The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 17
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 17's results:
- Despite Kirk Cousins getting rest for a large chunk of Washington's game against Dallas, Jamison Crowder ended the day 5 catches, 109 yards and a score while playing 61.5% of the team's snaps. Cousins, who's 20th in this week's rankings, threw the ball just 15 times.
- Sammy Watkins was a huge reason the Bills were able to beat the Jets yesterday, hauling in 11 of 15 targets for 136 yards and a Reception NEP of 13.22. After a slow start, Watkins finished the season ranked 14th in Reception NEP.
- Ryan Tannehill's season was a struggle -- despite his top-ranked quarterback performance in Week 17, where he played to a 20.05 Passing NEP total, 23 quarterbacks finished with better Passing NEP scores across the entire season. It was a strong finish, but an underwhelming season.
- Antonio Brown ended Sunday with 13 receptions, but 10 of those catches came in the first half. His Reception NEP of 10.86 wasn't the best of Week 17 because of the slower second half, but his 147.21 Reception NEP on the season ranked third, behind only Odell Beckham and Julio Jones. And he was only four points off first place.