 and Kenny Golladay in Week 13).
- Miles Sanders tallied up 172 yards on 25 touches. He scored twice in a 37-27 win for the Philadelphia Eagles. While dealing with cramping last week, Sanders shared work with Boston Scott, but he regained a featured role this week and played 75% of the snaps.