2022 Saquon Barkley Fantasy Football Player Profile

It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the running backs. Today, we take a look at a running back who was previously a smash top-three pick in all drafts, but injuries and the team degrading around him have seen his overall value drop in 2022. No, I’m not talking about Christian McCaffrey. Let’s take a look at Saquon Barkley’s 2022 fantasy football outlook!

Saquon Barkley ADP and AAV:

Average Draft Position: RB13, 24 overall
Average Auction Value: $30.4

Saquon Barkley Statistics:
Year G GS Rush Ru Yds Ru TD Tgt Rec Yards TD Touches Opp Total Yards
2021 13 13 162 593 2 57 41 263 2 203 219 856
2020 2 2 19 34 0 9 6 60 0 25 28 94
2019 13 13 217 1003 6 73 52 438 2 269 290 1441
Year YPC Rush/G Ru Yd/G Tgt/G Rec/G Catch% Yds/Tgt Yds/Rec Touches/G Opp/G Yds/G
2021 3.66 12.5 45.6 4.38 3.15 71.9% 4.61 6.41 15.62 16.85 65.8
2020 1.79 9.5 17.0 4.50 3.00 66.7% 6.67 10.00 12.50 14.00 47.00
2019 4.62 16.7 77.2 5.62 4.00 71.2% 6.00 8.42 20.69 22.31 110.85
Year Std Pts HPPR Pts PPR Pts Pts/G HPPR Pts/G PPR Pts/G Pts/Tch HPPR Pts/Tch PPR Pts/Tch
2021 107.6 128.1 148.6 8.28 9.85 11.4 0.53 0.63 0.73
2020 9.4 12.4 15.4 4.70 6.20 7.7 0.38 0.50 0.62
2019 192.1 218.1 244.1 14.78 16.78 18.78 0.71 0.81 0.91
2022 Saquon Barkley Fantasy Football Overview:

Saquon Barkley hasn’t been the same since his 2018 rookie year, probably because in 2019 he had to deal with the transfer from Eli Manning to Daniel Jones, then he missed all but two games in 2020, and then he had to deal with Daniel Jones, Mike Glennon, and Jake Fromm all starting games for the Giants, as well as lingering issues from the ACL tear that cost him the majority of 2020. A nagging ankle injury also hampered Barkley down the stretch last year. Suffice it to say, I am ready to just scrap his 2021 campaign because the guy was never really healthy.

And despite being never healthy, Saquon still averaged 66 yards per game and was pacing out to have his third 1,000-yard season in four years. So, the old Saquon is still in there… somewhere. Offseason reports have him lining up all over the formation, and he will be used more as a receiver this season. But those and $5 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. However, Saquon Barkley, when healthy, is one of the better, and most utilized pass-catching backs in the NFL. Last year, which was a down year for Saquon by his standards, saw him with a 13.3% target share. This was both the lowest of his career and also eighth among running backs last season, to give you an idea of how integral targets are to his game. He also got stymied by the offense around him, facing the eighth-most defenders in the box thanks to defenses literally not worrying about Daniel Jones in the slightest.

Yet, despite all of this, a questionably healthy Barkley still churned out 70+ yards per game prior to his ankle injury (which was the flukiest possible injury, he stepped on a foot in the open field against the Cowboys).

2022 Saquon Barkley Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:

Saquon Barkley Salary Cap Value: $25
Draft Ranking: Find out for your league settings in a Beersheet! (coming in early July)

There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that a fully-healthy Saquon Barkley is one of the most talented running backs in the NFL, and we are still chasing the dragon from his rookie year (81 rushing yards per game and 45 receiving yards per game). In a salary cap draft, Saquon is an insane value, going for just $31, in a mini-tier between Aaron Jones ($35) and Antonio Gibson ($28). I love Saquon there, especially since I can get two of Leonard Fournette, ($42), Saquon, or Aaron Jones for less than the price of one Jonathan Taylor ($75). I can get all three for just over half my budget ($108), and now we are off to the races.

In snake drafts, I like Saquon a lot less, mostly because he goes around wide receivers I absolutely love (Mike Evans & Keenan Allen) and running backs I’m higher on than others (Aaron Jones and Leonard Fournette). So, he kind of falls into that donut hole there where I can’t consider him at cost (pick 27, RB13) despite loving the price. If you are in a ton of leagues and want to diversify, go for Saquon. I can’t get mad at you, I just prefer Aaron Jones and Leonard Fournette.

Best Case Scenario:

Saquon Barkley returns to form as the RB1 this season, catching 100 balls and rushing the football 250 times. He leads the Giants to a respectable 7-10 record before they cast Daniel Jones off into oblivion.

Worst Case Scenario:

Brian Daboll brings in surprising Buffalo Bills cut Zack Moss, and inexplicably gives him 12 carries per game, just like he did with the Bills. This limits Saquon’s ability to be an RB1 and he finishes as a high-end RB2.

Check out all our 2022 player profiles, here.

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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]

[Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7b/Saquon_Barkley_Giants_2018.jpg under CC BY SA 2.0]

About Jeff Krisko

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

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