Saquon Barkley Injury Update: Will Giants RB play in Week 7?

Saquon Barkley missed last week with an ankle injury -- What's new with his injury, and what should fantasy managers do with the star RB?

When you drafted Saquon Barkley before this season, likely in Round 1, you probably had hopes of him anchoring your fantasy football roster with elite RB1 performances. That hasn’t happened. After seemingly being eased back in with a moderate workload, Barkley injured his ankle after only 2 carries in Week 5 and missed Week 6. He has yet to top 16 carries in any game this year and hasn’t reached 60 rushing yards. Not great. So, what are we doing with the star RB?

Update 10/22/2021: The New York Giants have announced that Saquon Barkley will not play this week against the Carolina Panthers.

Saquon Barkley injury update

I know it can be frustrating to have your star player hurt and underperforming, but don’t panic. First, we need to figure out the plan for Barkley this week. Then, we can start looking ahead.

For Week 7, Barkley has been ruled out. When he has been on the field this year, his workload has been significantly decreased.

Through the first four games of this year, Barkley averaged 13 carries and 4.7 targets per game. In his rookie 2018 season, the only year in which Barkley didn’t miss a game, he averaged 16.3 carries and 7.5 targets. Barkley is currently seeing 6.1 fewer opportunities per game than his rookie campaign that catapulted him into elite RB1 status. It’s safe to wonder if he’ll ever return to that level.

What should we do with Barkley long-term?

I’m going to do my best William Wallace from “Braveheart” impression. *ahem* HOLLLDDD.

There seems to be a good amount of panic out in the fantasy football streets about Barkley. While that’s fair, in no way can you drop a running back with a starting job to the waivers. Have you seen the waiver wire running back options this week?

D’Ernest Johnson, Rashaad Penny, and Devonta Freeman. Two of these guys are nothing more than injury fill-ins, and the third is in arguably the ugliest (and oldest) running back committee in the NFL.

If you are inclined to move on from Barkley, perhaps you can look into trading him away on name value, but let’s not get cute here. He’s still a very talented running back. And when he heals up from this ankle injury, Barkley is still a starting running back capable of putting up points.

Jon Helmkamp is a fantasy football and NFL contributor for Pro Football Network. You can find him on Twitter: @JonHelmkamp and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.

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