Los Angeles Rams RB Cam Akers

Week 17 Quick Reads

With the 2020 regular season over, it's time to look back at the best and worst games of the year, with full-strength final opponent adjustments. Later this week, I'll be back with a rundown of the best and worst players of the season by DYAR, rather than analysis of Week 17.

Quarterbacks

Best Games

Patrick Mahomes, to nobody's surprise, is good at the football. He was best at the football in Week 3, when he threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns against the Ravens, and in Week 12, when he threw for 462 and three against Tampa Bay. He wasn't intercepted in either game, and gave up only two sacks between them. He didn't run terribly often in those games, but when he did it was effective -- seven combined carries for 55 yards and a touchdown. He also got a boost in opponent adjustments both times, especially against the Buccaneers, who boosted his numbers by 58 DYAR.

Josh Allen, to everyone's surprise (coming into the year, at least), is also good at the football. Like Mahomes, he makes our top-five list twice: for his 415-yard, four-touchdown day against Miami in Week 2, and for his 375-yard, four-touchdown day against San Francisco in Week 13. Like Mahomes, he totaled zero interceptions and two sacks in his two big days. Given his stellar rushing numbers early in his career, you might expect that his best days would have included big gains on the ground, but that wasn't the case -- he only gained 32 yards on his seven carries.

Kyler Murray's best day did include several big gains on the ground -- he ran 11 times for 106 yards against the Dolphins, adding 283 yards and three touchdowns (on only 26 attempts) through the air with no interceptions and just one sack.

Worst Games

It was not a good year for bad quarterback games -- none of these performances would have made our bottom-five list in 2019. The worst, as you might have guessed, was by a Denver Broncos quarterback, but it wasn't Kendall Hinton -- DYAR is a counting stat, and Hinton only threw nine passes in his emergency start against New Orleans in Week 12. Instead it was Drew Lock -- who, unlike Hinton, is actually supposed to be a quarterback -- who threw four interceptions with a pair of sacks against the Raiders in Week 10, with only 257 yards gained on 47 passes. And since that came against the otherwise porous Las Vegas defense, Lock loses 41 DYAR due to opponent adjustments.

Patrick Mahomes single-handedly put the AFC West on top of the best games list, while Lock, Derek Carr, and Justin Herbert made sure the division took up most of the bottom five as well. Carr threw for only 215 yards with three sacks, a fumble, and a pick-six against the Falcons in Week 12; a week later, Herbert gained only 209 yards on 52 throws against the Patriots, adding three sacks and a pair of interceptions.

Obviously, those were the exceptions for Carr and Herbert; they'll be back to try again in 2021. Lock's status in Denver is uncertain; the Broncos will have the ninth pick in the draft this April and may look for his replacement. His future prospects still look brighter, however, than those of Jake Luton (a sixth-round rookie for Jacksonville who lost all three of his starts, the worst of them a 151-yard, four-interception day against Pittsburgh in Week 11) or Joe Flacco (who gained only 186 yards on 44 passes against Miami in Week 6, adding an interception and three sacks).


Running Backs

Best Games

As discussed at the time, Derrick Henry did finish with the third-best rushing DYAR ever recorded -- and the best since 2006 -- for his 27 carries for 178 yards and three touchdowns against the Colts in Week 12. The Titans won that game 45-26, and considering that Tennessee and Indianapolis finished with identical 11-5 records, it's fair to say that Henry's best day was the difference between a wild-card berth and a division championship.

Most of the other games here had tremendous fantasy numbers -- you've got Dalvin Cook with 252 yard from scrimmage with two touchdowns against Detroit, Alvin Kamara's half-dozen touchdowns against Minnesota, and Nick Chubb's 176 yards from scrimmage with a touchdown against Jacksonville. In that company, Chase Edmonds' 145 yards from scrimmage without a touchdown against Seattle may not seem like much … until you realize he picked up first downs on four of his five rushes and five of his seven catches.

Worst Games

There are two games here against Arizona and two more against Detroit -- having a bad day against a bad defense is a sure way to end up on this list. The most recent of those belongs to Cam Akers, whose Week 17 outing against the Cardinals included 21 carries for only 34 yards. He only ran for two first downs, was stuffed eight times, and lost a fumble at the goal line. That's -68 rushing DYAR -- worst in a single game since 2009, when Houston's Steve Slaton gained 35 yards on 17 carries against Tennessee.

