New York Giants: Saquon Barkley Underrated In Top 100 Players?

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley is probably the best player on the New York Giants. That title was more disputed during his rookie season but with other star players gone such as wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and defensive tackle Damon Harrison, the latter of whom could arguably have been considered the best at filling his position’s role because of his great skills against the run, it looks like Barkley is the last man standing when it comes to the team’s elite talents.

But where does Barkley rank when considering players from across the league? According to CBS, the result is lower than you might think. CBS Sports recently released their list of the top 100 players in the NFL, and Barkley only comes in at 21st despite being one of the contenders for MVP this season, and possibly the best contender outside of the position that’s typically the favorite for the award: quarterback. Here’s what they had to say about the Giants running back:

Our top-ranked running back, Barkley is a truly rare player archetype. Last season, Barkley became just the seventh player in NFL history to run for at least 1,000 yards and catch at least 90 passes in the same season — and the first to do so as a rookie. His 2,028 yards from scrimmage led the NFL. He’s not the most efficient back on an every-snap basis, but he makes up for it with an incredible volume of explosive plays, and an improved offensive line should help with the efficiency.

The list seems to discount the running back position in general as Barkley’s spot at number 21 is the highest for any running back, placing him above rivals such as Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliot.

What do you think? Is the best running back in the league only the 21st best player across all positions? Can the Giants win despite looking like a running team this year, with uncertainty at receiver and Barkley as their obvious main weapon on offense?

Those questions will need to be answered this season, and some of the answers will determine whether Barkley truly is an MVP contender.

New York Yankees Rained Out Against Tampa Bay

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks hits a home-run against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The New York Yankees have been rained out on July 17th against the Tampa Bay Rays. Because this is the final time that the Rays come to New York this season, the game will be made up in a single-admission doubleheader on Thursday.

However, rain is still in the forecast for Thursday. The chances of rain are slightly less in the afternoon, so the first game will begin at 3:05PM with game two estimated to begin at 7:05PM. Game two start time will be pushed back if game one ends later than 6:35PM. The grounds crew will need about a half hour to do maintenance on the field.

Wednesday’s planned starter and eleven game winner Domingo German will get the ball in game one, while game two will be a bullpen game. JA Happ was scheduled to pitch on Thursday, but will be pushed back a day to the beginning of the Colorado series.

The Rays will stick to the same plan as before. Yonny Chirinos gets the ball in game one while all-star Charlie Morton will get the ball in game two.

Chance Adams will likely be the Yankees 26th man for the day. He was scheduled to start on Thursday for AAA Scranton, meaning that he would be on full rest. If they do indeed use him as the 26th man, he could see a few innings in relief of Chad Green in the bullpen game.

This doubleheader includes two of the biggest games of the year. A sweep for the Yankees extends their lead by two, but if they lose both then Tampa is back right on the Yankees tails. The Yankees can’t afford to lose or even split the day.

New York Giants: Evan Engram Has Been Excellent And Is About To Be Even Better

The New York Giants‘ offense has elite playmakers at more than one position. Of course, New York has the best running back in the NFL in Saquon Barkley, but they have other under-the-radar stars on offense, too.

Evan Engram is the Giants’ other potential star on offense. He has dealt with some injuries over his first two seasons, but he has been a terrific player when he is on the field. However, there are reasons to believe he will be even better in 2019.

How Great Has Engram Been?

Evan Engram was initially a questionable pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he proved all doubters wrong during his rookie season. As a rookie, Evan totaled 722 yards and 6 touchdowns on 64 receptions. He proved that he was a matchup nightmare and made multiple highlight-reel plays.

In 2018, it was more of the same from Engram, despite injuries. Evan missed 5 games and was only able to start in 8 games this past season, but he still posted respectable statistics. Evan improved his catch rate from 55.7% in 2017 to 70.3% in 2018.

Evan also increased his yards per reception (from 11.3 y/r to 12.8 y/r) and his yards per game (from 48.1 y/g to 52.5 y/g). Overall it has been a solid first two seasons for Evan Engram. Only 4 tight ends over the last decade logged more receiving yards in their first two NFL seasons than Evan Engram’s 1,299 yards.

