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Lawrence Cager in for Prominent Role?

By Matt Schauf | Updated on Mon, 24 Jun 2024, 7:46 AM EDT
Lawrence Cager Headshot

The retirement of TE Darren Waller leaves obvious opportunity at the position among Giants. And there might be a surprise candidate for significant target share. ESPN's Jordan Ranaan writes that "it looked this spring like [Lawrence] Cager and fourth-round pick Theo Johnson will be asked to fill that pass-catching role." He added that HC Brian Daboll called Cager "probably one of the most improved players throughout the offseason." Not mentioned in the brief write-up: TE Daniel Bellinger.

What They're Saying

John Fennelly of Giants Wire back in March, after the team retained Cager on a one-year restricted free-agent contract: "Cager will have a lot of competition for the third tight end role behind Darren Waller (assuming he doesn't retire) and Daniel Bellinger. The Giants are also bringing back Tyree Jackson and added two free agents -- Jack Still and Chris Manhertz -- to the roster."

It seems Cager at least currently stands ahead of Still, Manhertz, and Bellinger.

Ed Valentine of the Big Blue View Giants blog in early June: "It looks right now like it will be a struggled for Cager to stick with the Giants in 2024."

SNY's Connor Hughes when asked on June 18 to name a Giant who could be a surprise cut ahead of the regular season: "Daniel Bellinger."

2024 Fantasy Football Impact

Theo Johnson's the easiest bet to make the regular-season roster, given that the team just drafted him. That has made Johnson the highest drafted Giants TE amid the Waller uncertainty -- and following his retirement decision.

But it's worth remembering that Johnson lasted into Round 4 and never caught more than 34 passes in a college season, despite his elite physical traits.

There's room for Cager -- or another vet -- to lead Giants TEs in targets and receptions this season.

Cager turns 27 in August and originally hit the league as a 2020 undrafted free agent with the Jets. He has just 19 NFL receptions since then, 17 of those with the Giants over the past two years.

Cager averaged 14.8 yards per catch across four college seasons as a wideout: three at Miami, one at Georgia.

We'll see how the depth chart sorts out at this spot. Feel free to avoid all Giants TEs in best ball and redraft throughout draft season.

Dynasty Impact

Regardless of where Theo Johnson sits on the Giants' TE depth chart entering 2024, he's the long-term bet among the current position group. Just don't let the weakness of the team's other options make you overrate Johnson's outlook. Keep in mind that he was a fourth-round pick despite one of the best Relative Athletic Scores of all time.

Other Winners & Losers

Don't draft Daniel Bellinger in any format until/unless something changes.

Rankings Movement

We'll keep watching this situation and tweak the TE rankings as needed. But expect Giants TEs to remain a low-impact group.

Matt Schauf Author Image
Matt Schauf, Editor
Matt has earned two Fantasy Pros accuracy awards for IDP rankings and won thousands of dollars as a player across best ball, dynasty, and high-stakes fantasy formats. He has been creating fantasy football content for more than 20 years, with work featured by Sporting News, Rotoworld, Athlon, Sirius XM, and others. He's been with Draft Sharks since 2011.
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