Updated: Aug 23
👆 if you set fantasy football lineups (or make player prop bets), then you need to see this 👆
It's been a rough half decade for Giants fans whose team hasn't managed a 7 win season since 2016. In the last 5 years they've suffered through miserable campaigns where their Giants have finished 31st in scoring three times. In fact, The Giants have finished each of the last two seasons 31st in scoring and 31st in yards. Woof.
They rightfully canned Joe Judge and brought in Brian Daboll who coordinated Bills offenses that finished 2nd and 3rd in scoring and 2nd and 5th in yards in the last two seasons. It's an exciting hire on the surface, but what if we dig a little bit deeper?
When you look at Daboll's first five seasons as an offensive coordinator in the NFL, frankly, there's cause for concern. Daboll's offenses finished:
29th in scoring and 32nd in yards (2009 Cleveland Browns)
31st in scoring and 29th in yards (2010 Cleveland Browns)
20th in scoring and 22nd in yards (2011 Miami Dolphins)
32nd in scoring and 24th in yards (2012 Kansas City Chiefs)
30th in scoring and 30th in yards (2018 Buffalo Bills)
All five of those units had porous passing attacks (32nd, 29th, 23rd, 32nd and 31st in yards).
Now for a little context, let's look at his supporting casts in those 5 seasons...
In 2009, Daboll's Browns featured Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson at QB. Their target leaders were WR Mohamed Massaquoi (95) and RB Jerome Harrison (50). You read that right; 50 was the second most targets on the team that year.
In 2010, Daboll's Browns pivoted to Colt McCoy, Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace at QB. Their target leaders were TE Ben Watson (102), RB Peyton Hillis (77) and WR Mohamed Massaquoi (73). Yeah...their top two receivers weren't receivers.
In 2011, Daboll was given Matt Moore for a QB and inherited Brandon Marshall who he fed 141 targets. The next closest was Davone Bess with 86 and you can see why.
In 2012, Daboll had Matt Cassel and, once again, Brady Quinn at QB. Their target leaders that year were WR Dwayne Bowe (114) and RB Dexter McCluster (77).
In 2018, Daboll began his work with rookie Josh Allen who only started 11 games and had Zay Jones (102 targets) and Kelvin Benjamin (62 targets) as his top WRs.
So as you can see, a lot of this can be explained and expected from the supporting cast. Three trends that are important to peel from this is that:
Brian Daboll is willing to feed his RBs in the passing game
Brian Daboll is willing to involve his TEs in the passing game and heavily if need be
Brian Daboll schemes to his players. More on this in a minute but it's no concidence that Brandon Marshall received 141 targets when no one else on a Daboll team received more than 115. He gets his guys the ball.
In those five seasons where Daboll's units were otherwise putrid, he did notably produce top-notch ground games more often than not. His offenses in his first five years finished 8th, 20th, 11th, 5th and 9th in rushing yards, which makes sense since you don't really want Brady Quinn/Derek Anderson/ColtMcCoy/Jake Delhomme/Seneca Wallace/Matt Moore/Matt Cassel throwing it all over the yard.
Daboll's 2009 Browns finished 9th in rushing behind Jerome Harrison and Jamal Lewis.
The 2010 unit took a step back (20th) but produced a one-hit wonder in Peyton Hillis who came out of nowhere to rack up 331 touches (61 catches on 77 targets) for 1654 scrimmage yards and 13 TDs.
Daboll's 2011 Dolphins finished 11th in rushing with a Reggie Bush/Daniel Thomas tandem.
His 2012 Chiefs finished 5th in rushing yards behind a monster campaign from Jamaal Charles (320 touches—35 catches on 49 targets—for 1745 scrimmage yards and 6 TDs).
His 2018 Bills protected rookie Josh Allen with a 9th ranked rushing attack behind LeSean McCoy, Chris Ivory (and a little bit of Josh Allen himself).
And then, in 2019, 2020 and 2021 when Josh Allen was ready to become the BAMF he is, Daboll's offenses took off and, for the first time in his coaching career, he started to embrace a pass-heavy approach.
The trends I'm pulling from here? Daboll seems to coach around his players rather than forcing them to adjust to his schemes (cough cough Joe Judge). That is, he's not decidedly a run-heavy coach or a pass-heavy coach.
