We’ve made it through another NFL Sunday and now there’s just one game left in the fifth week of the NFL Season. We close with a great divisional battle between the Raiders and the Chiefs. I’ll have more on that in a minute, but before I do let’s consider what else we learned from this week in the NFL.
The Giants are turning it around
I like Brian Daboll. I liked the hire but I wasn’t sure if the Giants could turn it around quickly. Daniel Jones has shown flashes over his first three years and it was hard to tell if he was the right guy. The Giants didn’t pick up his Fifth Year Option, meaning this was going to be a telling year for him, especially with a new coach. Despite a myriad of injuries at receiver—which led to the Giants playing without Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepherd, Kadarius Toney and Wan’Dale Robinson on Sunday—the Giants just keep winning. Daboll has helped unlock Saquon Barkley, who is enjoying his best season since his rookie year. Jones, meanwhile, hasn’t been exceptional but he’s been efficient. And with a win over the Packers in London Sunday morning, the team moved to 4-1 and equaled its win total from 2021. The Giants are one of the best stories of 2022 so far and it will be fun to see how far they can go.
New York teams in general are good
I mentioned the Giants up top, but collectively New York has three NFL teams and sits at 11-4 after five weeks. The Jets have won two straight, moving to 3-2 on the season with a big home win over the Miami Dolphins. Second year quarterback Zach Wilson has been a big part of that, as the Jets have wins over the Steelers and Dolphins since he returned. Also helping is rookie running back Breece Hall, who has teamed with Michael Carter to make or a formidable backfield duo. But the best team in New York, and possibly the best team in the NFL, is the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are 4-1 and really a few breaks away from being 5-0. Josh Allen continues to impress, looking like an early MVP candidate. He threw for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns in the first half as the Bills dominated the Steelers, winning 38-3. I had the Bills going to the Super Bowl this season and through five weeks, it looks like they’re well on their way.
The Denver Broncos are in trouble
If you watched the Thursday Night Football Game this week, you know it wasn’t pretty. The Broncos have appeared in Prime Time three times in the first five weeks and none of the three games has been exceptional. A new coach, new quarterback and new scheme can take time to develop, but this is starting to feel like something else. The Broncos’ offense has been bad. They’re bad in the Red Zone. They’re bad when it comes to giving up penalties. They’re just bad, period. And now the injuries are piling up. Wide receiver Tim Patrick was lost before the season. Running back Javonte Williams was lost after Week 4. And now Left Tackle Garrett Bolles is out for the season with a broken leg. In addition, reports are Russell Wilson is dealing with a throwing shoulder injury that doesn’t figure to make things any easier. The play calling is bad. The execution is bad. And the worrying thing for Broncos fans is it doesn’t seem there are any easy answers. The good news is we get the Broncos bad in Prime Time again next Monday night!
And with that, let’s consider the Monday night game we’re getting this week.
Las Vegas Raiders (1-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-1)
The good news for the Raiders is that they aren’t winless. A big win at home against the Broncos in Week 4 sends them to Kansas City looking to keep the streak going. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have been near flawless, save for a weird Week 3 slip in Indianapolis. The Chiefs need a win Monday to move to 4-1 and maintain a lead in the West after the Chargers pulled one out in Cleveland to move to 3-2. The Raiders, meanwhile, need a win if they have any hope of staying in the race in the AFC.
For fantasy, there are plenty of players to be interested in playing. I am starting Derek Carr, Davante Adams, Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs for the Raiders. In addition, if Hunter Renfrow is cleared from his concussion, I’m looking at him as a flex, too. I think he’ll turn it around. For the Chiefs, meanwhile, you’re starting Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, each are top options at their position. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been good, too, sitting as RB4 heading into the weekend’s games. As for receivers, it’s been a case of Patrick Mahomes spreading the ball around. You could make a case for anyone or for no one. The one I’m considering is Juju Smith-Schuster, who I’d rate as a flex play. If you need the home run ball on Monday night, that would be Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
The Pick: The Chiefs.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.
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