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Player Outlooks (2022)
QB Daniel Jones: Jones is a few seasons removed from tossing 24 touchdowns passes in 12 starts as a rookie, but the new regime for the Giants believes in him enough to be the clear starter this year, which will hopefully increase his confidence. Overall, Brian Daboll’s system should be very quarterback friendly, and the ability of Jones as a runner boosts the floor and ceiling for an offense that should feature plenty of quick-strike throws—primarily to Kadarius Toney, Saquon Barkley, and rookie Wan’Dale Robinson—and opportunistic downfield opportunities for Kenny Golladay. Jones is undervalued as an upside QB2.
RB Saquon Barkley: Barkley didn’t have a great supporting cast to produce coming off a torn ACL last year, but the new regime appears to be headed in the right direction—supporting the former No. 2 overall pick with a remade offensive line to finally open consistent running lanes. Saquon can still make defenders miss in space like perhaps no one in the league, so pairing his rare ability with consistent play up front could result in a return to rookie-year form (when he totaled 2,028 yards and 15 scores). Barkley is worth selecting in Round 2 of all formats.
RB Matt Breida: He only saw 33 offensive touches last year in Buffalo, but Breida came over to the Giants with Brian Daboll and looks to be locked in as the team’s No. 2 back for 2022. The speedy runner should be sprung by the combination of left tackle Andrew Thomas and rookie right tackle Evan Neal on the edges to potentially make a quality impact in a change-of-pace role.
RB Gary Brightwell: While Brightwell was a sixth-round pick in 2021 by the previous regime, the team not doing much in the backfield aside from subbing Devontae Booker for Matt Breida could mean general manager Joe Schoen likes the second-year runner. For now, Brightwell should be considered more likely to contribute on special teams.
WR Kenny Golladay: From a sideline dispute with former offensive coordinator Jason Garrett to not scoring a touchdown all year, Golladay had a season to forget after signing a four-year, $72-million deal last spring. Not that the new regime had a choice, but Golladay returns as the team’s top receiver with Kadarius Toney being a wild card and second-round pick Wan’Dale Robinson profiling as more of a complementary piece, so there is a chance the new offense is enough to get his career back on track.
WR Kadarius Toney: There might not be a player in the league with a wider range of outcomes from both a real-life and fantasy perspective than Toney—who flashed his ability with a 189-yard game in Week 5 of last season, but also had various red flags that have carried over to 2022 by skipping the early part of voluntary OTAs. The selection of Wan’Dale Robinson with a top-50 pick is a concern because he’s expected to get a chunk of designed touches in the slot, so Toney will be playing more snaps on the outside than you’d like based on his skillset. If featured, Toney has phenomenal contact balance and is as slippery as anyone in the league with the ball in his hands.
WR Sterling Shepard: Conventional wisdom seems to now be out the window when it comes to returning from a torn Achilles because of Cam Akers, but everyone is different, and Shepard has had a rough time with injuries dating back to his time at Oklahoma. Entering his age-29 season, Shepard—assuming he can return from the December injury—will likely be a role player if Kadarius Toney stays on the field and Wan’Dale Robinson starts inside. He’ll be a possible target for those wanting to stash a player on IR to begin the season.
WR Wan’Dale Robinson: Robinson will have the benefit of playing in Brian Daboll’s system to begin his career, and as stated, early indications are that he will be the starting slot receiver with Kadarius Toney sliding outside. Although a surprise selection in the top 50 of the 2022 NFL Draft at five-foot-eight with extremely short arms, Robinson is tough and plays bigger than his size. In a changing league where prototypes have become less important, the rookie should get a good opportunity to prove the doubters wrong.
WR Darius Slayton: There has been talk of Slayton being a trade or cut candidate, and a new landing spot might be best for his stock in 2022. To begin his career, Slayton went for lines of 48/740/8 and 50/751/3, so he’s definitely proven he can thrive if given enough snaps—and he’s still young entering his age-25 campaign.
WR Richie James: James would seem to profile as a potential Isaiah McKenzie-type weapon for the Giants this season, but his contributions might be in the return game with Kadarius Toney and Wan’Dale Robinson set in stone ahead of him on the depth chart. For what it’s worth, James has averaged a very impressive 11.7 yards per target on 59 career opportunities.
WRs Collin Johnson and Robert Foster: Johnson and Foster—as potential field-stretchers—would see a clearer path to snaps if Darius Slayton is indeed moved, but it still could be a battle for one roster spot between them. We like both guys, and while Johnson has the size and physicality advantage, Foster might be able to re-emerge after starting his career on fire under Daboll’s coaching with the Bills.
TE Ricky Seals-Jones: New York is perhaps the most unlikely team in the league to have a tight end finish as a top-24 fantasy option, but Seals-Jones would be the most likely candidate to make an impact. The Giants don’t have many established touchdown threats, so Seals-Jones catching a handful of scores is possible if Daniel Jones gets back to his rookie-year form.
TE Daniel Bellinger: An early fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Bellinger can be the future starter for New York and is a quality dynasty investment. For redraft leagues, though, we’d be skeptical about Bellinger being a reliable option, and his career path might be similar to someone like Dalton Schultz (who has very limited production over his first two seasons).
TE Jordan Akins: He only has three touchdowns in 58 career games, but Akins is the most accomplished tight end on the roster in terms of receptions (114) and receiving yards (1,260) over Seals-Jones. Still, the former Texans starter will need to earn significant snaps this summer if he’s going to begin the season as a desperation play.
Best 2022 value: WR Kenny Golladay (FantasyPros ECR: WR53)
There has since been a lost season in 2020 and last year’s disappointment, but Golladay averaged 70+ receiving yards per game in the previous two seasons (2018/2019), and he’s had an 11-touchdown campaign—so we know the talent is there. Hopefully a new regime is enough to take some of the pressure off the big-bodied wideout in the second year of a monster contract, and we’re hopeful that he can get into the six-to-eight score range to at least be a quality FLEX option for 2022.
Best dynasty investment: RB Saquon Barkley
Daniel Jones is another name to consider based on how cheap he is, but there is definite risk of him being replaced (even with a good year) because of the 2023 quarterback class. Instead, Barkley is viewed as a borderline RB1/RB2 that can arguably be a top-ten option at the position—and he’s still firmly in his prime having turned 25 in February.
Stat to know
Kenny Golladay caught just one-of-ten targets in the red zone last season. He combined to catch 12-of-20 targets in the previous two seasons.