Posted by Brandon Niles
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 7:52pm
Saquon Barkley had a fantastic collegiate career, capped off by an excellent junior season in 2017, when he ran for 1,134 yards, caught 47 passes for 594 receiving yards, and scored a combined 19 touchdowns for the Penn State Nittany Lions. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons at Penn State, and he has the versatility to be a three-down starter immediately for the Giants. New head coach Pat Shurmur knows how to use versatile threats. While he was the offensive coordinator for the Eagles, he helped LeSean McCoy to the rushing title in 2013, and his Vikings offense last season ranked seventh in rushing yards and second in rushing attempts.
The Giants upgraded the offensive line this offseason, but free-agent acquisition Nate Solder is coming off an injury-marred season with the Patriots, and second-round pick out of UTEP, Will Hernandez is a rookie. Still, there’s very little downside with Barkley, who should get a full workload immediately for a team that desperately needed help at the running back position.
2018 Bottom Line
Barkley is ranked as a top-10 fantasy option in all league formats. He plays a position that fares better than most for rookies — Kareem Hunt led the league in rushing yards last season — and the Giants will lean on him heavily. He should go off the board in the late-first or early-second round of most fantasy drafts.