As the halfway point of October has come, we near the halfway mark of the NFL season. Week six is up next after a weekend that saw several upset wins, the season's second head coach/general manager firings, as well as another primetime performance for MVP front-runner Russell Wilson. Unfortunately, we can't stay away from major injury, as Dallas QB Dak Prescott fractured his ankle and is done for the season after surgery.
Prayers up for Dak.
This week's waiver wire studs go as follows; Alexander Mattison (136 yards from scrimmage, 5.6 yards per carry), Travis Fulgham (10 receptions, 152 receiving yards, 1 touchdown) and Chase Claypool (4 total TDs, 11 receptions, 110 receiving yards). I hate to admit that Claypool is still available in our GNN league, but that'll be taken care of before the week's over.
As of Wednesday, there aren't more COVID updates to report. So let's move full steam ahead until then.
Start 'em — Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Ridley has been uber productive since entering the league in 2018, but he's bordering on superstardom even opposite of Julio Jones. Ridley is averaging career-highs in yards per catch (16.7) and yards per game (97), respectively, and he's on pace to shatter all his career-best marks with 93 receptions, 1,552 yards and 13 TDs.
Having one of the worst defenses in recent memory helps Ridley here, as the Falcons are tied as the second-worst ranked unit in points allowed per game (32.2) and have allowed the second most yards in the league (2,230). Either coming from behind or working in shootouts, ATL has put the Alabama alumnus in prime position to keep his breakout season going.
Especially after head coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff were let go following the Falcons' week five loss. Add in Jones still battling through a hamstring injury, Ridley could light it up against Minnesota.
Ridley's becoming an every week starter, but especially against the Viking's defense. Even showing signs of life in their last two outings, Minnesota has given up 100-yard receiving games to an opposing player in each of its first four games.
Last week was a "better" showing, with DK Metcalf "only" recording six catches, 93 yards and two scores. Yikes.
Sit 'em — Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Another week, another Bengal on the sit 'em list. Joey B is another one of the up-and-coming signal callers that will one day own this league, but Sunday won't be that day.
The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner has fought valiantly all season, but his offensive line is no match for just about any formidable defensive front seven. Baltimore's seven sacks on Sunday pushed Burrow's total to 22 times through five weeks, the most yielded in the league.
Just to put in perspective how bad it's been, Burrow was only sacked 34 times in LSU's 15-0 national title season. In two of the last three games alone, he's been sacked at least seven times.
Now I don't think Indianapolis' D is as talented as the Ravens, but it's playing great and still ranks tops in the league in yards allowed per play (4.7), passer rating allowed (70.0) and interceptions (9), even after falling to Cleveland. The Colts are doing this all while touting the second-lowest blitz rate (8.6%) in the NFL.
I'd love to see Burrow slay one of the league's top units. But he may not have the crew around him to make that happen yet.
Sleeper of the week — James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Who would've thought the Jags would win out on their decision to let Leonard Fournette go? The Illinois State rookie has been a revelation for JAX, as he ranks fifth in the league in yards from scrimmage (516) and fourth among running backs.
He's averaging 103.2 yards from scrimmage per game, totaling 70 or more yards in all five game thus far.
As proficient as a runner as he's been (333 yards, 4.6 YPC, 3 TDs), Robinson has flashed as a receiver. His 183 yards rank third amongst RBs, trailing Alvin Kamara and Mike Davis.
I really like this matchup he's got with Detroit too, with it lacking as a unit tied for third-most in the league in yards allowed per play (6.2) and in yards per carry allowed (5.2), respectively, as well as the seventh highest rate of offensive drives ending in a score.
The Lions have also been quite generous to RBs. They have given up at least 74 scrimmage yards to all four starting tailbacks they've seen, including huge games from Kamara, his backfield mate Latavius Murray and Aaron Jones.
Bills fantasy outlook — Kansas City Chiefs
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Buffalo's run as an undefeated team comes to an end, at the hands of another undefeated team as Tennessee laid the smackdown Tuesday night. An off feeling to begin with due to the day of the week, the Bills just felt disjointed all night in a game where they rolled out a depleted unit.
Josh Allen had a tough night for sure, posting season-worst numbers in most statistical categories (263 passing yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 77.6 passer rating, 63.4% completion rate).
In real life, Allen seemed off by a touch with accuracy, on a night where the absence of John Brown loomed. Stefon Diggs (10 receptions, 106 yards) did his thing again, but the receiving corps struggled with drops, including one from Andre Roberts that led to the game's first turnover.
Devin Singletary (33 scrimmage yards, 2.3 YPC) was limited, but it was encouraging to see TJ Yeldon (74 scrimmage yards, 1 TD) even in garbage time. But overall, the Bills offense was too sloppy and contributed five of the team's 10 penalties.
The worst part about it was the Bills defense looked even worse. Let's call it how it is; the Buffalo D is not good.
Now I know it's an almost impossible task to ask the Buffalo D to lock anyone up with Tre'Davious White, Matt Milano and Levi Wallace all out due to injury. But Ryan Tannehill (21-for-28, 195 passing yards, 42 rushing yards, 10.5 YPC, 4 total TDs) carved it up all night and it looked even worse than that.
Whether it was AJ Brown, Jonnu Smith, or another random playmaker, the Bills pass defense got toasted once again, while Tannehill connected with eight different receivers.
Derrick Henry (57 rushing yards, 3.0 YPC), 2 TDs), didn't have his most outstanding game, but the stiff arm he put on Josh Norman may be the best highlight he's ever put out. That's saying something for an NFL rushing champ, Heisman Trophy winner and all-time high school rushing yardage leader.
Oh great, the Bills get a ticked off Kansas City up next. Even though the Chiefs lost — and have had other so-so performances through five games — let's not act like their offense is dead. Patrick Mahomes still threw for 340 yards and accounted for three scores (2 passing, 1 rushing) against Las Vegas, leading KC to 32 points in an in-division loss.
The hope has to be that Buffalo gets healthy and can get into a shootout with the defending champs and their playmaking D. I don't think it's a matter of if KC will score, but when.
Can the Bills respond?
Respond to sports reporter Khari Demos on Twitter @riri_demos or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, be sure to listen to the GNN Sports Podcast, on Spotify, Anchor, Apple Podcasts and more.