The 20 Best Offensive Players From Week 1
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 value 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.
Here are Week 1's results:
- Davante Adams and his quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, finished one-two in the single-game ratings this week. Adams handled an astounding 17 targets to lead the week, and he turned those into 14 catches, 156 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Rodgers was a crisp 32-of-44 for 364 yards (8.3 yards per attempt) and 4 touchdowns. On a per-drop back basis, Rodgers added 0.49 Passing NEP, more than four times last year's NFL average of 0.11.
- Russell Wilson had as many touchdown passes (4) as he did incompletions while tallying 322 passing yards against the Atlanta Falcons. He out-performed Rodgers on a per-drop back basis (0.56 Passing NEP). Lamar Jackson also did that (0.67), but Rodgers still had a bigger in-game impact in terms of win probability added. It was a week full of studly quarterback performances.
- Christian McCaffrey played 65 of 67 snaps in Week 1, according to ProFootballFocus, and he handled 23 of 25 running back carries to go along with all 4 running back targets available in the Carolina Panthers' offense. Only two rushers (David Johnson (5.19) and Dalvin Cook (4.96)) added more Rushing NEP than McCaffrey did in Week 1.