Saquon Barkley did not have the 2019 season that he, New York Giants fans, or fantasy football players expected. After getting injured and missing time during the season, it took him most of the rest of the year to get back into his elite form. Now with an offseason to recover, Barkley will be back to playing like he was supposed to in 2019. Most people who have the second pick in drafts will take him. Don’t get cute and pass on him for someone else either. If Barkley is on the board after the first pick, grab him and don’t look back.
Football Profile: Saquon Barkley
2019 in Review
Barkley’s 2019 was nothing short of disappointing. He was basically the consensus number one overall pick (although some analysts knew better) but finished as the RB10. Sure that’s not terrible, but that’s not what fantasy players use their first pick on. After finishing his 2018 season as the RB2, Barkley at least started the year off looking like he was going to pick up right where he left off. His first two weeks he combined for just under 40 points.
However, Week 3 is where things went south. He suffered a high-ankle sprain week three, causing him to miss three games after that. He returned to put up 17.30 points Week 7 but still didn’t really seem like himself for a while. From his return all the way until week 15 he failed to tip 85 yards rushing. Luckily he was still able to put together some good fantasy weeks through touchdowns and receiving yards. Nevertheless, his fantasy production was sporadic, and he had multiple games with under ten points.
Interestingly enough, Barkley told reporters prior to week 15’s game that he finally felt healthy. It was probably too-little-too-late for those that drafted Barkley, but it’s worth noting that his fantasy production skyrocketed, with him averaging 29.8 points-per-game the final three weeks of 2019. And even in an injury-hampered year, taking out the game where he exited early with an injury, Barkley still averaged 19.44 points-per-game, which was second-best for running backs.
For the most part, the 2020 Giants look relatively similar to how they did in 2019. Probably the biggest name they lost on offense was Mike Remmers, but he didn’t play particularly well anyway. Their first-round pick, Andrew Thomas should come in to provide an immediate upgrade. This will only help Barkley’s production. In fact, the Giants only took three offensive players in the draft – all lineman. They spent time bolstering their defense with linebackers and pieces in their secondary to build around Leonard Williams on their defensive line.
Aside from that, this is still a relatively young team. Darius Slayton came out of nowhere and stepped up for the team at wide receiver. Sterling Shepard will try to stay healthy for the first time in awhile, and Golden Tate will be the veteran presence. At quarterback, Daniel Jones had a promising rookie season and should improve year two. Still, as long as he is healthy, the offense will run through Barkley, and his volume will put him as a lock for a top-three finish.
Saquon Barkley ADP and Outlook
There really isn’t much to think about concerning Barkley. Whoever has the second pick in redraft is going to take him. Christian McCaffrey’s 2019 output was too high for fantasy teams to not take him number one. Ezekiel Elliott is also elite, but Barkley is just a little more dynamic. The only wide receiver worth top-five consideration is Michael Thomas, but it would behoove a person to draft him over running backs, who are much scarcer overall. And while there is a good argument for taking Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes in the first round, don’t grab a quarterback before Barkley.
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