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Shark Bites

Giants RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) is inactive for today’s game vs. the Dolphins. RB Matt Breida should lead the backfield again but is just a RB3 or flex play in a struggling New York offense.

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The Giants used the franchise tag to keep Saquon Barkley on the 2023 roster but never worked out a longer-term pact. ESPN's Jordan Raanan reports that the team won't do so in 2024 and that "it seems like this is headed for Barkley to hit free agency." That would be the first trip into the open market for the six-year veteran, who turns 27 this week. Barkley has rebounded after losing 20 games to injury from 2019 through 2021. He has missed just four total contests over the past two years despite posting his two largest carries-per-game rates (18.4 and 17.6). Barkley's 2.91 yards after contact per carry in 2023 also was his best mark since 2019. The guy can still play and should be a good fit in any system because of his versatile skill set. Barkley sits inside Round 2 in both Underdog and FFPC ADP so far. You might be able to get him at a nice discount in dynasty, however, where managers often over-emphasize youth.

Giants RB Saquon Barkley struggled in Week 17, posting 58 scrimmage yards on 15 touches against the Rams. This performance is emblematic of the rough go the veteran had in 2023. Barkley missed four games due to an ankle injury and was only able to be healthy to play in three games with QB Daniel Jones (torn ACL in Week 9). Still, he averaged 88.1 scrimmage yards per game this season, a slight downtick from 103.1 in 2022. Barkley also totaled an average of 20.6 touches per game across 13 contests and showed his ability to maintain a sizeable workload. He’ll enter 2024 as a 27-year-old free agent and likely be able to hold low-end RB1/high-end RB2 dynasty value for the next couple of seasons.

The Giants' offense has struggled lately but managed to support a big game for RB Saquon Barkley in Sunday's win over the Commanders. Barkley rushed 14 times for 83 yards (5.9) per rush and added a 4-57-2 receiving line on 5 targets. That tied him for the team high in targets and marked Barkley's most receptions in a game since Week 6. The yardage was a season high. Playing a lackluster Washington defense certainly helped. The Giants get a neutral matchup with New England in Week 12 before a Week 13 bye. After that comes a positive matchup for RB scoring with Green Bay, but three straight negative matchups to finish the season. That makes Barkley a potential sell if your trade deadline hasn't passed yet. Barkley's receiving ability helps him in negative matchups, though, so he can certainly remain useful in fantasy. Barkley has also topped 5.0 yards per carry in three straight contests.

Giants RB Saquon Barkley recorded 13 carries for 66 rushing yards with 1 catch for -5 yards in Week 10 vs. the Cowboys. Fantasy managers expected tough sledding against a fierce Cowboys defense, and there’s no sugarcoating a 7.1 PPR point performance. The moribund offense will hurt Barkley the rest of the way, and the Giants’ remaining schedule ranks as the toughest for RBs per our adjusted fantasy points allowed. You might get flex-level value from Barkley on volume, but keep your expectations low.

RB Saquon Barkley essentially served as the Giants’ entire offense in Week 8 vs. the Jets, totaling 36 carries for 128 rushing yards with 3 catches. The team had to pivot early on after starting QB Tyrod Taylor (ribs) and TE Darren Waller (hamstring) left in the second quarter due to injury and settled on pounding the rock all the way through OT. It’s difficult to draw any meaningful fantasy-based conclusions from this game due to the dire circumstances. Keep an eye on the practice reports this coming week to see who’ll be available to suit up vs. the Raiders in Week 9.

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