Should I Draft Saquon Barkley? Giants RB’s Fantasy Outlook in 2023

Should I Draft Saquon Barkley? Giants RB’s Fantasy Outlook in 2023

After a down 2021, Saquon Barkley reminded everyone that he has elite fantasy football production within him. With Daniel Jones progressing, Barkley racked up a career-high 1,312 yards on the ground while continuing to be heavily involved in the pass game (57 receptions). He is back to being considered an elite asset — are you ready to build your team around the New York Giants RB?

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Saquon Barkley’s Fantasy Outlook for the 2023 NFL Season

Sure, the Giants paid Danny Dimes a bunch of money this summer and let the negotiations with Barkley get ugly. But the fact of the matter is that Barkley is back on the field and will continue to be the straw that stirs this drink — no matter what the money says.

That was more a statement on the RB position as a whole: this team proved willing to feature their All-World back last season and fantasy managers should expect more of the same in 2023.

The lack of depth at the running back position on this roster points to Barkley getting as much work as he can handle, something that the one-year deal also hints at. The team went the volume of receivers route in their offseason. While the depth is strong, there is no one option that is going to demand targets consistently.

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Darren Waller is my projected Giants leader for receiving stats, with Barkley potentially offering the next most consistent value in that regard.

Yes, Darius Slayton will have his moments and so will Isaiah Hodgins among others. Still, in terms of week-in/week-out producers through the air, it’s Waller-Barkley and then a massive gap.

Is Barkley a Good Fantasy Pick?

Barkley is a great pick at the end of the first round for just about all roster builds. He is versatile enough to thrive in any scoring system, involved enough to be an anchor to your team and packed with enough upside if you want to go the “Hero RB” strategy.

Why Saquon Barkley?

Healthy Weeks 1-10:

⁃ 83% Team Snaps⁃ 86% Team High Value Touches

Both were first amongst all NFL RBs.

Saquon can lead the position in receptions + touches inside the opponent’s 10 yard line (HVTs) again.pic.twitter.com/fZmAPrUaQ8

— Joe Orrico (@NoExpertFF) August 17, 2023

I personally have Stefon Diggs as a part of that top tier of WRs, so if he is still on the board, I find myself taking him over Barkley.

But much of that is due to my confidence in the next wave of running backs that are often available to me in Round 2 (namely Tony Pollard). If you don’t share that confidence in the RB position, grab Barkley and be thrilled with the talented WR1 that you’ll be able to secure in Round 2.

MORE: Is Saquon Barkley a Safe First-Rounder? (YouTube Shorts)

If you go the Barkley route, be aware of the schedule. The G-Men have a Week 13 bye and only one weather-proof game following Thanksgiving. He’s more than talented enough to overcome that: I’m just presenting the facts so that you can do with them what you please.

  • PFN Consensus Rank: Sixth overall
  • Current ADP: 10th overall
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