I know what you’re thinking, the New York Giants! This is one of the most boring, atrocious teams in the NFL today. Ever since OBJ was traded, Manning retired, and Barkley’s knee collapsed behind an offensive line no more useful than a set of lawn chairs, the Offense has inspired us less than a fruit portrait on the first floor of a hotel. Lack of creativity reached the point that the Giants opted to QB sneak on 3rd and long due to poor faith and utter coaching incompetence. Giants WRs seemed to score less touchdowns than Giants lineman did. The defense hasn’t been much more promising. A unit that showed some flashes of competence in recent years has mostly festered in mediocrity. Not that a mediocre defense is necessarily a bad thing for fantasy, but in general, we stay away from drafting players from teams like these, because they are too difficult to trust in inhospitable ecosystems. How could the Giants be the most interesting team to watch in 2022 if they’re still rolling out a roster with a similar foundation to previous years?
It seems that the average fantasy player hasn’t seemed to focus even a scrap of attention on the Bills new head coach. This is evidenced by the fact the whole Giants offense is basically being drafted in the positions they finished last year, a HISTORICALLY bad season. It was so awful that most of us just want to ignore anything related to the disaster. Let’s see if the disrespect is justified… Folks that seriously observe new coaching hires in the NFL probably already tracked to the new hire. I even think that many would agree it’s the most exciting hire, at least top three, based purely on the coach. There are obviously rumblings that Daboll might be a quarterback whisperer after helping turn Josh Allen into a star and the entire Bills organization around. I’m sure many Giants fans have already convinced themselves that in three years they’ll be regularly winning the NFC East, however, one case isn’t nearly a large enough sample size to determine Daboll’s effect on quarterbacks. We can always have the debate of whether it was the coach or player that was more responsible for the success, and I think in most cases, it’s probably equal. Josh Allen has all the tangible qualities wanted in a modern-day quarterback and needed a guy to polish them. Daboll probably had a significant part in making that happen. But the question is still posed whether Daboll is a great coach or just a great coach for Josh Allen. I think it’s sometimes forgotten that not all players respond the same to coaching. What works well for Josh Allen won’t necessarily translate to Daniel Jones, but I just can’t help but notice some similarities between these two guys. Put it simply, Jones appears to be Allen’s son; he could be about half as good as Josh Allen, which is still pretty damn good. Solid, starting NFL quarterback good. I believe Jones possesses some similar strengths as Allen, although not quite as pronounced: He’s tall and agile (let’s just forget the turf monster incident ever occurred), he has strong, but not Josh Allen rocket arm (attempted more deep passes than Josh Allen rookie year), most importantly, his rookie year that was far more impressive than Allen’s with Daboll. Just check their stats, you would think that Jones is on Allen’s career trajectory now and vice versa. They even have the same biggest concern, which is their ability to protect the ball. Believe it or not, Allen has averaged more fumbles lost per season than Jones. I don’t mention all this to convince you that Jones is the next coming of Allen with Daboll’s guidance, but just to serve as a reminder that there’s still hope for Jones’ career in the NFL. If he handles Daboll’s instruction similar to Allen, we could have a very relevant fantasy QB on our hands. Plus, Dave Gettleman couldn’t have been completely clueless drafting this guy with the 6th overall pick… right? Right?!
After talking up Daniel Jones so much its probably surprising that I’m still very cautious about him and other Giants this year. Reports from camp that I’ve seen have been questionable, along with some videos of hilariously bad offensive sequences. New first round pick Evan Neal appeared to struggle in pass protection, though first year tackles often need time to adjust. Maybe the Giants will be a complete joke again, that’s what I believe is so interesting about this team, the range of outcomes is wider than most squads in the league. Can Daboll make the most out of Jones and skill position players that are still young, albeit injury prone? Let’s not forget that offensive coordinator success does not necessarily translate to head coaching success- there are numerous examples of offensive coordinators failing as the leader of the team. However, I trust the coach Daboll learned from over the past couple of years and believe he will not repeat the same mistakes of past coordinators (coordinators can alienate their new team by imposing their methodology unflinchingly). At the very least, I think Daboll installs a better regime this year and we see more offensive creativity in his system.
The Fantasy Effect:
With all the information out on the table, I felt like it was as hard as ever to decide what to do with the Giants. I want to believe they can be an extreme value in fantasy drafts, but still hesitant because of the possibility of a slow start with Daboll’s new system and injury risks. That being said, I think Daniel Jones is being overlooked in best ball drafts, tending to go after zero upside QBs like Ryan Tannehill. Make him a priority as your upside sleeper as he’ll go 7-10 rounds later than guys like Jalen Hurts and Trey Lance. He’s still undraftable in standard season long leagues, but I’d monitor the Giants closely each week and place a bid or claim at the first sign of promise. I could see this occurring two weeks before their bye, against the Jags. Right now, I like both Golladay and Toney in their draft positions, as both are drafted outside the top 100, with Golladay barely being drafted on many occasions. To me, Toney is far more appealing as a strong PPR and YAC receiver, as he is electric on the field. Injury risk is immense, but very well worth the risk at cost. Golladay could rebound if Jones does air it out more like his rookie year and watch for a third guy to pop up mid-season if the offense is rolling. I can’t wait to see if Saquon rebounds this year, I think he can, and he must in order to give this offense a boost. Two years removed from his torn acl, doctors believe his freak ankle injury will not hinder him this year. Therefore, it shocks me that he falls well into the third round in drafts this year, when the community was higher on him only a year removed from the acl injury. Admittedly people are catching on, but he’s still a value in the early third round. I understand some are completely scared from drafting him, I’ve been there too, but I think he’s young enough to return to form. Barkley’s career touches are not unreasonably high and leave room for at least one more full workload season. Furthermore, unlike the rest of these guys, Barkley isn’t as affected by poor offensive unit, since pass catching is one of his specialties. If you’re still not in on drafting Barkley, I think there’s another path to his shares you can take. Again, watch the first couple Giants games closely. I think it’s possible Barkley looks healthy and dynamic without putting up monster fantasy numbers due to low touchdown numbers in an offense that’s still finding itself. It’s at this point Barkley managers may be frustrated, and you can trade for him at relatively low cost. I will be considering this route even as a Barkley supporter, as a strategy to maximize his return value and vastly lower the risk he presents.
I think it’s very likely that nobody has spent quite as much time as myself pondering the future in store for the Giants this year, and that’s very understandable. However, I hope this rambling at least piques some interest in the Giants this year, and that next time you’re in the draft room, the Giants garner some consideration instead of zero at all.