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2022 New York Giants Fantasy Preview

Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley

Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

2021 Stats (Rank)

Total Offense: 4,844 (31st)
Offensive Touchdowns: 23 (32nd)
Offensive Plays: 1,050 (24th)
Pass Attempts + Sacks: 631 (15th)
Rush Attempts: 419 (25th)
Unaccounted for Targets: 226 (8th)
Unaccounted for Carries: 187 (6th)

Coaching Staff

A bizarre hire when the Giants made it, coach Joe Judge followed up his inaugural 6-10 campaign with a 4-13 one last year and was fired after two seasons. OC Jason Garrett didn’t even last that long, getting canned before the end of the year. After it was initially believed Judge would somehow get a third season, the Giants decided to clean house and followed it up with one of the better on-paper GM-coach tandems of the 2022 coaching cycle by plucking Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen and OC Brian Daboll from the western side of New York. Like Judge, Daboll is a Bill Belichick disciple but also put in time under Nick Saban at Alabama before turning Josh Allen into the best player in the sport. Daboll is as pass-first as they come among offensive minds and calls an exciting game, especially when he has the players that can execute. Going from Allen and Stefon Diggs to Daniel Jones and friends is a massive downgrade in talent, but Daboll was well worthy of this shot at his first head-coaching gig. For his OC, Daboll hired Chiefs QBs coach Mike Kafka after he worked with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. The new regime breathes much-needed life into this storied organization.

Passing Game

QB: Daniel Jones, Tyrod Taylor
WR: Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton
WR: Kadarius Toney, Richie James
WR: Sterling Shepard, Wan’Dale Robinson
TE: Daniel Bellinger, Ricky Seals-Jones, Jordan Akins

Jones increased his completion percentage and lowered his interception rate last year, but he’s still not producing touchdowns or moving the ball with any consistency. His 6.7 yards per attempt came in at 26th among 33 qualified quarterbacks, and his touchdown rate of 2.8% was 28th after checking in at 2.5% the previous year. Over the last two seasons, Jones has 24 total touchdowns to 26 turnovers. He was fantasy’s overall QB18 last year and almost single-handedly erased Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton, and Evan Engram from relevance. The G-Men tapped the Bills and Chiefs for their new offensive minds, hiring Daboll and OC Kafka, who coached Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, respectively. New GM Joe Schoen made offensive line upgrades with veterans C Jon Feliciano and RG Mark Glowinski before using a first-round pick on RT Evan Neal. Rookie Daniel Bellinger and veterans Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins were brought in at tight end to replace Engram after he left for Jacksonville. The coaching upgrades are pretty significant, and it would be a true feat if Daboll can turn Jones around. If anyone can, though, Daboll would be one of the best picks. Daboll has stated numerous times he wants Jones to “cut it loose” more, and the coach is bringing his spread-style attack to the Giants. There’s nowhere to go but up for the Giants’ skill group after being coached by the incompetent duo of Judge and Garrett. Still, Jones is a mere back-end QB2 until (if) we see him elevate his game.

Signed to a big-money free-agent deal to be the Giants’ X receiver, Golladay’s first season in New York got off to an inauspicious start with a hamstring injury in training camp. Golladay was ready for Week 1 but struggled with hip and knee injuries throughout the year. An inept Giants’ offense that featured a combined 253 drop-backs from Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm didn’t help matters. Golladay totaled just 521 yards in 14 games and didn’t score a touchdown all season, finishing as fantasy’s WR84. Golladay will work with Daniel Jones again in 2022 and with similar target competition, but the offense will be led by Daboll rather than the trio of Judge, Garrett, and Freddie Kitchens. Golladay will remain the top receiving option on the outside in an offense that is likely to be far more pass-happy. Golladay’s rough 2021 can partly be chalked up to bad quarterback play, coaching, and injuries. But in his eight games with Jones, Golladay averaged three catches for 46.5 scoreless yards per game, making it hard to get overly excited about their connection this season. However, the Giants could be among the league leaders in passing attempts in 2022, giving Golladay an opportunity for a volume-driven bounce-back campaign in his age-29 season.

