Another week, another edition of PFN’s Offensive Value Metric (OVM) rankings of the NFL’s top 10 wide receivers. The OVM is a metric created by the (Bx) Movement to measure how important a player was to their offense. As such, this is not a list of the best WRs of Week 10, but rather of the ones who were most effective given the situations they found themselves in.
Week 10 was another excellent week for wide receivers, according to the OVM, with grades nearly as high as in Week 9. Interestingly, many of the players who made this week’s list had relatively unimpressive box score performances. Only two of them broke the 100-yard mark, and those same two were the only ones to score touchdowns.
Their relative lack of statistical success is an excellent illustration of how a wide receiver can be highly effective even though their role in the offense is relatively limited. Week 10 also shows that a player doesn’t need to be one of the best WRs in the NFL to be valuable to their offense.
Top 10 NFL wide receivers of Week 10 | #1-4
1) Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills: 46.95 (109 YDS, 1 TD)
Buffalo lost in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday, with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins connecting on one of the craziest hail-marys that you’ll ever see. However, the loss shouldn’t distract us from the fact that Beasley had a stellar day. He currently holds the highest overall OVM grade among qualifying NFL wide receivers, and Week 10 was another step in his upward trajectory. His 84.62% catch percentage was the seventh-highest percentage of the week and averaged 3.8 yards of separation despite receiving just 3.9 yards of cushion from Arizona’s defenders at the time of the snap.
2) Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers: 46.25 (149 YDS, 1 TD)
Valdes-Scantling is the best WR to make the top 10 in Week 10, at least in terms of his box score statistics. However, his advanced metrics were impressive as well. His catch percentage was quite low, at just 66.67%, but what he did with the passes that he did catch was staggering. He averaged 20.5 yards after the catch, easily the highest total of the week and the second-highest total by any wide receiver this season. That number was 6.4 yards higher than expected, also higher than any other wide receiver in week 10. It’s much easier to forgive a low catch percentage when the player in question is gaining the equivalent of multiple first downs on each reception.
3) Sterling Shepard, New York Giants: 45.91 (47 YDS, 0 TD)
The Giants took a big step towards winning the NFC East on Sunday by beating the Philadelphia Eagles, and while Shepard wasn’t the featured player in New York’s offense, he was highly efficient in his role. He has seen a significant uptick in targets and his OVM grade in recent weeks, and this week was a continuation of that trend. He caught 100% of his targets, a feat matched by two other NFL wide receivers in Week 10, both of whom also made this list. Although a wide receiver can’t control how often they are thrown the ball, the easiest way for them to impact their offense is to catch it whenever they do get targeted, and Shepard was perfect in that regard on Sunday.
4) Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 45.91 (92 YDS, 0 TD)
Just one week after being completely dismantled by the New Orleans Saints, the Buccaneers bounced back with a victory against the Panthers this weekend. Godwin’s personal performance was key to the turnaround; his OVM grade from Week 10 is more than double what it was against New Orleans. Like Shepard, Godwin caught 100% of his passes, which is the primary reason that he ranks so highly on this list.
Top WRs | #5-7
5) Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team: 44.45 (95 YDS, 0 TD)
The only returning player from Week 9’s list, McLaurin has received almost the exact same grade for two weeks running. However, the reasons for his success were entirely different. Two weeks ago, his high grade was largely the result of excellent post-catch statistics. In Week 10, however, it was all about the amount of distance he was able to put between himself and the Detroit Lions defense. He averaged 3.1 yards of separation when targeted, which was lower than the week prior, but he was given just 3.6 yards of cushion compared to 7.2 in Week 9, meaning he needed to work far harder to create that distance.
6) John Brown, Buffalo Bills: 44.38 (72 YDS, 0 TD)
For the second week in a row, our top ten list contains two Bills wide receivers, although neither of last week’s entrants make repeat appearances. Brown did an excellent job of getting open, averaging 4.2 yards of separation, the seventh-highest average among qualifying NFL wide receivers. His average yards after the catch of 8.0, which was well above average and 2.9 yards higher than expected, was the seventh-highest differential of the week.
7) Isaiah Wright, Washington Football Team: 43.4 (59 YDS, 0 TD)
Wright second player on our list from Washington (there were quite a few excellent performances in devastating losses this week). The rookie probably doesn’t come to mind when thinking of the NFL’s best young WR but has been surprisingly effective this season in his relatively limited role, especially so in Week 10. None of his four OVM grades from this season are below 30.0, and this week’s performance was the best of the bunch. Wright completes this week’s trio of players with a 100% catch percentage, and he also averaged 4.6 yards of separation, the third-highest average of Week 10.
Top 10 NFL wide receivers of Week 10 | #8-10
8) Greg Ward, Philadelphia Eagles: 42.09 (39 YDS, 0 TD)
The Eagles had the chance to pull ahead of the rest of their abysmal division with a win against the New York Giants. Instead, they lost by double-digits. They still lead the NFC East, but their chances of limping into the playoffs are looking grim. However, Ward quietly had himself a highly efficient performance. His 83.33% catch percentage was tied for eighth among qualifying NFL wide receivers, and he averaged 4.4 yards of separation when targeted, tied for the fourth-highest average.
9) Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots: 41.04 (59 YDS, 0 TD)
The Patriots’ offensive success in their victory over the Baltimore Ravens was fueled largely by their ground attack, but Meyers made the most of his relatively limited role. His most memorable moment from Sunday was the touchdown he threw on a trick play, but passing statistics aren’t involved in calculating a wide receiver’s OVM grade. The primary reason for Meyers’ high grade is that he, like several other players on this list, averaged a relatively high amount of separation on his targets, at 3.1 yards, despite being given a low amount of cushion, at 4.2 yards.
10) Cam Sims, Washington Football Team: 39.88 (54 YDS, 0 TD)
No, you don’t need to get your eyes checked; there are, in fact, THREE Washington wide receivers on this week’s top 10 list. Clearly, despite the team’s narrow defeat, Washington’s receiving core did their part to secure a victory. Regarding Sims in particular, he caught an above-average 80% of his targets, and his 6.4 yards after the catch average was 3.6 yards higher than expected, a differential that ranked fourth in the NFL this week among qualifying wide receivers. This game was the first time in Sims’ young career that he was targeted enough to qualify for an OVM grade; given his performance, perhaps we’ll see more from him in the future.
Lucas Ellinas is a writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter @Lucas_Ellinas.