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Player Outlooks (2021)
QB Daniel Jones: Most fantasy “experts” are not high on Jones, but it’s important to remember that he tossed 24 touchdowns in 12 starts as a rookie, and the Giants now have a bolstered supporting cast with Kenny Golladay, first-round pick Kadarius Toney, and Kyle Rudolph joining the same core group as 2020. We are also confident that the offensive line will take another step forward this year, and Jones’ underrated rushing ability further boosts his upside. In the same offensive system for the second season in a row, Jones should be viewed as a high-end QB2.
RB Saquon Barkley: Some will be hesitant to view Barkley as a high-end RB1, but his combination of talent and determination coming off a torn ACL makes him someone you don’t want to bet against. For those who might be too young to remember, Adrian Peterson returned from a torn ACL in 2011 to rush for 2,000 yards and win NFL MVP in 2012, and we’d bet Saquon has similar aspirations for himself. Draft him in the top five of all non-Superflex formats.
RB Devontae Booker: Booker is entering his age-29 campaign, but he showed well behind Josh Jacobs last year, and the Giants feel strongly about the veteran as their No. 2 runner by signing him to a deal (two years, $5.5 million) for significantly more than Wayne Gallman received on the open market (one year, $990,000). Ideally, Barkley will be unleashed from the start of the season, but Booker’s best shot at standalone value will come in September if the superstar starter is eased back in.
RB Corey Clement: Clement saw his role fall off over the final two seasons in Philadelphia, but he won’t turn 27 until early November, and the New Jersey native can contribute as both an early-down runner and underrated pass-catcher. Although Barkley being at 100% might not leave much of an opportunity, Clement can thrive if thrusted into action.
WR Kenny Golladay: He only played in five games last year with the Lions, but Golladay posted a 65/1,190/11 line in 2019, and New York signed him to a four-year, $76-million contract with the expectation that he will be an impact player on the perimeter. Kenny G is working with Daniel Jones to be on the same page this season, and there is no reason to believe he won’t be able to put up big-time numbers—especially with guys like Stefon Diggs showing peak performance can come in the first year with a new team.
WR Sterling Shepard: From a real-life perspective, all the weapons the Giants added in the offseason should be great for Daniel Jones and the offense—but perhaps not so much in terms of fantasy value for the complementary options. Shepard has averaged 63 receptions, 704 yards, and four touchdowns through five seasons, so it’d be a stretch to expect a sudden jolt while elbowing with Darius Slayton, Evan Engram, Kadarius Toney, and others behind Kenny Golladay.
WR Darius Slayton: Similar to Shepard, it’s just difficult to imagine Slayton putting up significant numbers this season considering all the new faces in New York, though some have said single coverage might allow him to actually take a step forward. Still, we are projecting a drop in numbers this season, and it might take success in the touchdown department to reach strong FLEX territory.
WR Kadarius Toney: The outlook for Toney in Year 1 seems to get shakier and shakier—as he started off by dealing with cleat issues that kept him on and off the field in rookie camp, then skipped voluntary OTA’s, then missed the final day of mandatory minicamp for what was called a family emergency. Even if the red flags (which there were also concerns about at Florida) turn out to be much ado about nothing, fantasy owners might not want to trust Jason Garrett to scheme up ways for the rookie to make a substantial statistical impact.
WR John Ross: The signing of Ross brings pure speed to the outside for New York, and while he will have to fight for a role in a crowded group, we wouldn’t write off the former first-round pick. Ross never seemed to be a fit what Zac Taylor wanted to do in 2020, but he was on a 56/1,012/6 pace in eight games just two seasons ago, and also has a seven-touchdown season under his belt (2018). A couple of big games by being on the receiving end of a Daniel Jones deep ball might at least make Ross a quality DFS dart throw.
WR Dante Pettis: All the additions in New York puts Pettis at much longer odds of a breakout, and he will likely need to show well enough on special teams to solidify a roster spot next month. Since ending his rookie season on a statistical high note with the Niners, the former second-rounder has totaled 15 receptions over the past two years.
TE Evan Engram: Injuries and inconsistency have negatively impacted Engram, but we could see the skill-position reinforcements taking the pressure off, and he’s entering a contract year. That being said, the targets are expected to dip, and the Giants have two other capable tight ends that can take some snaps away if Engram gets off to a slow start.
TE Kyle Rudolph: As stated, there are now two quality tight ends behind Engram, and it’s a bit curious that New York signed Rudolph with Kaden Smith already on the roster. Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay are better bets for scores, but Rudolph’s best shot at strong fantasy value would come by Daniel Jones having a preference for him in scoring territory.
TE Kaden Smith: Smith is now firmly a dynasty stash for as long as everyone is healthy, but we still like the talent, and there is certainly a path for him to be the future starter if the team doesn’t re-sign Engram in 2022. The Stanford product saw his numbers decrease across the board last season, but he caught 31 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie.
Best 2021 value: Kenny Golladay (FantasyPros ECR: WR24)
For any concerns we might have about Jason Garrett, he coached Dez Bryant to three consecutive seasons of 88+ receptions, 1,200+ yards, and 12+ scores in Dallas, and Golladay is similar as a target that uses his size/athleticism to dominate outside the numbers. It would be a shock if the big-bodied wideout wasn’t featured considering what New York invested in him, and WR24 is tremendous value.
Best dynasty investment: QB Daniel Jones
Jones is barely being drafted as a low-end QB2 in dynasty leagues, and the media’s immoveable pre-draft evaluation of him surely plays a part in the discount. Everything is in place for Jones to take a leap into stardom, though—particularly if he can clean up the turnovers—and as a franchise, New York feels primed to make a jump in the NFC East.
Exclusively in 2021 draft guide.
Stat to know
Exclusively in 2021 draft guide.