What’s Changing Up Top: Saquon Barkley
I'm here to remind you of the little changes that can make a big difference in performance year over year. The What’s Changing Up Top series of articles covers the highest projected Running Backs and just one or two points that might change your perspective on their 2020 outlook.
223.4 Points//18.6 PPG// June 15th ADP of 2.3
While CMC outperformed expectations in 2019, Saquon Barkley struggled to meet them. I'm writing this article, thinking about the team owner in my home league who drafted Barkley first overall. In August, he'll be paying for the wings we eat during our live draft, as punishment for being the worst team in the league.
What we have to remember about Barkley goes all the way back to week 3 of 2019. Barkley suffered a high ankle sprain while being tackled by Tampa Bay Safety, Mike Edwards. While this injury general warrants a 6 to 8 week recovery period, Barkley missed only 3 games returning against Arizona in week 7. The 6 weeks following his return, Barkley averaged a pitiful 3.1 YPC and 8 YPR. In an IGTV discussion with golfer, Brooks Koepka, Barkley admitted to rushing back and pushing himself a bit too hard to return. In week 13, it looked like Barkley's ankle was finally ready to play, but week 14, he hit is stride. From weeks 14 to 17, Barkley paced for 1,800 Rushing Yards, 588 Receiving Yards, and 20 total TDs. While it's a small sample size, his opponents were decent. On average, his opponents ranked as the 16th most favorable against RBs, so it wasn't a complete cakewalk.
In 2020, I'm expecting Saquon to return to his usual self. At the end of the season, we saw what he could do when healthy, and it's no joke. He can do it with any offensive line, quarterback or head coach. The Giants used 3 of their first 5 picks on Offensive Linemen, which certainly won’t hurt. He's a physically gifted man with quads the size of my rib cage, and betting against him won't pay off. I'm hoping to use my buffalo sauce covered fingers to stick his name to the draft board in August. That way, I can cheer him on while I watch him put up 2,000 all-purpose yards in 2020.