2020 New York Giants Fantasy Team Preview: Will Daniel Jones Develop Into Top-12 QB?

SI Fantasy's Team Preview series from high-stakes legend Shawn Childs aims to break down the New York Giants to evaluate the offense, defense, coaches and everyone in between with a fantasy-slanted analysis.
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Coaching Staff

The New York Giants struggled to win games over the last three seasons (4-12, 5-11, and 3-13), leading to another coaching change in 2020. Last year, Joe Judge made the jump from special teams/wide receiver coach for the Patriots to earning New York's head coaching job. He had been in New England's system since 2012. Over the previous 11 seasons, Judge was part of three Super Bowl wins and two National Championships at Alabama.

The offensive coordinator job now lies in the hands of former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. He went 85-67 over the last decade in Dallas with three trips to the postseason, which included three NFC East titles (2014, 2016, and 2018). Garrett has been a coach in the NFL for 15 years.

New York ranked 18th in points scored (341) and 23rd yards gained in 2019.

Patrick Graham is the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. Graham has previously worked with Judge while both were with the New England Patriots. Sean Spencer is the defensive line coach and run-game coordinator. He’s making the jump from Penn State to the NFL game. In 2018 and 2019, Spencer held three different jobs – associate head coach, run game coordinator, and defensive line coach. He had been a college coach since 1995.

Quarterbacks

Daniel Jones (RANK - ADP)

After some disappointment on draft day for Giants’ fans, Jones proved to be worthy of the sixth overall pick in 2019.

He played at a high-level in four games in combined yards and TDs (364/4, 335/4, 328/4, and 364/5). Over his other eight starts, Jones had seven games with only one TD and six games with fewer than 225 yards passing.

He needs to improve his yards per pass attempt (6.6) while eliminating his failure in lost fumbles (11).

The Giants have a top pass-catching RB with viable talent at WR1, WR2, WR3, and TE. Jones should have a floor of 400 yards rushing with some TDs on the ground plus the tools to pass for over 4,000 yards with serviceable TDs.

In the first run of the projections, Jones looks to be on a path for 4,386 combined yards with 29 TDs and 13 Ints. Borderline top 12 QB.

Running Backs

Saquon Barkley (RANK - ADP)

Barkley was one of many first-round busts in 2019. He scored 141.7 fewer fantasy points in PPR leagues while missing three games due to a high ankle sprain.

His season started with a pair of 100-yard rushing games (11/120 and 18/107/1), but Barkley struggled to make plays over his next eight games (628 combined yards with two TDs and 34 catches) while gaining only 3.1 yards per rush.

His final three games (539 combined yards with five TDs and 11 catches) showcased his expected potential.

Barkley gained 3,469 combined yards with 24 TDs, and 143 catches over his first 29 games in the NFL. His success breaks down to 120 yards, 0.83 TDs, and 4.9 catches per game or 21.87 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues.

The Giants have a developing offense, which starts with a workhorse back. I expect 1,931 combined yards with 14 TDs and 70 catches on 362 touches for Barkley. He tends to be drafted second overall in PPR leagues.

Dion Lewis (RANK - ADP)

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Wide Receivers

Sterling Shepard (RANK - ADP)

Over his four years in the NFL, Shepard showcased high upside in multiple games, but he battled numerous concussions. In 2019, he missed Week 2 with a concussion, followed up by five more missed games with another concussion.

Over his first four games, Shepard caught 25 passes for 267 yards and one TD highlighted by his success in Week 3 (7/100/1). Later in the year, he flashed in two more games (9/111 and 6/76/1).

Better than his career stats, but Shepard can’t fulfill his expected value without staying on the field. With a full season of action, he has a chance at 75 catches for 900 yards and six TDs.

Risk/reward type player with plenty of room for more production.

Darius Slayton & Golden Tate

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Tight Ends

Evan Engram (RANK - ADP)

Engram has been a tough ride over the last two seasons due to 13 missed games.

Last year he looked like fantasy gold after the first three games (23/277/2) thanks to two impact showings (11/116/1 and 6/113/1). Injuries cost him Week 6 (knee), and his final seven games (foot – required surgery in mid-December).

Over 34 games in the NFL, Engram averaged 4.5 catches for 52 yards and 0.35 TDs per game or 11.8 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues.

An upside talent that needs to stay healthy for 16 games to provide a top-six edge at TE. Jones flashed in his rookie season while expecting to improve in 2020.

In the high-stakes market, Engram is the seventh off the board. On a path for 70 catches for 850 yards and a handful of TDs.

Defense

Game score led to the Giants allowed 29.3 rushing attempts per game, and ranked 20th in rushing yards allowed (1,812). New York allowed 3.9 yards per rush and 19 rushing TDs.

The Giants were 28th in passing yards allowed (4,225) with 30 TDs and INTs. They finished with 36 sacks with QBs gaining 8.0 yards per pass attempt. New York allowed 67 catches of 20 yards or more, sixth-most in the league.

In the premium outlook, on defense you'll find write-ups for DE Dexter Lawrence, DE Leonard Williams, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, LB Markus Golden, LB David Mayo, LB Blake Martinez, LB Lorenzo Carter, CB DeAndre Baker, CB James Bradberry, S Jabrill Peppers & S Xavier McKinney.

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Team Defense Outlook

New York has the talent on the defensive line to show growth against the run. The LB corps will make plenty of tackles, but the Giants need Golden and Mayo to build on last year’s success. This defense needs Baker to play and live up to his draft expectations. The rest of the secondary has enough strength to rank above the league average.

Possible second fantasy defense if the pieces come together in 2020.

Free Agency, Draft, Offensive Line, Offensive Schedule & Defensive Schedule

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