How Great Can Engram Be?

As great as Evan Engram has been, there is still tons of room for improvement. In fact, Evan Engram really flashed that potential towards the end of the 2018 season- especially when the Giants were without Odell Beckham Jr.

Engram averaged only 36.7 yards per game prior to Beckham’s injury. After Odell went down, Evan’s average jumped all the way to 80 yards per game.

The Giants will now be completely without Odell in 2019 and beyond. This should lead to a more expanded role for Evan Engram and quite possibly an even bigger rise in production. If Evan Engram can stay healthy, he could become one of the best tight ends in the NFL.

New York Giants linebacker could steal playing time from BJ Goodson

New York Giants linebacker, Tae Davis.

The New York Giants don’t have the most versatile and exciting linebacker corps, but they have the appropriate players to help succeed to a degree.

With Alec Ogletree and BJ Goodson acting as the expected starting linebackers, it minimizes the opportunity for other options, however, Tae Davis, second-year defender out of Tennessee, could steal playing time from Goodson.

Davis, who’s a solid cover backer, is better suited in passing packages where he can pick up tight ends and running backs coming out of the backfield. In fact, it’s possible he even fills in or rotates with Ogletree in specific scenarios. I believe, though, he will replace Goodson given Alec’s five interceptions in 2018.

Last season, defensive coordinator James Bettcher played Davis more on third downs. The undrafted rookie played in 14 games last season, starting in four. He tallied 33 combined tackles, 2.0 sacks, and four quarterback hits. I anticipate his numbers will take a jump in 2019 due to his developing skill-set.

Tae’s influence could be significant given his proficiency against tight ends. Landon Collins and Ogletree were often designated the assignment of locking down TEs last season, and the Giants ranked near the bottom of the league in defending them. Finding a solution for that problem was a priority this offseason, and Davis could certainly be it.

How can the New York Giants make the most of Davis’ abilities?

Alec Ogletree is better suited playing closer to the line of scrimmage and stopping the run. With that being said, it promotes the usage of Davis more frequently, allowing Ogletree to spy on the quarterback while his counter-part drops back into coverage. Having Alec play in coverage wasn’t ideal last season, as he often found himself playing out of position. His numbers tell a different story, but he struggled nonetheless.

Locking down the tight end position will contain opposing offenses in a way the Giants haven’t experienced in quite some time. If David can reach his potential, the defense could be in a good shape heading into 2019.

New York Knicks: Charles Oakley grades Knicks free agent signings

New York Knicks, Charles Oakley

The New York Knicks signed a ton of free agents this offseason, including Marcus Morris, Julius Randle, Wayne Ellington, Elfrid Payton, Reggie Bullock, and Taj Gibson.

The talent they added will certainly help the success of the team and surpass the 17-win mark. Last season, the roster was built through youth and inexperience, but an influx in veteran talent should give the Knicks a better chance at being competitive.

However, their free agent signing spree has likely come to an end, and it’s time to reflect on the quality of the new players on the roster.

Former Knick, Charles Oakley, gave his opinion on the matter and what grades he would give the signings:

“Do they have an ‘A’ player on this team? I don’t think so,” Oakley told reporters after the Big-3 tournament at the Barclays Center on Sunday. “They maybe got one ‘B’ and a lot of ‘Cs.’”

Failing to lure Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to Mecca of basketball surely doesn’t promote the current management or ownership, but it seems as if they never wanted Durant all along due to his injury. Whether or not I believe that is a different story.

Oakley did say in regards to the Nets:

“They hit the Mega Millions and the Powerball,” he said.

James Dolan’s influence on the team surely steered players away that were looking for a safe and fun place to enjoy their prime years. The Knicks always seem to be a whirlwind of drama and unnecessary attention. The fact they managed to pry Morris away from the San Antonio Spurs and Gregg Popovich is mind-blowing. We can cough that up to an extra $5 million on a one-year deal.

