In an effort to get on the right track, the Giants are on to their fourth head coach since 2016 in former Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. While some fans would probably like to see quarterback Daniel Jones fighting for his job — or gone altogether — they will instead have to hope that Daboll can transform Jones much like he did Josh Allen in Buffalo. Beyond quarterback, however, there are high-profile starting spots to be won in training camp at wide receiver and tight end.
In this series, we will look at the most important fantasy football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity is king in fantasy, as you can’t produce fantasy statistics without getting on the field. So, the first step when looking for value plays is to project — correctly — which players will win training camp battles.
Here’s a look at our picks to win the training camp battles for the New York Giants ahead of your 2022 fantasy football drafts.
Sterling Shepard vs. Kadarius Toney vs. Wan’Dale Robinson vs. Darius Slayton
Shepard, who is entering his walk year, is back on his feet after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon late last season. Still, it’s not certain that he’ll be ready for training camp, and that injury specifically can sap a player’s quickness, which is one of Shepard’s top traits. Toney, a 2021 first-round draft pick, is undoubtedly the most talented player here — go check out what he did in Week 5 at Dallas. But he was limited by injuries and COVID after that. He also underwent offseason knee surgery, although he is expected to be ready for camp on July 27.
Robinson, a highly undersized but dynamic receiver appears to be the heir apparent to Shepard in the slot. Slayton led all Giants wide receivers in receiving touchdowns last season with ... two. He has shown quality deep-threat skills, but that doesn’t mesh well with Jones’ deep-ball inaccuracies. He’s also dealt with his fair share of injuries, is a free agent at season’s end and reportedly did not perform well during minicamp earlier this summer.
Our pick to win: Kadarius Toney
The Giants have also put out trade feelers regarding Toney, but assuming everything is OK behind the scenes with him, there is no doubt he is the player to choose for this battle. He has a unique stop-start ability as a route-runner and in the open field. He is clearly better and more versatile than Slayton, more proven than Robinson, and has a much higher ceiling at this point than Shepard. None of this is to say that Toney will be a steady fantasy star this season; that hinges far more on Jones’ development. But if things break his way, he can definitely become a worthwhile WR3.
Ricky Seals-Jones vs. Jordan Akins
The Giants have a huge void at tight end following the release of Kyle Rudolph, and Evan Engram’s signing in Jacksonville. RS-J has had small flashes of fantasy relevancy throughout his five-year career. That includes 2021, when he caught 30 passes for 271 yards and a couple of TDs in 13 games (six starts) with Washington. His second half of last year was marred by injuries.
Akins has put up better-counting stats than Seals-Jones throughout his career, tallying 114 yards for 1,260 yards in four seasons with the Texans. But he’s 30 years old, is not as athletically skilled as RS-J and has not proven to be a red-zone weapon (three TDs in 58 career games)
Our pick to win: Ricky Seals-Jones
The Giants should want RS-J to win this job convincingly. If his health prevails, the former collegiate wideout can be a usable, low-end TE1 in deeper formats with the risk-averse Jones under center.