No. 4 – New York Giants (D/ST #20)I promise that this is the last slide devoted to defense, but we can’t ignore facts. Did you know that in 2016, Big Blue finished as a top-five scoring fantasy defense and was the No. 2 defense in points allowed per game with just 17.8?
So what the heck happened last season?
A bunch of injuries, an inconsistent ground-game, and former head coach Ben McAdoo’s vanilla play-calling made it impossible for the New York Giants offense to stay on the field. According to NFL.com, Big Blue ranked 29th in the NFL last season in time-of-possession per game (28:42) and a turnover differential of minus-3, per NFL.com. That taxed the defense heavily leading to a bottom-of-the-barrel finish in total yards and points surrendered despite similar personnel.
In comparison, Pat Shurmur’s Minnesota Vikings unit ranked No. 2 in the NFL in time-of-possession (32:26). Granted, the Vikings have an elite defense, but they certainly got extra help from their highly efficient offense.
The Giants should expect the same with OBJ, Shepard, Barkley, Engram and a revamped offensive line. They will eat up more clock this year with offensive coordinator Mike Shula and his run-first approach. As result, the defense should spend less time on the field leading to fewer opportunities for opponents to score.
Oh, and Bettcher’s unit was the No. 6 ranked defense in 2017 despite the Cardinals offense ranking No. 22 in the NFL.
The Giants do have a tough strength of schedule but have the 13th most difficult slate in terms of their D/ST, per FantasyPros.com. Considering you likely won’t have to spend a draft pick, New York is a waiver-wire steal with season-long, week-to-week streamer relevance at the very least.