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Despite the Knicks striking out on big-name free agents, they structured the contracts of their signings very efficiently. A majority of the players are on two-year deals with a team option after the first, allowing them to shed cap allocations and open up space for more influential players.

In the meantime, they will look to be a competitive team in 2019.

 

Brooklyn Nets: Theorizing why Jarrett Allen featured in the Summer League

Brooklyn Nets, Jarrett Allen

As of Sunday night, the Brooklyn Nets Summer League season in Las Vegas came to an end at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The final score of 85 to 77 makes the game seem much closer than it was, but it was really more or less over mid way through the third quarter.

Despite that, they played well and even more importantly, Jarrett Allen was on his way to yet another big summer league game. His recent stretch of great play allowed him to make his way to Vegas’ First Team for Summer League.

So let me start this by congratulating the Fro Show on his stellar play and well deserved First Team slot. But why was Jarrett Allen out there in the first place? Why was the Brooklyn Nets starting center from last year on the floor with rookies and NBA prospects trying to prove they belong in the league? What did he have to prove?

Well, I have a theory.

And keep in mind, it is just that. A theory. I do not know for sure. I have not talked to Jarrett Allen nor do I know him personally that would allow me to know how he thinks. That goes for any and every person in this theory. I am just making assumptions based on everything in front of me. With that being said, let’s take a dive into this.

How It Began

So June 30th, the new start of NBA Free Agency, DeAndre Jordan was reported to come to the Brooklyn Nets with both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. He’d officially sign later, but he was basically on the team. As reports came in and the dust settled, the only logical question was asked more and more. Who would be the starting center for the Nets?

Would it be the veteran with multiple All-Star appearances or would it be the young guy who has started every game since earning his starting job?

Well, when he was asked about it, Jarrett started with the humble approach, but then quickly backtracked with more honest words.

Now these aren’t his exact words, a few choice words were excluded, but we get the point. The Fro wants to keep his starting job. There is nothing wrong with that feeling, that candor, or the competitiveness that it brings. As long as it’s a healthy competition.

Summer League

Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets decided to make their rim protector available to their Summer League squad. He was joined by Rodions Kurucs, who also played big minutes for the Nets last year. With Kurucs and other players, I’m sure the organization was looking for general improvements and feel for the game.

With Big Jay, I believe they were doing more. There’s almost always a method to the madness. Jarrett Allen is a really mellow guy. He actually has a personality a lot like Brook Lopez. Just calm, cool, collected, and a little goofy. You rarely ever see them angry, but I think Sean Marks was doing a little poking of the sleeping giant that is Jarrett Allen. Trying to awake that potential he has within him.

In the first Summer League game against the Dallas Mavericks, albeit in a close loss, Jarrett Allen was able to rack up 19 points 8 rebounds and swat 3 shots. Although this was a good game, it’s not exactly the dominance one would expect from a third year player in the Summer League. Especially one that’s a starter and as respected as Allen has become.

Although Kurucs only scored 14 points and grabbed 7 boards, I think more people were impressed with his play. He seemed more under control and more comfortable on the court. He caught my eye more so than Jarrett Allen. I think Allen wasn’t fully engaged in this game. Not to say that he didn’t give his all, but my belief is that his mind was still on that fact that he might lose his starting job.

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In the second game against Croatia, I think Jarrett Allen had come to the realization that he could actually lose his job to someone with a better resume. This was easily his worst game of the summer league. He was able to score 4 points, but it came on a putrid 20% shooting. He added 7 boards and 2 blocks to his stat line in a win, but this is Summer League.

Wins don’t mean much here. Summer League is all about showing your skillset and improvement. Wins are a nice bonus prize. Across from his struggles, his teammate Kurucs had another good game putting in 15 points in another efficient showing. I think here Allen mentally gave up and just came to grips with the fact that he wouldn’t be starting anymore.

