Kenny Golladay Signs With New York Giants: Fantasy Football Fallout

Kenny Golladay Detroit Lions New York Giants

Kenny Golladay took his talents to The Big Apple this free agency period. The former Lion signed a four-year, $72 million contract ($40 million guaranteed) with the New York Giants. To catch passes from Daniel Jones. Really. That was his big money play. Of course, this is a huge downgrade for Kenny Golladay from having one of the best deep-ball throwers in recent memory (Matthew Stafford) tossing him the football in Detroit. But what about the fantasy football ramifications of this move? Let’s take a quick look at Kenny Golladay to the Giants.

First, Kenny Golladay’s 2020 season essentially didn’t happen, so I’m prepared to throw it all out. He finished the year with just two games above 80% snap share. That’s a hard pill to swallow when his 2019 saw Golladay playing at least 80% of snaps in fourteen-of-sixteen games. Golladay dealt with injuries in 2020, but it also felt like he had one foot out the door. Still, he managed to finish on pace for over 1000 yards, but just two touchdowns. Golladay did show signs of taking a step forward in 2020, as his catch rate jumped 6% (from 56% to 62.5%), which led to an increase in his yards per target.

Let’s not forget the Kenny Golladay we saw in 2019: #1 in deep targets, #1 in touchdowns, and top-ten in receiving yards, completed air yards, yards per target and yards per reception. He was a budding stud, and now he’s going to be with Daniel Jones. Deep breaths.

Jones can throw the ball deep. In 2020, he ranked seventh in deep-ball completion percentage, at 46.2%. Unfortunately for the Giants and their awful offensive line headed into 2021, his pressured completion rate ranked #30 and his catchable pass rate ranked #33… 32 quarterbacks start in the NFL. Kenny Golladay reads to me as the Giants giving Daniel Jones a deep threat weapon to try to up those numbers. I’ve seen spicy takes that say that this is a Josh Allen-Stefon Diggs-style team-up. Except Daniel Jones isn’t Josh Allen, and Kenny Golladay isn’t Stefon Diggs. Still, this is a good addition for the Giants. But what about fantasy football?

Obviously, we have to see what Jones will do with Golladay in tow. His struggles could stem from throwing to a combination of Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and a suddenly handsless Evan Engram in 2020. Kenny Golladay is the first true #1 wide receiver that Jones has had on his roster… ever. His big receiving threat at Duke was T.J. Rahming, who currently bounces around on the bottom of NFL rosters and practice squads.

All-in-all, I think this destroys the fantasy football value of all Giants wide receivers not named Kenny Golladay. There’s no point in having any other NYG WR other than Kenny G. There likely still exists enough targets to not hurt Evan Engram; this seems to be consolidating the targets that otherwise went to the flotsam and jetsam in 2019 and 2020.

On the whole, I think this damages Kenny Golladay somewhat, but he’s still someone to get onto your fantasy football rosters. It nukes his upside as a top-five wide receiver, but it doesn’t crush him all the way down outside of the WR2 ranks. He nestles in comfortably in the WR15-20 range, which seems to mostly consist of talented guys with question marks (Mike Evans, Adam Thielen, D.J. Moore, etc).

I am worried about Evan Engram’s target load if we are being honest. Odell Beckham played just four games in Engram’s 115 target season in 2017, and he fought Darius Slayton for target supremacy in New York last year. Should Engram drop down to 80 or so targets, that gives him about 50 catches for 600 yards. That’s a big yikes, to me. But, not everything is bleak for Evan Engram’s potential with an alpha wide receiver. In his five games, he started and finished with Odell Beckham in 2018, Evan Engram averaged six targets per game, which comes out to 96 targets over the course of a sixteen-game season. That’s good enough to keep him in the upper half of the Tight End Blob. However, I’m no longer bullish on his prospects.

As for Daniel Jones? I doubt this makes him fantasy relevant in 2021 outside of some random, sporadic games. He has a long way to go to pull himself into 1QB league relevance. In two seasons, he averages just 453 pass attempts for 2,985 yards, while throwing about 17 touchdowns and 11 picks a season. Daniel Jones has a long way to go to justify drafting him in 1QB leagues, or for getting him as anything but an upside QB2 in two QB leagues. He’s ranked QB24 and QB20 in his two seasons as a starter, and averages three top-12 games per season. If he doubles that, he’s useless in over 60% of games. If he triples that, then he’s useful in just over 50% of the games.

Please do not think this helps Daniel Jones enough to make him a sleeper for 2021 fantasy football. It only hurts everyone in New York for fantasy football relevance (in 1QB leagues). Needless to say, I am not happy with these developments.

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About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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