You can follow the links for details on Ezekiel Elliott's 80-yard, two-fumble day against Arizona; J.D. McKissic's 49 yards on 23 handoffs and targets against Detroit; Todd Gurley's accidental touchdown that cost the Falcons a win, also against Detroit; and Melvin Gordon's 65-yard, two-fumble day against Kansas City.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Best Games

Back in Week 12, we wrote about Tyreek Hill's 269-yard, three-touchdown day against Tampa Bay, and how it somehow failed to make our top-30 list of wide receiver games. Opponent adjustments have shifted quite a bit in the ensuing five weeks, however, and Hill's day has climbed from 111 DYAR to 121. That puts it 15th all time, and the most since Julio Jones had 126 DYAR for 253 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay 2017.

Davante Adams was perhaps the NFL's best wideout in 2020, and he was at his best against Tennessee and San Francisco, catching a combined 21 of 24 targets for 315 yards and four touchdowns. Will Fuller comes in third for his 171 yards and two touchdowns (on only six catches!) against Detroit, while Corey Davis finishes sixth for his 182 yards and a score against Cleveland.

Worst Games

The real headliner here is actually the fourth name from the top -- congratulations, Mark Andrews, you officially have the worst single-game DYAR for a tight end on record! The Ravens threw eight passes to Andrews, and he caught three of them for all of 22 yards with a fumble. His updated total of -58 DYAR surpasses the -53 DYAR Jeremy Shockey had for the Giants against Tampa Bay in 2006, when he turned 10 targets into three catches for 15 yards.

The top three names here are pretty mundane, really. You've got DJ Chark's 14-target, seven-catch, 45-yard day against Detroit, plus appearances by Jeff Smith (11-3-23 --though not, obviously, a contender for the worst game on record, as we wrote in Week 5) against Arizona and A.J. Green (13-3-29) against Cleveland. Jamison Crowder's nightmarish outing against Miami in Week 6 was overlooked because Chark's day was even worse, but he turned 13 targets into seven catches for 48 yards. Only two of those completions picked up first downs; only two more counted as successful plays.

 


 

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Aaron Rodgers GB
19/24
240
4
0
1
201
201
0
CHI
2.
Tom Brady TB
26/40
399
4
1
1
186
185
1
ATL
3.
Justin Herbert LAC
22/31
302
3
0
3
156
160
-4
KC
4.
Kirk Cousins MIN
28/40
405
3
0
3
105
103
2
DET
5.
Cam Newton NE
21/30
242
3
0
3
101
62
18
NYJ
Newton's totals include 22 DYAR receiving for his one target, a 19-yard touchdown catch.
6.
Josh Allen BUF
18/25
224
3
1
1
91
95
-4
MIA
7.
Matt Ryan ATL
29/44
265
2
0
1
90
114
-23
TB
8.
Baker Mayfield CLE
17/27
196
1
0
4
88
70
19
PIT
9.
Matthew Stafford DET
20/31
293
3
1
1
76
71
6
MIN
10.
Chad Henne KC
23/32
218
2
0
1
70
92
-22
LAC
11.
Ryan Tannehill TEN
18/27
216
1
0
2
62
34
27
HOU
12.
Derek Carr LV
24/38
371
2
2
3
57
56
2
DEN
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Matt Barkley BUF
6/13
164
1
1
0
48
48
0
MIA
14.
Deshaun Watson HOU
28/39
365
3
1
4
39
46
-7
TEN
15.
Russell Wilson SEA
20/36
181
2
0
2
37
30
8
SF
16.
Drew Brees NO
22/32
201
3
0
2
36
36
0
CAR
17.
Drew Lock DEN
25/41
339
2
0
2
36
36
0
LV
18.
Kyler Murray ARI
8/11
87
0
0
2
30
34
-4
LAR
19.
Mitchell Trubisky CHI
33/42
252
0
1
1
29
19
10
GB
20.
Lamar Jackson BAL
10/18
113
3
1
0
20
-4
24
CIN
21.
Mason Rudolph PIT
22/39
315
2
1
1
19
25
-5
CLE
22.
Mike Glennon JAX
26/42
261
2
0
6
4
2
2
IND
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Philip Rivers IND
17/27
164
1
1
0
4
4
0
JAX
24.
Daniel Jones NYG
17/25
229
2
1
2
2
27
-24
DAL
25.
C.J. Beathard SF
25/37
273
1
0
3
-21
-19
-2
SEA
26.
Chris Streveler ARI
11/16
105
1
1
2
-35
-39
5
LAR
27.
Jalen Hurts PHI
7/20
72
0
1
1
-39
-67
28
WAS
28.
Sam Darnold NYJ
23/34
266
1
2
3
-41
-42
1
NE
29.
John Wolford LAR
22/38
231
0
1
2
-49
-63
14
ARI
30.
Tua Tagovailoa MIA
35/58
361
1
3
1
-53
-56
4
BUF
31.
Teddy Bridgewater CAR
13/23
176
0
2
1
-61
-40
-20
NO
32.
Nate Sudfeld PHI
5/12
32
0
1
2
-64
-51
-13
WAS
33.
P.J. Walker CAR
5/14
95
0
3
2
-93
-93
0
NO
34.
Andy Dalton DAL
29/47
243
0
1
6
-117
-141
23
NYG
35.
Alex Smith WAS
22/32
162
2
2
3
-150
-135
-16
PHI
36.
Brandon Allen CIN
7/21
48
0
2
0
-170
-173
3
BAL

