Last season the New York Giants went a disappointing (4-12) finishing third in the NFC East. The offense ranked 18th in points scored during the campaign. In 2020 the Giants will start fresh with yet another new head coach in Joe Judge, who comes over from the New England Patriots. Judge brings with him former rival Jason Garrett as the team’s new offensive coordinator. With Garrett what we will see is a lot of formation diversity with the wide receivers. This will be the case because the Giants really do not have a group of receivers with defined roles. Garrett has been in the league a very long time, and brings to New York a good offensive mind. Garrett is very good at knowing his personnel and how to use them to maximize production. Garrett does very well with coaching quarterbacks, which is good for a young player such as Daniel Jones. In the Garrett system you will see a mix of 11 and 12 personnel, as Garrett is very good at blending the two.
Daniel Jones (QB) – threw for the 4th most touchdowns by a rookie ever with 24 in 2019. This was promising for the young quarterback, but what weren’t ideal were the eleven fumbles he committed last season, which he has been working on this offseason. When looking at the film you can see one thing consistently and that is efficiency, Jones was very efficient in year one. Jones illustrated great movement in the pocket and proved very tough in there as well, which is a great trait to have as a quarterback. The other trait that Jones demonstrated to have was his fearlessness to throw the ball into tough spots. He was able to make these difficult throws consistently without many interceptions, which is a very promising sign. These two traits alone will go a long way in him being a quality player for years to come. Jones is also mobile making him just that more dangerous of a player.
Fantasy Spin: We don’t look to the coaching change as being a very big problem for Jones, whose rookie season had that old school quarterback feel to it, Ala Peyton Manning’s rookie season. Jason Garrett is a veteran coach who will try to make the transition to a new system relatively seamless for Jones in year two. Jones’s mobility and toughness in the pocket will reflect well in the fantasy game this season and with that make him a back end QB1, as our QB11, in redraft and a back end QB1, as our QB11, in the dynasty format. Jones will have weeks where he finishes as a solid QB1, and for fantasy in 2020 this upside makes him a very intriguing mid round target.
Saquon Barkley (RB) – enters 2020 as one of the league’s top backs. Garrett will look to utilize Barkley not only in the run game, but detached as a receiver at times as well, to be an effective weapon in the screen game. There is fear that with the addition of Dion Lewis Barkley may lose some work in the passing game, we say that’s laughable and don’t buy into that B.S. Lewis was let go by the Titans because he didn’t look good, and in New York offers little leaning towards no value for fantasy. Barkley is a solid back who is strong and explosive. Barkley suffered some ankle injuries, which forced him to miss time last season, which is a little bit of a concern. On this ankle injury we know Barkley is a freak athlete, but it was clear last season he returned to soon from the ankle injury, which cost him meaningful snaps for not only the Giants but our fantasy teams as well. Barkley enters 2020 with an improved offensive line which bodes very well for his 2020 outlook.
Fantasy Spin: Many view us as crazy as we have Barkley ranked as our top running back entering 2020 in redraft over McCaffrey. We put Barkley over CMC for one simple reason and that is his best football is still ahead of him at the age of 23. What CMC did last year was probably the best season he will have as a pro, where Barkley has yet to hit his ceiling. Even in an injury riddled 2019 where he was less than 100% Barkley still averaged an insane 20 fantasy points per game. Barkley averaged 120 yards from scrimmage per game last season hurt. What? This is why we have him so high this season, that toughness and production is what you want on your fantasy team. Barkley enters 2020 as an elite option at the position in both redraft and dynasty.
Sterling Shepard/Golden Tate/Darius Slayton (WR) – Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard share pretty much similar skill sets in they both profile and essentially are built for receivers playing in the slot. This will be interesting because they will have to be on the field a lot together due to a lack of depth at the position. When looking at Shepard his numbers are telling in the sense that he is far less productive on the outside then on the inside. Shepard over his career while in the slot averages 1.89 yards per route run, which is ok. However, when he is split out wide he averages only 1.11 yards per route run, which is basically disastrous. We assume that when Tate and Shepard are on the field together in 2020 Tate will be manning the slot forcing Shepard outside, which doesn’t bode well. We assume this because this is what we saw in 2019 when they took the field together. With Darius Slayton the Giants will look to him to become more of a volume receiver, as well as that deep vertical threat on the outside. In terms of that deep vertical threat, Slayton did show flashes of this during his rookie season last year. Out of the three receivers featured here, Slayton will be less of a movement guy and more locked in to that outside position. We also can expect that sophomore jump out of Slayton this season, where we see that uptick in numbers, which is always appealing to us fantasy owners.
