New York Giants (4-8, 6-6 ATS) at Los Angeles Chargers (7-5, 6-6), 4:05 p.m.
Brolley’s Giants Stats and Trends
New York is 2-5 ATS in its last five games against teams with winning records.
New York hasn’t scored more than 17 points in five straight games and their defense is giving up just 16.0 points per game over their last six games — they haven’t played over a total in seven straight contests.
The Giants already had one of the league’s worst scoring offenses before injuries ravaged the unit, and they could now be down to Jake Fromm at quarterback if Mike Glennon is unable to pass through concussion protocol this week — Daniel Jones (neck) won’t play this week. Glennon is apparently on track to be healthy enough to play this week, but he was downright dreadful last week, completing 23/44 passes for 187 yards (4.3 YPA) and one INT. The Chargers are giving up the sixth-fewest FPG (17.0) to QBs this season.
New York’s absolutely brutal QB play has totally quashed the fantasy potential for New York’s WR corps, and it doesn’t help that Kadarius Toney (quad) and Sterling Shepard (quad) can’t stay healthy. Kenny Golladay has yet to score a touchdown as a Giant and he hasn’t reached double-digit FP since Week 4. Toney has posted double-digit FP once since Week 5 while Shepard has hit double-digit FP just once since Week 2. Shepard is back at practice so he could finally re-join the mix for the first time since Week 8. The Chargers are giving up the fourth-fewest FPG (29.5) to WRs this season.
Evan Engram has been the most reliable option in this Giants’ passing attack, which tells you how terrible it’s been this season. Engram led the Giants with 4/61 receiving on five targets (11% share) from Glennon last week. Engram has 3+ catches in seven of his last eight games, but he’s yet to reach 13+ FP in a game this season. The Chargers had given up five TDs to TEs in Weeks 10-12 before C.J. Uzomah managed just 3/20 receiving last week.
Saquon Barkley has seen 17 touches and 75% or more of the snaps in each of his last two games, but he’s managed just 127 scrimmage yards for an ugly 3.7 YPT. He’s scored between 9.3-13.4 FP in his first three games back from his ankle injury, which is once again limiting him in practice this week. The Chargers have been a defense to pick on for RBs for much of the season, but they’ve tightened up a bit in recent weeks, including limiting Joe Mixon to 19/54/1 rushing.
Brolley’s Chargers Stats and Trends
The Chargers are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games as a favorite.
Keenan Allen tested positive for COVID-19 early this week so the odds are stacked against him to play against the Giants — T.J. Watt was able to do it but most players have missed with a same-week positive diagnosis. Keenan has been one of the hottest WRs in the league, ranking as the WR2 since LA’s Week 7 bye with 19.7 FPG. Mike Williams was also placed on the COVID list as an unvaccinated close contact but he’ll be able to play as long as he doesn’t test positive this week. He’s in position to get fed if Keenan misses this week. He’s coming off a 5/110 receiving performance on seven targets last week with Herbert letting it rip more downfield
Jalen Guyton and Josh Palmer will step into bigger roles this week with Allen and Williams potentially out of the lineup. Guyton popped for a season-best 4/90/1 receiving against the Bengals last week while the rookie Palmer has 15/168/1 receiving overall. The Giants are giving up the ninth-most FPG (36.6) to WRs this season.
Justin Herbert has posted 21+ FP in three straight games, but he would lose some steam this week with Keenan and Williams potentially out of the lineup this week. It also doesn’t help that the Giants have one of the league’s worst offenses to keep this game from shooting out. Herbert averaged 9.1 YPA against the Bengals last week as he was letting it rip downfield with an aDOT of 10.3 yards — he entered the week averaging 7.4 YPA with an aDOT of 7.3 yards. The Giants are giving up the 16th-most FPG (18.4) to QBs this season.
Jared Cook posted his typical 3/29 receiving line on four targets last week, which means he’s fallen below 30 receiving yards in 9-of-12 games. Cook could take on a bigger role in the passing, along with Donald Parham, with Williams out and Keenan looking doubtful to play. Mike Gesicki went for 7/46 receiving on 11 targets in this matchup last week.
Austin Ekeler lost two fumbles last week, but he still saw 19 touches on a 73% snap share, which he converted into 104/1 scrimmage for 19.4 FP. He’s reached 19+ FP in three straight games and in 8-of-12 games this season. The Giants are getting ripped for 4.5 YPC and the 10th-most catches per game (6.0) to WRs.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 28.2 (19th)
Plays per game: 60.9 (22nd)
Pass: 65.2% (8th) | Run: 34.8% (25th)
Pace: 27.6 (14th)
Plays per game: 60.7 (25th)
Pass: 68.2% (1st) | Run: 31.8% (32nd)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
While the Chargers obviously have some huge concerns with key players unable to practice and in the COVID protocols this week, they’re lucky to be facing this Mike Glennon-led Giants team at home. Including the game he took over for an injured Daniel Jones at halftime in Week 5 (vs. Dallas) and the game he started last week (vs. Miami), Glennon has been under center for 18 Giants’ possessions and he has managed just one touchdown drive. That’s rough. The Chargers are back to being a shootout team with their games averaging 55.2 total points over the last six weeks, but it’s impossible to have any confidence that the Giants will be able to keep up and make this game another high scoring affair.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
Prospects in East Rutherford reach truly disgusting depths for the Giants without Daniel Jones running the show. Fow all of his flaws, Danny Dimes represents NYG’s only current path toward competitive play. It appears Mike Glennon will manage to clear the concussion protocol in time for Sunday’s game. If New York is forced to hand Jake Fromm his first career start, plan to head for the exits around halftime.