Instead, he identifies his talent and puts the ball in their hands, building his offense around them accordingly.
And for that reason, I am all the way in on Saquon Barkley (and some others) this season. So let's get into who.
Daniel Jones 🤷
2019 fantasy points: 215 (QB 24) - 2019 fantasy points per game: 16.5 (QB 16)
2020 fantasy points: 180 (QB 24) - 2020 fantasy points per game: 12.9 (QB 31)
2021 fantasy points: 167.5 (QB 27) - 2021 fantasy points per game: 15.2 (QB 19)
Remember everything I said above about Brian Daboll hiding bad QBs and scheming to his talented players? That those teams had porous passing attacks but desirable rushing attacks?
All of that that seems like it would apply perfectly the 2022 Giants, specifically their former 6th overall pick and current bust, Daniel Jones.
Vegas sportsbooks seem to agree as well, pegging the Giants with the 7th worst odds of leading the league in scoring this season. Never a good sign for a QB's prospects in fantasy football.
But it's warranted.
Jones has never finished better than 19th in passing yards and has a total of 21 TD passes over the last two seasons, a far cry from his 24 TD rookie campaign.
Over 38 fantasy football games in his career, Daniel Jones has landed under 15 fantasy points in 61% of them. He's even landed under 10 fantasy football points 29% of the time.
On the bright side, Jones did flash a bit as a rookie, tossing 24 TD passes and hitting 30 fantasy points three different times (though he hasn't done it since). And one underrated aspect of Jones' game is his rushing ability, having already finished 11th, 7th and 7th in QB rushing yards in his career. We know Daboll knows how to work with QBs that can run the ball.
Perhaps Daboll can bring back a version of Daniel Jones that's actually palpable for fantasy football?
Maybe. But I'd still bet on this being a bottom-half passing attack that force-feeds Saquon Barkley everything he can possible handle.
Fantasy Drafts 👎: Daniel Jones is currently the QB 27 in fantasy football drafts, going around pick 234 (20th round). In other words, he's completely free in fantasy football leagues but, assuming you're in a 1 QB league, there's a reason he's free; he should be.
Draft Kits: I have Daniel Jones in Tier 2C of my fantasy football Draft Kits with Zach Wilson, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff. In your typical 1QB league, I'm not wasting a draft pick on any of these guys. In a 2QB league, these are bottom-barrel QB 2s.
Dynasty Leagues: Daniel Jones is hanging on for dear life in dynasty leagues.
For all you Superflex players, Tyrod Taylor should be on your short list for potential pick ups if Danny Dimes gets hurt or even benched.
Saquon Barkley 📈
2019 PPR points: 244.1 (RB 10) - 2019 PPR points per game: 18.8 (RB 7)
2020 (out for year after 1 game)
2021 PPR points: 140.7 (RB 31) - 2021 PPR points per game: 10.8 (RB 33)
Saquon szn is upon us and it feels like the rapture is coming for us Saquon truthers who've been waiting for it since 2018.
It feels like forever ago, but never forget that Saquon absolutely smashed his 2018 rookie campaign, averaging 24.1 PPR points per game on 352 touches (including 91 catches on 121 targets) for 2028 yards and 15 TDs to finish as THE RB1.
He put together another solid year in 2019, averaging 18.8 PPR points per game (RB 7) on 269 touches (52 catches on 73 targets) for 1441 scrimmage yards (438 receiving) and 8 TDs. He hit 15 PPR points in 69.2% of his games, teasing with 20+ point games 38.5% of the time.
And then in 2020 he was knocked out for the season after one game and 2021 was a year to forget under Joe Judge (Barkley had just 189 touches for 807 yards and 4 TDs).
But Judge is out and Daboll is in, and everything we're hearing out of Giants camp is that Saquon Barkley's workload "will be huge" as long as he's healthy in 2022.
That is easy to believe when you look at Daboll's track record with similar offenses (Peyton Hillis had 331 touches in 2010, Jamaal Charles had 320 touches in 2012, Reggie Bush had 259 in 2011, and Jerome Harrison had 228 in 14 games in 2009).
Daboll is willing to force-feed his RBs, including in the passing game—Daboll's RB has finished top 2 on the team in targets in 3 of his 8 seasons as an offensive coordinator—if he believes they're the best chance of moving the ball. And when your options are Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones, it's not a difficult decision to make.
