5 NFL Stats to Know Through Week 1
Week 1 is in the books and some players got off to an incredible start. Rookies shined, one position drastically outperformed expectations, and the Philadelphia Eagles' three-headed rushing attack made their debut.
Here are five stats to know through the first week of the season.
1. Carlos Hyde’s 30.20 fantasy points led the NFL in Week 1
We all expected this, right?
Carlos Hyde ran for 168 yards and two touchdowns in his debut as the 49ers starting running back. That landed him almost three points ahead of Tom Brady as the week’s top scorer in standard leagues, and he finished fourth in PPR scoring according to FantasyData.com.
He also led the league Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) (our in house metric that measures the value added or lost on each rushing attempt) with 10.24, a mark that only 11 running backs managed to maintain during the full 2014 season, and Rushing Successes (which measures the number of rushes that contribute positively toward Rushing NEP) with 18.
In Week 2, Hyde will be up against a Steelers defense that ranks 18th in rushing defense after one game.
2. Marcus Mariota threw 4 touchdown passes in the first half
Marcus Mariota tied Brady for the league lead in touchdown passes in Week 1, and he only needed half of the game to do it.
After completing 10 of 13 passes for 175 yards in the first two quarters, he attempted only three passes after halftime. Of course, he completed all three of those second half attempts.
It’s no surprise now that he led the league in Passing NEP per drop back and Passing Success Rate. In fact, his 1.10 Passing NEP per drop back was almost double the value of any other quarterback -- which we will get to soon.
Surprisingly, he didn’t use his legs as much as most people expected and only rushed for six yards en route to a 42-14 victory over Jameis Winston's Buccaneers.
Cleveland’s defense certainly isn’t elite but will surely give Mariota a harder test in Week 2.
3. Four tight ends were among the top 15 players in fantasy points
Quarterback was the only position with more top 15 players (6).
Rob Gronkowski entered the season as the consensus number-one tight end in the NFL and fantasy football, but I doubt many people predicted Austin Seferian-Jenkins to be number two after the opening weekend.
In a PPR format, tight ends dominated the rankings, with all four of the above players ranking in the top 10 and Jason Witten joining them in the top 15.
4. Tyrod Taylor ranked 2nd in Passing NEP per drop back
It’s no surprise that a quarterback in the Colts and Bills game was a top NEP performer in Week 1, but I think we all expected that quarterback to be Andrew Luck.
Tyrod Taylor’s 0.63 Passing NEP per drop back was second to only Mariota's 1.10, while Luck finished 20th with a 0.08 value. It’s worth noting that one spot behind Luck was Drew Brees with a 0.06 Passing NEP per drop back.
Taylor completed 14 passes on 19 attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown, while also adding 41 yards on 9 rushing attempts with a fumble. If he can avoid turning the ball over, the Bills defense and rushing attack will help him win a lot of games -- both on the field and possibly in fantasy formats.
5. DeMarco Murray had only 8 rushing attempts
Chip Kelly has made some questionable personnel decisions since the end of last season, and the usage of his new star running back can be added to the list. After the Eagles brought in DeMarco Murray on a $40 million contract, he was handed the ball only eight times in the first game and didn't touch the ball in the last 10:49 of the game.
His two touchdowns saved his fantasy score, but a lot of doubt remains as to whether he will be a big part of this offense moving forward.
Fellow Eagles newcomer Ryan Mathews was the go-to running back on a critical third down late in the fourth quarter in which he failed to pick the one yard needed for a first down.
Darren Sproles looks to be a focal point of the Eagles offense and also added 25 yards on three punt returns. It will be interesting to see whether the Eagles use Murray more in Week 2 against his old team.