Giants WR ‘Primed For’ 1st-Ever 1,000-Yard Campaign?

Giants 11-personnel offense ranks fastest in NFL

Getty WR Darius Slayton of the New York Giants celebrates his touchdown with teammate Sterling Shepard

The New York Giants’ wide receiver position has been quite the perplexing position group for outsiders to put their finger on. For instance, an NFL personnel exec recently noted to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan that most teams would “be hard-pressed to match” Big Blue’s trio of wideouts. Yet, on the other hand, Pro Football Focus has the Giants’ receiving corp ranked as just the 21st-best in football.

Despite the differentiating views on New York’s receiving corps as a whole, there’s one thing, or more specifically one player, that the majority of writers and outlets can agree upon, Darius Slayton is primed for a monster season.

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Darius Slayton Destined to Crack 1K-Receiving Yards?

Darius Slayton entered the NFL with little fanfare as a 5th-round selection out of Auburn a season ago. His play over the first month or so of his rookie campaign did little to add to that. He racked up 82-receiving yards in Week 3, but more than half of those yards came on one reception.

Yet, after a change at quarterback and an injury to Sterling Shepard, the G-Men’s perceived No. 1 wideout, Slayton took off and never looked back. For the final 13 weeks of 2019, Slayton played more than two-thirds of New York’s offensive snaps. In return, he would go on to finish the year with a team-leading 740 receiving yards. His eight receiving touchdowns on the season would tie him with Titans star AJ Brown for the most amongst all rookie wideouts.

Now, with another year under his belt, working alongside quarterback Daniel Jones, expectations are sky-high for the former Auburn Tiger. With The Draft Network going as far as to peg Slayton as one of 10 WRs primed for their first-ever 1K-yard receiving season.

Darius Slayton, New York Giants

Darius Slayton, a fifth-round pick in 2019, impressed with 740 receiving yards in 14 games with a rookie quarterback in Daniel Jones. The Slayton-Jones duo should evolve as they both enter their second season and push Slayton over the 1,000-yard mark.


Fantasy Outlook: Big Play Threat, Volume Concerns

No matter how you feel about the Giants’ supporting cast around Danny Dimes, one thing is clear, there are a plethora of mouths to feed. Saquon Barkley is arguably the most talented player in all of football, and his 91 receptions two years ago is evidence of the type of volume he can eat up in the passing game.

Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate are eerily similar volume-type players, who thrive most in the short-passing game with excessive looks coming their way. Let’s also not forget Evan Engram, who, from a talent perspective, may be a top-3 tight end in all of football.

However, what all those names listed above fail to do, that Slayton excels in, is stretch the field. The soon-to-be 2nd-year wideout led the team in 2019 with a depth of target average of 14.2-yards. His 15.4 yards per reception ranked 4th amongst all rookies and 16th league-wide amongst all wideouts.

Lastly, Slayton is the only true threat New York has in terms of an outside receiver. So, while his volume may not always be reminiscent of a true WR1, his snap count will likely look the part of such. In return, bringing more opportunity and potentially more fantasy production.

To further drive home this point, when Shepard returned to Big Blue’s lineup in Week 12 last year, it was Tate, not Slayton who saw a drastic statistical drop-off. Tate went from averaging six-receptions and 80+ receiving yards without Shepard on the field, to hauling in an average of just 1.25 receptions and less than 24 receiving yards over the next four games upon Shepard’s return.

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