New York Giants tight end Evan Engram will miss his second straight week with a calf injury, while Saquon Barkley is officially questionable for Thursday night’s game against the Washington Football Team with his ongoing knee issue.
Evan Engram out against Washington on Thursday Night Football
With Engram out, the Giants played two tight ends in Week 1: Kyle Rudolph and Kaden Smith. While Smith started, Rudolph was the primary on Sunday, as he was on the field for 77% of the team’s offensive snaps but targeted just 5 times.
The short week certainly hasn’t helped Engram’s chances of returning from the injury he suffered in New York’s preseason finale. Still, a week’s worth of did-not-practices on the injury report wasn’t reflective of the progress he’s made since getting hurt in the Giants’ preseason finale.
“He’s making a lot of jumps in terms of how he’s working,” Giants coach Joe Judge said this week.
Engram, in his four-year career, has 216 catches for 2,420 yards and 13 touchdowns. A first-round pick in 2017, he’s playing on his $6 million fifth-year tender.
Engram’s fantasy analysis for Week 2
Engram being absent for the second game in a row is frustrating but not overly surprising given the short week. If you selected Engram in your fantasy football draft, it was likely as a player with a high upside when on the field.
When he returns, he will still be that high upside option, but if you need a tight end for Week 2, then the uncertainty over his role makes him a player you should consider moving on from. While he might be back for Week 3, we are not sure of his role in terms of snaps or targets.
The likelihood is that if Engram is dropped this week, he will be available to pick back up relatively for cheap on waiver wires ahead of Week 3.
Kenny Golladay should have a bigger role this week
Expect an even bigger role this week for Kenny Golladay. Golladay signed a four-year, $72 million free-agent contract with the Giants in the offseason but missed much of training camp and all of the preseason with a nagging hamstring injury. Nevertheless, he started against the Broncos in Week 1 and logged 52 of a possible 61 snaps.
Daniel Jones targeted Golladay 6 times (second-most on the team behind Sterling Shepard’s 9) and finished the game with 4 catches for 64 yards. All 4 of those catches went for first downs.
“I can speak for everyone in we try to go into every game trying to be explosive. We want to make those explosive plays. Of course, I’m going to say I want myself and the rest of the guys on the offense to come in with just that mindset and just dominate and have explosive plays,” Golladay said this week, according to USA Today.
Saquon Barkley questionable on a short week
As for Barkley, he was sore Monday but otherwise made it through his first game since tearing his ACL last fall in decent shape. The Broncos limited Barkley to 26 yards on 10 carries in Week 1, with the former No. 2 overall pick logging just under half of New York’s offensive snaps.
“I don’t think this schedule is ideal for coming back from a major injury,” Barkley said this week, according to the New York Post. “But that’s what it is. That’s the challenge I have to face.”
In addition to Engram, the Giants also ruled out linebacker Cam Brown (hamstring) and guard Shane Lemieux (knee) for Thursday night.
Barkley’s fantasy outlook against Washington
Trusting Barkley this week will be tough. He saw just 10 carries in Week 1 on 29 snaps. On a short week, it seems unlikely that he is given a full workload. Still, the expectation is that he will see slightly more touches than he did against the Broncos.
Additionally, the matchup is tough. Austin Ekeler had just 57 yards on 15 carries and did not get a single target against Washington in Week 1. He salvaged his fantasy performance with a touchdown, but relying on touchdowns is a dangerous game in fantasy football.