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Saquon Barkley to have ‘huge’ role in New York Giants offense, evaluating fantasy impact

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley emerged as one of the best NFL players in his rookie season and still dominated in 2019. Three years later, we might finally see the best version of Barkley once again.

Selected with the 2nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, New York went against the grain by spending its top pick on a running back. While there was plenty of skepticism regarding the decision, Barkley made a strong impression in his first two years.

Related: Saquon Barkley looking ‘explosive’ and powerful in training camp

Unfortunately, injuries quickly derailed everything. A torn ACL early in the 2020 NFL season served as a devastating blow. A year later, Barkley missed significant time with nagging ankle issues.

Heading into the final year of his rookie contract, the 25-year-old running back needs to turn things around after two vastly splits in his first four seasons.

Saquon Barkley splitsGPYPARush TDRush YPGRec. YPGScrimmage Yards
2018-’19 seasons294.81779.7403,469
2020-’21 seasons153.5241.821.5950
Saquon Barkley stats via Pro Football Reference

A strong 2022 campaign from Barkley would make him one of the top NFL free agents in 2023, one of the rare running backs with youth on his side worth signing. Fortunately for him, it seems he’ll have every opportunity to make that happen.

Related: Saquon Barkley poised for bounce-back season

According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, Barkley is expected to have a ‘huge’ workload this season with head coach Brian Daboll making him the featured running back and a vital piece in the passing attack.

Fantasy football outlook for Saquon Barkley

NFL: New York Giants at New England Patriots
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Whether or not quarterback Daniel Jones takes a huge step forward in 2022 shouldn’t have a significant impact on Barkley. Because Tyrod Taylor is now the Giants’ backup quarterback and has a viable chance to make starts, even an in-season switch shouldn’t damage Barkley’s upside.

Related: Week 1 fantasy football rankings

One of the biggest reasons for optimism regarding Barkley is the group in front of him. New York Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas could become one of the elites at his position in 2022 and this team now boasts Evan Neal on the right side. On the interior, Mark Glowinski and Shane Lemieux provide New York with its best offensive line in years.

All of this comes with confidence in the coaching staff. Daboll and offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey are two bright minds who will create an exciting offense that finds the best ways to utilize its playmakers. The most effective version of the Giants’ offense is centered around Barkley and it’s precisely why he’s poised for a huge role this season.

  • Saquon Barkley projections: 1,108 rushing yards, 63 receptions, 487 receiving yards, 13 total touchdowns