As the mercury rises and we inch closer to training camp openings, our resident fantasy football aficionados, Brad Evans and Derek Brown, profile their favorite Booms, Busts, Breakouts and Bets for every NFL team. Giddy up, gamers. Today’s topic: New York’s Blue Man Group.
After an abbreviated 2020 season, it seems like ages since we've seen Kenny Golladay bullying corners on contested catches, but we shouldn't forget he is a difference-maker wide receiver. Golladay's arrival fills a massive need for the Giant's passing attack, equipping Daniel Jones with a true number one receiver. Even during the small four-game sample last year, in which he played 80% of higher snaps, he finished as a top 24 fantasy wide receiver in each game. Zoom out further, and he's been a WR2 or better in 61.9% of his games over the last two seasons.
In 2019, Golladay ranked 22nd in yards per route run and 11th in fantasy points per targets. If he can return to these production levels, he can blow his current ADP out of the water. — Derek Brown
Similar to White Castle burgers in a sober state, Golladay is receiving an unjustified bad rap. Ok, admittedly, sliders are disgusting when not influenced by taste-altering substances, but the wideout’s ADP discount (WR24, 55.26) is overly harsh. Yes, health concerns lend pause, but, when fully functional, Gollday is a premier field stretcher (No. 7 in completed air yards in ‘19), contested catch winner and proven producer. He’s only a year removed from a WR5 finish in .5 PPR (65-1190-11). Granted the associated QB talent is a step down, but Jones did finish QB7, behind a ghostlike offensive line no less, in deep-ball completion percentage last year.
If the chemistry bubbles in the summer heat between the receiver and his passer, a 70-1050-8 season is entirely attainable. Golladay should command at least 20-22% of the team’s target share. As a perceived borderline WR2/WR3 in 12-team formats, he has significant profit potential. — Brad Evans
Frustration. It’s a word that best sums up Engram’s spoiled potential. Since his rookie campaign in 2017 when he grabbed 64 receptions for 722 yards and six touchdowns, one of the greatest first-year TE seasons in fantasy football history, he’s tumbled down the mountainside. Last season, despite logging the fourth-most targets at the position (109), Engram finished TE22 in fantasy points per game -- astonishing inefficiency. And that was with a respectable catchable target rate (TE19).
Engram’s volume, No. 4 finish in unrealized air yards and carved out red-zone role suggest his one TD caught last year was anomalous. However, Golladay and Kyle Rudolph’s arrivals combined with Barkley’s return complicate such notions. With a TE15 ADP (130.7 overall), he’s cheap, but a willingness to go the extra dollar to acquire his services could lead to second-guessing. — Brad Evans
Since Evan Engram's breakout rookie season, we've been clamoring to find out what he could do if he could stay healthy and again seize a feature role in the passing game. Unfortunately, last year, we got those answers, and the results were astonishingly disappointing. Despite finishing fifth in target share (21.8%) at his position, he managed to provide fantasy gamers very little with the heaping volume. Last year, Engram ranked outside the top 30 in quarterback rating when targeted, fantasy points per route run and fantasy points per target.
This breakout coming to fruition boils down to the Giants' offensive line outperforming current expectations and the upgraded pass-catchers injecting new life into the passing game, but it can easily happen. Last year before New York realized Daniel Jones was headed for a full season of playing tackling dummy, they were a pass-happy squad. In Weeks 1-5, the New York Giants ranked third in neutral passing rate (63%). Over their final 11 games, they morphed into one of the most run-heavy teams (fifth highest) in the NFL. Jones ranked 12th in clean pocket completion percentage, so if they can keep him upright, the passing volume and efficiency could surprise.
Jones also suffered through a pass-catching unit that ranked 81st in yards after the catch per target while also dropping 55 passes (14th). The additions of Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay and John Ross all offer play-making ability with the ball in their hands. If all of these stars align, Jones' ADP (QB23, 162.3 overall) could seem laughable by the end of the season if he ends up finishing among the top 12 fantasy quarterbacks. — Derek Brown
Throw back roughly one dozen celebratory ‘Claws, Stephie Smalls. Jones, who experienced a true sophomore slump, is at a career crossroads. He could continue down the pothole-filled path he embarked on last season or veer right, racing down the Autobahn en route to a breakthrough campaign. The latter seems the most likely road traveled.
For Jones to exceed suppressed expectations, the Giants offensive line, projected to be a bottom-feeding unit, must stand tall and protect, at least adequately. Only Jets passers Joe Flacco and Sam Darnold were placed under more duress than the Giants signal-caller a season ago (40.3% of the time). Saquon’s return is a massive shot in the arm. His dual-threat presence as a rusher and receiver will help deflect pressure, allowing Jones to occasionally uncork downfield to Golladay. Given his deep-ball success (No. 1 in deep-ball passer rating in 2020) and tuck and run acuity, he has measurable odds of returning to the position’s top-15. Recall, he was QB12 in fantasy points per game in 2019. — Brad Evans
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Saquon Barkley is an all-world talent who could make plenty of noise in his return from injury. If he flashes his former game-breaking ability on an improved Giants' team, this could be a slam dunk. — Derek Brown