 

Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Sony Michel NE
16
76
0
3/3
60
1
75
30
46
NYJ
2.
Jonathan Taylor IND
30
253
2
1/2
1
0
56
62
-6
JAX
3.
J.K. Dobbins BAL
13
160
2
0/0
0
0
49
49
0
CIN
4.
Chris Carson SEA
11
44
0
2/2
39
0
44
22
21
SF
5.
Ronald Jones TB
12
78
1
0/0
0
0
43
43
0
ATL

 

37.
Derrick Henry TEN
34
250
2
0/0
0
0
2
2
0
HOU
We're just listing Henry here because we know we're going to get lots of questions about why he was not in the top five running backs this week ... and then even more questions about why he was not in the top 36. The answers are: 1) Opponent adjustments -- Henry loses 36 DYAR for playing the Texans; 2) Fumbles -- Henry had two of them, losing 30 DYAR on those two plays; and 3) Stuffs -- Henry had six of them, including a 3-yard loss on first-and-goal from the 1, that lost a combined 43 DYAR.

 

Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Jonathan Taylor IND
30
253
2
1/2
1
0
56
62
-6
JAX
2.
J.K. Dobbins BAL
13
160
2
0/0
0
0
49
49
0
CIN
3.
Nick Chubb CLE
14
108
1
0/1
0
0
40
47
-7
PIT
4.
Ronald Jones TB
12
78
1
0/0
0
0
43
43
0
ATL
5.
Brian Hill ATL
9
94
0
3/3
42
0
42
34
8
TB

 

Worst Running Back by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Cam Akers LAR
21
34
0
4/4
52
0
-52
-68
16
ARI
As mentioned in the main essay, Akers had the worst single-game rushing DYAR by any player since 2009.

 

Worst Running Back by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Cam Akers LAR
21
34
0
4/4
52
0
-52
-68
16
ARI

 

Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Chris Godwin TB
5
7
133
26.6
2
73
ATL
2.
Marvin Jones DET
8
11
180
22.5
2
73
MIN
3.
Mike Williams LAC
6
7
108
18.0
1
67
KC
4.
Antonio Brown TB
11
14
138
12.5
2
66
ATL
5.
A.J. Brown TEN
10
11
151
15.1
1
58
HOU

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Calvin Ridley ATL
8
12
52
6.5
0
-51
TB
Ridley's totals include -7 DYAR rushing for his one carry, a 6-yard loss.

Comments

31 comments, Last at 05 Jan 2021, 3:58pm

1 CAR QBs combined opponent adjustment DYAR gained

Hi FO,

if you find the time, could you post the above total, please?

A stat line of 18/31 passes, 0-5 TD-INT, 3 sacks,2 fumbles surely would have been a lot worse against a league average opponent than the combined minus-154 DYAR. Thank you.

2 brutal INTs for Alex Smith

In one, the receiver bobbled the ball thrown to him perfectly and the DB came in and took it away.  In the second, the intended receiver fell down while the ball was in the air.  I'm sure there are other reasons for his low DVAR, but he wasn't as bad as his numbers would imply. 

8 Rushing stat is weird

It is amazing that he gets -16 Dyar for one rushing attempt for zero yards. I guess that is for the fumble. 
I am not sure why FO puts unconditionally the blame on QBs for center-QB exchange fumbles. Is that even something that helps predict future success? I see that it happens quite more often when a center gets injured in the middle of the game. And next week it is mostly gone.  

25 Official stats

We start with the official NFL stats, and they assign blame on fumbles. We decided a few years ago not to try to subjectively assign blame to fumbles, but to go with what the league decides.

