Kickoff: Sunday, September 17th at 4:05 PM ET
Location: State Farm Stadium, Glendale Arizona
Betting Odds: ARZ +1.5, 41 O/U total via Oddsshark
Writer: Dustin Ludke (@TheDunit13 on Twitter)
New York Giants
Daniel Jones (Start, QB2)
The whole Giants team was a nightmare Sunday night against the Cowboys. They couldn’t get anything going but now should be able to right the ship against the Arizona Cardinals. They ranked towards the back half by PFF.com in both pass rush and coverage. Last week first-year starter Sam Howell had 31 passing attempts. Daniel Jones had 28 in the blowout loss to the Cowboys. It’s a much better matchup for Jones. The real issue to that the Cardinals can’t score points so the Giants may hand the ball off more and try to build Jones’s confidence up after a disastrous start of the season. Jones should be a competent QB2 this week with an upside. He did have 13 rushing attempts this past week. Some of those were him trying to not get killed by the Cowboys’ pass rush but rushing is what catapulted him up the rankings last season.
Saquon Barkley (Start, RB1)
12 rushing attempts is not a great number for a star running back like Saquon Barkley but it could have been worse. Given the team was down pretty much from the get-go it was impressive that he got that many carries. The Cardinals just allowed Brian Robinson to rush for 59 yards on 19 carries and Barkley is way more talented the Robinson. The Giants should right the ship and be able to get the lead and eat up the clock by running Barkley. I expect him to be back to his RB1 ways this week. You drafted him to be your bell cow and he will be that.
Since the team was down they didn’t work in any of the backups. Matt Breida would be the guy to take over if Saquon got injured but he only played on 23% of the team’s snaps compared to Gary Brightwell who played on 16%. Rookie Eric Gray was the punt/kick return man but didn’t log any offensive snaps. None of them should be added to your roster unless you have a very deep bench and want to handcuff Barkley.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Isaiah Hodgins (Sit), Darius Slayton (Start, FLEX), Parris Campbell (Start, Flex), Wan’Dale Robinson (OUT) Darren Waller (Start, TE1)
It was a crap show for the Giants receivers. I’m not going to harp on the lack of targets for anyone because there just wasn’t much to go around. I’ve been the biggest Isaiah Hodgins believer but he was underwhelming. He only played on 60% of the team’s snaps had a fumble and only caught one of his three targets. Part of what I loved about Hodgins was him playing a high snap share. That didn’t happen. The fumble could put him in the dog house. Sit him this week. He does have a huge size advantage over the smaller Cardinals defensive backs but Daniel Jones will need time in the pocket to allow him to get downfield. That was a big issue this past week.
The starting wide receivers for the Giants were Darius Slayton and Parris Campbell. Both played on only 47 of the team’s 70 snaps. It was a rainy game so they seemed to rotate guys out. They both ran 33 routes and got four targets. I’m willing to throw both of them in my flex spot this week and hope that they can score. Even if they don’t they should see just enough volume to get into flex range in PPR leagues, as the secondary for the Cards isn’t that fearsome. I’m more likely to throw Campbell into my lineups due to him playing 76% of his time in the slot. That would put him going against Jalen Thompson who rated as the 64th out of 77 safety in coverage last week by PFF.com. Slayton would have to contend with the top corner for the Cards in Marco Wilson who rated at 65.8 as the 32nd best cover corner. Still a good matchup just not as good as Campbell’s. I’m curious what happens when Wan’Dale Robinson comes back into the fold but until that happens these two are the guys to own.
The true pass catcher you want while he is healthy is Darren Waller. He played despite being questionable coming into the weekend. He saw five targets and ran routes on 92% of the snaps he was on the field for. Daniel Bellinger played more snaps but ended up blocking more. Waller will be mainly covered by linebackers and safeties. Last week Logan Thomas of the Commanders saw seven targets, catching four of them for 43 yards. On only two of those targets was he covered by a corner. Waller should be started as a TE1. I still worry about his long-term health but play him while you can.
Joshua Dobbs (Sit, QB2)
Everyone is clamoring for Clayton Tune to start this week but they don’t realize that Joshaua Dobb wasn’t that bad. He wasn’t great but he was okay. He completed 21 of his 30 passing attempts. The issue lies in that he didn’t throw any touchdowns or interceptions but lost two of his three fumbles. The team as a whole isn’t loaded with talent so I don’t expect much from Dobbs in general but this could be a decent week. The Giants, after one week rank 27th in coverage by PFF.com. Dobbs gets another game of experience under his belt. We often forget that coming into this game he had under 100 NFL passing attempts to his name. I still don’t think you can start him but he will sneak into QB2 range.
James Conner (Start, RB2), Keaontay Ingram (Sit)
Let’s start with the obvious. You aren’t starting Keaontay Ingram. He had 5 rushing attempts for -4 yards. Yes NEGATIVE 4 YARDS. He probably shouldn’t even be on fantasy rosters. James Conner on the other hand should be not only rostered but started. He had 14 carries last week and averaged 4.43 yards per attempt. He also saw five targets. He is involved in all aspects of the game. The Giants just allowed Tony Pollard to rush for 70 yards on 14 carries. Conner was drafted because of his volume and he is the only real exciting piece of that offense. He lacks maybe the true upside unless he finds the endzone multiple times but he is a solid RB2
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (Start, WR3), Rondale Moore (Sit, Flex), Michael Wilson (Sit, Flex), Zach Ertz (Start, TE1)
Yuk. This whole position group just is so unimpressive and lackluster. Is there someone worth starting this week? The big name is Marquise Brown. Hollywood played on 52 of the 62 snaps which is great. He ran routes on 91% of the passing snaps he played. Thats great. He got five targets. Thats okay. He will now face primary coverage from Deonte Banks. The rookie didn’t allow a single catch last week and was rated as the 33rd-best corner by PFF.com. That was in his first game against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys receivers. Brown is good but Dobbs is okay at best. I’m not loving the matchup but I hope the Cards can find ways to get Brown into better matchups and keep his volume up enough to produce WR3 numbers.
Rookie Michael Wilson did what we expected and played on a ton of snaps and saw four targets. What we didn’t expect was for him to catch two of them for only 19 yards. He matched Brown in routes run but didn’t do much with it. Hopefully getting softer coverage this week from either Adoree’ Jackson (rated 32.9) or Tre Hawkins (rated 44.7) will allow Wilson to take the next step in his development and be that true sleeper we wanted when we picked him late in drafts. I expect him to be in the flex range this week. The Cards should have to pass more. He loses his height advantage against the Giants who have some taller DBs but the weak coverage should be enough for him to see volume.
Rondale Moore was truly the slot guy for the Cardinals last week. He only played on 68% of the team’s snaps which is high for a slot guy but only saw three targets. He did catch all three for 33 yards. His speed allows him to work in zone schemes and find open pockets and his route running allows him to get open in the middle of the field and be creative with the ball in his hands. I’m not excited to start him even if he is in flex range this week.
Zach Ertz is the guy you really want in this passing offense. Coming off the injury I was concerned he wouldn’t be his old self but he played on 77% of the snaps and saw 10 targets. The downfall is that yes he caught six of them but only had 21 yards. You would expect his yardage to be closer to 50 with that many receptions. He was able to keep Trey Mcbride at bay. I love the volume play for Ertz and hope the offense as a whole gets better and that he can find the end zone. Even with his low yardage, he was at the higher end of TE2 last week so I expect Ertz to be a TE1 this week. McBride is purely a stash at this point.