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Don’t be scared Danny Dimes:
Entering his fourth season, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is in a make-or-break season in New Jersey. “Inconsistent” would probably be the word best used to describe Jones in his first three seasons. He has shown flashes that he can be the franchise quarterback franchise. Jones had a respectable year as a rookie when he went 3027/24/12 through the air and 45/279/2 on the ground in only 13 games played (started 12 games). The next two seasons would see him struggle as a passer (21 TD passes and 17 INT) due to decision making, but he was a reliable rusher. Jones’s main claim to fame has been turnovers. He has 49 in his career, tied for third in the NFL since 2019.
Enter new coach Brian Daboll. The former Bills offensive coordinator comes over after leading one of the league’s most explosive offenses. The development of Josh Allen had a lot to do with that success. Speaking of success, that was not a word used to describe Allen in his first two seasons as a pro. The stud signal caller compiled a 15-12 record as a starter while throwing 30 touchdowns and 21 interceptions (also a playoff berth). He improved each year before exploding as an MVP candidate in 2020. The hope is that the Daboll / Jones duo can move toward similar heights. This week it was reported that Daboll wants Jones to “cut it loose” and take chances. Of course, he wants him to protect the ball but also wants him to know “you can not go out there and play afraid”.
The Giants declined Jones’ fifth-year option for 2023, and he is fine with that. He seems focused on controlling what he can control and that is his play. Jones’ main goal and objective for the 2022 season is playing well, having team success, and letting other things (like a future contract) fall into place. It seems almost unfair for players like him and Baker Mayfield. It is not their fault they were drafted first and sixth overall respectively. They should not have been drafted so high in the first place. It’s now or never, whether or not Jones can live up to the “Danny Dimes” nickname remains to be seen.
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Running backs at wide receiver? We want more:
There have been reports this week of a couple of top-tier talented running backs lining up at receiver. This is music to the ears of all fantasy football managers. A Giants beat reporter for The Athletic, Dan Duggan says that Saquon Barkley will catch “a ton” of passes from what he observed this week at the Giants OTAs. He also mentioned that he saw Barkley lined up in the slot running a post route. In years where Barkley plays at least 13 games, he’s averaged 61.3 catches per season. If Barkley is lining up in different spots in the formation, that could create situations for a higher ceiling. Entering 2022, if you’re banking on him being healthy (fingers crossed), he is a seriously buy-low candidate in fantasy leagues.
The Athletic’s Chad Graff reported that “in multiple formations” Dalvin Cook lined up in a bunch wide receiver sets. What makes Cook a top back in the league is his versatility. New Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell is at least kicking the tires on expanding that. When asked about it Cook said, “I do not want to sit up here and tell y’all everything”. Despite being able to rush for at least 1,100 yards in three straight seasons, Cook has still reeled in 42.8 receptions a year per campaign. Already within the sixth or seventh best backs in fantasy, adding this new wrinkle to his repertoire would make him a serious candidate to finish as the RB1 in fantasy. That is not a bold or hot take. It’s simply something that could help Cook take his game to another level.
Minicamps bring major hype:
We all love to see our favorite teams score touchdowns against air during off-season minicamps. It gives us hope, faith and nice false-sense-of-security vibes. It’s a time when almost every player can be a Pro Bowler. No matter what happens you can either downplay a situation or hype it up to the max. Titans rookie WR Treylon Burks, who just signed a four-year fully guaranteed contract, was seen using an inhaler in practice. The masses went wild with this one, everything from his weight to his work ethic has been questioned. Some now believe he will be too tired to play in and finish an NFL game. Falcons rookie QB Desmond Ridder throwing crisp passes against the 0-0 air defense has fans on social media ready to anoint him the out QB1 immediately. While there is some potential there with Ridder, can we get him to training camp first? Take it all in, it’s beautiful, it’s football, it’s the game.