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New York Giants 2021 Fantasy Football Preview

The Giants retooled their pass catchers, but questions still surround Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones. Here's a breakdown of the roster for fantasy this season.

It has been a long time since the Super Bowl, and remembering exactly how things left off last year can be a challenge. So, I’ll be writing up a fantasy preview for each NFL team to give us a quick refresher on what happened last year, and what changes took place in the offseason. All fantasy stats will be in ESPN scoring format unless otherwise noted. 

If I missed any change or left out any big notes, throw them down in the comments for me!

What Did They Do Last Year

The New York Giants managed to be real bad in the worst division in football in 2020. Saquon Barkley was lost for the season in Week 2, tearing his ACL. They ranked as the 26th offense by PFF grade and were 31st in points scored. The Giants had 12 passing touchdowns last year… 12. 

23Daniel Jones142804482,943111065423118012.9
52Colt McCoy4406637511912016.24.1

Daniel Jones, Jason Garrett, mediocre offensive line. There is no need to draft Daniel Jones in 1-QB formats. Taking a shot on Jones as a QB2/3 in your 2-QB formats as the 26-30th QB off the board, I also don’t recommend. 

Wide Receivers
4452Sterling Shepard129066656394.57.9160.513.38
5355Darius Slayton1697507513915.71418.81
9093Golden Tate125235388250.
158162C.J. Board91611101010.
164165Austin Mack51179109.11.816.13.22
176177Damion Ratley51046306.31.310.32.06

Golden Tate has moved on and Kenny Golladay has come to town. Golladay’s arrival allows a re-configuring of a pretty-dang good receiver corps, moving Sterling Shapard and Darius Slayton to their more natural positions.

Shepard moves to the slot, Slayton remains a burner downfield threat but is now the Y drawing the opposing team’s second/third-best corners. The addition of Kadarius Toney may have been a curious move in the first round of the draft, but it is another in the long line of signals that the Giants are putting an effort in to getting weapons around Daniel Jones.

Related: Worst Rookie Landing Spots for 2021 Fantasy Football 

If you squint real hard and forget the Giants threw for 12 TDs in a year where they lost Saquon Barkley, you could get excited about the Giants passing game.

Running Backs
3329Wayne Gallman14147682627211140115.68.3136.69.76
7277Dion Lewis162911523019127138.22.457.23.58
8378Alfred Morris95523814319137.
8885Devonta Freeman5541721107580295.8367.2
121120Saquon Barkley219340966009.44.715.47.7
139138Elijhaa Penny66150322003.

In a study published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine in 2019, researchers compared two sets of players entering the NFL draft: One group who’d suffered a previous ACL tear (100 players for this study), and a ‘control group’ of 200 players who had not previously torn an ACL. 

The study found a 25% of ‘previously torn ACL’ players suffered a recurrent ACL tear, or a tear to their other ACL. Nine percent of the 200 players in the control group suffered an ACL tear in the NFL. While this is only one of many studies on the topic, the results point clearly towards a higher risk of another ACL tear after a player’s first tear.

The long-term outlook for Saquon Barkley is a little murky with his short but significant injury history. The short term outlook for Barkley is as bleak as a Cormac McCarthy novel with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett calling plays, a struggling offensive line, and Daniel Jones still birdbox-ing his way through games. 

All these concerns push Barkley ‘all the way’ down to about the RB6/7 in my re-draft ranks. 

Tight End
1418Evan Engram16109636541784.91418.81
6574Kaden Smith132118112011.20.929.22.25
8990Levine Toilolo5654604.

Evan Engram’s potential warrants including a tight end segment for the Giants preview. Unfortunately Engram, for now, is nothing but another talented guy held back by a poor supporting cast (see: Garrett, Jason). 

2021 Draft

While the Toney pick was an odd one, the Giants picked up some promising defenders later in the draft. 

The Schedule

The in-division schedule is shaping up to be a bit trickier than it was in 2019 where the Giants picked off two games against the Washington Footballists and split against the QB-less Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. 

Drawing the NFC South (Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tompa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints) and the AFC West (Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos) is a tough break for the hapless Giants. Picking up a ninth road game plus the Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins is again, sub optimal. At least they get to play the Chicago Bears.

Additional Notes

The Giants finished dead last in pass blocking by PFF grade. And while I don’t think PFF grades are the be-all end-all of evaluations, there is no way to color finishing dead last as anything other than a serious concern. 

What Does It All Mean?!?! (AKA – Bold predictions)

On the optimistic side, if Kenny Golladay can stay healthy, his taking over the X-receiver role should make things easier for the rest of the rather talented weapons on the Giants roster. Sterling Shepard should slide in to the slot with Darius Slayton moving to the Y-receiver, still an excellent field-stretching threat. I wouldn’t bother drafting Toney in all but the deepest re-draft leagues. 

Evan Engram can no longer be the focus of the opposing defense, leaving him presumably primed for a hum-dinger of a year. This leaves him as one of about a dozen TEs we’ll talk ourselves in to if we miss on Travis Kelce or Darren Waller.

More pragmatically, this bad team didn’t do much to address its biggest issues, offensive line and coaching. The addition of Golladay and return of Saquon should bolster the offense at least a little, but the arrow is still pointing convincingly down for the Giants. 


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