We’re at or just past the midpoint of the 2020 NFL season, one marked by the circumstances related to COVID-19, and how players and teams are handling it as much as anything that has taken place on the field.
Nonetheless, the games go on and player performance has been impressive in many aspects. This article is intended to salute that by taking a look at the league’s top players at each position. We’ll do so using Total Points.
Total Points is SIS’s flagship value metric that takes the framework of Expected Points and uses our extensive charting data to more accurately divide credit among individual players. You can find a more in-depth explanation of how the Total Points System breaks down each facet of the game here.
The All-Total Points Team is based on the positional leaders in Total Points Per Game with a minimum of six games played.
All-Total Points Offense
|Position||Player||Team||TOTAL POINTS EARNED||TOTAL POINTS EARNED / GAME|
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the overall leader in Points Earned by a healthy margin. He’s 10 points ahead of Bills quarterback Josh Allen. The explanation on this is clearcut. Mahomes ranks second in the NFL in passing yards and has a 25-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio entering the bye week. He’s done almost nothing wrong all season.
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook leads his position in Total Points Per Game and has a sizable lead on Chris Carson, Derrick Henry, and Alvin Kamara.
After totaling 113 rushing yards in his first two games of the season, Cook has averaged 149 rushing yards per game with nine touchdowns in his last five. He returned from a groin injury to rush for 163 and 206 yards with a combined five touchdowns in wins over the Packers and Lions the last two weeks. In all, he leads the NFL in touchdowns with 13 in seven games, rushing yards per game with 122.6, and rushing yards after contact per carry (3.7).
The three wide receivers are Davante Adams of the Packers, Stefon Diggs of the Bills, and Terry McLaurin of the Washington Football Team.
Adams currently leads the NFL with 112.5 receiving yards per game. Diggs leads in receptions and total yardage. With 50 receptions in eight games, McLaurin is only eight catches away from his 2019 total. He’s on the list partly because he has the most yards after the catch (374) and the most yards after contact (182) of any wide receiver in the NFL.
There’s no one close to Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, which isn’t a surprise given George Kittle’s knee and foot injuries. Kelce’s averaging 3.2 Total Points per game, with only Kittle (2.7) within a point-per-game of him.
The Rams have the two leaders at the tackle position, left tackle Andrew Whitworth and right tackle Rob Havenstein. Their presence is a product of the Rams tying for the second-fewest sacks allowed in the league and ranking in the top five in yards before contact on off-tackle or outside runs.
They’re joined on the offensive line by Patriots guards Joe Thuney and Michael Onwenu, and Ravens center Bradley Bozeman. Thuney is perennially at the top of this leaderboard. Onwenu is worthy of special recognition as a rookie. He’s moved around the offensive line this season before settling in at right guard. Bozeman is part of a Ravens unit that has helped the team rank third in the NFL in yards per carry.
All-Total Points Defense
|POSITION||PLAYER||TEAM||TOTAL POINTS SAVED||TOTAL POINTS SAVED / GAME|
At edge rusher, there’s T.J. Watt of the Steelers and Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah. Watt’s presence is no surprise. He’s trying to lead linebackers in Total Points for the second year in a row. Ogbah, with his third team in as many seasons, has not even made a Pro Bowl in his five-year NFL career. But that could change this season, as he’s already recorded a career-high seven sacks.
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald ranks first among all defensive linemen in Total Points Per Game. He’s joined by David Onyemata from the Saints.
Lavonte David of the Buccaneers and Roquan Smith of the Bears are the inside linebackers. Smith leads linebackers with 13 tackles for a loss this season. No one else has more than 10.
Safety Budda Baker of the Cardinals and Rodney McLeod of the Eagles lead the secondary. They are joined by cornerbacks Carlton Davis of the Buccaneers, Bryce Callahan of the Broncos, and Kendall Fuller of the Washington Football Team.
Fuller and Davis are near matches. Fuller has the seventh-lowest completion percentage among cornerbacks who have covered at least 30 targets (48% on 50 attempts) and third-fewest yards-per-target allowed (5.5). Davis has allowed a 50% completion percentage and has the second-fewest yards per target allowed (4.6).
All-Total Points Specialists
|POSITION||PLAYER||TEAM||TOTAL POINTS||TOTAL POINTS / GAME|
Broncos kicker Brandon McManus and Lions punter Jack Fox round out the selections. McManus has made 16-of-17 field goals, including 5-of-6 from 50 yards and beyond (he was 12-of-26 on those attempts from 2016 to 2019). Fox, a rookie from Rice, is averaging an NFL-best 52.8 yards per punt in 2020. As an aside, we don’t have a Total Points measurement for kick and punt returners (yet), so they go unrecognized for now.