26 I think it would be better…

In reply to by Aaron Schatz

I think it would be better to not include those just like you don't include Hail Mary interceptions. I doubt that those fumbles have predictive value.

30 1) -4.3, which was next to…

1) -4.3, which was next to last among qualified passers. Chad Henne was at -5.0.

2) Yes, he was last at -2.6. Only three other QBs were negative (including his ex-teammate Dwayne Haskins). He was also last in 2015, 2014, and 2013. That's why the stat was named after him.

3 It's week 17, might as well…

It's week 17, might as well do it.

LAMAR JACKSON IS RATED TOO LOW, YOU ARE CLEARLY BIASED AGAINST LAMAR JACKSON.

Seriously though, that must have been a hell of an opponent adjustment considering the way he dominated that game to be ranked 20th with -4 passing DYAR!

6 lack of attempts

1 INT, very low # of attempts (for an average starting NFL QB), low completion percentage (for this era). Didn't see the game, but he may have been unsuccessful on >50% of his passes. Not a way to get a good DYAR #.

9 I think DYAR continues to…

I think DYAR continues to undervalue Lamar's running. I can only think he's such an outlier that it reveals a flaw in the formula.

For example, he had 11 carries for 97 yards and 6 First Downs yesterday, for a 24 DYAR.

Against the Giants, Andy Dalton had 7 carries for 48 yards and 4 First Downs, for a 23 DYAR. Even with opponent adjustments, we're supposed to believe that those are equivalent contributions toward winning a football game? 

Last week vs the Giants, Lamar had 13 carries for 80 yards and 4 First Downs. But because there was a fumbled handoff near the goal line (never really saw whose fault it was), and was stuffed on a third and 1, Lamar's DYAR was -1. Dalton's game vs the Giants yesterday was worth 24 more DYAR than Lamar's last week? 

10 DYAR also thinks that Sony…

DYAR also thinks that Sony Michel had a more valuable game yesterday than Jonathan Taylor, and that the entire league had a more valuable game than Derrick Henry. I wouldn't pay all that much attention to rushing DYAR. 

14 Derrick Henry

Henry's numbers are as artificial as can be. Despite diminishing returns on production and numerous fumbles and stuffs, Tennessee was compelled to keep giving him carries to get to 2k (a decision I agree with, given they had clinched the playoffs by then). Most decent professional running backs should be embarrassed if they can't reach at least 200 yards with over 30 carries against Houston with Tennessee's run-blocking linemen, tight ends, and run scheme. 

Meanwhile, Taylor put up 250 on... Jacksonville, also with an excellent offensive line and a strong offensive coach, all while carrying a lead. 

16 I think the blurb explains…

I think the blurb explains why Henry was so low quite well.  Fumbles are bad, and two in one game is rare(*), and that accounts for -30 DYAR.  Without those, he'd have 32 rushing DYAR, just behind Brian Hill for 5th.

And the Texans horrible rush defense accounts for -36 DYAR.  If you leave the fumbles in, but turn the Texans into a league-average team, Henry's up to 38 rushing DYAR.

(*) This source (sort by "FUM") says that there were only five games all season in which a running back fumbled twice.  That seems low to me, but regardless, there aren't that many multi-fumble games.

12 "I think DYAR continues to…

"I think DYAR continues to undervalue Lamar's running. I can only think he's such an outlier that it reveals a flaw in the formula."

Then what about last year?  Jackson had 273 rushing DYAR, which would have ranked third among running backs, among players who had roughly twice the number of rushing attempts.  It doesn't seem like there's something inherent about FO metrics that cause him to be downgraded.

4 We're just listing Henry…

We're just listing Henry here because we know we're going to get lots of questions about why he was not in the top five running backs this week ... and then even more questions about why he was not in the top 36. 

Houston's defense is so bad that a 34-248-2 stat-line is considered par.

7 What does it say about…

What does it say about growth when Josh Allen finishes #6 while only playing a half?

If you had told me last year that this was going to be his BEST game of the year, I would have taken it.

11 After seeing his performance…

After seeing his performance against the Texans in last year's playoff game, if I am being honest, I had written him off. Not only did I see a team trying to hide their QB, I saw a QB so scattershot that at best he would be this generation's Joe Flacco(without the fluky SB win). 

I still think if I saw this same level of play in another prospect, I'd similarly cut bait. I've seen too many busts exhibit the same profile of QB and never figure it out. 

But clearly I was wrong. Not only did Allen not turn into Flacco, he became a legitimately really good players. Right now he's clearly a top 10 player and maybe somewhere in the 6-9 range. 

