Shark Bites

According to ESPN's Jordan Ranaan, Giants RB Paul Perkins hasn't "blown anyone away with his performance this summer." That, of course, comes across as a euphemism for: Perkins looks disappointing. The team has been counting on Perkins to lead the backfield in his 2nd season after it let Rashad Jennings go in the offseason. But Orleans Darkwa is reportedly pushing for more work and has already been splitting recent 1st-team reps. Shane Vereen also could add more carries to a profile that should already include leading the group in receptions. We'd still bet on Perkins leading the team in carries this season -- as of now -- but the Giants seem headed for more of a committee approach than they probably hoped heading into camp. And Perkins looks more like the bench fodder that his fantasy football draft price has made him so far than a potential mid-round steal. We'll see if he can step it up.

Giants RB Wayne Gallman is "clearly" 4th on the depth chart behind Paul Perkins, Shane Vereen and Orleans Darkwa, according to insider Dan Duggan. Rookies tend to start their careers buried on the depth chart, but Gallman doesn't seem to be ascending. He "has had a quiet camp," notes Duggan. Gallman isn't worth a pick in redraft leagues at this point. Perkins, meanwhile, remains locked in as New York's lead back.

Giants WR Sterling Shepard was back on the practice field on Monday -- just 5 days after suffering what appeared to be a serious injury. (Here's video proof.) Shepard ended up with just a low-ankle sprain. And it was evidently a minor one. He'll be ready to rock come Week 1.

Giants WR Sterling Shepard (ankle) told reporters on Friday that he'll "for sure" be ready for Week 1. "I’m feeling pretty good,” he said. Shepard escaped with just a low-ankle sprain and is already out of his walking boot. There's no concrete timetable for his return, but Shepard is hoping to get some preseason snaps. We haven't moved him down the WR rankings.

Giants WR Sterling Shepard has been diagnosed with a low-ankle sprain, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. That's excellent news after what looked like a potential season-ending injury just a few hours ago. Consider Shepard week-to-week for now, but we'd bet on him being ready for the start of the regular season.

Giants HC Ben McAdoo called WR Sterling Shepard's injury a "rolled ankle." We should get further details soon, but Shepard evidently escaped without a serious injury. He's slated to operate as the #3 WR this season for a team that runs primarily 3-WRs sets. Shepard will struggle to match last year's 105 targets with Brandon Marshall in town but could still present spot-start fantasy value -- if healthy, of course.

Giants WR Sterling Shepard was carted off the field during Wednesday's practice. Trainers were reportedly working on his right leg. "He's in serious pain ... Apparently in tears. Not good," ESPN's Jordan Raanan tweeted. We should learn more soon, but this obviously has the look of a serious injury. Shepard's absence would likely mean target boosts for WR Brandon Marshall and TE Evan Engram. Stay tuned.

Giants HC Ben McAdoo provided up update on rookie RB Wayne Gallman following the first practice in pads. “I saw a young guy that got knocked around a little bit,” McAdoo said. “Bounced right back up and made a couple of nice plays later on in practice. But he’s a young player, has a lot to learn, has a long way to go.’’ Gallman, a 4th round pick, certainly has time to impress the coaching staff. But with below average athleticism and college tape that didn't wow, expect the Clemson product to remain in a reserve role this fall.

The Giants have signed K Mike Nugent. He'll compete with Aldrick Rosas for the job. The G-Men have produced a top-5 fantasy K in 2 of the last 5 seasons, so the winner will be on the radar. But you should avoid the situation until we know who that will be.

Two Giants writers for NJ.com project TE Will Tye to get cut this summer. Both project Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Matt LaCosse and Jerell Adams to constitute the team's TE group -- with Adams beating out Tye for the final spot. It's notable only because Tye's 70 targets ranked 4th on the team last season. His ouster would leave opportunities available for Engram and others. We're not betting on the 1st-round pick turning into an immediate fantasy starter. But the departure of last year's starter would enhance the weekly upside.

ESPN's Jordan Raanan believes the Giants are "all-in" on RB Paul Perkins after only adding 4th-round rookie Wayne Gallman to the backfield this offseason. "Any last doubts the New York Giants were serious about making Paul Perkins their feature running back should be removed now that LeGarrette Blount landed in Philadelphia," Raanan writes. The G-Men reportedly "never really made a serious play for Blount." So it's Perkins' starting job to lose. He averaged just 4.1 yards per carry as a rookie. But that looks more impressive when you consider the rest of the Giants' RBs mustered just 3.5. New York's offensive line remains a concern, but volume alone could make Perkins a fantasy starter. He's currently being drafted as RB31 in MFL10s.

Giants VP of player personnel Marc Ross confirmed what we all pretty much knew: The team drafted TE Evan Engram to catch passes. “Yeah, he’s not gonna line up on the line and just be trying to dive block people all the time," Ross said. "He’s gonna be in the backfield, he’s gonna be in the slot, he’s gonna be detached, he will be down in tradition tight end position sometimes too, but the way Ole Miss used him… He can line up in three or four positions, so I would envision we will use him in a similar fashion.” Engram didn't do much blocking in college and struggled when he did. But he caught 162 passes over 4 seasons, including 65 last year. Then he registered a 93rd percentile SPARQ score at the Combine. Engram might find targets tough to come by this season in a Giants offense with 3 strong WRs. But long term, this guy has as much fantasy upside as any TE in the 2017 class.

