The 7 Most Effective Offensive Players From Week 7
The stars are starting to shine in the NFL, and we are finally seeing some consistent repeats from well-known players, two of whom were a record-setting quarterback and his go-to target. Let’s find out who all made the Week 7 All-Net Expected Points (NEP) team.
Peyton Manning, Quarterback, Denver Broncos
For the second time in three weeks, Peyton Manning finds himself on the All-NEP team. What makes it even more special was the fact that it was a record-setting night for the Denver quarterback. After his third touchdown pass of the night, Manning set the record for most touchdown passes in a career, at 509. This is arguably one of the greatest records in sports, up there with the like of baseball’s all-time home run record.
Manning finished the night with 4 touchdown passes, bringing his career total to 510-and-counting. He, and the Broncos, came out steaming-hot against the San Francisco 49ers; Manning threw two first-quarter touchdowns, along with the record-breaker to Demaryius Thomas in the second quarter. He ended up throwing for 318 yards on 85 percent passing as well, en route to a Passing NEP of 23.72. In terms of season-long Passing NEP, he still sits third behind Philip Rivers and Andrew Luck, but it’s a tight race for the top spot.
Matt Forte, Running Back, Chicago Bears
Making the list for the second consecutive week, Matt Forte had another big day to keep his hot-streak going. On a day when the Chicago Bears just couldn’t get things going at home, Forte was the only bright spot. By the end of the day Forte had racked up 18 touches, 109 total yards and 2 touchdowns – the Bears’ only two scores of the day.
Forte’s first touchdown came in the second quarter and made it a one-touchdown game, but that’s the closest the Bears would get to the Dolphins the rest of the day. His second touchdown, of the rushing variety, came in the middle of the fourth quarter and gave the Bears a glimmer of hope, to which they’d obviously fall short.
However, when the Bears needed plays to be made, they turned to Forte. He had 4 plays of 10 or more yards, and he converted on 3rd or 4th down 5 times. Forte was effective enough to be the top scoring running back in terms of NEP with a Rushing NEP of 3.56 and a Total NEP of 11.65.
Le’Veon Bell, Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers
We’ll continue our trend of studs with another repeat All-NEPer. Le’Veon Bell made the list all the way back in Week 1 and graces us with his presence again this week after a solid outing against the Houston Texas on Monday Night Football. He finished the primetime game with 12 rushes for 57 yards but added 8 receptions for 88 yards and a score. That score came after a Texans’ turnover; Bell motioned out right, when nobody trailed him Ben Roethlisberger fired a bullet to the corner, which Bell caught as Texans safety, D.J. Swearinger, was late to the party.
Bell also converted twice on third down, one of which was a 43-yard gain, on which Bell caught the underneath pass over the middle and burned the linebacker for tons of YAC. Bell’s night ended in a Total NEP of 6.85, and he now holds the top spot among running backs in this category.
Golden Tate, Wide Receiver, Detroit Lions
Golden Tate has been everything the Lions hoped for when they signed the free agent wide receiver this off-season. With Calvin Johnson being basically unavailable for the past three weeks due to injury, Tate has been a breath of fresh air for this offense and has seized the opportunity.
Tate had one of his biggest days in a comeback win against the New Orleans Saints. He finished with 10 receptions, 154 yards and a touchdown. However, no play was bigger for Tate, or the Lions, than the 73-yard touchdown catch-and-run he had with just over 3 minutes left in the game. With his team trailing by 13 with 3rd-and-14 from their own 27-yard line, Tate went up to grab short down-and-out and beat multiple Saints defenders down the sideline for the touchdown.
Tate earned himself a Reception NEP of 16.15 on Sunday. He’s been a great complement and fill-in for Megatron, as he is now 8th in Reception NEP with a mark of 50.56.
Demaryius Thomas, Wide Receiver, Denver BroncosYet another big-name player who makes a return to the All-NEP list, Demaryius Thomas has been a beast since the Denver Broncos’ bye week. After a slow start and some question marks, Thomas has silenced his critics as he’s had three incredible outings in a row. Over those 3 games, Thomas has a combined 26 receptions, 521 yards, and 5 touchdowns – just absurd numbers that make him the clear number-one fantasy wide receiver since his bye week.
Thomas completed Sunday night with 8 receptions, 171 yards, and 2 touchdowns. But perhaps his most memorable play was on a measly eight-yard reception. Well, I guess I shouldn’t call it measly because it happened to be the touchdown connection that put Peyton Manning all by himself at the top for most career passing touchdowns.
Thomas’ big-play ability is one of his biggest attributes, and that definitely held true on Sunday as he had 5 catches of 10 or more yards, and 3 receptions that went for at least 30 yards. His big plays, coupled with his touchdowns gained him Reception NEP of 15.07. He now has a season total of 59.30 and is creeping his way closer and closer to that top spot.
Gavin Escobar, Tight End, Dallas Cowboys
No, this isn't a typo. This week’s All-NEP tight end is from the Dallas Cowboys, but it’s not Jason Witten. No, this week’s honors belong to the second-year man out of San Diego State, Gavin Escobar. He only had three receptions, but he sure did make the most out of them as two were touchdowns.
His first touchdown came from 15 yards out. On 3rd-and-10, Tony Romo found a wide open Escobar for the first touchdown of the game from either team. His second came with just over six minutes left in the third quarter. With the score tied at 14, Romo again found Escobar, this time in traffic, for the 26-yard score.
His third catch was also a third down conversion, meaning all three of Escobar’s receptions were a touchdown and/or third down conversion. This is a big reason for Escobar achieving a Receiving NEP of 9.77 - the highest Receiving NEP among tight ends on the week.
Doug Baldwin, Wide Receiver, Seattle Seahawks
Much was made about who the wide receiver to own in Seattle should be after Percy Harvin was traded. Doug Baldwin made his case for why he should be the guy, and while I don’t think Baldwin holds too much more value in fantasy than before, he certainly rewarded owners who took a chance on him Sunday.
He finished with 7 receptions for 123 yards and added a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give the Seahawks a chance at the game-tying 2-point conversion. He also converted on third down three times to keep drives alive, all three of which the Seahawks ended up scoring.
In a tough, yet losing effort, Baldwin had himself an effective game that kept him team alive until the end. He earned a Receiving NEP of 13.52 which was the third-highest score of any non-quarterback this week.