Justin Herbert will take a hit to his upside if Keenan Allen or Mike Williams is unable to submit negative tests to clear the COVID protocol. One player that may end up seeing a volume boost without Williams could end up being Austin Ekeler. Jalen Guyton ($3.4K/$5.2K) finally provided an ROI for all of the involvement he’s been gifted with a long TD last week. He even followed that score with some filler receptions to end the match with a respectable 4/90/1 line. Am I prepared for an encore? With James Bradberry patrolling the alter side of his typical alignment, I would be shocked out of my shoes if it were to come to pass.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
This game will be fully decided by player availability issues. The Giants are already likely starting QB Mike Glennon … if he clears concussion protocol. With Daniel Jones (neck) out, if Glennon doesn’t clear protocol, it’ll be Jake Fromm making his first career start.
Whether it’s Glennon or Fromm, the Giants’ QB will have a limited receiving corps.
Kadarius Toney not a part of practice even on the side today. Doesn’t look good.— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) December 9, 2021
Sterling Shepard does look good and should play if no setbacks I’m guessing. Saquon Barkley will play but has ankle heavily taped. Mike Glennon preparing as starter. pic.twitter.com/N6UmZab025
If Sterling Shepard (quad) does manage to play, we have to check the status of Charger slot CB Chris Harris. Harris went on the COVID list as a close contact, but could clear protocol before this weekend. Harris being in would make this a much tougher matchup for Shepard, and with a backup QB in there, one I’d likely prefer to avoid. Kadarius Toney (quad/oblique) is being called a game-time decision.
“As a rookie in 2018, Barkley led the position in total fantasy points, averaging 24.1 FPG. He totaled the most fantasy points by any rookie all-time, and the 15th-most fantasy points by any running back in any season ever.
2019 didn’t go as smoothly. He suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 3, and it was clear he was rushed back just a bit too soon. From Weeks 3-14 Barkley averaged only 3.06 YPC and 13.6 FPG. Across Barkley’s other five games he averaged a whopping 27.1 FPG along with a ridiculous 6.74 YPC.
2020 was even more disappointing. He saw a whopping 15 carries and 9 targets in Week 1, and then suffered a season-ending ACL injury on the first play of the second quarter in Week 2.
And now 2021 is looking a lot like that rough stretch in 2019. He wasn’t quite 100% to start the year, recovering from the ACL surgery, and then suffered an ankle injury in Week 5. He only missed 2 games, but it’s clear (and by his own admission) he’s not quite 100% and might not be for the remainder of the season.
Giants RB Saquon Barkley has been added back to the team's injury report. He was limited today due to an ankle injury.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 8, 2021
We already have a fairly robust sample of Barkley not playing particularly well whilst fighting through an ankle injury. And it’s clear he’s not playing particularly well now, falling 6.0 FPG shy of his expectation over the last 2 weeks. The injury is a key issue, but so is the dumpster-fire nature of this Giants offense, now led by either QB Jake Fromm or Mike Glennon.
And so, while Barkley’s profile is enticing — a generational prospect, who has played on 80% of the team’s snaps over the last two weeks, averaging 12.0 carries, 7.5 targets, and 17.4 XFP/G over this span — I think it would be unwise to view this current iteration of Saquon Barkley as comparable to the Saquon Barkley of old.
Instead, I think the Barkley we have on our rosters now is just a mid-range RB2 for fantasy (despite the fact that he’s seeing mid-range RB1-levels of volume). Or, at least that’s how I’m viewing him until proven otherwise.”
With Barkley less than 100% (ankle), my conclusion is the same as Scott’s.
#Chargers takeaway:— Taylor Bisciotti (@TaylorBisciotti) December 8, 2021
All 3 players on the Covid Reserve list could still play Sunday with negative tests.
WR Keenan Allen
WR Mike Williams
CB Chris Harris Jr.
It seems that Allen has tested positive but is vaccinated, which gives him a window to be active with negative tests. Williams is a close contact. But if Allen doesn’t play and Williams does, it’s a huge spot for Big Mike. As Scott noted, “from 2018-2020, there were only four games in which Allen sat out or played on fewer than 35% of the team’s snaps. In those games, Williams averaged 8.5 targets and 22.5 FPG. In all other games, he averaged just 4.9 targets and 9.7 FPG.”
It’s looking more likely for Williams than Allen at the moment, but we will not know for sure until Saturday.
Chargers WR Mike Williams, a Covid-19 close contact, continues to test negative, I'm told, so L.A. remains optimistic that he will play Sunday vs. the Giants. CB Chris Harris is in the same boat.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) December 10, 2021
If Allen and/or Williams misses, that will be a heightened opportunity for Jalen Guyton and rookie Josh Palmer at WR, while maybe Jared Cook gets extra work at TE. The Giants have allowed 6.3 receptions per game to TEs over the last five weeks.