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AP Photo/Steve Luciano

2023 Fantasy Football Preview: New York Giants


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Player Outlooks (2023)

 

QB Daniel Jones: We were very optimistic about Jones under a new coaching staff last year, and although the stats were nothing to write home about, he turned into a legitimate franchise quarterback under Brian Daboll—earning a four-year, $160-million extension in the process. The “hate” for Jones has dated back to his time at Duke, but he’s an intelligent, mobile quarterback with tremendous toughness and the arm talent to make every throw, so it will be exciting to see him enter Year 2 in a proven offensive system. The position is strong, but Jones can be a solid QB1 if the touchdown total jumps with improved weaponry.

 

RB Saquon Barkley: Our initial rankings had Barkley as the overall RB3, but the contract situation is one to worry about, as both Saquon and the Giants appear to be dug in. Ultimately, it seems New York expects the superstar back to play on the franchise team or sign a team-friendly extension before the July 17 deadline, so the outlook for Barkley will really be shaky if that date comes and passes without a deal. That said, Barkley proved he remains a difference-maker and game-breaker when on the field, particularly early last season when the Giants started 7-2 while giving him over 25.2 touches per game.

 

RB Matt Breida: Breida usually didn’t see a ton of action behind Barkley last year, but he could be in line for a super change-of-pace role if the starter were to miss games due to the contract situation—putting him on the FLEX radar. If not, Breida will probably carry limited standalone value with rookie Eric Gray also set to push for touches in 2023.

 

RB Eric Gray: A big final season for Gray made him a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, as he led the Oklahoma backfield with 213 carries, 1,366 rushing yards, and 11 touchdowns. The five-foot-nine runner brings a good combination of slashing ability and some pop, so don’t be surprised if he became the starter ahead of Matt Breida depending on the status of Barkley—though a veteran signing might happen at that point.

 

WR Wan’Dale Robinson: Robinson is recovering from a torn ACL suffered a few days before Thanksgiving, and Parris Campbell being signed might indicate missed time for the second-year wideout—but he can still be a PPR machine if healthy. Overall, Robinson is the biggest (figuratively speaking) investment made at the position by the Giants over the past couple of years, so Robinson should get an opportunity to lead the group.

 

WR Isaiah Hodgins: Hodgins is the prime example of situation and chemistry mattering, as he couldn’t find the field for the Bills but wasted no time earning significant snaps for the Giants—largely due to an immediate connection with Daniel Jones. The room for growth might be held back by Darren Waller and new alternatives at wide receiver, but the trust the team had in Hodgins was particularly evident in scoring territory with five touchdowns across the final seven games last season (including playoffs). How he and the rest of the wideouts are treated in preseason action should be watched closely.

 

WR Parris Campbell: Durability had always been the issue for Campbell, and when he finally appeared in every game last year, it happened to coincide with the previously stable Colts completely collapsing as an offense/team. New York should be a good landing spot for the former second-round pick, but he will have stiff competition for snaps in the slot when everyone is healthy. The strong connection with Daniel Jones from OTAs continuing into camp is key for him to carve out an early role and parlay it into a breakout season.

 

WR Darius Slayton: The order at wide receiver isn’t necessarily how they are ranked for us, but Slayton should maybe be listed first after being on pace for a 60/947/3 line with 10.2 yards per target over his final 13 full games last year. That came after starting the season out of the rotation to begin the Brian Daboll tenure, and Slayton himself has confidence that he’s a No. 1 wide receiver; he’ll rise if treated as such in August.

 

WR Sterling Shepard: Limited to ten games over the past two years, Shepard—coming off a torn ACL—has unfortunately been unable to stay healthy, but he shouldn’t be counted out from a Week 1 impact/role after recovering from a torn Achilles suffered in December of 2021 to be active for last year’s opener. Shepard turned 30 in February.

 

WR Jalin Hyatt: Pure speed defines Hyatt’s game, and he was one of the most dangerous players in college football last year—with a five-touchdown performance in a win over Alabama fully displaying his talent. However, his impact might not be appreciated in the box score as a field-stretcher that will open things up for the rest of the offense, and the development as a route runner and dealing with NFL coverage is expected to take some time.

 

TE Darren Waller: Missed games and general issues for Las Vegas over the past two seasons have led to a decline in Waller’s fantasy value, but he should be the de facto No. 1 wide receiver for the Giants and brings the size and route tree that Daniel Jones has comfort throwing to. Tight end is strong at the top in 2023, but Brian Daboll surely has a plan on how to feature the six-foot-six target, and Waller is also boosted by typical late-season dominance; a New York winter shouldn’t phase him in the fantasy playoffs.

 

TE Daniel Bellinger: A freak eye injury derailed Bellinger’s rookie campaign, but he caught 30-of-35 targets for 268 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games for a very efficient Year 1. Now set to be in a complementary role behind Waller, Bellinger will need to get hot scoring touchdowns to return value as a deeper option at tight end.

 

Other Notes

 

Best IDP value: OLB Azeez Ojulari

Defensive back Bobby McCain is another option as a versatile safety with the ability to cover in the slot, but Ojulari had 5.5 sacks in just seven games last season and also forced three fumbles. The former Georgia standout is still young having turned 23 last month, and he could explode for a big year alongside Kayvon Thibodeaux, Dexter Lawrence, and Leonard Williams.

 

Stat to know (via draft guide)

Following a 36-touch performance in Week 10 of last season, Saquon Barkley averaged just 12.8 carries per game over his final nine outings—including nine carries in each of New York’s playoff games.