Expectations for the Big Blue offense going into the season fluctuated. Optimistic Giants fans like yours truly saw a unit with potential whilst almost everyone else saw a unit that would overall be mediocre because of the quarterback situation. What was universally agreed on was that Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley would be forces in the game we all love, fantasy football, no matter the quarterback.
A lot has changed in the league since the NFL kicked off in early September at the quarterback position. The Giants are no exception as we all know Eli Manning was supplanted by 6th overall draft selection in this past draft, Daniel Jones. I’ve talked all about who he is as a QB on my podcast but what I’ve neglected is what it means in fantasy football. There is no question that his play style astronomically transformed this offense and combined with the return of Golden Tate and Saquon Barkley’s current health situation I wanna examine what the New York Giants offensive unit will look like going forward this season.
The first player we’ll take a look at is the man himself, Danny Dimes. Since he took the league by storm against Tampa Bay he’s posted a 80.2 QBR, 69 % completion percentage, 527 passing yards and 3 TDs through the air. Additionally, on the ground he’s added 66 yards and 2 TDs. In fantasy football this translates to around 35 points against Tampa Bay and roughly 12 last week against Washington. As you can see, one of these games is not like the other. Jones has incredible boom potential and he still potential to have a down week just like any other quarterback in the NFL. He made some bad throws against Washington, the worse defense he played, but ultimately recovered and he was nearly perfect against Tampa Bay, the better defense, especially up front, minus some high throws and two fumbles. There are also a lot of external factors to consider with fantasy like matchups and schedule going forward. The next two weeks the Giants play the Vikings at home and then travel to Foxborough on a short week for a game against the Patriots. Minnesota has ranked 10th in the league against the QB this year, allowing only 239.5 pass yards and 1.75 TDS. Looking at these statistics you’d assume Jones will perform closer to his output against the Redskins rather than his output against the Bucs but on the flip side if the Giants defense gets bullied by Dalvin Cook then the offense will be playing catch up, which is good for Jones and the receivers in fantasy, but bad for all Giants fans. As far as the Vikings game goes on Sunday, continue to start Daniel Jones if you have been doing so already. As for the Thursday night matchup against the Patriots, you gotta bench him. Look what the Patriots defense did to Josh Allen, a quarterback who can sling it, with a rushing floor. They held him to under 200 yards and 0 touchdowns, he had scored through the air once each of the first three weeks. On the ground, Allen ran for just 26 yards on 5 attempts with 1 TD. Overall, New England’s defense is ranked 1st against the QB. Combined with this, its a short week with less preparation and Jones is a rookie quarterback going on the road, his performance will be gross on Thursday. In all, Jones is still a streamable QB with a rushing floor but has the potential to become a matchup proof start every week at the position in fantasy football.
The next player I wanna focus on is returning receiver Golden Tate. He’s coming back from a 4-game suspension and his fantasy projection is the hardest to well, project. What to watch for in the next couple games is how his and Sterling Shepard’s targets fall. Another thing to monitor is who gets the deep targets in this offense. It most likely wont be Tate as he only had 3.4 air yards per target last year, according to playerprofile.com. The jury is still out on Golden Tate but I think that he will be involved in the short and intermediate game enough to be a sustainable flex play, especially in PPR.
Continuing to the next man in the receiver group I wanna take a look at, Sterling Shepard. Since Daniel Jones took over the offense Shepards posted lines of 7 receptions, 100 yards and a TD (vs TB) and 7 receptions and 76 yards (vs WSH). Additionally, Shepard’s had 10+ yards per reception in both games. In PPR leagues, Sterling Shepard has had 27 points and 17 points the last two weeks respectively. The good news is his points aren’t incredibly TD dependent but even if they were, it wouldn’t be a problem. He has big play potential and I think he will take over what deep targets Bennie Fowler had with Jones simply because he’s a better route runner than Tate and he also has the better repour with Jones. Going forward Shepard will be a high end WR2 with WR1 potential if he does get those deep targets I mentioned. So similar to Daniel Jones, I love him in the games going forward except for Thursday against New England.
Lastly, everyone’s preseason fantasy favorite, Evan Engram. His production is probably the least Danny Dimes-dependent, at least for receiving options. Whilst he had a huge game against the Bucs (6 receptions, 113 yards and 1 score), translating to 23.3 fantasy points, Jones favored Shepard more in the game against Washington, resulting in only 54 yards on 4 receptions. Plus, Engram’s biggest game of the year came with Eli as his QB. As for his matchups going forward, I like him today against Minnesota (11th most fantasy points allowed to the TE), so unless you have a better option Id start him. As for the Patriots game, we are continuing the trend of not being excited about any Giants for fantasy. Going forward Evan Engram is a must start and has top 5 potential if he can get in the endzone consistently.
As for Saquon Barkley and Wayne Gallman all thats needs to be said is we know what Saquon is and Gallman has nearly no value once he returns. Although, keep in mind what im going to dub as the Patriot Rule if Barkley plays on Thursday, especially considering he’s coming off an injury, but if there’s one guy who’s immune its him.
In all, since Daniel Jones has become the starter, this offense has inversely become not only a great offense for fantasy football but also just a good NFL offense that will produce.