Last updated: August 3rd at 12:14am ET.
Giants Offensive Profile Last Five Years
2014-2018 Pass Attempts Rank: 9th, 6th, 8th, 1st, 9th
2014-2018 Rush Attempts Rank: 10th, 19th, 22nd, 25th, 29th
2014-2018 Play Volume Rank: 4th, 11th, 16th, 10th, 25th
2014-2018 Yards Per Play Rank: 15th, 9th, 23rd, 26th, 10th
Unaccounted for Targets from 2018 (Rank): 132 (14th)
Unaccounted for Carries from 2018 (Rank): 11 (30th)
Projected Starting Lineup
QB: Eli Manning
RB: Saquon Barkley
WR: Sterling Shepard
WR: Cody Latimer
SLWR: Golden Tate
TE: Evan Engram
LT: Nate Solder
LG: Will Hernandez
C: Jon Halapio
RG: Kevin Zeitler
RT: Mike Remmers
Giants Passing Game
The Giants will hilariously pay Eli Manning $23.2 million in salary and bonuses this season after he failed to finish as a top-16 fantasy passer for the third straight year and finished below 7.50 yards per attempt for the seventh straight. Increasingly tentative to pull the trigger on downfield throws and easy to sack, 38-year-old Eli has reached a state in his career where he makes teammates look worse. Carried by Odell Beckham, Manning averaged 0.74 fewer yards per attempt, 0.41 fewer touchdowns per game, and 4.2 fewer fantasy points without OBJ in the lineup during their five seasons together. It’s only a matter of time until the Giants turn to No. 6 pick Daniel Jones, who reportedly outplayed Eli throughout the spring before coach Pat Shurmur declined to rule out opening the starting job to a training camp competition.
Daniel Jones made 36 starts for the Duke Blue Devils, managing a 17-19 record with a substandard 59.9% career completion rate (59.9%), anemic 6.4 yards-per-attempt average, and 52:29 TD-to-INT ratio. Jones did exhibit plus scrambling skills with 17 rushing TDs and 36.8 rushing yards per start, which should present a pleasant departure from statuesque pocket sloth Eli whenever Jones gets the nod. My college-to-pro comparison for Jones before the draft was Ryan Tannehill as a quarterback prospect with just enough positive traits to inconsistently tease but who will most likely max out as a fringe starter.
Golden Tate went to New York on a four-year, $37.5 million pact, joining his third team in two seasons after managing a five-year low in catches (74) and six-year low in yards (795) between Detroit and Philadelphia. Tate did maintain his elite RAC ability by averaging 6.4 yards after catch per reception, the NFL’s ninth-highest mark among 125 qualified receivers. Tate’s slot usage allows him to run short, high-percentage routes noodle-armed Manning can actually complete, and Beckham’s departure frees up opportunity. The nature of New York’s offense and likely quarterback controversy keep Tate’s ceiling low, however, and his four-game suspension for PEDs sunk Tate’s stock to the point where he is barely draft-able in normal-sized leagues.
Sterling Shepard is expected to transition from slot to primarily outside receiver to accommodate Tate after logging slot-route rates of 58%, 84%, and 86% in his first three seasons. It’s a questionable long-term fit for Shepard, who lacks high-end size (5’10/194) and speed (4.48), although he did average more yards per route run on outside (1.71) than inside (1.27) pass plays last season, fueled by higher target depths on the perimeter. Volume expectations should be similar for Tate and Shepard with the former projected for more catches and the latter more yards. Ultimately, both are unexciting WR4 selections. Shepard fractured his thumb early in training camp, but his Week 1 status isn’t believed to be in any doubt, and no pass catcher on the Giants’ roster has a more-established rapport with Eli than Young Shep. If Shepard moves back into the slot during Tate’s four-game ban, he should be able to flirt with WR2 value and could be underpriced in DFS in the first month.
Evan Engram offers the highest ceiling in New York’s passing game as a third-year breakout candidate after missing Weeks 4-6 with an MCL sprain and Weeks 12-13 with a hamstring pull. A 93rd-percentile SPARQ athlete with a literal 100th-percentile Speed Score (4.42 forty at 6’3/234), Engram finished No. 6 among 30 qualified tight ends in yards per route run (1.83) and as the TE7 in PPR points per game despite his injuries. Over the last decade, George Kittle, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and Aaron Hernandez are the only tight ends to log more receiving yards than Engram’s 1,299 during their first two NFL seasons. This year, Engram is my overall TE5 behind Travis Kelce, Kittle, Zach Ertz, and O.J. Howard. Engram’s early-season ceiling is raised by Tate’s four-game ban.
Giants Running Game
Saquon Barkley was everything a football observer could’ve hoped for in his first season, pacing the NFL in total yards (2,028), setting a league record for receptions by a rookie running back (91), earning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, and finishing as fantasy’s overall RB2 behind Christian McCaffrey. Barkley averaged 11.7 fewer yards, 0.25 fewer touchdowns, and 4.6 fewer PPR points in Odell Beckham’s four missed games, however, and Beckham was traded to Cleveland as the Giants embraced an inside-the-numbers passing game lacking perimeter threats. New York’s condensed offense, likelihood of in-season quarterback change, and Jones’ scrambling ability which could limit checkdowns to Barkley are the primary reasons he’s my fantasy RB3 behind McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliott. CMC and Zeke both play in more offense-friendly environments with dynamic dual-threat quarterbacks and far-superior line play.
Wayne Gallman, Rod Smith, Paul Perkins, and Jonathan Hilliman will wage a four-way camp battle to back up Barkley, whose near-league-high volume projection enhances his injury risk. Gallman is the Giants’ pedestrian No. 2 back incumbent after managing 65 touches in 15 appearances. Smith is the highest-ceiling option with plus size (6’3/226), receiving ability, and special teams value that helps him stay active on game days. Perkins missed the entire 2018 season with a torn pectoral but reportedly ran ahead of Gallman at OTAs. The Giants signed Hilliman as an undrafted free agent after he endured a nondescript college career but blazed 4.43/4.49 at 5-foot-11, 216 at Rutgers’ Pro Day before the draft.
2019 Vegas Win Total
The Giants’ Win Total is 6.0 games, tied with Cincinnati and Oakland for third lowest in the league ahead of only Arizona and Miami. The G-Men failed to exceed six victories in four of the last five years but are due for positive regression after last year’s team went an unlucky 4-8 in one-score games and logged a -43 point differential that wasn’t as bad as its 5-11 record. The Giants also face the NFL’s sixth-easiest schedule based on Opponent Win Totals. Difference-maker Odell Beckham’s departure, probable in-season quarterback change, and an abominable on-paper defense remain severe concerns and entirely-logical reasons to fade my contrarian choice of betting the over on this team winning six games.