In our “32 in 32” series, we are highlighting three of the most notable fantasy football players for each team, covering all 32 teams in 32 days!
Daniel Jones (QB – New York Giants):
Jones was one of the biggest surprises last season, breaking out as a top-10 fantasy QB with over 3,900 total yards and 22 TDs (to 5 INTs) after major struggles through the first three years of his career, never finishing higher than QB24 prior to 2022.
2023 may offer an even more appealing situation for Jones with a second offseason in Brian Daboll’s offense with notable weapon upgrades in 3rd rounder Jalin Hyatt and TE Darren Waller (via trade).
The potential is undoubtedly there for Jones to replicate, or even exceed, the top-10 season that he saw last year, but I hold skepticism around whether it was a ‘flash in the pan’ for production within a relatively weaker QB class, especially given his limited weekly floor (under 15 points in 7 games).
He’s going as a fringe QB1 (QB12 on ECR, QB14 on ADP) around the late-9th/early-10th round range, which is a bit rich for my liking. I have him more towards the mid-QB1 tier alongside the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Russell Wilson, but do recognize the upside. He seems like a boom-or-bust option at his price, but should he fall a bit beyond his anticipated price, he appears as a potentially viable “Value QB” option.
Saquon Barkley (RB – New York Giants):
Barkley was finally healthy for the first time since his rookie season, playing all but one game in 2022 (sitting out the final game due to playoff standings), racking up over 1,600 total yards, 10 TDs, and a finish as the RB5 on the season.
It was his first season exceeding 13 games since 2018 and was the first time he had finished as a top-10 RB since his sophomore season. That can be contributed to a combination of injury (ACL tear in 2020, lingering impacts in 2021) and a poor offense prior to 2022.
The contract situation is a question mark, though it does appear that Barkley will play in 2022, whether on the franchise tag or via an extension. With him more likely to play on the franchise tag (or a 1-year deal), one can anticipate a very Barkley-centric offense once again in New York, which saw him tally over 350 touches last season and likely will see him do so again.
It appears that Barkley will be going around the RB3/4 mark in the mid-1st round. At that price, I’m more than fine with taking him as a high-end RB1 option with the very realistic potential to finish as the top RB in fantasy this season, especially with a Giants’ offense that improved this offseason.
Darren Waller (TE – New York Giants):
2022 was a season to forget for Waller, missing a large portion of the season (8 games) to injury and not producing quite to his typical level when he was on the field, averaging 9.9 Sig PPG (TE10).
He now sees a move to New York, which is very conflicting.
On one hand, he enters an offense with very little target competition with perhaps the most notable threat being RB Saquon Barkley. On the other hand, he enters a Brian Daboll offense that historically has very rarely targeted the TE position. Last year, the Giants ranked dead last in targets to the TE (65) and had the 2nd-lowest TE target share (13.3%). As the Bills’ offensive coordinator from 2018-2021, Buffalo ranked 29th in both TE targets (320) and target share (14.9%).
There’s a case to be made that Daboll’s offenses as of late haven’t utilized the TE position due to talent, but when you combine that with Waller’s injury history (and age; soon-to-be 31 years old), I’m likely looking elsewhere for a TE that has a bit more certainty, especially at Waller’s price as a mid-TE1 (TE7 on both ECR and ADP) in the mid-to-late 7th round.