NFL

# The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 3

AJ Green went nuts against the Ravens on Sunday. Was his this week's best offensive player?

That just doesn't flow all that well.

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 gained on the play is negative. All of these little instances add up, then, to be a player's Net Expected Points total.

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 from the Thursday and Sunday games.

Here are Week 3's results:

RankPlayerPositionRating
1AJ GreenWR100
2Steve SmithWR100
3Julio JonesWR100
4Devonta FreemanRB99
5Rueben RandleWR97
6Larry FitzgeraldWR97
7Rishard MatthewsWR97
8Tyrod TaylorQB97
10Gary BarnidgeTE95
11Karlos WilliamsRB94
12Chris JohnsonRB94
13Chris ThompsonRB93
14Frank GoreRB91
15Keenan AllenWR89
17Matt RyanQB89
18Jimmy GrahamTE88
19Carson PalmerQB87
20Cam NewtonQB87

- A.J. Green was this week's top player, though Steve Smith and Julio Jones both had perfect scores as well. Green took advantage of what looks to be a very average-at-best Baltimore secondary, and he was able to add over 20.00 expected points for the Bengals on Sunday on his 10 receptions and 227 yards.

- How about Devonta Freeman? As one of the least efficient backs in the NFL last year, per our numbers, Freeman was a monster without Tevin Coleman yesterday, adding over 8.00 expected points on the ground alone. His per-rush NEP was 0.28, which is roughly 0.30 points better than what an average running back in the NFL saw last year. And it's the complete opposite of his average from last year (-0.29) on 65 carries.

- Larry Fitzgerald just keeps performing. Through three weeks, he has the third best Reception NEP total, behind only Julio Jones and Antonio Brown.

- Tyrod Taylor entered the week ranked 16th in Passing NEP per drop back, but his Week 3 performance will more than likely shoot him close to the top 10. The Bills look like they have their quarterback.

- Gary Barnidge was the most efficient and effective tight end this week. And, not surprisingly, he faced the Raiders. So far this year, the Raiders have allowed a tight end to hit this list in all three weeks of the season.