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New York Giants Team Preview: Daniel Jones | Fantasy Football

Daniel Jones Fantasy

If I told you there’s a quarterback you could draft in the 8th round whose career average is 32 rushing yards per game, would you draft them? What if I then told you their rushing numbers added an average of 4.5 fantasy points added per game? 

Now, what if I said that quarterback is coming off his best season and averaged over 40 rush yards per game? Not only that, he scored seven rushing touchdowns, bringing his per-game average rushing bonus points to seven. Seven additional fantasy points per game!

So begins my case for Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones 2023 Fantasy Football Outlook

Daniel Jones Fantasy

Jones finished as the QB9 last season (QB7 if you exclude Week 18, where he didn’t play), completing 317 passes on 472 attempts for 3,205 yards, with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. He further contributed significantly on the ground, racking up 120 carries for 708 yards and seven touchdowns. That rushing total put him fifth amongst quarterbacks last season, behind only the usual suspects of Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, and Justin Fields.

So why are people not drafting him like the dual-threat quarterback he is?

No, seriously, I’m asking. Why? I truly don’t understand.

My theory is that people don’t believe Daniel Jones can perform well enough as a passer to maintain that fantasy output moving forward. There is some degree of merit to this argument, but it is also devoid of context. 

There are three arguments against Jones that all have worthy counterpoints. First, 2022 was his first quality fantasy season, so he needs to prove he can maintain this performance. Second, he is too volatile to rely upon. And third, he can’t sustain a passing offense.

Daniel Jones’ First Three Seasons

Sure, Jones struggled his first three seasons, finishing as the QB24 in both 2019 and 2020 and Q27 in 2021. Big yikes. Further, he missed time all three years due to injury, which boosts his per-game performance, but not enough for it to change our mindset on Jones. 

The first factor I want to raise is that this was a fundamentally different offensive system prior to 2022. The New York Giants were one of my least favorite offenses to watch pre-Brian Daboll. They looked chaotic and unorganized, yet somehow lackadaisical in high-leverage situations. 

No, I’m not rehashing the “Brian Daboll made Josh Allen” narrative. But are we seriously going to hold Jones to the pre-Daboll performances? We don’t hold Trevor Lawrence to the Urban Meyer season. It’s time to update our data.

Okay, but he’s too volatile.

Fine, you got me there. The downside of rostering Jones is that you’re probably going to have to weather some bad weeks. Like, really bad. 

Over the course of his career, Jones has nine games with fewer than 10 fantasy points while playing 100% of the snaps. The good news, only two of these came during the 2022 season.

But overall, I’m willing to accept the down weeks because his floor has been raised by the increased rushing upside presented in 2022. Again, he averaged seven points per game on the ground last year. Plus, the Giants demonstrated a willingness to let him scramble repeatedly in the playoffs, where he peppered the Vikings for 78 rushing yards. 

“He’s still a bad passer, though.”

This is the point I want to hammer the most because I think we forget the context around Daniel Jones throughout his career. 

The Giants’ receiver room has dealt with numerous injuries over the past four seasons, with one of their starting receivers seemingly always being injured. And that bears out in the number too.

From 2019 to 2022, Daniel Jones had a total of 14 games where he had the same starting receivers in consecutive weeks. Yeah, you read that right. That translates to 26% of his starts having come in a stretch of games with the same starting receiving corps. 

But that includes games where he was throwing to the likes of C.J. Board and Cody Latimer. No disrespect, but I didn’t know they were NFL players until researching the article. 

So if we take out games where he was throwing to backup receivers, it brings us down to seven games where Jones had the same starting receivers in consecutive weeks.

Seven. Games. 

That’s only 13% of his starts. 

And that’s also including the first game of those stretches, where he had a new receiving corps from the week before. If we only count the games where he had the same receivers as the prior week (excluding games with backup receivers), we are left with just four games, or 8% of his starts. 

How does anyone build chemistry like that? It is evident that NFL quarterbacks thrive when they have a set of receivers they trust. But how do you build that trust when there’s a new set of receivers in the lineup every week? 

The answer is: you don’t. But towards the end of last season, he started building momentum with his existing receiving corps–momentum he can take into 2023, where he will have a year of Daboll’s system under his belt and a more proficient receiving corps surrounding him and a developing offensive line.

Last year was the floor for what we can expect from Daniel Jones moving forward. He has the rushing ability you want in a fantasy quarterback and has demonstrated progress in the passing game. Now he gets better receivers and more experience in a new system? A Top 5 fantasy season is well within his reach. 

Be sure you’re following Austin on Twitter. You can also find more of his Club Fantasy work here!

A Look Inside the New York Giants

Editor’s Note: We don’t want to leave you hanging on the rest of the team. While Austin focused on Daniel Jones in fantasy football, here is a quick look at the other fantasy-relevant Giants written by Ryan Weisse.

Saquon Barkley

If Barkley plays, he’s a top-5 fantasy running back. “If he plays” used to refer to his injury history, but now we throw a contract dispute into the mix. While the Giants and Barkley sort out his future, fantasy managers are left to play the risk/reward game. If you can land him as your RB3 and wait this fight out, he’s worth the pick. You’re better off letting someone else worry about him at his current ADP.

The Wide Receivers

Since the Giants are currently carrying a ton of WRs that no one wants, let’s just play a quick word association game.

  • Isaiah Hodgins Who?
  • Parris Campbell Hurt.
  • Wan’Dale Robinson Small.
  • Jalin Hyatt Fast.
  • Sterling Shepard PUP.
  • Darius Slayton Replaceable.

Of these, only Jalin Hyatt is worth a late-round flyer.

Darren Waller

As you can tell from above, the team has plenty of potential WR2s, 3s, and 4s because Darren Waller is their WR1. I normally caution against middle-round tight ends, but Waller is the exception. He is just about a lock for 100 targets, and he would be my second priority at tight end in fantasy this season, behind only Travis Kelce.

We will be covering every team this offseason. So check back here often for all of our A Look Inside articles