It's Saquon szn, baby. And I'm here for it.
Fantasy Drafts 👍: Saquon Barkley is currently the RB 13, drafted around pick 23 (late 2nd round). Drafted within 6 spots of Saquon in either direction are Deebo Samuel, Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara, CeeDee Lamb, Aaron Jones, Tyreek Hill, Javonte Williams, Josh Allen, Mark Andrews, Leonard Fournette, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen and Ezekiel Elliott.
Lamb and maybe Jones are the only names in that list I'd even think about taking over Barkley. Barkley is a near auto-draft for me in the 2nd round. He is this year's league-winning value pick.
Draft Kits: I have Saquon in Tier 1C of my fantasy football Draft Kits with Joe Mixon, D'Andre Swift and Aaron Jones.
Dynasty Leagues: Saquon's value is the lowest it's ever since entering the league, creating a small buy-low window that's about to slam shut.
Not someone you should spend a draft pick on (outside of super deep leagues) but definitely someone to have on your radar/watch list. He's a week-winner if Saquon goes down.
Kadarius Toney 📉, Kenny Golladay 📈, Wan'Dale Robinson 📈, Sterling Shepard 📉, and Darius Slayton📉
Predictably miserable since trading away Odell Beckham in March 2019, the New York Giants haven't produced truly noteworthy WRs since Beckham was the WR 7 in 2018.
In 2019 (Daniel Jones' rookie year), Darius Slayton was the WR 37, Golden Tate was the WR 45 and Sterling Shepard was the WR 48. All three were on the radar as unexciting flex options.
In 2020, Shepard was the WR 43 and Slayton was the WR 54. Seriously. That was the best they produced. Tate came next at WR 92.
Somehow, 2021 was even worse. Like...WAY worse. Kenny Golladay was the WR 81, Kadarius Toney was the WR 82 and Sterling Shepard was the WR 89.
It's been bad, man. And that's putting it nicely.
And as we've already discussed, Daboll's previous time with teams of similar makeup haven't exactly produced sterling WR numbers either:
2009 - Mohamed Massaquoi was the WR 65, Joshua Cribbs was the WR 82
2010 - Massaquoi was the WR 72, Brian Robiskie was the WR 84
2011 - Brandon Marshall was the WR 11, Davone Bess was the WR 57
2012 - Dwayne Bowe was the WR 43, Jonathan Baldwin was the WR 99
2018 - Zay Jones was the WR 35, Robert Foster was the WR 74
Put simply, there's not a lot of promising history here to get excited about. On the bright side, this batch of receivers is significantly more talented than almost everyone listed in Daboll's list above. There's just...a lot of them.
2022 figures to be another...interesting...year with five receivers that are similarly tiered (meaning none of them are an alpha WR1) in a brand new offense with an underwhelming QB (no offense, Daniel).
👎 Kadarius Toney is usually the first Giants WR drafted around WR 47 and pick 120 (end of the 10th). Toney is entering year 2 after being the 20th overall pick last season and flashing upside at times (he popped for 29.6 PPR points in week 5 last season) while simultaneously b******g about his role as a rookie before getting hurt and missing 6 of the last 7 games. He arguably carries the biggest upside of the bunch but has been missing valuable time in camp, painful when learning a new offense.
Drafted within 6 spots in either direction of Toney is Treylon Burks, James Cook, Mike Gesicki, Pat Freiermuth, Justin Tucker, Chris Olave, Kirk Cousins, Alexander Mattison, Russell Gage and Buccaneers D. I'd take Cook, Freiermuth and Cousins over him.
I have Toney in Tier 4B of my fantasy football Draft Kits with Kenny Golladay, Isaiah McKenzie, Chris Olave, and more. I personally have almost no exposure to Toney in 2022.
👍 Kenny Golladay is usually the next Giants WR off the board around WR 60 and pick 166 (late 14th round). Golladay is entering the 2nd year of his contract with the G-men after an injury-ravaged debut campaign in Giants threads (76 targets, 37 catches, 521 yards, no TDs in 14 games). He landed under 10 PPR points in 76.9% of his games and only managed to hit 15 points one time. Still, there's a lot of upside in a guy like Golladay, especially for how cheaply he is priced this year.
