Saquon Barkley: 2021 Dynasty Profile

Past Production

Here are Saquon Barkley’s full NFL stats.

Rushing Stats:

 Year  Games   Carries   Yards   YPC   TDs   Fantasy Rank   Fantasy PPG   PPG Rank 
 2018  16  261  1,307  5.0  11  RB1  24.1  2nd
 2019  13  217  1,003  4.6  6  RB10  18.8  7th
 2020   2  19  34  1.8  0  N/A  7.7  N/A

Receiving Stats:

 Year  Targets   Receptions   Yards   TDs 
 2018  121  91  721  4
 2019  73  52  438  2
 2020   9  6  60  0

The Giants drafted Barkley with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, making him one of the highest-drafted running backs in recent memory. Barkley burst onto the scene as a rookie, finishing as the RB1 overall and second in fantasy PPG, behind only Todd Gurley. Barkley served as Eli Manning‘s safety blanket, becoming both a featured rusher and a premier pass-catcher in his rookie season.

In 2019, everyone expected the world from Barkley. The Giants drafted Daniel Jones as their future quarterback, and Barkley looked like a dominant fantasy asset after his rookie year. Barkley excelled in the first two weeks, totaling 29 carries for 227 yards and a touchdown and seven receptions for 47 yards.

Unfortunately, Barkley suffered a high-ankle sprain in Jones’ first start in Week 3, forcing him to miss the following three games. Barkley returned in Week 7, but he didn’t look completely healthy. He struggled through the next four games, averaging only 2.58 YPC.

But, Barkley returned with a vengeance after the Giants’ Week 11 bye. He averaged 19.3 carries/game in the final six games and 5.18 YPC, going for over 100 rushing yards per game. Barkley was every bit the fantasy force he was as a rookie, even as the Giants dealt with Jones’ struggles and injuries.

Then, in 2020, the Giants finally got a chance to build chemistry between Barkley and Jones. However, Barkley struggled against the Steelers’ exceptional defense in Week 1 before tearing his ACL in Week 2 versus the Bears. Barkley’s 2020 season ended before it began, leaving him in dynasty limbo as the crazy 2020 fantasy season played out.

Dynasty Analysis

I think that almost everyone agrees that Barkley is one of the best pure running back talents in the NFL. He’s not the best overall rusher or the best overall receiver, but I don’t think any player provides excellence in both areas in the same way that Barkley does. Barkley also only turns 24 years old in February, making him a similar age to Miles Sanders and David Montgomery. Barkley is even only one year older than incoming stud rookie Najee Harris.

Even with all of those positive attributes, it’s impossible to deny that Barkley comes with injury concerns. He missed significant time with injuries in each of the past two seasons, and he hasn’t made it through a fully healthy year since 2018. Luckily, Barkley’s ACL tear occurred exceptionally early in the 2020 season. Therefore, I don’t expect him to have any lingering effects when the 2021 season kicks off. Barkley will likely even participate in Giants’ training camp.

In dynasty leagues or even any fantasy football league, stud running backs with no competition for touches are almost impossible to find. In 2020, only Dalvin Cook and James Robinson truly dominated rushing and receiving work without ceding significant touches to another back. Barkley possesses more talent than either of those players, and he should play that type of role in 2021. Wayne Gallman will do nothing more than spell Barkley as a backup if he returns to the Giants.

Therefore, Barkley is my fourth overall player and dynasty RB3, behind Christian McCaffrey, Jonathan Taylor, and Justin Jefferson. If you told me right now that Barkley was 100% healthy, he would rank second overall behind only McCaffrey. He’s a generational talent, with only his health as a concern for me. I love him as a dynasty buy if anyone is panicking due to his injuries.

Thanks for reading this article. You can find me on Twitter at @DFF_Karp. I love to interact with anyone in the community, so reach out at any time! I take fantasy questions and help with all formats, so keep sending those questions my way.


Columbia SPS Sports Management graduate.

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