Kenny Golladay or Kadarius Toney: Can you start either Giants WR for fantasy in Week 9?

Will Giants WR Kenny Golladay return from his knee injury this week, and can fantasy managers trust him and Kadarius Toney in Week 9 lineups?

The Giants’ WR corps has been decimated by injuries this season. They just can’t seem to get everyone healthy at the same time. Entering Week 9, Kadarius Toney is good to go and safe to insert into fantasy lineups, but Kenny Golladay remains a question mark. How should fantasy football managers handle Toney and Golladay in Week 9 lineups?

Kenny Golladay’s injury status

We haven’t seen Golladay since Week 5. In the Giants’ loss to the Cowboys, Golladay hyperextended his knee. Initial reports suggested he would miss 2-3 weeks. If Golladay doesn’t play this week, it would be his fourth missed game.

The Giants have a Week 10 bye. Conventional wisdom suggests they’d err on the side of caution, let the oft-injured receiver rest through the bye, and bring him back fully healthy on the other side. Unfortunately, injuries to Sterling Shepard and Dante Pettis may not afford the Giants that luxury.

Kadarius Toney is a safe fantasy option

Toney’s situation is very strange. He played just 57% of the snaps last week despite the Giants losing Shepard and Pettis mid-game. Toney himself was forced out of the game for a stretch after his hand was stepped on. Fortunately, he was able to return — not that Jason Garrett thought getting the ball in his hands was a good idea.

Entering Week 10, the Giants did not even list Toney on the injury report. Logic dictates Toney should see an increase in playing time and usage. With Shepard out and Golladay questionable, Toney is easily New York’s healthiest and most talented WR (sorry Darius Slayton, but you’re just not that guy).

Will Golladay play this week?

I really can’t remember a time where so many players were legitimately questionable. Usually, we can get a read on whether players are actually playing. But Golladay is one of several players that are truly game-time decisions.

Golladay got in limited practices Thursday and Friday. Although New York would be wise to give him another two weeks to rest, if he’s healthy, he’s going to play. The sense from Giants beat reporters is that barring a pre-game setback, Golladay is going to suit up. The good news is New York plays at 1 PM ET, so fantasy managers will be able to make an informed decision.

Sunday update: According to Art Stapleton, Golladay is “good to go” this week. He’s active.

If Golladay plays, can fantasy managers start him?

As great as it would be to have Golladay back, we mustn’t forget how ineffective he’s been. In his four full games, Golladay finished higher than overall WR42 just once.

This week’s matchup against the Raiders is a difficult one. Las Vegas allows the fourth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. They’ve surrendered just 4 receiving touchdowns this season.

Related | WR Start’ Em, Sit ‘Em Week 9: Are Emmanuel Sanders, Jerry Jeudy, and DeVonta Smith options?

A returning Golladay is a welcome sight for the Giants and fantasy managers. However, managers would be wise to take a wait-and-see approach with Golladay.

There are a few reasons to worry about Golladay this week. First, the aforementioned difficult matchup. Second, it would be his first game back in a month. Third, he’s barely been a fantasy WR4 even when healthy. Fourth, re-injury is very much a risk. I would view Golladay as a TD-dependent WR4 that fantasy managers should only start if necessary.

Can fantasy managers start Toney?

Typically, when discussing two receivers on the same team, the status of one directly impacts the startabilty of the other. With Toney and Golladay, that’s not the case.

Regardless of Golladay’s status, fantasy managers can start Toney as a WR3. Even though the matchup is difficult, Toney is explosive and athletic enough to overcome it. He’s displayed a high ceiling in his 10-reception, 189-yard effort against Dallas. Toney should operate as the Giants’ top WR this week, which should at least give him a volume-based floor.

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