Does Daniel Jones Finally Have a WR1 in Malik Nabers? | 2024 New York Giants Fantasy Football Draft Guide

by Ryan Kirksey
Does Daniel Jones Finally Have a WR1 in Malik Nabers

Last season for the New York Giants was an abject disaster in real life and for fantasy football. Under head coach Brian Daboll, the Giants went 6-11 (not horrible), but were 30th in points per game, 26th in points allowed per game, and became more defined for a local third-stringer playing six games at quarterback and what his Goodfellas-looking agent wore to the games. Quarterback Daniel Jones missed 11 games with an injury. Saquon Barkley failed to reach 1,000 rushing yards or even 4.0 yards per carry. Their receiving corps was led by a fifth-round pick from 2019 who caught less than 800 yards. Apart from a few fantasy-relevant games from Barkley and Wan'Dale Robinson, there was nothing to like on this team last year. But with the sixth pick from the 2024 draft coming in, does Daniel Jones finally have a WR1 in Malik Nabers?

That is only one of many questions facing this underachieving team heading into 2024. The head coach and offensive coordinator haven't changed heading into this fantasy football season. Knowing that, fantasy managers have to ponder whether better health, continuity in the system, and the insertion of one of the best college wide receivers ever will turn this team around on offense. With the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles looking as strong as ever and the Washington Commanders upgrading their quarterback, will the Giants find themselves in the NFC East basement? Is there really anyone we trust for fantasy football now that Saquon Barkley is gone?

Keep reading as we try to answer some of your questions with the 2024 New York Giants Fantasy Football Draft Guide

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Does Daniel Jones Finally Have a WR1 With Malik Nabers?

Does Daniel Jones finally have a WR1 in Malik Nabers? That's the primary fantasy question worth answering this year for the New York Giants. Asked another way, can the combination of Malik Nabers and Daniel Jones make the other fantasy relevant for the majority of the 2024 season? The Giants hope is is a resounding "Yes!" after taking Nabers sixth overall out of LSU in the 2024 draft. Nabers, as you have likely heard, was an absolute freak in college. In 2023, he turned a 32% target share into 89 catches for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns over 13 games. His breakout age was 19 years old according to Player Profiler and he won't even be 21 years old when the season starts. The Giants are counting on him to be the cornerstone of their offense for years to come.

The question, of course, is can he with Daniel Jones at quarterback. With Jones and a host of backups at quarterback since 2019, no player on the Giants has topped more than 770 receiving yards and Darius Slayton led them in receiving four times. Last year, Jalin Hyatt showed from flashes of brilliance and Wan'Dale Robinson tallied 525 yards in just eight starts. Bur Daniel Jones completed just 47.3% of his passes against man coverage and 75% of his completions against zone (both 72nd among all quarterbacks who played). It wasn't any better with Tommy DeVito and Tyrod Taylor.

There is sort of a chicken or egg thing going on here with the wide receiver corps. Is Daniel Jones not any good because he has no above average wide receivers or are the wide receivers mediocre at best because Daniel Jones is throwing them the ball? The answer is likely a little bit of both. Daniel Jones has never (whether at Duke or in the NFL) played with a wide receiver like Malik Nabers. He was 92nd percentile in 40-yard dash and 98th percentile in burst at the combine. He averaged 17.6 yards per reception last season while Jalin Hyatt led the Giants at just 16.2. His hands are impeccable and he can high point the ball better than anyone on this roster. He led FBS in plays of 20+ yards in 2023 (34). All that to say - he is an absolute baller.

Even in his rookie season, Nabers should come close to matching a 30% target share, meaning over 125 targets. Hyatt will move to the other side of the field as the WR2 and Wan'Dale Robinson will operate out of the slot in the short field.

How do We Evaluate Devin Singletary After a Breakout Season Last Year?

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The man who has the unenviable job of replacing Giants' legend Saquon Barkley is sixth-year running back Devin Singletary. After it was assumed Dameon Pierce would lead the Houston Texans backfield in 2023, an injury opened the door of opportunity for Singeltary and he never looked back. Not only did he look good in the Texans' spread out offensive scheme, he had moments of absolute domination. From Weeks 10-18, Singletary handled more than 70% of the running back snaps five times. He also averaged 70% of snaps in the Texans' two playoff games. In the nine games from Weeks 10-18, Singletary had at least 80 rushing yards or a touchdown in six of them.

Singletary parlayed that performance into a 3-year, $16.5 million deal with New York that has $10 million of it guaranteed. The Giants jettisoned longtime backup Matt Brieda in the offseason and only have Tyrone Tracy Jr. and Eric Gray as legitimate backup threats. What that tells me is we should expect more high snap counts for Singletary, perhaps close to the neighborhood Barkley saw last year (79%) in many games. Singletary showed he could handle that workload with the Texans last year, and now he will look to keep that efficiency while being the primary option in New York.

Despite being a starter only half the season, Singletary ranked 15th in breakaway runs last year (10).  He was among the top 24 running backs in red zone touches and created 4.4 yards per touch last year. Currently being drafted as the RB33 at pick 104 in ADP for Half-PPR leagues, there is nothing profit potential there for someone who could have a heavy workload. He should be a target for anyone deploying a Zero RB approach in 2024.

Should We Draft Any New York Giants Tight End?

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If your league counts music videos released as a fantasy stat, Darren Waller should definitely be at the top of your draft boards in 2024. Of course he has decided to retire, so that would not be a wise decision.

This leaves rookie Theo Johnson and Daniel Bellinger as the only tight end options for the Giants. Johnson is a beefy 6'6", 260-pound tight end from Penn State who was drafted in the fourth round this year. He was 98th percentile in speed score, burst score, and catch radius at the combine. Plus, he caught seven touchdowns on just 34 receptions his last year of college. He is a flyer in two-tight end or tight end premium leagues, but not much else.

Daniel Bellinger is a mostly blocking, sometimes catching, tight end who has 55 receptions and two touchdowns in his first two NFL seasons. The Giants like him more as a blocker and likely see Johnson as more of the pass-catcher as they roll out more 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) in 2024. Waller remains the wild card of this group, but even if he does come back, his production has trailed off in recent years. The young wide receivers provide more upside for Daniel Jones and that's likely where the majority of targets will go.

Final Thoughts

If we were put together a power rankings of NFL teams with fantasy relevant players, the New York Giants would likely fall somewhere like 28th-30th. They're ahead of teams like the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers, but not many more than that. This is a make it or break it year for Daniel Jones because of the albatross contract around his neck. The Giants have an out with him after 2024 where they could take a $22 million dead cap hit instead of paying Jones $76.5 million from 2025-2026. He needs this year to work out for him. Fantasy managers need Jones to work this year to salvage any fantasy value from Malik Nabers. I expect this duo to be quite busy through the 2024 season.

The Giants were 18th in the NFL last season with a 57% pass rate, but most of that was inefficient and ineffective because of the personnel. I do expect that number to go up this year with Nabers around. Hyatt should take a step up and Robinson should be healthy all year. There is a chance this becomes a sneaky good passing game by the middle of the season if we get any of the 2022 version of Daniel Jones. The biggest fear fort this team is ineffectiveness or reinjury for Daniel Jones. Drew Lock or Tommy DeVito coming in at quarterback would kill any fantasy relevance, just like what happened last season.

I'm pursuing Malik Nabers around round four or five because of the volume, Jalin Hyatt at the end of drafts, Devin Singletary in round nine or 10, and Daniel Jones in Superflex or 2QB leagues. In terms of fantasy relevant players for New York in 2024, that's about all I can find.

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