Like Golladay, Toney struggled with injuries in training camp and opened his season with just 14 yards over his first three games. Once given a bigger opportunity, Toney flashed elite traits, earning a target on 27% of his routes. He also produced 2.14 yards per route, good for 11th among all wide receivers. Toney ran fewer than 200 routes, but his small 2021 sample was still impressive enough to generate optimism for his second season. Toney drew the ire of new coach Daboll by skipping spring workouts for the second straight season, generating trade rumors ahead of the draft and potentially contributing to the selection of Wan’Dale Robinson in the second round. With Robinson likely taking on the slot role once ready, Toney could see more work outside this season opposite Golladay, pushing Slayton down the depth chart. Toney was far more efficient outside than in the slot, averaging 1.31 yards per route from the slot and a booming 3.77 yards per route from the outside with Jones at quarterback. Toney will be a boom-or-bust weekly option, but he has enough raw talent to be an intriguing upside bet.

Shepard had a rough go of things from an injury standpoint last season, dealing with hamstring and quad injuries for much of the year. In five games with Daniel Jones, though, he averaged an impressive 6.4 weekly catches for 65 yards as Jones’ slot man. Shepard then tore his Achilles’ in Week 15, putting his 2022 season in doubt. With Shepard coming off a serious injury and headed into his age-29 season, the Giants used a second-round pick on slot man Wan’Dale Robinson. Shepard could struggle to regain a full-time role after the Achilles’ tear. However, his strong connection with Jones will help keep him on the field. Robinson played 66% of his college snaps in the slot and 72% in his breakout final season at Kentucky. With Shepard rehabbing, Robinson is the favorite to handle Week 1 slot duties. He may also see some schemed targets out of the backfield and on screens. The Giants’ depth chart is somewhat crowded, but there are no true stars on the team. The new regime’s draft capital investment in Robinson indicates that they’ll look to get him involved.

Evan Engram walked as a free agent, and veteran Kyle Rudolph was released, leading to the Giants completely overhauling their tight end room. Veterans Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins signed one-year deals as placeholders, and the Giants used a fourth-round pick on Daniel Bellinger. It was Bellinger who was running with the first-team offense during the spring, and he was constantly hyped as one of the Giants’ standouts at OTAs. Seals-Jones and Akins have flashed playmaking ability as pass-catchers in recent stops but should by no means be counted on to beat out the rookie. We shouldn’t expect any of these three to be fantasy contributors.

Running Game

RB: Saquon Barkley, Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell
OL (L-R): Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux, Jon Feliciano, Mark Glowinski, Evan Neal

Returning from a 2020 torn ACL, Barkley looked like a diminished player in a pathetic offense last season. The former No. 2 overall pick mustered just 593 yards rushing across 13 games, averaging 3.7 yards per carry behind the Giants’ Swiss-cheese offensive line. Last year’s injury was another ankle sprain that cost him four games, one more than his officially diagnosed high-ankle sprain from 2019. With his snaps dialed back, Barkley cleared 20 carries only one time and produced 100-plus yards just twice. He managed a pedestrian 41 catches. Famous for maximizing his offense’s ability in Buffalo, Daboll will undoubtedly attempt to return Barkley to his pass-catching and big-play roots. The problem is Daniel Jones is getting another chance under center, limiting everyone’s upside. It is also an open question how much of Barkley’s vaunted physical ability remains after he missed 21 games with injuries over the past three years. Still only 25, Barkley’s special traits get the benefit of the doubt another time. At the very least, he should no longer be playing with one hand tied behind his back by the coaching staff. RB2s rarely have this much upside. Barkley has already said he’s trusting his knee more another year removed from injury, and the Daboll-led coaching staff is getting Barkley more pass-catching chances after the previous regime eliminated that from his game. The new offense should cater to Barkley’s strengths. And with only Matt Breida behind him currently, Barkley is expected to return to workhorse status.

Win Total

The Giants’ win total currently sits at seven at DraftKings Sportsbook, with both the over and the under set at -110. Just by subtracting Joe Judge and Jason Garrett, it’s hard to not see the Giants improving on their four-win 2021. The G-Men also have the easiest schedule, according to Warren Sharp. However, this team still needs a lot of pieces, and Daniel Jones can only take them so far. If forced to choose, I’d still go with the Giants winning fewer than seven games.