New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley entered the NFL as one of the most hyped rushers to enter the league in decades. His highlight tape from Penn State was like watching Bo Jackson and OJ Simpson combined and thrown into a video game.
A dude with legs that thick shouldn’t be able to hurdle defenders or juke them with such ease.
Two years in looks like Big Blue made a good call taking him second overall in 2018. His rookie year saw him eclipse 2,000 yards from scrimmage, only the second player in NFL history to do so in his age-21 season. He earned Rookie of the Year honors and scored 15 touchdowns.
Barkley followed up with another 1,000-yard rushing effort but injuries shortened his year to 13 games. He still accumulated over 1,400 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns overall.
With new quarterback Daniel Jones now the full-time starter, the future is now for the NY Giants. The road forward in the 2020 NFL season will not be easy, as strong defenses populate the schedule with divisional, NFC West, and AFC North matchups. Barkley will be the focal point of stopping New York’s offense but the team has added talent.
If Jones can continue to progress as a signal-caller, that could take some pressure off the run game.
Barkley has done very early in fantasy drafts and has certainly drawn attention from New Jersey online sportsbooks for season props. Here are some of the prop odds being offered by major outlets with prices, based on all 16 games of the NFL schedule being played.
Yardage: An explosive start for Saquon Barkley?
Barkley enters 2020 as one of the most explosive and versatile backs in the league. In his career, he has so far averaged 4.8 yards per carry and 8.1 yards per reception. New offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has experience with backs like Barkley from his days in Dallas, so expect 20-25 touches per game.
Most projections available online have Barkley again eclipsing 1,000 yards on the ground. The range I found was 1,119 to 1,262.
A lot of that varies on the play of the offensive line, which will be without Nate Solder due to a coronavirus opt-out, and how much the team throws (which might be more if they trail early and often in games). For receiving yards, the prognosticators have him anywhere from 491 to 607.
Here are the numbers and prices offered at some major NJ sportsbooks:
|Yardage Odds||DraftKings||FanDuel||Fox Bet||BetMGM||PointsBet|
|Rushing Total||1200.5 (-106 O, -117 U)||1199.5 (-112)||1215.5 (-110)||1200.5 (-110)||1200 (-110, over only)|
|Yards From Scrimmage Total||1625.5 (-110)||1649.5 (-112)||No price||1650.5 (-110)||1700 (-110, over only)|
Touchdowns: All depends on the offensive choices
I think how often Barkley gets red zone touches and chances to score this year depends upon the control of the offense. If Garrett has the play-calling duties, he might pass first and try to spread it around in goal-to-go situations.
Head coach Joe Judge has been with run-first minds like Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, so he might call more run plays and try to batter through defenses.
Fantasy projections have Barkley with around 8-9 rushing scores and 2-3 receiving TDs. It’s difficult to anticipate what will happen with a new coach and no preseason footage to analyze.
|Touchdown Odds||DraftKings||FanDuel||Fox Bet||BetMGM||PointsBet||SugarHouse|
|Rushing TDs Total||9 (-110)||No price||9.5 (-110)||9 (-110)||No price||9 (-110)|
|Total TDs||No price||11.5 (-112)||11.5 (-120 O, +100 U)||11.5 (-110)||12 (-110 over only)||No price|
|Rushing TD Leader||+900||+900||No price||+1200||+900||+900|
MVP: Quarterbacks trump running backs
Barkley earned AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2018. However, the top award in the league has been dominated by quarterbacks for years now. This means the odds at NJ sportsbooks for NFL MVP honors put Barkley at much more of a longshot.
|MVP Odds||DraftKings||FanDuel||Fox Bet||BetMGM||PointsBet||SugarHouse|
|Offensive POY||+3300||+1800||No price||+1500||+1400||+3300|