Since signing his lucrative deal in free agency, New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay hasn’t quite had the impact that fantasy football managers were hoping for. The former Detroit Lions star, who was expected to be the team’s WR1, has just 7 receptions for 102 yards. Perhaps more concerning is the chemistry between Sterling Shepard and quarterback Daniel Jones, which has relegated Golladay to the team’s second option.
Should you start Kenny Golladay in Week 3?
Golladay now finds himself in a battle for targets with big-play threat Darius Slayton, who has already shown his playmaking ability this season. Let’s look at Golladay’s outlook in what should be a favorable Week 3 matchup with the Atlanta Falcons.
Kenny Golladay is a boom-or-bust wide receiver
Since entering the league, Golladay’s fantasy production has often been boosted by his ability to score touchdowns. After a slow start, he had 13 receiving touchdowns in his final 21 games with the Lions. That efficiency doesn’t look to have carried over to his new team, though.
Through his first two games with the Giants, Golladay has yet to record a touchdown. More alarmingly, he’s been an afterthought near the goal line. He has just 1 red-zone target so far this season, and he couldn’t make the catch. Shepard, Kyle Rudolph, and Saquon Barkley have all been targeted more often. Meanwhile, WR C.J. Board has been thrown to the same number of times as Golladay inside the 20-yard line. Unlike Golladay, however, Board was able to come down with the ball.
Unless Golladay sees an increase in target share and volume, he will struggle to produce the consistent numbers that fantasy managers are looking for. He’s still capable of making big plays, as evidenced by his 14.6 yards per reception, but that’s still well below his career average of 16.7. It’s early in his tenure, but it will be a further blow to both his fantasy floor and ceiling if it continues.
Daniel Jones is the key to Golladay’s success this season
Daniel Jones has impressed to start the regular season, but much of the praise has surrounded his rushing ability. In Detroit, Matthew Stafford could maneuver in the pocket but would ultimately look to pass, and Golladay was the beneficiary of that.
On the contrary, Jones is a great runner who will abandon the pocket and scramble to gain the first down and more. He has just as many rushing touchdowns this season as he does passing touchdowns (2). That significantly limits the upside of his receivers, and Golladay is no exception.
Golladay has never been a player with a high catch percentage. He’s two weeks into his fifth season in the NFL and has just a 57.8% catch rate. While there’s been a slight downturn early in his Giants career, his 50% catch rate isn’t a significant anomaly compared to the 58.1% of targets he reeled in while in Detroit. It’s still early, and all it will take is one efficient game to move the scales.
Golladay faces a struggling Falcons defense in Week 3
The Falcons are currently giving up the eighth-most fantasy points to WRs this season in standard leagues. That number drops to the 14th-most in PPR leagues. Dean Pees’ defense isn’t allowing many catches to wide receivers — just 26 in two games –, but the 5 touchdowns given up is the second-highest number in the NFL.
A.J. Terrell, who is the Falcons’ best cornerback, will miss the game with a concussion. That leaves Fabian Moreau, Isaiah Oliver, and T.J. Green as the top three options. None of them have cemented themselves as starting CBs. Furthermore, neither player is capable of consistently covering a player like Golladay when he’s at his best.
Golladay isn’t at his best, though. He has been limited in practice throughout the week with a hip injury. While the hamstring issues that caused him to miss time in preseason seem to be behind him, a hip injury isn’t good news for a player whose effectiveness will heavily depend on his range of movement.
Golladay’s listed as questionable, but the fact he’s been running routes in practice should be encouraging. As always, keep an eye on the injury report and make sure that you check for updates before kickoff.
Golladay is a risky proposition in fantasy, even against a soft Falcons defense. He’s currently the WR36 in our Week 3 WR rankings.