The Shift

Now we are here at game 4 of Summer League and I think this is where Jarrett Allen got pissed and motivated. It followed him being a healthy scratch in game 3. He didn’t put up any eye-popping numbers. He had 14 points on 60% shooting as well as 13 boards and 2 swats. This was Allen’s first double-double of Summer League and that would be the standard from that point onward. I’m sure Jarrett Allen heard whispers from the fans on concerns about his play and output. Maybe there

were also some throughout the organization. Although he didn’t put up any 2k numbers, I do believe he made a concerted effort on the boards to show he can have an impact on the glass.

And then it happened. While shooting 73% from the floor and 80% from the charity stripe (he took ten free throws this game), Allen was able to pour in 30 points 11 rebounds 2 blocks and 2 steals in a game where the Summer League Brooklyn Nets dominated the Detroit Pistons.

This is the product that many expected to see from Jarrett Allen. The team ran plays and sets for him. He didn’t let them go to waste. This is probably the most aggressive I’ve ever seen the Fro Show. In my opinion, this was Sean Marks plan all along. Push him, make him angry, give him something to fight for. He wanted to see Allen take this to the task and dominate and we finally saw this. Allen was finally out there making a legitimate case that he belonged in the starting line up rather than his new mentor.

The next game the Nets would play would be against the Timberwolves. In this game, Jarrett Allen was on his way to putting on another dominate performance. He even had some fight in him as he got noticeably angry at a player who got a little too aggressive with him. We don’t normally see that from Allen. Even after Joel Embiid damn near took his head off in the playoffs, Allen was all smiles and joy.

This looked like an Allen who was determined to be tough and prove the point that he could no be pushed around any longer. Because he would later suffer a hip contusion about halfway through the quarter, Allen only played about half the game. Even in this shortened time (20 minutes), Allen was able to post 15 points 14 rebounds and 2 blocks. Imagine if the game remained competitive and if he was able to finish the game out.

Conclusion/Final Thoughts

I do not write all this to make it seem like Jarrett Allen has a huge ego, but he is human. I do believe he wants to start as he stated and that caused him to wrestle with his emotions. Once he became focused on proving he deserved to start, he played much better against the Summer League competition. Allen showed Kenny Atkinson and Sean Marks exactly what they were looking to see the final few games. Now is that enough for him to keep his starting role? I’m not sure.

There have been suggestions for mixing it up depending on the team. For example, start Jarrett Allen against most and then start DeAndre Jordan against more overbearing centers like a Joel Embiid. Who knows? But Kenny Atkinson certainly has options.

Who should the New York Yankees go after in their starting pitching hunt?

Should the New York Yankees pursue Madison Bumgarner this offseason?

The New York Yankees have a clear need for starting pitching. The club is credited to a 4.05 ERA, which is nothing to write home about. J.A. Happ has been shaky all season and CC Sabathia has been inconsistent. Both pitchers are credited to above a 4.0 ERA. The only pitcher in the rotation that has been consistently effective every start is Domingo German.

Heading into the postseason, the Yankees will need another arm that can go the distance while only allowing 1-3 runs a start. With the amount of runs the Yankees score, this will be enough to secure a win. The best option for the Yankees is to go all in on Madison Bumgarner from the San Francisco Giants.

This season, the lanky lefty holds a 3.86 ERA with a 5-7 record. In 116.1 frames pitched, Bumgarner has fanned 121. Holding a 2.11 ERA and a 8-3 record in the playoffs, Bumgarner is known for his dominance in the postseason. He has been to three World Series, where he is undefeated holding a 4-0 record while credited to a astounding 0.25 ERA.

 

Who could the Yankees trade for him?

The San Francisco Giants need young talent. Most of their everyday guys are 28+ years old. To land Bumgarner, the Giants will most likely be interested in the Yankees’ minor league prospects. Clint Frazier is the most obvious choice on this list. For the Giant’s needs, they could easily use outfield depth. Frazier is a guy who could give them youth and a legit bat in a full-time role. Another big name that could land Bumgarner is Jonathan Loaisiga. Albert Abreu and Deivi Garcia are also two minor league strong arms who will most likely reach the majors in a year or so.

