Week 5 Observations

Week 5 Observations

This article is part of our NFL Observations series.

As a Giants fan, that was brutal. Last year's No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas suited up but didn't play due to an ankle injury, 2018 No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley rolled his ankle in the first quarter after a play that was already over and 2019 No. 6 overall pick Daniel Jones left on a cart after suffering a concussion. 

But wait, there's more. The team was already without two starting receivers, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton due to hamstring injuries, and $72-million free-agent signee Kenny Golladay left with a knee injury. No problem, 2021 first-round pick Kadarius Toney took over the game (13-10-189 with seven rushing yards), only to be ejected for throwing a punch and even he also needed x-rays on his leg after the game. 

And this was just as the offense with Jones, Barkley, Golladay and now Toney was getting going. At least they'll have a high pick again next year in addition to the one GM Dave Gettleman got (along with Toney) for this year's 11th pick. 

  • Toney looks like a monster – he's too quick to guard, he breaks tackles and has great vision after the catch. He should be a star, assuming he's okay and after he serves a likely suspension.
  • Barkley's ankle swelled significantly on the sidelines and it looks like he's week to week. He was seen after the game in crutches and a walking boot.
  • Even with Michael Gallup out, the Cowboys spread the ball around a lot, and Dak Prescott doesn't run anymore. Ezekiel Elliott is still plenty valuable, but he shares snaps with Tony Pollard.
  • The Bills killed the Chiefs, but the game was barely watchable even on the 40-minute edited version due to all the penalties.
  • People slag Dave Gettlechad for taking Barkley over Sam Darnold (he made the correct choice), but the real crime was the Jets taking Darnold over Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, two of the five most valuable NFL commodities.
  • Stefon Diggs has so far been just one of the guys, though in fairness, Allen attempted only 25 passes Sunday night. Dawson Knox (4-3-117-1) looks like a player. Tight ends often break out in Years 3-5 – they take a little longer to develop than wide receivers.
  • I thought the Josh Gordon signing meant the Chiefs had soured on Mecole Hardman (12-9-76-0), but apparently not. Tyreek Hill left late with a knee injury, capping a brutal injury week that started with Russell Wilson on Thursday night.
  • The Super Bowl hangover (for the loser) is real.
  • Trey Lance led his team to only 10 points, but he passed the eye test for me and will be a monster fantasy player if Kyle Shanahan sticks with him.
  • Elijah Mitchell (9-43-0, 2-2-19-0) looks like the clear starter again now that he's healthy.
  • DeAndre Hopkins (9-6-87-1) is healthy again.
  • Justin Herbert (398 yards, four TDs, one rush TD, 9.3 YPA, zero picks against one of the better defenses in the league) might finish the year as QB1.
  • Austin Ekeler (17-66-2, 5-53-1) who was gifted a third TD because the Browns threw him into the end zone late, might be the 1.1 player right now. I avoided him in draft season because I thought he wouldn't get the carry volume but that doesn't matter. The quality of his touches are 2020 Alvin Kamara-esque. (And actually Ekeler would have had that TD earlier, but he wisely slid down short to run clock.)
  • Mike Williams (16-8-165-2) was the No. 7 overall pick in 2017, and he looks like it. If Hill is hurt, there's a case he's the WR2 .
  • Nick Chubb (21-161-1, 1-1-9-0) is great, but Kareem Hunt (12-61-2, 6-5-28-0) still has the better role.
  • David Njoku (7-7-149-1) was a first-round pick in 2017 and, like Knox, could be headed for a breakout.
  • So much for the Raiders as a playoff contender.
  • So much for Allen Robinson as a "can't-fail" player so long as he's healthy, something I believed in the preseason.
  • Khalil Herbert (18-75-0) split carries fairly evenly with Damien Williams (16-64-1, 3-2-20-0.)
  • I didn't watch much of Justin Fields, but the stats are ugly.
  • We had the Patriots in the $6M Survivor pool. Good times! Then again, because we had used the Bucs, our other option was the Vikings.
  • Amazing that in a game where the Pats were down 22-9 midway through the third quarter, missing three offensive line starters, lost a fumble at the goal line for a touchback and in which Davis Mills went for 312 yards, three TDs 10.8 YPA and no picks, they still won. After this and the Justin Tucker field goal two weeks ago, it's obvious our Circa Survivor entry is a team of destiny.
  • The Texans gifted the Pats life on two plays: first, a fake, fake punt, from which maybe they hoped the Patriots would jump offsides, that resulted in the punter being too close to his blockers and punting the ball into the back of one's helmet, and second, a 56-yard field-goal try on 4th-and-4, giving the Patriots much-needed field possession after the miss.
  • Nick Folk was a hero too – the man was 4-of-4 on field goals including two 52-yarders.
  • Bill Belichick put on a clock management clinic at the end of the game, running it down to 15 seconds before getting the game-winning field goal. It might seem obvious from the outside, but teams routinely botch it.
  • Derrick Henry (29-133-3) had a big game, but no targets. A.J. Brown (6-3-38-0) doesn't seem 100 percent.
  • I didn't watch much JAC-TEN, but I'd have expected more targets for Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones. Starting to think Gigachad Urban Meyer might not win Coach of the Year.
  • Sam Darnold (4.8 YPA, one TD, three picks) is showing Adam Gase was not the only problem.
  • Despite the win, Jalen Hurts missed a wide open Quez Watkins for what should have been a huge play and did not look sharp during the portions I watched.
  • Marquez Callaway (8-4-85-2) finally lived up to the preseason hype, but keep in mind one TD catch was on a Hail Mary.
  • Alvin Kamara (16-71-1, 8-5-51-1) had the game we more or less expect from him. The top three backs are him, Henry and Ekeler in some order.
  • The Football Team is bad defensively.
  • Tom Brady (411 yards, five TDs) is coming for all of Peyton Manning's single-season records.
  • No one even attempts to run against the Bucs.
  • I didn't watch much of Steelers-Broncos, though I had the Steelers -1 in the SuperContest.
  • The Lions will go 0-17, but it'll be a strong 0-17.
  • T.J. Hockenson (3-2-22) has disappeared after a fast start.
  • The Vikings offense isn't right, even though Alexander Mattison (25-113-0, 7-7-40-1) is doing a fair Dalvin Cook impression.
  • Davante Adams (16-11-206-1) has a decent case to be the 1.1 in 3-WR PPR leagues.
  • Joe Burrow (throat contusion) looked off late in the game – maybe the injury had something to do with it.
  • When both teams miss game-winning field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime, the NFL should invoke a mercy-rule induced tie. (Full disclosure: I had the Bengals plus three in the SuperContest.)
  • Kyle Pitts (10-9-119-1) is slowly but surely climbing the TE ranks and justifying his preseason ADP.
  • I regret taking the Jets plus 3.5.
  • Winning ugly in Survivor builds the requisite character to take down your pool. People who coast in blowout wins lose the appetite for necessary risk. Adversity is your friend.

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Chris Liss
Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.
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