Fantasy Spin: As mentioned above Slayton is the receiver that offers the most upside in 2020 from this group. However, in terms of ADP the best Giant receiver to target is Golden Tate. Over most of his career Tate has been underrated as he as ranked elite in yards after catch, forced miss tackles, and yards after contact. We have Tate ranked as our 51st wide receiver in redraft making him a borderline WR4. In dynasty he ranks as our 67th wide out. Slayton comes in as a solid WR4 with WR3 upside, as he ranks as our 42rd wide receiver in redraft. In dynasty he comes in as our 47th ranked wide receiver. Shepard for now ranks as our WR61 in redraft as we are not high on him in 2020. In dynasty he ranks as our WR60 entering 2020.
Evan Engram/Kaden Smith (TE) – is critical to this team in the sense that he is a tight end by position, but in terms of ability and fit is looked upon as a receiver. The team needs Engram to be available, and over his career has proven this to be very challenging to do. The team needs a healthy Engram in 2020 to give them that offensive diversity they want to have, and essentially need to thrive in the upcoming season. The team did exercise the tight ends fifth year option so this could be looked at as the last chance for Engram to prove he’s worth a new deal with the team, or he will likely be on the move. The Garrett offense can be considered tight end friendly so this also bodes well for Engram. Kaden Smith is the guy to look at behind Engram as a late round handcuff or bench stash. Smith doesn’t run real well, but he has the ability to catch 5 to 6 balls a week, as he proved last season from week 12 on as he averaged 5.8 catches a game. Smith is a big bodied target who spent his college days playing at Stanford, who have produced quality tight ends before.
Fantasy Spin: Evan Engram has become one of the toughest calls to make year in and year out. When he is healthy he is among the leagues best at the position, but he seems never to be healthy. The consensus seems to have him ranked as TE8 for 2020, but we have him a spot below at TE9. He is ranked less because of his availability concerns. That concern is enough to push other guys ahead of him on draft day. Now when does it become a no brainer to take Engram? This is a good question because it could happen to you on draft day. The answer to that question would probably be around the 8th round. They say upside wins championships in fantasy, and the upside of Engram at this point in a draft this summer is where we are willing to take the risk on Engrams upside. In dynasty leagues Engram ranks as a back end TE1 as our 9th ranked tight end.
Defense – this defense ranked towards the bottom in points allowed (30th) last season. This defense projects to stink again in 2020. We project them as one of the most giving in terms of points allowed again this season. James Bradberry comes over from Carolina to play opposite of Deandre Baker, who may not play due to his recent arrest, leaving this secondary weak for 2020. Judge brings over Patrick Graham to take over this unit in 2020. Graham comes from that New England tree who understands the defense that New England liked to run and could look to emulate it. However, with the team being susceptible on the back end and lacking in the pass rush, he has his work cut out for him. We look to Graham to have to scheme pressure due to lack of a true pass rushing talent. The team resigned Leonard Williams, but since entering the league has not lived up to the hype he received coming out from USC. One bright spot new to the team is rookie Xavier McKinney, who fits the mold to be a very successful safety in the NFL. Another note on McKinney he could look to fill that void of a competent slot corner which the Giants could never find in 2019, as he played there quite often during his time at Alabama.
Fantasy Spin: In terms of fantasy we can look elsewhere for a viable defense. We do feel this defense will be one that gets better as the season grows older, but for us fantasy owners we will be wise to look elsewhere as they rank as our 28th defense entering 2020.
Strength of Schedule
The Giants wide receiver corps will face the 11th toughest schedule this fantasy regular season. Their playoff schedule will be the 11th toughest during weeks 14-16. Barkley will be looking at the 10th easiest schedule during the fantasy regular season. The back will then have the 7th easiest schedule during the fantasy playoffs. Jones will face the10th easiest schedule during the fantasy regular season, and the 10th toughest during weeks 14-16. Engram will face the easiest fantasy regular season schedule and will face the 7th easiest playoff schedule from weeks 14-16.