The New York Giants entered the season with a complicated backfield situation, and nothing was clarified after the 19-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium Sunday.
There was virtually no run game in the Week 1 loss, with Paul Perkins leading the way with 16 yards on seven carries, plus two catches for nine yards. Orleans Darkwa had three carries for 14 rushing yards and one catch for minus one yard.
Shane Vereen was the most productive back with nine catches for 51 yards on 10 targets, although much of this came on the final drive down over two touchdowns against prevent defense. The veteran grabbed five passes for 29 yards in the last two minutes of garbage time.
On the plus side for Vereen, he did lead the way in snaps, per Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus:
Nathan Jahnke @PFF_NateJahnke
Giants final HB snap count: Shane Vereen 31, Paul Perkins 18, Orleans Darkwa 82017-9-11 03:37:59
Of course, this was mostly due to the flow of the game. The Giants trailed 16-0 at halftime after tallying just two first downs in the first half, failing to extend a drive longer than five plays. The result was 37 passes compared to just 11 rushes, not counting one kneel by Eli Manning down before the half.
The good news going forward is the roles remain pretty well-defined. Perkins is the starter, Darkwa is there to spell some carries and Vereen will be the receiver out of the backfield, as he has throughout his career in New York and New England.
Unfortunately, this doesn't appear likely to lead to many fantasy points for any of them.
Vereen could have value in points-per-reception leagues, but it would require a similar style of game for him to have enough production. Perkins should be on rosters in non-PPR leagues, although he should remain on the bench until he proves he can be a consistent threat.
With the problems throughout the offensive line, though, it might be best to avoid the entire group.