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2023 Player Outlooks: New York Giants

By Nick Caron | 7/21/23 |

Daniel Jones

QB Daniel Jones
(2022 QB Rank – No. 12, 20.8 FPts/G)

The Giants headed into the 2022 season with a serious question mark at their quarterback position and unfortunately for them, Daniel Jones did just enough to force the team to extend him with a new four-year, $160M contract. Jones did not look great passing the ball, but he finally made an impact from a fantasy standpoint, in large part due to his rushing ability. He finished fifth among QBs with 706 rushing yards while adding seven rushing scores - tied for third-most at the position.

Jones has always been able to provide some production with his legs, but head coach Brian Daboll seems to have a knack for unlocking his quarterbacks. Daboll did it in Buffalo with Josh Allen and it was quite apparent that Jones looked much better in 2022 than he had in his previous seasons. Much of that was driven by his newfound willingness to run. Jones performed well for fantasy, turning in the first top-12 QB season of his career, despite what was probably the worst group of pass-catching weapons he’s had.

The Giants did make significant investments in receivers for Jones to throw to this offseason, including bringing in former Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller, as well as wide receiver Parris Campbell. They also drafted Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, who caught 15 touchdowns in his final collegiate season, with a third-round pick. This group of receivers lacks a true WR1 and some would argue it even lacks a WR2, but it’s certainly deeper and possesses more overall talent than the group Jones had to throw to in 2022.

It’d be tough to expect another 700-yard, seven-rushing-touchdown season from Jones, but he doesn’t necessarily even need to maintain quite that level of rushing prowess in order to remain a viable weekly top-12 fantasy QB. Jones barely threw for 200 yards per game and he threw less than one touchdown per game, so it’d be tough for him to be much worse than that was a passer and still keep his starting job. There’s plenty of reason to be optimistic that he can make some improvements as a passer and still be a solid fantasy contributor here in 2023.

RB Saquon Barkley
(2022 RB Rank – No. 6, 14.1 FPts/G)

Those who jumped on the “Saquon Barkley is off my draft board because he’s always hurt” train prior to the 2022 season were proven wrong as the superstar running back seemed to return to form while also playing in all but one game. Barkley delivered the highest carry total of his career (295), resulting in a career-high in rushing yards (1,312). He also caught 57 passes, which was his highest total since his rookie season when he was playing with Eli Manning.

Barkley was a certified bell cow running back for the Giants in 2022 and there’s really no reason to believe that he won’t continue to be that this season, especially given that the Giants really did not address their running back room this offseason. Barkley should be in line for another 300-touch season if he can stay healthy, which makes him one of the most valuable players in all of fantasy football.

On the negative side, the Giants’ offense was better than it looks on paper, but it’s still not a high-end offense, so the chances of him significantly improving on his 10 touchdowns from a season ago are not great. He could get in the end zone a couple more times, but he’s almost certainly not going to be a league leader in that department.

Additionally, there has to be some concern that Barkley may have seen near his ceiling in the pass-catching department as well. This isn’t a question about Barkley’s individual talent as a pass-catcher, but rather the Giants' offense as a whole and quarterback Daniel Jones in particular. We know that mobile quarterbacks tend to target their running backs out of the backfield less often than pocket passers do and Barkley made 57 receptions a season ago in an offense that seriously lacked playmakers at wide receiver and tight end. The team specifically addressed this problem by bringing in multiple pass-catchers, including Darren Waller, and it seems unlikely that they’re going to suddenly start scheming more passes to their running back, even if he’s among the best receivers at the position.

Nevertheless, Barkley is a very safe option that also carries tremendous name-brand value. Even if he lacks RB1 overall upside at this point, he should still be a lock to finish as a difference-making player at the position, so long as he stays healthy.

WR Isaiah Hodgins
(2022 WR Rank – 73, 7.0 FPts/G)

Hodgins came to New York halfway through the 2022 season after being largely unutilized in Buffalo. He immediately stepped in and began contributing to his new team, finishing third in receptions on the team amongst wide receivers. Hodgins would finish the season strong, scoring five touchdowns over his final seven games (including playoffs) while averaging almost five receptions per gamer over that stretch.

Now in his first offseason with his new team, Hodgins figures to at least be a part of this bizarre hodge-podge wide receiver depth chart that the Giants are building. With Wan’Dale Robinson and Sterling Shepard recovering from ACL injuries, Hodgins looks to be in line to start the season on the outside, opposite the team’s 2022 target leader Darius Slayton.

The draft-day cost of any of these receivers really isn’t enough to scare anyone away, but this is a group that looks like it’s going to be frustrating to forecast all year. Not only is Daniel Jones an erratic passer, but he really hasn’t shown a propensity to key in on any one target in the offense. That makes it very difficult to predict which receiver, if any, will be useful on a week-to-week basis. In the end, though, all we can really do is focus on opportunity and, at least to start the season, Hodgins looks like a good bet to be the WR1 in this offense.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson
(2022 WR Rank – 119, 4.8 FPts/G)

An injury-riddled start to his rookie season meant that Wan’Dale Robinson got off to a slow start, but he finally broke out in the Giants’ Week 11 matchup against the Lions, catching nine of the 13 passes that came his way and reaching his first 100-yard game…and then he tore his ACL. It was an extremely disappointing outcome and now Robinson will have to fight to get back on the field at some point this season as he is unlikely to be ready to go in Week 1.