If not Bumgarner, who else?

The Yankees have also expressed interest in Trevor Bauer from the Cleveland Indians and many Yankee fans believe GM Brain Cashman should go after Marcus Stroman from the Toronto Blue Jays. Both options are great options for the club.

Is New York Yankees rising pitcher Deivi Garcia available for trade?

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

With the New York Yankees in need of starting pitchers, it’s possible they dive into their minor league prospects to give them an opportunity to showcase their abilities. Or at the very least, feature them in a bullpen role.

One option is Deivi Garcia, a quality pitcher that has been rising through the farm-system at an extremely fast rate. Just this season Garcia has climbed from A+ to AAA ball. He featured in his first game with Scranton just a few days ago, finishing the night with a 5.40 ERA over five innings. He allowed three runs and six hits, picking up the win.

However, he did record six strikeouts and seemed to be on a good pace to make his way to the big leagues if absolutely needed. The Yankees, I feel, will certainly not be looking to promote him if it’s not necessary. Giving him the proper time to develop and adapt to the higher-levels should be a priority, but in the case another injury occurs, they might be forced into elevating him.

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Could and should the New York Yankees trade him?

Rumors have brewed that the Yanks might be open to trading him if the right offer comes across their table. The 20-year-old is the youngest player at the minors’ highest level, which makes him an incredibly attractive prospect — one, that might not be worth dealing.

With Double-A Trenton, he posted a 3.00 ERA/2.18 FIP with 14.49 K/9 against 4.41 BB/9 in 10 starts and 51 innings. He currently lands at the 29th spot in ESPN’s midseason top 50 list via Keith Law.

Just last week, general manager for the Yankees, Brian Cashman, stated that Garcia could play a role down the stretch, but he wouldn’t be off-limits in a deal. Cashman said Garcia is “pushing himself into the mix” with his recent performances. While the youngster isn’t off the table in a potential deal, it would take a lot for a team to pry him away from the Bombers.

Any deal including a short-term rental with minimal team-control would not include Deivi, which is fair for obvious reasons. A player like Noah Syndergaard, though, who has multiple years left on his deal and is a proven pitcher in the MLB, could be in play. I can’t imagine the Yankees making that type of deal given his injury issues, but anything is possible.

New York Giants News, 7/17 – Where’s the Giants’ primary weakness?

New York Giants rookie, Oshane Ximines.

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

Expecting the Giants to be a playoff team in 2019 might be a stretch. Why? Because they have injected a ton of youth at important positions and are unproven in live-action.

While players like DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Dexter Lawrence and more are primed to be influential rookies, knowing if they will succeed or not is simply impossible at this time. The secondary is completely rebuilt and will likely be filled with holes and inexperience.

The defensive line is good in some facets, but if we look at the outside linebacker unit specifically, you can see that there’s a ton of uncertainty. Relying on Markus Golden, a player who hasn’t had a productive season in three years and is coming off a major injury, is ludicrous. Expecting Oshane Ximines to blossom into a star coming out of a bottom-tier division one school also doesn’t make much sense.

This is certainly a negative viewpoint, but some might call this realistic. In a perfect world, the Giants will get some sort of production out of Ximines and Golden will revert back to his past self where he racked up 12.5 sacks in a single season and forced four fumbles.

It will be interesting to see how they develop and if they can be as good Dave Gettleman seems to think they are.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day!

Paul Schwartz (New York Post) – Corey Coleman brings intrigue to Giants’ new-look receiving group

Chris Pflum (Big Blue View) – Giants’ Pat Shurmur ranked 26th among head coaches by NFL.com

Ethan Sears (New York Post) – When Phil Simms thinks the Giants will turn to Daniel Jones

John Fennelly (Giants Wire) – 2019 Giants training camp preview: Offensive line

Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants: BJ Hill Preparing to take major leap in 2019

Check out yesterday’s news!

New York Giants News, 7/16 – Saquon Barkley earns an unfair Madden rating