5 NFL Stats to Know Through Week 13

Even without Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs have one of the best rushing offenses in the NFL this year.

After four months of waiting, after I drafted him in all but one of my season long fantasy football leagues,   David Johnson finally got his first start. And it certainly lived up to my expectations. 

One guy I didn't draft at all, though, is Blaine Gabbert, who I mentioned last week was playing much better than his predecessor Colin Kaepernick. He kept that going in Week 13 to the tune of 196 yards and a passing touchdown, with another 75 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

With the fantasy football playoffs here and many stud players doomed by injuries or bad matchups, finding a new starter or lesser player with a good matchup could be the key to winning a championship. So you better keep up with what's going on around the NFL.

Here are five stats to know -- both traditional stats and Net Expected Points (NEP) marks, which compare team or player's performance relative to expectation-level -- through Week 13.

1. The New Orleans Saints’ 145.76 Adjusted Defensive NEP is worst in the NFL.

Sometimes certain stats can be skewed to show a team or player’s performance as bad, while other stats can show that same team or player as performing much better. With the Saints defense, it’s hard to find anything good, as they are dead last in the league in multiple categories.

Category Allowed to Opposition Rank
Points Allowed 380 32nd
Passing Touchdowns 35 32nd
Yards Per Game 425.2 32nd
First Downs Per Game 24.3 32nd
Yards Per Play 6.6 32nd

They are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and have given up four or more passing touchdowns in four games this season.

In Week 14 New Orleans will take on Jameis Winston, who is owned in the majority of Yahoo! and ESPN fantasy football leagues. As our own JJ Zachariason mentioned, adding Winston makes for a great streaming option for the first round of the fantasy football playoffs.

2. David Johnson had 24 touches in Week 13.

With Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington both out due to injuries, David Johnson turned 22 carries into 99 yards and added two receptions for 21 yards and a touchdown against a Rams defense that ranks fifth in Adjusted Rushing Defensive NEP (-19.80).

With only one game under his belt as the feature back, Johnson now has eight touchdowns this season and ranks 14th in Rushing NEP per rush (0.03) among all running backs with at least 25 carries.

His 19 FanDuel points were part of the million dollar  winning lineup in Week 13, and with both of the aforementioned backs still out, Johnson will be a great fantasy option again in Week 14 against the Vikings, who rank 17th in Adjusted Rushing Defensive NEP (-4.47).

3. The Chiefs’ 27.98 Rushing NEP ranks fifth in the NFL.

The Chiefs lost their first game after Jamaal Charles went out for the season, but have rallied for a six game win streak since then with their other running backs leading the way.

Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware have proved that they can carry the Chiefs rushing attack in Charles’ absence, and Ware is first in the NFL in Rushing NEP per rush among all running backs with 25 or more carries.

Player Rushing NEP/P Rank
Jamaal Charles 0.10 1st
Charcandrick West -0.03 10th
Spencer Ware 0.28 34th

The Chiefs running game will benefit from plus matchups over the rest of the season, with three of their remaining four games coming against bottom six run defenses.

Week Opponent Adj. Rush Defensive NEP Rank
14 Chargers 21.95 30th
15 Ravens -17.42 9th
16 Browns 28.85 32nd
17 Raiders 14.15 27th

Don't be surprised if they end the season strong.

4. Doug Baldwin has caught five touchdown passes over his last two games.

Doug Baldwin now has eight touchdown receptions this year after never catching more than five in a season during his career.

He opened the season with seven catches in each of the first two games, and then caught only 17 passes over the next six games. Since then, he has 24 receptions over the past four games alone and is on pace for career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns this season, while averaging less targets per game than last season.

Among all players with 25 or more targets, Baldwin’s 0.91 Reception NEP Per target ranks seventh in the NFL.

There is certainly an opportunity for the targets to keep coming toward Baldwin since Jimmy Graham is out, and both of the Seahawks next two opponents rank in the bottom half of the league in terms of Adjusted Passing Defensive NEP.

5. Todd Gurley has averaged 3.29 yards per carry over his last five games.

Todd Gurley rushed for at least 128 yards in each of his first four NFL starts, but has failed to reach the 90 yard rushing mark in any of the five games since then and the Rams have lost all five.

St. Louis' -41.27 Passing NEP ranks dead last in the NFL and is a whopping 39.38 points worse than any other team, which allows opposing defenses to focus on stopping Gurley, who’s 0.00 Rushing NEP per rush ranks 12th among running backs with 100 or more carries this season.

A quick glance at Gurley’s stats in the Rams’ 24-point loss to Arizona last week will show that he ran nine times for a respectable 41 yards, and maybe just needed more carries to have a big game. A closer look reveals that 34 of those 41 yards came from one run, and he averaged under a yard per carry on over his other eight touches.

The rest of the schedule doesn’t get any easier for Gurley and the Rams, with two of their next three opponents among the top 10 in the NFL in Adjusted Rushing Defensive NEP.