Giants HC Ben McAdoo on Monday told reporters that RB Paul Perkins is the team's backfield starter, according to Pro Football Talk. That's no shocking revelation, but it's notable that McAdoo talks about the 2nd-year back that way rather than saying he'll need to earn the top job. Perkins followed an impressive run at UCLA by not leading the Giants in carries until Week 16. But he did finish the year starting over Rashad Jennings, including the playoff loss at Green Bay. The team drafted Clemson RB Wayne Gallman over the weekend, but he doesn't bring NFL-starter talent. And Jennings remains unsigned. RB Shane Vereen is still around and should claim plenty of receiving work -- if he can stay healthy (a big "if"). But early fantasy drafters should treat Perkins as the top back in what could easily be a top-10 scoring and yardage offense.

The Giants selected Clemson RB Wayne Gallman in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. A big part of Clemson’s offense over the past 2 seasons, Gallman totaled 2,647 rushing yards, 378 receiving yards and 31 TDs. But he doesn’t stand out on tape and tested as a 22nd percentile athlete at his position. He at least finds opportunity in a Giants backfield currently spearheaded by 2nd-year RB Paul Perkins.

The Giants added QB Davis Webb in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Webb spent his first 3 college seasons at Texas Tech, starting 14 games over his first 2 years and completing just 61.9% of his passes in a QB-friendly offense. He spent 2015 backing up Chiefs 1st-rounder Patrick Mahomes before transferring to Cal and replacing Jared Goff this past year. Webb tallied 4,295 yards, 37 TDs and 12 INTs on a 61.6% completion rate for the Golden Bears — all 4 marks trailing Goff’s 2015 numbers. Like Goff, Webb operated almost strictly out of the shotgun and feasted on short passes. He does flash plenty of arm strength when given a chance, though, and actually tested as an 80th percentile athlete among QBs. The Giants hope he’s their eventual successor to the 36-year-old Eli Manning.

The Giants selected Ole Miss TE Evan Engram with the 23rd pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. He’s surprisingly the 2nd TE off the board, ahead of Miami’s David Njoku. Engram is closer to a big WR than a traditional TE. He won’t contribute much as a blocker (at least immediately) but should be a weapon in the passing game. His 65 catches, 926 yards and 8 TDs last year all ranked 1st or 2nd among all FBS TEs. Engram is undersized for an NFL TE at 6’3 and 234 pounds, but he tested as a 93rd percentile athlete. He could develop into a Jordan Reed type — or even move to WR and operate as a big slot guy like Marques Colston. In the short term, though, Engram has a ton of target competition in Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard. He won’t be more than a late-round flier in redraft leagues.

The Giants have signed RB Shaun Draughn. The 29-year-old has bandied about the league for the past 6 seasons, never making a fantasy impact. His most extensive action came in San Francisco over the last 2 years. He handled 150 total carries but mustered just 459 yards -- an ugly 3.06 yards per carry. Draughn does have some pass-catching ability -- 54 grabs over the past 2 seasons -- but Shane Vereen figures to get the 1st crack at those duties. Draughn is unlikely to emerge as a fantasy option in 2017.

The Giants have agreed to a 4-year contract with DE Jason Pierre-Paul, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports. That should lock in the 28-year-old with the team into his 30s -- and perhaps for the length of his career. Pierre-Paul was scoring like a top-5 fantasy D-lineman once again last year before hitting IR with a sports hernia in December. Adam Schefter reports that his new deal includes $54 million and averages $17 million annually. That would make it very similar to the contract DE Olivier Vernon signed with the Giants last offseason -- though with $1.5 million more guaranteed over 1 fewer season. The team obviously believes that JPP will continue to produce, and we see no reason to dislike him heading into 2017 fantasy football drafts.

12:05pm EDT 3/17/17

The Giants have signed QB Geno Smith, per the New York Post's Brian Costello. Not surprisingly, Smith didn't garner much (any?) interest as a starter. So he'll settle for a backup gig behind 36-year-old Eli Manning. If Smith makes a good impression with his new club, perhaps he'll be considered as Manning's eventual successor. That seems like a long shot, though.

WR Brandon Marshall signed a 2-year deal with the Giants worth $12 million, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Marshall, who turns 33 later in March, is coming off a disappointing 59-788-3 line. But he certainly dealt with awful QB play. Per Pro Football Focus, just 55% of his targets were deemed "catchable." Compare that to his mark of 72% in 2015. Moving to the Giants provides a clear upgrade at QB, despite a down 2016 from Eli Manning. Still, with Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard already in the mix -- plus a potential impact signing or draft pick at TE -- Marshall might struggle to surpass low-end WR2/WR3 range.

 
 
 

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