NFL free agency started on March 18th, but technically does not end until the end of the season. However, after a firehose of news the first week, and another run the second week, things quiet down to a trickle. There are still big names out there, but it’s going to take some time to get them signed, sealed and delivered.
With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at where teams stand after the early rush of free agency and what it means for fantasy football. We’re going to take a look at the skill positions, breaking down what the starting lineup and reserves will look like to assess fantasy value heading into August drafts.
Today, we’re taking a look at the New York Giants. New York has made some major moves on both sides of the ball so far this offseason. Adding James Bradberry and Blake Martinez while retaining Leonard Williams should help its defense improve. The Giants also looked to improve their offense by adding Cameron Fleming to the offensive line and Dion Lewis to the backfield. They have talented skill players all over and are expected to focus on building the offensive line in next month’s draft.
Starter: Daniel Jones
Backups: Colt McCoy, Alex Tanney
Jones was the 24th best fantasy quarterback in standard and PPR leagues and was 13th in fantasy points per game (19.5) on DraftKings DFS. He threw for 3,024 yards and 24 touchdowns through 13 starts as a rookie and should be more productive in year two. An improved offensive line will work wonders for Jones and should help him climb into the top 20 in traditional fantasy, at the very least. Saquon Barkley, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton, and Evan Engram will all be valuable weapons for the young signal caller moving forward.
Starter: Saquon Barkley
Backups: Dion Lewis, Wayne Gallman, Jonathan Hilliman
Barkley had a down year in 2019 and finished as the 10th best fantasy running back after finishing first as a rookie in 2018. He barely reached 1,000 rushing yards last season and finished with almost 300 fewer receiving yards in 2019 than he did the previous year. Injuries played a part in Barkley’s decline though, as he missed three games. If he’s healthy in his third season, he should be a top five running back in 2020.
Lewis wasn’t a factor playing behind Derrick Henry with the Tennessee Titans. He wasn’t much of a factor as a runner or receiver and accounted for 373 yards in 2018. He’s not close to Barkley in terms of athleticism, but has a similar skill set. However, it’s hard to see him being a fantasy football target in DFS or season-long fantasy while Barkley is healthy.
Starters: Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton
Backups: Cody Core, Da’Mari Scott, Corey Coleman
New York’s starting receivers missed a total of 13 games last season, so none of them reached their full potential. There was no clear WR1, as all three notched between 83 and 85 targets.
Slayton played in the most games (14) and led the team in receiving yards (740) and touchdowns (8). Tate missed five games while Shepard missed six games. Considering Slayton posted these numbers as a rookie, he is in good shape to take a step forward in 2020. He could blossom into a top 20 fantasy wide receiver if he gets off to a quicker start in 2020. That being said, Shepard and Tate are worth watching if they can remain healthy and Jones takes a step forward.
Starter: Evan Engram
Backups: Levine Toilolo, Kaden Smith, Garrett Dickerson
Engram could be one of the best tight ends in the NFL next season. He finished as the 18th best tight end last season despite only playing eight games. He totaled 44 receptions for 467 yards and seven scores. If he stays on the field he has a good chance to be a top 10 option at his position, like he was in 2017.