New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Already Leading Fantasy Mock Drafts

New York Giants running back, Saquon Barkley.

Are you a fan of the New York Giants that would like to have the team’s star running back, Saquon Barkley, on your fantasy team? Unless you happen to have the first overall pick, you just might be out of luck. Barkley was one of the top running backs in the league last season and that’s translated to big expectations this season. That goes for both the realm of the actual game and the realm of fantasy football.

It’s not hard to see why Barkley is so highly rated, thanks to his participation in both the passing and the running games for the Giants, and according to NFL.com’s Michael Fabiano, there’s no better player in the league for fantasy football than Barkley. In his first five round mock draft of the offseason, Barkley was ranked as the number one overall player.

Here’s what Fabiano had to say about the Giants running back.

Barkley is coming off a historic rookie season that saw him finish first in PPR points among running backs. A touch monster who could tote the rock over 400 times now that the Giants have parted ways with Odell Beckham Jr., Barkley is going to emerge into the consensus No. 1 overall selection at a position that is talented at the top.

Barkley finished last season with numbers that were nearly impossibly good for a rookie on a bad team with a poor offensive line, to the tune of 1,307 rushing yards and 721 receiving yards.

It definitely looks like Barkley will have more tools to succeed this season, playing behind an improved offensive line featuring newly traded for left guard Kevin Zeitler, and, depending on how things go during the rest of the offseason, a possible new face at right tackle.

With things not looking so great this season, Barkley’s greatness may be one of the few things legitimately worth looking forward to this year for fans of the Giants.

New York Yankees Reliever Chad Green Not Fooling Hitters

New York Yankees, Chad Green

At a pivotal point in the game on Saturday, the New York Yankees were down 2-1 to the Orioles, Chad Green entered the game and was not able to hold the Orioles scoreless.  In one inning of work, he gave up one run on one hit with only two strikeouts.  Brock Hammond of pinstripealley.com notes that Green threw just two off-speed pitches among his 18 offerings to Oriole hitters – proof, perhaps, that as good as Green’s fastball can be, hitters know what to expect from him and are getting hits a lot more often than they were back in ’17 when he was absolute lights out for the Yankees.

It is no secret, perhaps, to opposing teams that Green doesn’t rely on his secondary pitches to get hitters out.  In 2018, he relied on the fastball more than he had in 2017 with less success.  The exit velocity, barrel % and HR/9 rates all went up, according to Hammond, and in the case of HR/9, doubled in ’18.

Chad Green relies on his primary pitch to get batters out:

In 2018, Green used a slider as his go-to secondary pitch which resulted in hitters batting over .400 and slugging .655 off of it.  Late last season, he brought back his splitter as a change of pace, Hammond says of the splitter:

“That’s a pretty solid pitch, and it’s no coincidence Green’s numbers improved when he started throwing it more last August. Developing trust and consistency with his secondary offerings is going to be key for him in 2019.”

However, already in his first game of the season, Green enters the game and relies almost exclusively on his fastball against Oriole hitters, and the result is disappointing.

The Yankees have also used Green in an opener role this spring and the result was the same, he allowed a run in one inning, only this time it was in the first inning.

It would appear that Chad Green needs a new approach to improve in 2018 and to succeed in 2019.

Whether his role out of the bullpen is as relief or as an opener, Green appears to be at a crux in his career, where he must adjust to hitters sitting on his fastball.  One of two things needs to happen, or maybe both, Green needs to rediscover the above-average spin rate and control that made him practically unhittable in ’17 and develop his secondary pitches, such as the splitter, to become out pitches.

Green is still an elite reliever in this league, but to achieve consistent results with his pitches, he will need to make some changes and soon.  The Yankees can ill afford to have Green give up runs, especially, in a game in which they are trailing 2-1.

Look for Green to make some adjustments this season with his pitch selection and for him to increase his use of his off speed pitches to keep hitters honest at the plate.

 

New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Not The Only Young Leader On Offense

The New York Giants have been surrounded by controversy in the media recently. A lot of the controversy stems from the Giants’ quarterback position. Eli Manning is 38 years old, meaning the Giants need to find their next franchise quarterback sooner than later.

However, Eli’s age is not the only reason that fans and analysts want to see the Giants find a new quarterback. Many have been placing the blame of last season’s 5-11 finish on Eli Manning. Many members of the New York Giants have been coming out and defending their quarterback, like head coach Pat Shurmur and superstar running back Saquon Barkley.

Barkley spoke out and defended Eli Manning and was instantly praised as a leader. Being Barkley is heading into his second NFL season, it is great to see him be such a vocal leader this early in his career. However, Saquon Barkley is not the only young leader on the New York Giants’ offense.

Will Hernandez Is Proving To Be A Leader

Saquon Barkley was the Giants’ 1st round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. Their 2nd round selection was the powerful left guard Will Hernandez out of Texas El-Paso.

Will Hernandez was a tremendous acquisition for the Giants. Hernandez was arguably the best player on the Giants’ offensive line in his rookie season. In 2018, Hernandez finished with the 2nd highest rookie grade at his position according to Pro Football Focus with an overall grade of 65.8.

