Daniel Jones, Evan Engram and Giants Fantasy Outlook After Eli Manning Benching

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2019

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 09:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants calls out the play in the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns during their preseason game on August 9,2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The New York Giants' passing attack is set to enter a new era after the team announced Tuesday that rookie Daniel Jones will replace Eli Manning as its starting quarterback. 

Jones completed 85.3 percent of his 34 throws with two touchdowns and no interceptions during the preseason. He takes over the offense following an 0-2 start, as Manning led a unit that scored just 31 points in the two losses.

Let's examine how the change could impact the fantasy football stocks of Jones, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, running back Saquon Barkley and tight end Evan Engram.

            

Daniel Jones

Jones was the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Although he was expected to sit behind Manning for a while, he should keep the job for the rest of the season and beyond, based on his early success.

It's rare for a rookie quarterback to dominate out of the gate, so taking on flier on him in fantasy circles should come with the understanding there will be ups and downs. He does have enough talent around him to put up some high scores, though.

Quarterback is a deep position, so Jones is probably best left on the waiver wire in most formats. But in leagues that feature 14-plus teams or utilize multiple starting signal-callers, the Giants rookie represents a boom-or-bust play for as long as he remains the starter.

          

Evan Engram

Engram represents a trade target. After a strong rookie campaign in 2017 that included 64 catches for 722 yards and six touchdowns, the tight end struggled to remain a consistent force last year because of injuries and the offense's pains as a whole.

He's showed signs of a major bounce-back year with 17 receptions for 164 yards and a score this season.

If a fantasy owner is willing to trade him at a reasonable cost, it's worth taking a chance on him at a position with limited impact assets. There's a good shot he'll be a more involved red-zone target when Jones is under center.

               

Sterling Shepard

Shepard was a hot fantasy topic before the campaign because of his ascension to the clear No. 1 target in New York following the trade of Odell Beckham Jr. His increased role came after three years as a reliable asset despite OBJ's presence.

He recorded six catches for 42 yards in Week 1 but missed Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills because of a concussion. His availability for Jones' first start should be updated during the week.

The only thing that's held him back in recent years is a lack of touchdowns. So that, along with his overall target numbers, is something to watch once he returns. If he gets more red-zone looks, his value could surge.

That said, he'll likely remain in WR3 range following the switch under center.

                              

Saquon Barkley

Barkley figures to be the biggest fantasy beneficiary after the QB change.

The Giants offense, which has leaned heavily on Manning and the aerial attack over the past decade, had already become more balanced since the arrival of the second overall pick in the 2018 draft. Now it should turn into a run-oriented offense.

That means the rookie could receive upward of 25 touches per game consistently. Given his playmaking ability, that should lock him into top-fantasy-back status.

Related

    The 1 Offseason Move Every Team Must Avoid 🙅‍♂️

    Sometimes the moves a team DOESN'T make are just as important as the ones they do

    New York Giants logo
    New York Giants

    The 1 Offseason Move Every Team Must Avoid 🙅‍♂️

    Brent Sobleski
    via Bleacher Report

    Full Combine Results from Friday ✏️

    Tracking 40 times, bench press and all drills

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Full Combine Results from Friday ✏️

    Blake Schuster
    via Bleacher Report

    Friday's Combine Results: Jonathan Taylor, Tristan Wirfs Among Standouts

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Friday's Combine Results: Jonathan Taylor, Tristan Wirfs Among Standouts

    Blake Schuster
    via Bleacher Report

    NFL Scouting Combine Notebook

    📈 AJ Dillon storms up the draft board 👀 D'Andre Swift, other RBs stand out ➡️ Tap in to catch up on NFL Combine

    New York Giants logo
    New York Giants

    NFL Scouting Combine Notebook

    Mike Tanier
    via Bleacher Report