Drafted within 6 spots in either direction of Golladay is Irv Smith, Trevor Lawrence, Evan McPherson, Christian Watson, Noah Fant, Jamaal Williams, Matt Ryan, Patriots DEF, Julio Jones, Kenneth Gainwell, George Pickens, Albert Okwuegbunam, David Njoku, Mark Ingram and Tyler Allgeier. Julio, Gainwell and Allgeier would be on my list to consider here, but so would be Golladay.
I have Golladay in Tier 4B of my fantasy football Draft Kits with Kadarius Toney, Isaiah McKenzie, Chris Olave, and more. Personally, I have plenty of Golladay in my portfolio and I'm a big fan of him in the 14th round.
👍 Exciting 2nd rounder Wan'Dale Robinson is usually the next off the board and remains one of my favorite late-round targets in deep drafts in 2022. "The star" of Giants training camp per Peter King, Robinson is currently drafted around WR 81 at pick 229 (early 20th round) and easily, easily, carries some of the biggest upside among the batch of players drafted that late (and it certainly doesn't hurt he's getting work out of the backfield too). Assuming you're in a "regular" 15(ish) round draft, you will likely have a tough time fitting Robinson onto your opening day roster, but if Toney continues to miss time and Robinson continues to trend towards a day 1 start, he needs to be on your short list of potential waiver pick ups. If you are in a deeper league, don't hesitate to reach a round early on Robinson; he's worth making sure you don't miss.
I have Robinson in Tier 5A of my fantasy football Draft Kits with David Bell, Alec Pierce, Parris Campbell and more. I have a lot of Robinson in my best ball portfolio this season.
🔭 Sterling Shepard is predictably (and rightfully) undrafted as he recovers from the dreaded torn Achilles and may not be ready for week 1 (or possibly even the first 6 weeks of the season if he stays on the reserve/PUP list. You definitely should not consider using a draft pick on the former 2nd rounder (unless you're in a 20+ round draft). BUT...just know this guy was averaging nearly 8 targets per game when healthy last season. He was on his way to a terrific campaign before he got hurt. It's probably too little to late for Shepard, but something to know.
👎 Darius Slayton has been reportedly running with the third-team offense and has fallen off the fantasy football radar entirely outside of the deepest of deep leagues. He might not even make the Giants' roster and honestly, that might not be a bad thing for him.
Dynasty Leagues: Kadarius Toney is a hold, Kenny Golladay is a buy-low, Sterling Shepard is a buy VERY low and Wan'Dale Robinson is an exciting mid-2nd round rookie pick.
Daniel Bellinger 📈 and Ricky Seals-Jones 📉
Neither guy is worthy of a draft pick and chances are the TE position in New York will be a fantasy black hole worth ignoring in 2022.
That said, it sounds like the 21 year old 4th round rookie out of San Diego State, Daniel Bellinger, has been making waves at Giants camp and taking first team reps this summer. The Athletics' Dan Duggan recently (August 6th) said Bellinger "was clearly the No. 1 tight end."
Again, we need to take training camp chatter with a grain of salt, and this is very unlikely to matter in 2022. This offense won't be terrific and already has a lot of mouths to feed, not to mention the fact that rookie TEs rarely produce in year 1.
But it's definitely noteworthy in 2023 and beyond. Why?
As we noted above, Daboll is willing to use his TE as a pass catcher when he needs (wants?) to, as evidenced by 30 year old Ben Watson pacing the 2010 Browns in targets, catches, yards and TDs. He was the TE 9 in fantasy football that season. Daboll's also been responsible in the past for briefly putting Anthony Fasano, Tony Moeaki and Charles Clay on our fantasy football radars before turning Dawson Knox into a beast.
It's also worth noting that Bellinger was hand-selected by Daboll in his first draft as an NFL head coach. If he puts the same time, attention and effort into Bellinger as he did Dawson Knox...
Of course, fantasy football is nowhere near that simple. But Bellinger should be on your radar in dynasty leagues.
As for RSJ, maybe he'll find a way into desperation streamer territory during bye weeks. But it's unlikely he's more than that this year.
That's a wrap on the New York Giants! Next up in the series: The Washington Commanders.
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