5 NFL Stats to Know Through Week 16

A few surprise players led the way in fantasy points during championship week. What numbers do you need to know?

It’s hard to believe there is only one week left in the NFL season. That came quicker than I expected, but all good things come to an end, and now is a good time to look at check back in on some of the milestones we’ve covered in this column.

Tyler Eifert has missed the past two games with injuries and hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since I wrote about him leading the NFL after Week 12.

Julio Jones won’t pass Eifert’s touchdown mark but needs 16 catches to tie Marvin Harrison’s single season record and 242 yards to catch Calvin Johnson’s record.

Jones and the Falcons were in a bit of a scoring drought, as I mentioned after Week 14, but turned things around by upsetting the previously undefeated Panthers in Week 16.

Doug Baldwin did indeed pass Eifert in terms of receiving touchdowns, after finding the endzone 11 times in his last five games.

Kirk Cousins continued his breakout season with his second four-touchdown game in a row and finished Week 16 with the second most fantasy points (32.20) in the NFL.

And if you remember, I said after Week 13 to not be surprised if the Chiefs end the season strong, and they have now won nine games in a row.

Now that’s enough reminiscing.

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 16.

1. Tim Hightower led the NFL with 122 rushing yards in Week 16

Prior to this season, Tim Hightower had not appeared in a regular season NFL game since 2011 with the Redskins.

In his third start since Mark Ingram’s injury, he carried the ball 27 times for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns, while adding 3 catches for 47 yards.

His 28.90 standard fantasy points ranked third in the NFL and first among running backs in Week 16.

Hightower’s 0.04 Rushing NEP per rush ranks ninth among NFL running backs with 50 or more carries this season. He has an opportunity to build on his recent success in Week 17 against the Falcons, who rank 22nd with a 5.46 Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP.

2. Jordan Reed led the NFL with 33.90 PPR fantasy points in Week 16

Jordan Reed caught 9 passes for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Eagles, who have allowed the second fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season. Prior to Week 16, they had only allowed three total touchdowns to opposing tight ends.

Reed has five touchdown catches over his last three games and is only 93 yards shy of his first 1,000 yard season, despite missing two games due to injury.

Jordan ReedValueTight End Rank
Receiving Yards9072nd
Target NEP58.732nd
Reception NEP80.545th

The Redskins have already secured the fourth playoff spot in the NFC East, so they could rest their starters against Dallas in Week 17. Reed caught only 3 of 8 targets for 33 yards and no scores in the Redskins' first meeting with Dallas this year, which was statistically his worst performance of the season.

3. Danny Woodhead’s 56.69 Reception NEP leads all running backs

Danny Woodhead has the second most receptions (72) of any running back, behind Theo Riddick (76), who ranks second with a 48.04 Reception NEP.

Woodhead already has a career high 704 receiving yards and has tied his career high with 6 receiving touchdowns, while rushing for 325 yards and 3 touchdowns.

After drafting Melvin Gordon in the first round this year, San Diego’s -38.81 Adjusted Rushing NEP ranks dead last in the league. That is due in large part to the poor play of Gordon, who ranks last among all running backs this season with a -34.19 Rushing NEP.

Woodhead is a top flight pass-catching running back, but the Chargers need Gordon or someone else to fill the early-down and goal line roles in order to improve their rushing attack next season

4. The Cardinals’ defense scored 33 fantasy points in Week 16

Arizona’s defense eclipsed their Week 3 point total (28) and now own the top two weekly fantasy point totals this season at the position.

They accomplished this against the Packers, who have allowed the second fewest fantasy points to opposing defenses this season, and became the first team to hold Green Bay under 10 points this year.

After putting up more than two sacks in a game only twice prior to last game, Arizona racked up nine sacks, tying Cleveland for the most in a game this season.

They also recovered four three fumbles and found the end zone twice.

The Cardinals currently rank third in Adjusted Defensive NEP (-27.31) and will take on Seattle in Week 17 while trying to pass Carolina for the top spot in the NFC.

5. Allen Robinson’s 14 receiving touchdowns are tied for the most in the NFL

As I mentioned in the introduction, Doug Baldwin has been on a tear in the second half of the season and is the only player with as many receiving touchdowns as Allen Robinson this season.

After catching only two touchdowns in his 10-game rookie season, Robinson took a big leap forward during his sophomore campaign.

His 213.20 fantasy points ranks fourth among wide receivers, and he has the sixth most receiving yards (1,292) in the NFL.

Robinson’s 117.28 Reception NEP also ranks sixth in the NFL, and among wide receivers with 50 or more catches, his 17.2 yards per catch is the best in the league.