an article by Fantasy Football Flow
Going into the 2018 NFL Draft, there was one thing everyone was sure of: Saquon was a generational prospect. After one full season, the verdict is in: Saquon is an animal. He has all the skills to be a Hall of Famer and it will be a treat to watch him. But is he worthy of the 1.01 this year in fantasy leagues? Let’s find out!
The Case for Barkley
For starters, Saquon is by far the most talented and complete back in the NFL. Considering the talent around him last year, Barkley shouldn’t have finished anywhere near the top of the rankings. Despite that, Barkley finished as the RB2 in 2018, just .2 points behind first place in PPR formats. This year, the Giants should have an improved offensive line which will help create a lot more holes for Barkley. The addition of Kevin Zeitler, who is one of the highest graded OG according to PFF, should be a big help in this regard. New York also added RT Mike Remmers, an average player overall, but an improvement over the Giants RT from 2018. (Yes, that’s how bad that offensive line was) Another important factor for Barkley’s 2019 is the addition of talent on the defensive side of the ball. With some improvements there as well, the Giants should be in more close games (in theory), which could lead them to run the ball more, which will surely help Barkley get consistent carries. Finally, with the trade of OBJ, the Giants offense is fairly barren, which could lead to Barkley seeing an increase in touches. There’s upwards of 100 targets left to pick up from OBJ and Barkley will surely receive a good amount of those. Realistically, I could see Barkley landing anywhere from RB1 to RB5, barring injury. But the fact that his floor is RB5 speaks volumes about his talent. With Barkley you’re not only getting upside, you’re getting security.
The Case Against Barkley
There are a few reasons why Barkley may not be the RB1 for fantasy 2019. The biggest reason is the loss of OBJ, which I previously mentioned as a possible positive. Losing such a talented receiver might allow teams to stack the box against the Giants much more often. Barkley is now the largest threat on that offense, and opposing teams will attempt to shut him down. The Beckham Jr. trade could also cost Barkley in the sense that some drives may stall early, which can lead to a decrease in Barkley’s touches and TDs. The QB situation for the Giants should also be addressed here. They added Daniel Jones to learn under Eli Manning, but neither QB looks particularly good at this point in time, which could affect the offense as a whole. Finally, the Giants still look like they’re a team that is going to struggle barring massive impacts from their rookies. If the defense does struggle, they will find themselves in a lot of passing situations and will look to push the ball down the field quickly to stay in games. As a result, Barkley could see a decrease in carries and would have to rely on the QB to get him the ball.
At the end of the day, his upside and security are too high to ignore. I currently have Barkley as my 1.01, slightly ahead of CMC and Kamara and a slight gap ahead of Zeke. At the 1.01, upside is extremely important. Saquon’s natural talent and the projected improvement of his offensive line gives his tremendous upside, but it is his talent alone that gives him such a safe floor. If he doesn’t get it done on the ground one week, he’ll get it done through the air, and vice versa. Such talent and floor are hard to find. That’s why we have him at the 1.01 spot. But what about you? Is Barkley your 1.01? Let us know in the comments and make sure to check out the case for Christian McCaffrey as well!