NFL risers and fallers Week 5

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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) celebrates his second touchdown of the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Week 5 was another wild one in the NFL, and I think we now have a definitive answer to who the worst three teams in the league are — Atlanta, New York and New York again. Which one is the worst is up in the air, but let’s be honest; it’s the Jets. It’s clearly the Jets. The Giants and Falcons can fight it out for second-worst, but the Jets sit alone in the cellar. 

Aside from that though, here were the other big storylines from this week — aside from Dak. Thoughts and prayers, get better soon. 

Riser:

Oak — Last Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) catches a 59-yard touchdown pass ahead of Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward (35) and safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

I’ve been really hesitant to jump on the Raiders bandwagon this season. Through the first four weeks of the season they’d been good, but I just wasn’t ready to buy into them being legit just yet. Then they beat the Chiefs. The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs. The riding a 13-game winning streak Chiefs. The Patrick Mahomes led Chiefs. 

The Las Vegas offense hung 40 points on the Chiefs, double the amount they’d given up to any team so far this season. The four teams the Chiefs faced? The Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens and (Cam Newton-less) New England Patriots. Derek Carr looks better than he ever has, Josh Jacobs is a legitimate RB1 and while their defense isn’t great, it’s good enough to get the job done as long as the offense plays well. Who knows, maybe Vegas can be the Cinderella team this season. 

Faller:

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are dealing with A LOT of injuries, yes. But they should still at least be competitive. What they shouldn’t be doing is losing 43-17 to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami Dolphins. Now at 2-3, they’re in last place in a stacked NFC West and their season looks all but over. The Seahawks are 5-0. The Rams are 4-1. The Cardinals are 3-2. Oh, and the only two teams the 49ers beat were the still-winless New York Giants and the still-winless New York Jets. They even lost to the Philadelphia Eagles. 

That game was close though, this week, they got curb stomped. Jimmy Garoppolo is horrible and his backups C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens aren’t any better. The defense is also like Swiss cheese, letting Fitzpatrick throw for 350 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. That was good for a passer rating of 154.5. A perfect passer rating is 158.3. Oh, and Garoppolo had a 15.7. This is a Super Bowl hangover to the extreme, and they didn’t even win. It’s like they looked at how they played in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl and said to themselves, “let’s do this all the time.” 

Riser:

Chase Claypool

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) scores his fourth touchdown of an NFL football game, with Philadelphia Eagles free safety Rodney McLeod (23) defending, on a 35-yard pass play from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the second half in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

If you’re a fantasy football player, I bet you’ve already put a waiver claim in on Claypool. If you haven’t, I think it’s safe to assume you’ve given up on your season. The second-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers had quite the game on Sunday, catching 7 passes on 11 targets for 110 yards and three touchdowns. Not only that, but he also had three carries for six yards and another score. That was history; as per ESPN, he was the first rookie in NFL history to ever have three receiving touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a single game. 

We’ve seen two wide receivers thrive in the Pittsburgh offense before with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown, so there’s no reason why Smith-Schuster and Claypool can’t do the same. He’s got the draft capital on his side and after this game, it’s going to be really hard not to feed him the ball. Let’s be honest, aside from JuJu, no one in that offense should be taking priority at this point. James Conner hasn’t been the same since his breakout year and receivers Diontae Johnson and James Washington aren’t exactly super-threats. Claypool though could be.  

Faller:

Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas had one of the best wide receiver seasons in NFL history, setting the record for most receptions in a single season with 149. This year, he’s followed up that performance with three receptions in Week 1, missing the next three weeks due to injury and then missing Week 5 due to a team disciplinary measure after he got into a fight with a teammate. 

Michael, what are you doing? You’re one of the best wide receivers in the entire NFL, maybe the best, but you can’t get out of your own way. Especially when the Saints have been struggling and could really use a boost to their offense, and instead you decide to fight a teammate? Put your ego aside for one second and try to win a ring. This is just a bad, bad look. 

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