Saquon Barkley
First-round pick Saquon Barkley will be one of the biggest fantasy football busts in 2021. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)

Saquon Barkley has been a hot commodity in fantasy football ever since he was drafted in 2018. The Giants have used him as their workhorse back when he’s played. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been enough to get consistent fantasy production out of him. Going in the first round of drafts is acceptable given Barkley’s talent, but the Giants’ offense is holding him back from being elite.

The offensive line is just one of Saquon’s many issues going into the 2021 season. New York’s abysmal line last season proved their youth in week one. Barkley took 15 carries for 6 yards against the Steelers, as he was constantly getting hit in the backfield. But to fix that, their awful GM, Dave Gettleman, decided to cut their lone bright spot in Kevin Zeitler. The offensive line will likely take a step back, so that’s one of the many concerns for Barkley.

Next is that Daniel Jones has been killing Saquon’s value ever since he became the starter. Barkley’s rookie year with Eli under center was by far and away his best season. Manning had a weak arm at the end of his career and was consistently dumping it off to Saquon every week. Barkley finished the season with 121 targets, a feat he will never reach again. The next season we saw Daniel Jones take over. Consequently, Saquon got 73 targets racking up 300 fewer receiving yards than the season prior. Jones has disappointed to start his career and still refuses to dump the ball off to his most explosive playmaker on offense.

Not only is Daniel Jones the problem, but Saquon Barkley will be fighting with some new competition this season. Coming off a torn ACL, the Giants brought in running backs DeVontae Booker, Ryquell Armstead, Corey Clement, and Gary Brightwell. Now Barkley is a much better running back than all of them combined, but it’s clear the Giants want to limit his touches after suffering another injury in his young career. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants limit Saquon to less than 20 touches per game. Ultimately, this kills his workhorse value that people are pining over when drafting him in the first round of drafts.

Saquon Barkley is one of if not the most talented running backs in football. Unfortunately, the New York Giants are putting him in the worst possible position to succeed. I wouldn’t be touching Barkley in the first round in fantasy football drafts this year. Give me Alvin Kamara, Jonathan Taylor, Ezekiel Elliott, and Nick Chubb over him every single time.