Saquon Barkley was hampered by a high ankle sprain last season and was limited to 13 games, but he still managed to rush for 1,003 yards and score eight touchdowns. He continued to be a productive receiver out of the backfield as well, catching 52 passes for 438 yards. Barkley had some huge games and finished really strong, averaging 180 yards and 1.7 touchdowns over his final three games. Barkley does very well as a runner, receiver and as a big-play threat, and the Giants’ offense should continue to rely on him heavily. He averaged 20.7 touches per game last year, which could potentially increase this season with better health.
The Giants allowed the third-most points per game to opposing teams last year and didn’t do much to improve the defense over the offseason, so they’ll likely continue to play from behind regularly. Also, defenses key in on Barkley. He’s been able to thrive despite being the focal point of the defense thus far, but if second-year quarterback Daniel Jones doesn’t take a step forward this year, that box is going to continue to be loaded against the run. Barkley had a couple of really frustrating games last year, including a five-game touchdown drought that included a 13-carry, one-yard performance against the Jets in mid-November. Also, there’s the high ankle sprain from last year. He’s been reasonably durable thus far, but you never like to see a star player get any kind of nagging injury.
2020 Bottom Line
All negatives aside, Barkley is simply too talented and his usage is too high to discount him by much. As long as he stays healthy, he’s a virtual lock to finish as a top-five fantasy back in all league formats, with a great chance to finish as the top back overall. The question isn’t whether or not to draft Barkley. The question is whether you take him first, second or third. He’s dynamic, powerful, productive and one of the most exciting players in the NFL right now.