The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 16

Saquon Barkley had a career game in Week 16. Was he the NFL's best offensive player?

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 16's results:

Player Position Passing
Saquon BarkleyRB7.305.88100
Daniel JonesQB27.66-1.4198
Michael ThomasWR14.5898
Christian McCaffreyRB0.118.6197
Julio JonesWR13.0796
Devonta FreemanRB0.297.3595
Phillip LindsayRB4.992.1794
Alvin KamaraRB6.210.3992
Jordan WilkinsRB6.5992
Lamar JacksonQB11.874.5487
Mark IngramRB0.494.1983
Carson WentzQB11.850.5682
Matt RyanQB14.470.6181
Sterling ShepardWR9.6981
Patrick MahomesQB14.082.7380
Brian HillRB3.8077
Golden TateWR8.9476
Steven SimsWR-0.139.0676
Dwayne HaskinsQB10.1775
Mark AndrewsTE8.5473

- Saquon Barkley totaled 279 yards and had 26 touches plus 2 touchdowns in a career day. Barkley had 7.30 Rushing NEP, the 16th-best single-game score of the year. He and his quarterback Daniel Jones just dominated Washington. Jones went 28 of 42 for 352 yards and 5 passing touchdowns. His 27.66 Passing NEP ranks as the fifth-best game of the season. He had -48.04 Passing NEP entering this game. Whew.

- Michael Thomas set the single-season reception record (144) in Week 16 and had 12 total catches on 17 targets. He also had 136 yards and a touchdown in a crucial win over the Tennessee Titans.

- Christian McCaffrey is chasing records of his own. He is 215 yards from tying Chris Johnson for the single-season scrimmage yards record and is 136 from vaulting into second place. He also needs 67 yards to get to 1,000 yards, which would give him the coveted 1,000-1,000 season. He tallied 173 in Week 16 and was again a top-20 performer.

- Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman have been out of the playoffs for weeks, but they're getting a lot of usage down the stretch. Jones had 15 targets this week after getting 20 last week. He had 166 yards and 10 catches. Freeman had 2 touchdowns and 127 total yards on 22 touches. The Falcons play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week.