Orleans Darkwa, Wayne Gallman, Shane Vereen's Fantasy Outlook After Week 5

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2017

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 01: Wayne Gallman #22 of the New York Giants runs with the ball during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. The Bucs defeated the Giants 25-23. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Don't look now, but the New York Giants suddenly have a rushing attack.

After entering Week 5 ranked second-worst in the NFL with just 59.3 rushing yards per game, the Giants looked much better on the ground Sunday with 152 yards on 6.1 per carry against the Los Angeles Chargers. Although they still lost 27-22 to fall to 0-5, that doesn't matter too much in fantasy.

What matters is the emergence of Orleans Darkwa and Wayne Gallman.

Second-year running back Paul Perkins has struggled mightily this year (61 yards on 32 carries), so the rib injury that kept him out Sunday might've been the final nail in the coffin for his Giants career.

The other running backs took advantage of his absence, as Darwka finished with eight carries for 69 yards while Gallman had 57 yards on 11 carries, plus five catches for 25 yards. Shane Vereen also played well with five carries for 18 yards and four catches for 27 yards.

Per Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus, the snaps were divided relatively evenly between Gallman (26), Vereen (23) and Darkwa (20).

Darkwa was clearly the best of the three when on the field, running for a 23-yard touchdown in the first quarter:

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He had 43 rushing yards on that drive and 58 yards on six carries in the first quarter. Unfortunately, he injured his calf and only got a few more touches the rest of the game, per head coach Ben McAdoo.

It was then Gallman's turn to shine, and while he didn't have any huge plays, he was effective while earning his team-high 16 touches.

The turnaround in the run game will be especially important with the Giants' losing four different receivers to injury in the game, including Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. If New York has any hope of moving the ball, it will need the rushing attack to be this effective every week.

This is a good enough reason to pick up both Gallman and Darkwa, assuming the latter is healthy. Gallman arguably has the most upside and would be worth the higher priority. Vereen only has value in deep points-per-reception leagues, and even still would be tough to produce enough to justify a roster spot.

The problem is the Giants face the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks in the next two games, two of the tougher defenses in the NFL. Unless you need a player as a bye-week fill-in, the safe move is keeping any of these players on your bench until a more favorable matchup comes along.

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