I said earlier that Kirk Cousins, Jimmy G, Goff etc are good qbs but flawed enough that I wasn't sure what you do. Allen is the kind of Qb you hope to land. 

28 I'm resistant to the idea that Josh Allen is a top 5 or so QB

I think there's a fair number of dropped interceptions hidden in Allen's stats, and some receiver-rescues of not-great throws.

But that's only an argument that Josh Allen is not one of the very best passers in the league.  Harping on that misses the point.  He's ENORMOUSLY better than I ever figured he would be.  I'm trying to agree with SlotHook at #11.  I was dead-wrong on Allen. 

31 You're in good company

I'm pretty sure everyone outside of the Bills organization and fanbase was dead wrong about him. He was exactly the kind of tools-only college QB prospect that smart fans and analytics folks have learned to be extremely skeptical of due to the poor track record of exactly that kind of prospect. His first two years mostly reinforced that initial perception. That he has put together probably the third-best QB campaign of the year is frankly astonishing. 

Everyone involved in that transformation (coaches, front office, o-line, receviers, and not least, himself) should feel extremely proud of how this year has gone.

13 Would Rodgers's game this…

Would Rodgers's game this week have finished in the top five for the year if Valdes-Scantling hadn't dropped that perfectly-placed longball in the third quarter? That likely would have been a 60+ yard touchdown on a drive that fizzled on the next play.

(obviously the game wouldn't have played out the same way after that point, but I'm just curious).

17 Assuming

that the rest of the stats remained the same if MVS had caught that pass Rodgers would have set a new single season record for passer rating per some industrious poster at Acme Packing Company.

18 That MVS drop  was the third…

That MVS drop  was the third of three long shoulda-been TDs he dropped this year. Cost Rodgers 50 plus TDs and he likely would have surpassed his 2011 record passer rating.

20 Three dropped INTs is a bit…

Three dropped INTs is a bit harsh---the third would have been a hell of a play by the DB. But he for sure had two, and on back-to-back plays. Not securing one of those two and kicking the FG from the 2 yard line were what doomed the Bears for good.

21 Justin Herbert

The Chargers played New England week 13. They played Carolina week 3. Which game are you referring to?

22 I watched about 3 games of…

I watched about 3 games of Justin Herbert's this year. Without the rookie grading scale, I thought he was a damn good qb in all of them. Once you know he's a rookie, the dude was ridiculous. His stat line would read like an MVP circa 2000. The finest rookie QB season I saw to date was Matt Ryan's. Until now. Herbert to me had the best rookie QB season that I've ever seen.

I will say, that doesn't mean he's going to be elite. Being elite, to me, means vying for the MVP every year. Right now there are two such players with Watson, Lamar, and Wilson at the gates. Herbert might never get there just as Rivers never did. But goddamn, I would really like to know what Todd McShay thinks now seeing Herbert. The dude is a freakin beast. Its just a damn shame the Chargers are a joke and have no fans. If he was on GB or Dallas, we'd be hearing about him ad nauseum. 

23 Feedback

A stat line of 18/31 passes, 0-5 TD-INT, 3 sacks,2 fumbles surely would have been a lot worse against a league average opponent than the combined minus-154 DYAR. Thank you.

...I think you're asking for the opponent adjustments for Carolina QBs? Bridgewater gained 40 DYAR for playing the Saints. Walker gained 22.

Seriously though, that must have been a hell of an opponent adjustment considering the way he dominated that game to be ranked 20th with -4 passing DYAR!

Not really -- he only lost 14 passing DYAR due to opponent adjustments. He threw for three touchdowns ... but only two other first downs. He's also dinged for a bunch of incompletions on second-and-medium.

For example, he had 11 carries for 97 yards and 6 First Downs yesterday, for a 24 DYAR.

Against the Giants, Andy Dalton had 7 carries for 48 yards and 4 First Downs, for a 23 DYAR. Even with opponent adjustments, we're supposed to believe that those are equivalent contributions toward winning a football game? 

Jackson had more good runs than Dalton, and his good runs were worth more than Dalton's good runs. But he had more bad runs too. Dalton had just one run that lost DYAR: a 6-yard run on third-and-10 for -1.3 DYAR. Jackson had three: a 5-yard run on third-and-8, a 2-yard run on third-and-10, and a 1-yard run on first-and-10. Those three plays (mostly the last one) added up to -10.1 DYAR.

The Chargers played New England week 13. They played Carolina week 3. Which game are you referring to?

New England, Week 13. Will fix.