The 7 Most Effective Offensive Players From Week 13
With our stomachs still full from Thanksgiving, we return to our weekly All-Net Expected Points (NEP) Team. Week 13’s had a lot to offer, especially on the receiving end. But there were a few who stood out from the rest of the pack. Let’s now take a look at the Week 13 All-NEP squad.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Quarterback, Houston Texans
Now here’s something I never thought I’d have on this column: A Houston Texans’ quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick had himself a career day just three games after being benched for now-injured Ryan Mallett. While his receivers were making fantastic grabs, Fitzpatrick was throwing dimes all day to the tune of 358 passing yards and 6 touchdowns.
Four of his six touchdowns came inside the 10-yard line, but the two that didn’t were spectacular deep hook-ups to his fellow Week 13 All-NEPer, DeAndre Hopkins. His second touchdown pass of the day saw him falling down as he threw a perfect strike to Arian Foster in the front, left corner of the end zone. In fact, all of his touchdowns were beautifully-placed balls, which were hauled in by great catches from his wide outs. And, of course, what kind of a six-touchdown day would it have been if he hadn’t connected with J.J. Watt in for a touchdown at least once?
“Fitzmagic” finished Sunday with a Passing NEP of 24.18 and more than quintupled his whole season output up to this point in one week. The Texans will need more weeks like this from the Harvard-man if they hope to push for a playoff spot going into the final stretch of the season.
Le’Veon Bell, Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers
And making his weekly appearance on the All-NEP team is Steelers running back, Le’Veon Bell. Bell had another outstanding day coming off a bye week. He rushed 21 times for 95 yards and a score. While he was very productive on the ground, he did his most damage through the air, catching 8 passes for 159 yards. In total, Bell had nine touches of 10 or more yards.
Bell, who had been without a rushing touchdown since Week 1, now has a rushing touchdown in two consecutive games to bring his total to three. With the third quarter winding down, and the Steelers trailing 21-6, Bell broke a tackle and beat Saints defenders David Hawthorne and Kenny Vaccaro to the corner for the one-yard score.
Bell earned a Rushing NEP of 2.52 and a Total NEP of 12.93. After his great performance, and Matt Forte’s lackluster Thanksgiving Day, he’s now comfortably at the top spot in Total NEP among all running backs.
Tre Mason, Running Back, St. Louis Rams
The breakout game we’ve all been waiting for from Tre Mason finally arrived this past Sunday. The rookie running back from Auburn tallied 164 yards on just 17 touches, adding three touchdowns in the Rams 52-0 beat down of the Oakland Raiders.
He started early on just the Rams’ first possession of the game as he took the screen pass and raced 35 yards into the end zone, leaving a trail of Raiders in his dust. On his second, he showed his great speed as he went untouched up the middle for the 89-yard score. His third touchdown wasn’t nearly as long, but that doesn’t mean it was just as impressive, as we saw the strength he can bring to the table on an eight-yard run.
Mason ended Sunday with a Rushing NEP of 4.99 and a Total NEP of 9.48. He’s separated himself as the featured back in St. Louis, and with his big play ability, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make the All-NEP list again.
DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Houston Texans
DeAndre Hopkins – as talented as he is – makes his first appearance on the All-NEP squad. Hopkins day was nothing short of amazing as he caught 9 balls for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns. All in all, his afternoon was good enough for a Reception NEP of 23.30 – the highest mark of any receiver in Week 13.
Adding to his gaudy stats, Hopkins caught seven balls of 10 or more yards, and four of 30-plus yards. He also caught a pass for a third-down conversion four times.
Both of Hopkins’ touchdowns were deep balls, going for 58 yards and 34 yards. They were both also great catches on great throws from Fitzpatrick. Hopkins’ talent is really showing this season as he ranks 12th among all wide receivers in terms of Reception NEP with a mark of 85.43.
Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons
After mostly average games Weeks 6 through 12 (excluding Week 10), Julio Jones had a big day against an opponent he knows all too well in Patrick Peterson. This was their fifth matchup dating back to their days in college, and Jones got the best of Peterson this time around. Julio caught 10 balls for 189 and a score and racked up a Reception NEP of 20.94 on the day.
His touchdown catch came toward the end of the first quarter with the Falcons already up 10-0. On 2nd-and-10, Matt Ryan threw a great back-shoulder throw to Julio down the field, and he proceeded to use his momentum to fall into the end zone.
Jones now ranks third in the NFL in Reception NEP after his big day and looks to build on that as he’s averaging 10 targets per week.
Coby Fleener, Tight End, Indianapolis Colts
Coby Fleener makes the All-NEP team again as he put on against the Washington Redskins. After a big letdown last week with Dwayne Allen inactive, Fleener did not disappoint this time around, catching 4 passes for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns.
In the first quarter, Andrew Luck found a wide-open Fleener 30 yards downfield for the tight end’s first touchdown catch of the game. Luck and Fleener would hook up again at the end of the third quarter on a 73-yard pass play where Fleener reeled in the throw across the middle, broke a couple of tackles, and stampeded 50-plus yards for the score.
His play earned him a Reception NEP of 12.56, and he is now seventh among tight ends in the category.
Kenny Stills, Wide Receiver, New Orleans Saints
And finally, we have another second-year wide receiver making the list this week. This time it’s Kenny Stills and his big play ability. Still only caught 5 passes, but he had 168 yards and a touchdown on them.
With the Saints only holding a one-possession lead, Drew Brees found Kenny Stills streaking wide open down the sideline for the 68-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-10.
Every single one of Stills’ catches went for 10-plus yards, lending to his 15.74 Reception NEP. He’s really come on strong now that he’s healthy, and has played well in the absence of rookie Brandin Cooks.