Given the profiles of the other Giants receivers, Robinson does seem like a good bet to make a splash at some point, but it almost certainly won’t be until late in the year, meaning that he’ll be clogging up a roster spot on teams that opt to select him late in drafts. Late-round injured players like this don’t often end up delivering difference-making fantasy production, especially in a crowded wide receiver room, so fantasy managers in normal leagues would be best served to let him go undrafted and then pick him up off of waivers when we start to hear positive signs about his return to the field.

WR Jalin Hyatt
(2022 WR Rank – N/A)

The biggest “mystery box” in this group of wide receivers has to be rookie Jalin Hyatt. Hyatt did almost nothing during his first two seasons at Tennessee, but exploded in his final year, catching 67 passes for 1,267 yards and a whopping 15 touchdowns. He then turned in an excellent 4.40-second 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine, although his slender frame at 176 pounds is certainly a bust risk factor. It’s not often that we see players who are physically built like DeVonta Smith break out at the NFL level, but it can happen and therefore it’s not fair to write Hyatt off quite yet.

Still, Hyatt is more of a dynasty lottery ticket than he is a player we should be targeting in 2023. The Giants' wide receiver room might lack superstar talent, but it is quite deep and full of players who’ve at least shown themselves to be NFL-caliber pass catchers. Hyatt could end up being the best of the bunch, eventually, but we shouldn’t be banking on that until we see him start to earn some playing time.

WR Parris Campbell
(2022 WR Rank – 50, 5.1 FPts/G)

One of the new additions to this Giants offense, Parris Campbell joins the team after a disappointing stint with the Colts. A former first-round NFL Draft pick, Campbell suffered multiple setbacks but never really established himself as anything more than a role player on his first team.

Campbell did, however, finally show a bit of promise this past year when he set career highs in receptions (63), yards (623), and touchdowns (3). Much of that was due to the fact that he finally played a full season, manning the slot for the Colts in what was a fairly low-volume offense. He’s now expected to take over the slot, at least to start the season, for the Giants. That role has produced some decent numbers in the New York offense in the past, but it’s worth noting that Campbell will almost certainly have competition for the role once Sterling Shepard or Wan’Dale Robinson - or both - return from their ACL injuries.

A player like Campbell can be valuable in deeper leagues where it’s difficult to find receivers who project to see significant roles to start the season. There’s a good chance that Campbell could be playing the majority of snaps for the Giants early in the year and he’s going to go undrafted in a lot of leagues. The high-end upside likely isn’t there at this point, but Campbell should be on the radar for fantasy managers in deep PPR formats.

WR Darius Slayton
(2022 WR Rank – 51, 6.5 FPts/G)

The Giants’ leader in receiving yards a season ago, Darius Slayton is another player who should be in line to start outside in the New York offense at the beginning of the 2023 season. Slayton’s 724 receiving yards on 46 receptions were pretty much in line with what he did as a rookie back in 2019, and then again in 2020.

Four years into his career, it’s becoming apparent that Slayton is probably never going to break out as anything more than a three-to-five-catch-per-game player who can play a role in an NFL offense but doesn’t provide much for fantasy managers. He hasn’t scored more than three touchdowns in any season since his rookie year in 2019 and he hasn’t gone over 100 yards in a game since October of 2020.

At this point, Slayton is a roster clog for fantasy managers and really should be avoided during drafts unless you’re in deep leagues where you’re starting four or more wide receivers. In that case, he’s someone who sees enough playing time to justify taking a chance late in your draft. But for most, this is a player to avoid in 2023.

TE Darren Waller
(2022 TE Rank – 24, 7.1 FPts/G)

The Raiders have finally seemed to embrace their rebuild and part of that meant moving on from tight end Darren Waller this offseason. He joins the Giants, who traded the 100th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to acquire his services.

Difference-making tight ends are extraordinarily difficult to come by and Waller has a history of being one of those players. He put up back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020 before struggling to stay on the field due to injuries in 2021 and 2022, which also hampered his per-game numbers when he was on the field.

Waller missed half of the 2022 season with an injury, but still managed to finish as the TE7 in fantasy points per game among tight ends who played in eight or more games. He’s a size/speed specimen who has proven himself to be an elite fantasy option and now joins a team where he again projects to compete for the team lead in targets. Fellow tight end Daniel Bellinger is not a complete throwaway player, so Waller will indeed have some competition at the position, but there’s no question that the Giants expect the 6’6”, 255-pound former Raider to be a focal point in their offense.

While Travis Kelce is the gold standard at the position, there are a handful of tight ends being selected after him who all have the potential to finish as the No. 2 tight end in fantasy this season. He’s had a few down years in a row now, but Waller is in that conversation. He’s being selected as the sixth or seventh tight end off the board in most drafts, so his cost isn’t too bad and it’d be surprising if he doesn’t return at least that level of production as long as he’s able to stay healthy.

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