NFL

# The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 8

Benjamin Watson had a huge game against the Giants, but he wasn't the best player from Week 8.

Week 8 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 8.

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 8's results:

PlayerPositionRating
Odell BeckhamWR100
Drew BreesQB99
Dion LewisRB99
Benjamin WatsonTE98
Eli ManningQB98
Carson PalmerQB97
Demaryius ThomasWR95
Derek CarrQB93
Mark IngramRB91
Peyton ManningQB91
Alshon JefferyWR91
AJ GreenWR90
Jacob TammeTE90
Philip RiversQB89
Todd GurleyRB86
Duke JohnsonRB85
Julian EdelmanWR85
Taiwan JonesRB84
CJ AndersonRB84

- Odell Beckham went beast mode in the New Orleans' shootout, scoring three times. Perhaps the most impressive part of his day was that his Reception NEP, or expected points added on receptions only, was only 0.72 points higher than his Target NEP (points added on all targets). And that's because only one of Eli Manning's targets to Beckham didn't end up as a completion -- that incompletion meant little to the game, too.

- Benjamin Watson continues to be an undervalued asset in the Saints offense, and for fantasy owners, get this: he now has six more PPR fantasy points than the stud he replaced in New Orleans, Jimmy Graham.

- Carson Palmer was the best non-Saints/Giants quarterback yesterday, throwing up 21.68 Passing Net Expected Points. Though Josh McCown, his opponent, threw three touchdowns of his own, the difference between the two quarterbacks in Passing NEP was a little over 14 points, which was the difference in score in the Browns/Cardinals game.

- Props to Derek Carr. I wasn't all that kind to the Raiders' quarterback's play entering the year, questioning whether or not he was indeed the team's franchise quarterback. In Week 8, he faced a Jets' secondary that ranked fifth in the NFL according to our numbers. He exited the week with 20.35 Passing NEP, making him a top-five passer on the week.

- The reason you see Duke Johnson and Taiwan Jones on this list is because running backs generally don't see high efficiency, so one or two big plays can really skew their overall results. If you saw, both Jones and Johnson had great plays through the air, increasing their overall NEP. Had they consistently seen volume, though, it would've more than likely been another story.