New York Giants (0-1, 0-1 ATS) at Washington Football Team (0-1, 0-1), TNF, 8:20 p.m.
Implied Team Totals: Giants 18.75, Washington 21.75
Spread/Total Movements: 4 to 3, 42.5 to 40.5
Weather: 75 degrees, light winds, 20% chance of rain
Giants Injuries to Watch: RB Saquon Barkley (knee, questionable), TE Evan Engram (calf, out), OG Shane Lemieux (knee, out)
Washington Injuries to Watch: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip, IR), RB Antonio Gibson (shoulder, will play)
Brolley’s Giants Stats and Trends
The Giants are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in this series and 5-0 outright.
New York is 1-4 ATS in its last five games.
The Giants have covered four straight NFC East contests.
New York is 3-0 ATS on short rest under Joe Judge.
New York has played under the total in eight straight games as an underdog.
Saquon Barkley played on 48% of the snaps in his first game back from his ACL injury and he could be on a snap count again with a quick turnaround. He finished with 11/27 rushing and he ran 16 routes, which turned into just a three-yard catch on three targets. Washington limited Chargers RBs to 3.6 yards per carry last week.
Daniel Jones scored on a four-yard rush on the final play of a 13-point loss to the Broncos last week as he finished with 6/27/1 rushing with one lost fumble and he completed 22/37 passes for 267 yards (7.2 YPA) and one touchdown. He’s now reached two TD passes in just four of his last 15 games since 2020. Washington limited Justin Herbert to 337/1 passing for 15.4 FPG, and Jones posted just 324/2 passing in two games against them last season.
Sterling Shepard led the Giants with nine targets (24% share) and 7/113/1 receiving against the Broncos, and he looked great and showed some YAC ability on his 37-yard touchdown. Shepard has now posted 6+ catches in 9-of-13 games since the start of 2020. He ran 65% of his routes from the slot last week and Keenan Allen posted 9/100 receiving in this matchup last week.
Kenny Golladay wasn’t limited at all by his preseason hamstring injury in the season opener, running a route on 88% of Jones’ dropbacks. He owned a 16% target share with an aDOT of 16.3 yards on his way to 4/64 receiving. Mike Williams posted 8/82/1 receiving on 12 targets in this matchup last week.
Brolley’s Washington Stats and Trends
Washington is 1-6 ATS in its last seven games as a favorite.
Washington is 6-1 to the under in its last seven games and its 7-1 to the under in its last eight home games.
Antonio Gibson played on 65% of the snaps last week and he handled 20/90 rushing and 3/18 receiving on five targets (24% share). The Giants held Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams to 24/76 rushing (3.2 YPC) before Gordon broke a 70-yard TD run on Denver’s final play of the game.
Taylor Heinicke will start this week with Ryan Fitzpatrick landing on the IR. Heinicke completed 11/15 passes for 122 yards (8.1 YPA) and one touchdown and he added 3/17 rushing after entering the game in the second quarter against the Chargers. Heinicke ran for 68 yards and a touchdown in his two appearances last season. Teddy Bridgewater posted 264/2 passing and 3/19 rushing in this matchup last week.
Terry McLaurin is back to playing with scrubs after Fitz went down early in Week 1. He muscled out 62 receiving yards by catching all four of his targets (19% share), all of which came from Heinicke. McLaurin posted 14/189/1 receiving in two games against the Giants while he had 6/75 receiving in his lone game with Heinicke last season against the Bucs.
Logan Thomas caught an 11-yard touchdown to salvage his Week 1 as he caught all three of his targets for 30 yards. He’s now posted double-digit FP in eight consecutive games (playoffs included) with four TDs in that span. Denver’s TEs combined for 10/85/1 receiving last week.
Dyami Brown had just a negative-two-yard catch last week, but he played on 93% of the snaps and his four targets were good enough for a 19% target share on a day when Washington attempted just 21 passes. K.J Hamler posted 3/41 receiving in this matchup last week and he dropped an easy 50-yard touchdown.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Week 1 – Pace (seconds in between plays): 23.2 (15th)
Week 1 – Plays per game: 62 (23rd)
Week 1 – Pass: 67.2% (11th) | Run: 32.8% (22nd)
Week 1 – Pace (seconds in between plays): 24.2 (20th)
Week 1 – Plays per game: 51 (31st)
Week 1 – Pass: 46% (31st) | Run: 52% (2nd)
Both of these teams were held under 20 points in Week 1 and the Giants would have (should have) been held to just 7 if it weren’t for a stat-padding rushing TD from Daniel Jones on the final play of the game against Denver. Neither team sustained offense efficiently in Week 1, and both finished bottom-10 in plays run on Opening Day. Especially with Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip) out for quite some time, we are going to see Washington transition into a ball-control, run-first offense with Taylor Heinicke under center. While Antonio Gibson will ultimately be fine, I am definitely a bit worried about Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas’ volume and target quality moving forward. I am also very worried about the quality of this game. Washington has a massive advantage in the trenches against the Giants offensive line and I'm going to wait to be presently surprised before I trust OC Jason Garrett. Washington lost both of their meetings against New York last year, but both contests were one-score slugfests (Week 6 – Giants, 20-19 and Week 9 – Giants, 23-20). With the lowest over/under on the slate by far (40.5 points), this game is brutal for fantasy appeal.
