General manager Dave Gettleman received a ton of criticism for
using the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft on Duke QB
Daniel Jones, a player many NFL writers and analysts felt was
taken way too high. Say what you want about Gettleman - and there
is a ton of negative things to say - Jones looked every bit of
the franchise quarterback as a rookie last season.
Jones completed just under 62 percent of his passes, for 3027
yards and 24 touchdowns in only 13 games. His 22.1 points per
game were higher than Kyler Murray and Josh Allen, two fellow
young signal-callers going much earlier than him in drafts.
Jonesí 16-game pace would have shattered the rookie touchdown
passing record at 33, and he quietly added value on the ground
with 279 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. He is relatively
athletic for a player his size, giving more value on the ground
that other QBs ranked around him like Philip Rivers, Kirk Cousins,
or Jared Goff.
With three games against the Steelers, Bears, and 49ers to kick
off the season, Jones is not someone streaming owners would like
to draft and start. However, he will continue to have sneaky upside
based on matchups, including weeks late in the season against
the Bengals, Browns, and Cardinals.
Injuries limited Barkley to just 13 games in 2019, including
games in which Barkley played but was not entirely healthy. Despite
this fact, the former first-round pick from Penn State posted
nearly 1500 total yards and eight total touchdowns. His 14.8 fantasy
points per game placed him just outside the top five at the position.
Like Christian McCaffrey, the thing that separates Barkley from
other top running backs and the reason why he should be considered
a top-3 pick is his volume in the passing game. Barkley was on
pace for 90 targets after posting a ridiculous 91 receptions for
721 yards and four touchdowns on 121 targets as a rookie. Owning
a back like Barkley is, in essence, like owning two players in
one, especially in leagues that provide points per receptions.
According to FootballOutsiders.com, the Giants were plagued by
subpar offensive line play, especially in the run-blocking department
(ranked 25th out of 32 teams). The front office addressed this
issue with the selection of tackle Andrew Thomas in the first
round and tackle Matt Peart in the third.
When healthy, Barkley is one of the most physically talented
backs in the league and has the ability to provide massive value
on the ground and in the passing game. You could make the argument
that he could be the No.1 overall player in drafts this summer,
especially if Jones and the rest of the offense build on what
they did last year.
It may surprise many to learn that Golden Tate quietly averaged
the same number of fantasy points per game as Tyler Lockett, and
more than Robert Woods, John Brown, Courtland Sutton, Adam Thielen,
DK Metcalf, and the player who vacated a spot in the NY Giants
passing game, Odell Beckham Jr.
In just 11 games with the Giants, Tate posted 49 catches for
676 yards and six touchdowns. That would give him a 16-game pace
of 71/985/9 on 130 targets, making him a strong No.3 WR in all
Injuries to Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram certainly boosted
Tateís volume, and Tate will likely struggle to reach 130 targets
should those two players play a full season. But it should be
noted that Engram has never played a full 16-game schedule in
his career, and Shepard also has been unable to stay healthy.
Another benefit for Tate is the fact that the Giants once again
project to be one of the worst defenses in the league, which could
mean chasing points and high passing attempts for Daniel Jones.
Shepard received no fewer than six targets in any game last season,
finishing the year with an impressive average of 8.3 targets per
game. Unfortunately, he did not do a whole lot with that volume,
with only 575 receding yards and three touchdowns. His 10.1 yard
per reception was the worst of his four-year NFL career, and he
managed to play in just 10 of the teamís 16 games.
On a positive note, 11 of those 83 targets did come in the red
zone, giving him the second-most on the team behind Evan Engram.
Two of his three receiving touchdowns came in the red zone.
Shepard is slated to be the starting outside wide receiver in
what could be a high scoring offense. The Giants bolstered their
offensive line, but they once again project to be a defense ranked
in the bottom half.
Should he stay healthy and play a full 16-game slate, both Shepard
and Tate look to be locks as low-cost receivers who will receive
at least 100 targets. The problem, though, is neither one is a
massive threat to score double-digit touchdowns, which limits
their value significantly in non-ppr formats.
Slayton was a monster free agent play last season who delivered
three games of at least 50 receiving yards and two touchdowns,
including a career-best 5/154/2 line against the Eagles with Sterling
Sheppard and Evan Engram nursing injuries.
It was an impressive debut for the fifth-round rookie from Auburn,
who made the most of his opportunity. Both Sheppard and Engram
enter the 2020 season healthy and should limit the volume Slayton
will receive in the offense. Veterans Golden Tate and Shepard
will be the two primary wide receivers, while Engram, a hybrid
tight end who plays more like a large WR, will be the favorite
target of Daniel Jones over the middle.
Owners who remember Slaytonís breakout games and not the
fact that he is buried on the depth chart may overpay for him
in drafts this summer. Donít bet that guy (or gal).
Evan Engram officially has taken over the role left by Jordan
Reed as the talented tight end everybody loves, but who cannot
The former first-round pick from Ole Miss managed to play in
just half of the team's games in 2019, the third season in a row
in which he has failed to play a full slate since entering the
league in 2017.
The talent is there, but he cannot stay on the field. If you
take him, you need to have other options in mind as an injury
On a positive note, Engram did lead the team in red zone targets
despite playing in only eight games, which is a huge indication
of the value he has near the end zone for quarterback Daniel Jones.