The Giants are unlikely to franchise Saquon Barkley and he will test free agency.
Saquon Barkley is likely to hit free agency for the first time in his career after reports indicated the Giants don’t plan on placing him under the franchise tag. Entering his sixth NFL season, Barkley has spent his entire career in New York after being selected No. 2 overall in the 2018 draft. While it’s possible the two sides agree on a long-term contract, the expectation is that Barkley will play elsewhere in 2024.
Barkley has finished as a top 13 fantasy running back four times in his career. However, a move from New York would only increase his fantasy football value. The Giants have continuously put Barkley in bad situations with poor offensive line and quarterback play. Barkley is entering the twilight of his fantasy career, but he could put together another top-12 running back season depending on his landing spot.
Similar to any running back in the NFL, Barkley’s 2024 fantasy outlook will be very dependent on which team he signs with. The Chargers are one of the early favorites and he would be a dream fit paired with Justin Herbert and Jim Harbaugh. Either way, Barkley is a solid buy in dynasty fantasy football leagues considering his fantasy situation isn’t likely to get any worse.
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Saquon Barkley has been ruled out this Thursday night against the San Francisco 49ers with an ankle sprain.
Saquon Barkley has been ruled out of the Giants’ Thursday night matchup against the San Francisco 49ers in week three. After suffering an ankle sprain this past weekend against the Arizona Cardinals the Giants will look to Matt Breida and Gary Brightwell to fill in. After initial speculation Barkley would miss at least three weeks, head coach Brian Daboll offered a more optimistic timeline, projecting Barkley as day-to-day instead. Regardless, he won’t play in week three and fantasy managers will have to find alternative options.
While Breida is likely next up in the running back pecking order, he has only played over 50-percent of the snaps in a game once since 2019. This will be a committee backfield, and neither player should be trusted in fantasy lineups this weekend. However, rookie Eric Gray is a player to keep an eye on as the back with the most fantasy upside. He was drafted in the 5th round of the most recent NFL draft and has a three-down skill set. Gray hasn’t made an appearance yet this season, but is a speculative add in deeper fantasy formats.
Saquon Barkley was diagnosed with an ankle sprain and is considered week to week
An MRI confirmed that Saquon Barkley suffered an ankle sprain in the Giants’ week two win against the Arizona Cardinals. Based on the way he reacted to his injury, the diagnosis could have been much worse too. Barkley suffered a regular ankle sprain instead of a high ankle sprain that could have kept him out for the better part of two months. Instead, he is considered week to week with the best estimate being three weeks.
This is a tough blow for Barkley who was the RB3 on the week in PPR fantasy football leagues. He has dealt with ankle sprains in the past as well, and those injuries weighed on him throughout those seasons. Barkley will be a must-start player upon his return, however, he struggled with efficiency upon returning from injuries in 2019 and 2021. The lack of explosion limited his big play ability and his touchdown upside overall.
Up next on the running back depth chart for the Giants are Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell, and Eric Gray. Breida will likely lead the backfield, but he has only played over 50-percent of the snaps in a game once since 2019. This will be a committee approach, with none of these players being viable fantasy starts in week three. Of the three, Gray likely possesses the most upside as a 5th round pick in the 2023 draft with prototypical size.