After Saquon Barkley’s public defense for his quarterback, Will Hernandez decided to do the same via Instagram:

It is clear that the Giants have not given up on Eli Manning just yet, even if the media has. Not the team brass, the coaches, or the players. Eli Manning still has respect from his team and has their full support. It is good to see the young Giants players show respect to a Giants legend like Manning.

Showing public support for a heavily scrutinized teammate is step one to becoming a team leader. Will Hernandez and Saquon Barkley will probably both wear captain’s patches one day. The lasting impact from these players as performers and captains will be a true testament to how good Dave Gettleman’s 2018 NFL Draft truly was.

How the New York Giants can Bolster Multiple Positions in the 2019 NFL Draft

New York Giants, Eli Manning

Every player has a different valuation placed on their head during draft time, whether it be a current player in the NFL or a prospect looking to take the big leap. Teams have their specific needs and value their own players accordingly to determine who is worth keeping or letting go. For the New York Giants, it was star wideout Odell Beckham Jr., which will influence the upcoming draft significantly.

The Giants acquired the No. 17 overall pick, which gives them the opportunity to grab two top talents and apply them directly to positions of weakness. The defense seems like the most logical allocation of draft capital, but the quarterback position is still in need of assistance.

The New York Giants will stick with their trusty steed:

With Eli Manning set to enjoy the 2019 season as the starting signal caller, it gives the Giants an opportunity to groom a young passer behind him. Now, the misconception could be that it ‘has’ to be a draft pick.

This fact is what makes Josh Rosen so attractive for Big Blue. They can essentially grab a top 10 pick from a quarterback-heavy 2018 draft and still have walked away with Saquon Barkley. Most reports have stated that the Arizona Cardinals are  looking to select Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick, which implies Rosen being shopped.

It all comes down to what Arizona wants in return, as they seem to have a first-round selection placed on Rosen’s head, and with the No. 17 overall pick, the Giants could grab him.

Personally, I wouldn’t give anything more than a second round pick for Rosen. The Giants have the No. 37 pick available to utilize, but that’s the most capital they should be willing to part with. If Arizona is truly set on sending Rosen to the highest bidder, Gettleman should wait it out until his value drops – once word is out that Murray will go No. 1 it will force them to accept the highest offer, and the Giants’ second rounder is higher than San Diego’s or New England’s, the two teams rumored to have interest in the passer.

What grabbing Rosen would mean for the New York Giants:

Not only would Rosen be in line to be Manning’s successor, but it would solidify the most important position on the field and allow the Giants to draft two premium defensive players.

Players like linebacker Devin White, edge rusher Ed Oliver or Josh Allen, and even defensive tackle Quinnen Williams could drop to the No. 6 overall pick. Any of these options would make an immediate impact on the team.

Check out our latest mock draft for an idea defensive scenario.

A young defensive core and upgraded offensive line would put the team in a good position moving forward. Laying the foundation to build on is nearly complete, and this offseason could be the start of something special.

New York Giants: The Key to Finding a Franchise Quarterback

New York Giants, Pat Shurmur, James Bettcher

When it comes to predicting who will become an impact player at quarterback in the NFL, most look towards physical attributes – arm strength, footwork, accuracy, etc. These are all essential factors that make up a starting passer at the professional level, but there’s far more that plays into the equation, especially for the New York Giants.

As the 2019 NFL Draft approach and the Giants are expected to find Eli Manning’s successor, it begs the question – who’s the best option available?

Some would say Dwayne Haskins and his 50 touchdown passes in 2018, or Kyler Murray with his dual-threat capabilities. Not many look towards options like Daniel Jones or Will Grier as top prospects, but it isn’t about the biased fan’s opinion, it’s about head coach Pat Shurmur and finding the exact fit for his offensive scheme.

Let’s play a game – below, I will describe a quarterback’s draft profile and you have to guess who it is. I will leave the answer toward the bottom of the article, but comment who you think this description portrays without looking first.

This quarterback is a mechanical thrower with solid production in college. His skills center around making the right decisions as he’s accurate and decisive when moving through his progressions. While he’s undersized at 6’1″, 208-pounds, he has the ability to make up for his lack of size with great vision and mental development. Additionally, he benefitted a lot from the spread offense he played in during college. The question regarding him is – can his talent translate to the next level?

Pretty vague, huh? This player went undrafted. So, while you’re scouring draft profiles and doing minimal research on the quarterbacks available, remember that quarterbacks fit a scheme – ask Tom Brady or Drew Brees. This player is a playoff caliber QB, and he did it while under Shurmur.

Maybe you have guessed who it is, but I won’t reveal his name until the end anyway.

What’s the point of this?

The Giants aren’t going into this draft looking to find a quarterback that fits the bill tangibly, they’re looking for a prospect to fit a specific scheme. The front office is committed to Shurmur and his methods and being that he’s the offense guru, they have to trust he knows which quarterback to take.

Essentially, he’s the key to finding the next franchise signal caller.

The player mentioned above was Case Keenum, who saw his completion percentage drop five points and his TD-INT ratio went from 22-7 in 2018 to 18-15 in 2019. Everything about his game took a major hit after leaving Shurmur’s offense, so we have to assume, maybe it isn’t the quarterback as much as it is finding the right ‘player’ to operate the offense appropriately.

That being said, we must have faith in the fact that Shurmur will find the right man to take over for Manning, whether it be Haskins, Grier, or even Josh Rosen.