(Note: We’re dealing with very small sample sizes early in the season – so I’m saving the deep dive into play-calling tendencies until Week 4.)
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
Giant OC Jason Garrett used Posse personnel (11) on three-fourths of offensive snaps in Week 1, and Daniel Jones passed on four-fifths of those snaps. The O-line played surprisingly well in pass pro, but the ground game finished third from last with 3.0 YPC, tied for second-worst with a long run of only eight yards, and third-fewest rushing first downs (three).
Working in a tight game throughout, Washington OC Scott Turner called in a nearly 50:50 split of run-to-pass. Two-thirds of snaps utilized Posse personnel (11), nearly identical to last season.
While he didn’t have the greatest Week 1, I think this matchup sets up well for Giant WR Kenny Golladay, given the coverages and matchups he should see. While Washington rookie CB Benjamin St-Juste is talented, he got torn apart by Justin Herbert and company last week, surrendering 22.4 FP. St-Juste aligns mostly at right CB.
It’s a tougher matchup for Jones’ favorite target, slot WR Sterling Shepard, who will face primary coverage from Kendall Fuller on the snaps he aligns inside.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
Thanks, NFL, for pushing this crapfest to national television in Week 2 primetime. Wee! The total of 40.5 is easily the lowest of Week 2, which actually has some projected high-flying matchups on the board.
The quick turnaround from Sunday to Thursday is less than ideal for Giants RB Saquon Barkley, who played under 50% of the snaps in Week 1 and averaged just 2.6 YPC. Our Dr. Edwin Porras thought Barkley looked fine physically, but the Giants gave him no room to run against a nasty Denver defense. Unfortunately for Saquon, this week’s matchup is with a Washington front seven that kept the Chargers’ run game in check last week — allowing just 3.6 yards per clip. I expect Barkley’s usage will be similar in Week 2 as in Week 1, and if he gets through unscathed, he could start to be ramped up in Week 3 off the “mini-bye.” He’s a low-end RB2/FLEX.
#Giants Saquon Barkley will test his surgically rehabilitated knee for the 2nd time in 5 days. “I don’t think this schedule is ideal for coming back from a major injury." I'll be watching his warm-ups closely. https://t.co/dac4s4xhrH #nyg #NYGvsWAS— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) September 14, 2021
Based on the matchup, as Wes noted above, I think Kenny Golladay is a defensible WR3 for the Giants this week. And though his matchup is more difficult, Sterling Shepard is one of the most underrated players in all of fantasy. He’s seen 5 or more targets in 11 straight games, and over his last three games he has 24/302/3 receiving on 31 targets, scoring over 20 points in a PPR in each of the three. He’s a WR3 as well.
I have little interest in Danny Dimes, and TE Evan Engram (calf) is out again. Beyond this week, there’s no way I’m starting him until I see him get through a game healthy. In Engram’s absence, Kyle Rudolph caught just 2 of 5 targets for 8 yards, and Kaden Smith wasn’t targeted, so neither are fantasy options.
For the Team, I do consider it a slight downgrade to the receivers that Taylor Heinicke is getting the start for the injured Ryan Fitzpatrick. I like Heinicke’s game; I consider him a quintessential backup QB who can play aggressively at times and can make plays with his legs, but his arm strength is below average, as evidenced here — it looks like he’s throwing a balloon. So I think Terry McLaurin is a WR2, and I’m waiting until I put any other Team WR in my lineup.
I’m a bit more bullish on TE Logan Thomas, as the Giants just gave up 22.5 FP to Bronco TEs last week. He’s still a TE1.
As for RB Antonio Gibson, he saw serious bell cow usage in Week 1, seeing 20 carries and leading the club with 5 targets, and he wasn’t tackled for a single loss. He also ran routes on 50% of dropbacks compared to 35% for JD McKissic. I expect the offense to be filtered through Gibson in Week 2, making him an RB1. (He had a shoulder injury, but isn’t listed on the final report.)