Will the Giants ever get on track?
Let’s face it: Giants fans have had a rough stretch over the past decade. The New York Football Giants haven’t experienced a playoff win since they knocked off Tom Brady and the Patriots in the 2011 Super Bowl. There is plenty of blame to go around for their failures, including an incompetent front office and parade of various coaches that haven’t been able to draft and develop talent.
This season brings a fresh slate and new hope. The Giants have acquired some young, exciting players over the last two rookie drafts that have a chance to return the franchise to glory. For this article, I’ll focus on one of them: wide receiver Kadarius Toney and what he could do for your fantasy football team.
Note: No Punt Intended will air on Wednesday, June 1st, with Special Guest Howard Bender from Fantasy Alarm! We will be covering the Jets, Giants, and Panthers!
Kadarius Toney Fantasy Football Breakout
College Days and Rookie Season
First off, let me remind you that Toney was a quarterback in high school. He only converted to wide receiver when he went to the University of Florida. He spent his early college years learning the position, in the SEC nonetheless, which is the toughest NCAA conference. As a Senior, he received starter snaps as a full-time receiver and posted 984 receiving yards on 70 receptions while scoring 11 total TDs. That was good for the Top 10 in receiving touchdowns and receptions for all of Division I that year.
Just a reminder that Miami couldn’t tackle Kadarius Toney. pic.twitter.com/RsQRstSadx
— Clover. (@JBreezyII) January 30, 2022
Despite limited production through his first three years of college, Toney had accumulated an endless highlight reel that showcased his crazy athleticism. One of the significant surprises picks of the 2021 NFL Draft was when the Giants selected him 20th overall. Many immediately critiqued the Giants and called it a massive reach. Toney’s rookie season yielded just 39 receptions for 420 yards and no TDs. On the surface, it appears to be another miss by the organization, but there is a lot to be excited about his future based on what he flashed on the field.
Anyone who followed this team in 2021 knows that Toney’s main issue was staying healthy. I would need an entire paragraph to list all of his ailments from last season, but I’ll just say he missed a total of eleven games due to injury and left several other games early. Obviously, he was near the bottom of any season-long compiled stats list after missing so much time. When you look at his production on a per-snap basis, though, you begin to see the potential.
Toney was nothing short of electric when he was actually on the field. According to Player Profiler: he was Top 20 in creating separation, yards per route run, and win rate vs. Man coverage. He also had the highest juke rate among all wide receivers on the season, proving how much of a threat he is after the catch. Shout out to @AlexCaruso for finding the gem below:
👀👀👀 11/13 WR’s who hit 2.00 Yards per route run as rookies later hit a Top 12 season. Kadarius Toney is one of those 13 players
— Alex Caruso (@AlexCaruso) May 24, 2022
The current wide receiver room in NY is filled with question marks from top to bottom. Kenny Golladay got the big contract last season but dealt with his own injury issues throughout the year and wasn’t very productive. Sterling Shepard is returning from a December Achilles rupture, which takes 12+ months of recovery time. The Giants spent a second-round pick on Wan’Dale Robinson out of Kentucky. He’s another raw receiver more suited to play slot, so this sets up Toney for a permanent role on the outside, across from Golladay.
I didn’t have time to address all of the “red flags” associated with Toney, as some prefer to avoid him due to the off-the-field issues. While that’s understandable, his current value is well worth the risk when considering his ceiling. He could easily lead this team in targets and has the ability to make great plays. You won’t hurt your team if he doesn’t pan out by spending a Round 12 (or later) pick on him. No other guys in that range possess his tools to blow up if it all comes together.
Kadarius Toney is so shifty. Put the ball in his hands. pic.twitter.com/ZE5cjk4Pi2
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 10, 2021
A Look Inside the New York Giants
Editor’s Note: While we asked our writers to focus on one player, we don’t want to leave you hanging on the rest of the team. While Drew focuses on Kadarius Toney in fantasy football, here is a quick look at the rest of the Giants, prepared by either Josh Hudson or Ryan Weisse
Daniel Jones: Well, it’s Year 4 for Jones, now working with his 4th offensive play-caller in as many seasons (Pat Shurmer, Jason Garrett, Freddie Kitchens, and now Brian Daboll). Jones’ ability with his legs will surely give him upside in any given week, but has his time passed? HC Brian Daboll worked wonders with Josh Allen’s development, so Giants fans hope for similar results. He has quality pass-catchers, a dynamic RB behind him, and a (hopefully) improved offensive line in front of him. It’s now or never for Jones, who is still a worthy selection in 2-QB and Superflex formats. – Josh Hudson
Saquon Barkley: It’s no secret that we at Club Fantasy aren’t the biggest fans of Mr. Barkley. We haven’t seen much of the dynamic rookie that broke onto the scene in 2018. He’s missed 21 games over the last three seasons, including 14 in 2020 due to a torn ACL. He has also been cursed with a horrendous team around him. Is he broken and beyond fixing? If you think he’s broken, no dip in ADP will make you feel comfortable drafting him. But if Daboll and new OC Mike Kafka can get back to basics and utilize Barkley’s strengths, his current ADP of RB16 will feel like a steal by year’s end. – Josh Hudson
Kenny Golladay: Golladay has the advantage of being the only WR on this team who can do the things he does on the field. He is a big-body, field-stretching WR, and everyone else is more suited to play in the slot. His time in NY has been marred by injury and poor coaching, but he enters 2022 healthy with a competent coach. Now it’s on Golladay, and Daniel Jones, to show that he was worth all that free-agent money. With a rock-bottom ADP for any team’s potential WR1, Golladay would be a steal if he ends up in the 120 target range. – Ryan Weisse
Sterling Shepard: For years, Shepard was the unchallenged slot WR for the Giants and performed admirably for fantasy managers. You could basically pencil him in for 8-10 targets per game. He’s also caught most of the balls thrown his way for not a lot of yards or TDs. So, he was a PPR steal with little upside. Now that you add Toney and rookie WanDale Robinson to the mix, plus a slow recovery from a 2021 injury, Shepard looks like an also-ran that may not make the team. – Ryan Weisse
Wan’Dale Robinson: This year started like most others; With me having no idea who most of these college players were until they got drafted. One of the first players I looked into was Wan’Dale Robinson, not for any good reason though. There were two glaring issues for me: height and weight. At 5’8″, 180 lbs, Robinson gets a big “No thank you” from me. Tutu Atwell was a running joke last year, and he is an inch taller than Robinson. Unless Robinson hides Tyreek Hill’s speed, he will be a gadget player at best.
Ricky Seals-Jones: After the Giants moved on from former first-round pick Evan Engram and 2021 free agent-signee Kyle Rudolph, it became clear the Giants had minimal plans to involve a TE in their offense in 2022. The signing of veteran Ricky Seals-Jones should further prove that point. RSJ has never topped 350 receiving yards and only once hit four touchdowns in a season. This offense will run through Barkley and the receivers. Best to avoid RSJ than go mining for spotty TDs that likely won’t come. – Josh Hudson
We hope you enjoyed our look at Kadarius Toney for fantasy football this season. You can find all of our A Look Inside articles here!
If you’re prepping for your dynasty drafts, you can also find our rookie consensus rankings here if you’re preparing for your dynasty drafts!