In Week 5, we saw some lopsided matchups, an overseas upset, and some controversial and potentially game-changing calls during this past slate of games. We also got one of the most boring games in NFL history on Thursday Night Football (TNF needs to go, I'll elaborate in another blog in the future), as well as some great divisional matchups as well, namely Justin Tucker putting another game-winning kick through the uprights, further cementing himself as the kicking GOAT.
In this week's awards, I am adding a "Trench Tyrant" winner for the best offensive lineman of the week. O-linemen are typically left off most award lists, my quarter-season recap included, and I feel they should get the recognition they deserve. In light of that, my NFC and AFC Trench Warriors of the Season so far are Andrew Thomas and Creed Humphrey respectively.
Photo: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
Week 6 Power Rankings
Teams to Note
Miami Dolphins (Dropped 3 spots)
Although they lost to the Jets who were ranked significantly below them, they held their own until the 4th quarter with their 3rd string QB, Skylar Thompson, playing the bulk of the game. When Tua returns to the lineup, expect the Dolphins to play like a top 5 team as they have so far this season.
New York Giants (Rose 7 spots)
Yea, the Giants are legit. I don't care if they didn't play in Lambeau, to beat the Packers in a neutral environment is a big deal. Danny Dimes looked solid, Saquon made some fantastic plays, and this defense disrupted Aaron Rodgers the entire second half. Brian Daboll is the crystal clear Coach of the Year so far.
Jacksonville Jaguars (Dropped 5 spots)
The Jags sit at 2-3, and even though they lost to one of the lowest ranks teams this season, the Texans are a competitive franchise this year and the Jags had a very off game. Etienne is getting more opportunities, even with some turnover concerns, and that should open this offense up more than it would be with James Robinson. They'll be right back to the top of the AFC South in a few weeks time.
Players of the Week
AFC Offensive MVP: Josh Allen - Buffalo Bills
AFC Defensive MVP: Baron Browning - Denver Broncos
AFC Trench Tyrant: Ryan Bates - Buffalo Bills
AFC Special Teams MVP: Justin Tucker - Baltimore Ravens
NFC Offensive MVP: Taysom Hill - New Orleans Saints
NFC Defensive MVP: Aaron Donald - Los Angeles Rams
NFC Trench Tyrant: Ikem Ekwonu - Carolina Panthers
NFC Special Teams MVP: Bradley Pinion - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Award Winners to Note
Baron Browning - After playing off-ball linebacker for the bulk of his college career, Baron has made the switch to edge rushing and has been incredibly productive. On just 22 pass rushes, he generated 10 pressures, 3 of which were QB hits, and 2 others were sacks. His 45.5% pressure rate in Week 5 as absurd, as well as his stop count at 3 on just 14 run defense snaps. He should find a comfy home opposite Bradley Chubb going forward.
Ryan Bates - Bates was a huge reason Josh Allen had such tremendous success on Sunday. He was one of five linemen this week to earn 80+ grades in both pass and run blocking, and he allowed no pressures whatsoever - even against studs like Cam Heyward, Tyson Alualu, and Chris Wormley.
Aaron Donald - Parsons was a close second, but Donald absolutely abused rookie left tackle, Tyler Smith. Donald played 21 snaps on the edge, generating pressures on 6 of those snaps and tallying 2 sacks. Add in a forced fumble and five stops, Donald did what Donald does: dominate.
Photo: Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post
Key Fantasy Players for Week 6
QB: Geno Smith vs Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals secondary so far this year = Bad
Geno Smith so far this year = Top 5 QB
He's gonna torch the Cardinals, you can count on it.
RB: Eno Benjamin vs Seattle Seahawks
Similar to the Cardinals bad pass defense, the Seahawks have a horrific run defense. With James Conner and Darrell Williams out, Eno will get some much needed carries to prove he should be the RB1 for the remainder of the year. Conner has been lackluster this season, and Eno brings that burst the Cards offense has been missing.
WR: Amari Cooper vs New England Patriots
In home games, Amari is averaging 22.9 points. In those games, he went against the Jets, Steelers, and Chargers pass defenses, which ranked 14th, 30th, and 19th at the time of playing them respectively. The Pats are currently ranked 11th going into this week, but Cooper should be able to make relatively light work out of Jack Jones and Jonathan Jones.
TE: Evan Engram vs Indianapolis Colts
The last time these two teams squared off in Week 2, Evan put up 11.6 points on 8 targets. With his target share up in divisional matchups, expect Engram to score his first touchdown this season against a Colts banged up linebacker and safety core, giving him a potential 15+ point week, a rare feat to come by tight ends not named Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce.
Flex: Raheem Mostert vs Minnesota Vikings
Raheem has slowly taken away opportunities from Chase Edmonds and this could be the game he breaks out. The Vikings are allowing 18 points per game to opposing running backs, and seeing as Raheem is the primary option moving forward, this could be his best performance in nearly 3 seasons.
D/ST: Carolina Panthers vs Los Angeles Rams
Don't let the firing of Matt Rhule fool you, this defense is paired up against one of the least efficient offenses in the NFL. Between Matt Stafford's struggles, the poor utilization of Allen Robinson, and the over-reliance on Cooper Kupp, the Rams should have a poor game again. Jaycee Horn has also allowed the least yards (48) amongst cornerbacks in coverage so far this season (minimum 120 coverage snaps).
K: Harrison Butker vs Buffalo Bills
In his first game back since Week 1, and the tough task of scoring touchdowns against the Bills, expect Butker to make plenty of 40-59 yard attempts and rack up points. He should be on waivers in a good amount of leagues, so scoop him up while you can.
Photo: Edward Diller/Getty Images
For future recap blogs, I'll be grading my predictions for my key fantasy players every week. It's a nice way to keep myself accountable when I make good and bad choices. Until then, enjoy this week's games, namely the Chiefs vs Bills, Cowboys vs Eagles, and Ravens vs Giants.