The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 5
Week 5 games aren't over yet, so maybe the title of this article is a little misleading. It should read something like The 20 Best Offensive Players From the Thursday and Sunday Games in Week 1.
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.
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 from the Thursday and Sunday games.
Here are Week 5's results:
- Devonta Freeman has now ranked fourth, first and first within this column over the last three weeks, respectively. No running back has come close to his production in terms of NEP. And the crazy part is that he was the most inefficient runner in the league, per our metrics, last year. Some experience, a fresh offensive line and a new offensive coordinator have formed to help Freeman do a complete 180 from his rookie year. It's amazing.
- Gary Barnidge now has the second most fantasy points at the tight end position in PPR leagues, behind only Tyler Eifert. Rob Gronkowski would likely have more had he not had his bye, but Barnidge has been the most pleasant surprise at the position this season. Unfortunately, the Browns' schedule starts to get very tough.
- Through the first three weeks of the season, no running back had a lower Rushing NEP total than Doug Martin. But he's now made this column in each of the last two weeks, and it's looking as though the season is turning around for him.
- There are 36 wide receivers with 30 or more targets this season, with Allen Hurns being one of them. Among these 36, only Larry Fitzgerald, Travis Benjamin and Randall Cobb have higher touchdown per target ratios. There may be some regression coming, but for now, fantasy owners should feel good about snagging Hurns late in drafts.
- For the 100th time, it's pretty clear Dion Lewis is the back you want (and need) in the Patriots' offense. Not only has he been efficient, but he out-snapped LeGarrette Blount 42 to 17 yesterday, per FantasyData.com.