Dynasty Buy Low: Saquon Barkley
The Former 2nd Overall Pick is Nowhere Close to Done Yet
by Andrew Teuscher
Once upon a time…
A long time ago in a season that seems so far away, Saquon Barkley was drafted second overall in the NFL draft. After that 2018 draft, Saquon appeared to justify his early selection. He put up over 2,000 total yards and had 15 scores. Saquon followed up being the RB1 in fantasy (ppr scoring) with another solid season where he was the RB7 in ppg. The best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson did this by being elite on the ground and as a pass-catcher.
After two great seasons, Saquon was being drafted in the top 3 of almost all drafts. The value decline of Saquon began in 2020 when he tore his ACL, MCL, and Meniscus and missed the entire season. Fantasy managers felt like their family dog had just been hit by a jumbo jet. Coming off of this major knee injury, fantasy managers were still ready to “buy-low” on Saquon and grab him in the back-end of the first round in 2021 drafts. The young runner put up another disappointing and injured season in 2021 on his way to being the RB30. Saquon’s value fell harder than a drunk elephant trying to ice skate. Barkley averaged 9.9 ppg and missed 5 games to injury.
So here we are now
Saquon Barkley is now being mock drafted and ranked behind players like David Montgomery and Cam Akers who tore his achilles. People view the former top draft pick as a fragile flower ready to wilt and go on the IR. I am here to express how silly this is and how you are going to benefit greatly from Saquon being slept on.
If a baby hippo falls on your ankle, you will get hurt?
Before you close the article, allow me to present my case. For starters, Saquon IS NOT injury prone. He simply isn’t. Remember when people didn’t draft Deebo Samuel because he was “injury prone”? A player can really only be viewed as injury-prone if they have constant soft tissue injuries. I’m not a doctor but basically, this means a player constantly is straining or tearing muscles. There are players like this, but that is not Saquon.
Saquon has missed stints of games 3 times in his career. One of which is a bad soft tissue injury. The others are ankle sprains (2019 and 2021). Ankle sprains happen exclusively because of bad luck. This is the nature of Saquon’s most recent injury that got him labeled as injury-prone. If anyone in the NFL does not roll their ankle like Barkley did when a 350-pound lineman fell on their ankle, then I’m taking them first overall in the draft because that is either Superman or Jesus Christ himself. This injury is unfortunate but not avoidable by anyone and is not Saquon’s fault.
The case for Saquon Barkley still being Saquon Barkley
Now that we have proved that Barkley is no more likely to get hurt than any other player in the NFL, here’s why the Dark Knight in New York's backfield is ready to return in 2022. For starters, Saquon was destined to fail last year. His QB for half of the games that he was actually healthy for (so not counting games where he played under half the snaps) either Jake Fromm or Mike Glennon. Gross! Daniel Jones is a much better option. It's miraculous that Saquon still averaged 9 ppg with those QBs handing him the ball.
Everything around Saquon is going to improve. Joe Judge, who was running QB sneaks inside his own five-yard line, is no longer in charge of the team. The Giants are being led by the man who is credited for turning Josh Allen and the Bills from a joke into a juggernaut. Brian Daboll is a great coach because he does whatever is best for his offense based upon the weapons he has. People are quick to point out that the Bills hardly ran the ball last year. Your league mates and most fantasy players have not done their Brian Daboll research. Luckily for you, I have.
Daboll has been an OC a few times in the past so let’s talk about teams other than the Bills that he’s schemed for. Daboll ran the ball like it was going out of style when he was with the Browns from 2009-2010. In 2009 the Cleveland Browns ran the ball more than they threw it. Just one team did that in 2021 (Saints). In 2010, he made Peyton Hillis a Madden-cover athlete and helped him average 16.5 ppg (no seriously). Go look at the other years of Hillis’s career. His own mother probably wouldn’t have put his picture up on her fridge. In 2012 Daboll coached Jamaal Charles in KC and helped him put up the most rushing yards in his career. Oh, by the way Charles was coming off a torn ACL that year. Daboll was even the OC at Alabama in 2017 and rushed the ball 64% of the time!!!
Saquon is still the same Saquon who was all the rage in 2018. The Giants are going to have all of their offensive weapons like Daniel Jones and Kenny Golladay healthy in 2021. This will stop people from focusing on Saquon alone. The good thing is that Saquon is still the top option in that offense and as I’ve shown Daboll knows what to do with a good offensive weapon. The Giants have also signed pieces to improve the 30th ranked offensive line from 2021 per PFF.
What you should do
Saquon is being drafted as a mid to late RB2 and is absolutely still a top 10 RB in the NFL who can absolutely finish in the top 5 with his new head coach calling the shots. Buy-Low on Saquon in dynasty and snatch that man up in redraft leagues. Just pray your leaguemates don’t see this article like you did.
Andrew Teuscher is a fantasy-football enthusiast and certified fantasy try hard.