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Dynasty Player Profile: Saquon Barkley (2022 Fantasy Football)

Dynasty Player Profile: Saquon Barkley (2022 Fantasy Football)

Our experts are looking at everything related to dynasty leagues this spring. Up next: A particular oft-injured running back that many fantasy managers wonder what to do with.

2021 Production

Rushing Receiving
G GS Rush Yds TD 1D Lng Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD 1D
13 13 162 593 2 27 41 57 41 263 6.4 2 13

Career Contextualization

Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG) can’t catch a break. The New York Giants running back is the latest example of how sometimes incredible talent can’t overcome bad injury luck and a bad situation.

After tearing his ACL in 2020, Barkley played 13 games this season. However, he didn’t look like the same player who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in his first two seasons. That’s partially expected for a tailback coming off a severe injury. But the Giants were also a dumpster fire offensively.

Barkley finished the year with 593 rushing yards, 41 receptions for 263 yards, and four total touchdowns. He finished as the RB32 in half-PPR formats despite being drafted as the RB10. Not exactly a strong return on investment.

2022 is truly a make-or-break year for Barkley, who’s running out of chances from fantasy players.

Current Situation

Did I mention the Giants were a dumpster fire? Well, they still are.

New York’s offensive line was one of the worst in the league, ranking 31st in adjusted line yards, 26th in stuff rate, and 29th in second-level yards. In other words, Barkley was getting no room to run at all and struggled to get to the second level, hence his 3.6 yards per carry average.

The Giants took a quantity over quality approach to the offensive line in free agency, signing three average linemen to compete for starting jobs. New York still has three of the first 36 picks in the draft to make some more significant upgrades. But this unit will still be a work in progress, which isn’t great for Barkley’s fantasy prospects.

The good news is the Giants parted ways with the incompetent Joe Judge and brought in Brian Daboll, who the franchise hopes will revitalize the offense. However, Daniel Jones (QB – NYG) is not Josh Allen (QB – BUF). Opponents don’t fear him, and they’ll continue to load up the box daring Jones to beat them. Daboll has his work cut out for him in what will likely be Jones’ last season in New York.

General Prediction for 2022 and Rest of Career

The days of treating Barkley like an elite running back are long gone. And if you’ve waited this long, waiting for the injuries to go away and the situation to improve, I’m sorry. Maybe Barkley comes into the 2022 season fully healthy and regains his status among the game’s best tailbacks. However, that sounds like a pipe dream at this point.

Barkley’s best case is still a stud three-down running back who is the engine of an improved New York offense. But realistically, Barkley should be treated as a high-end RB2 at best. The talent still entices me, so I’m not going to give Barkley away. But I certainly wouldn’t blame you for cutting bait.

CTAs


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Matt Barbato is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Matt, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter at @realmattbarbato.

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