New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley missed last week’s contest with an ankle injury. Listed as doubtful for Monday night’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, should fantasy football managers pivot to Matt Breida in Week 4 lineups?
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Latest Injury News Surrounding Saquon Barkley
It’s not all negative surrounding Barkley’s high ankle sprain. After missing Thursday Night Football in Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers, Barkley was able to return to practice ahead of this week, getting in three limited sessions.
While Barkley appears to be progressing well, it’s going to be one more week before the Giants and fantasy managers get him back in lineups.
Giants are listing RB Saquon Barkley as doubtful for Monday night vs. the Seahawks.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 30, 2023
This is undoubtedly frustrating for fantasy managers — not just because they are without their stud running back. The Giants’ choosing to list Barkley as doubtful instead of out prevents fantasy managers from being able to place Barkley on IR.
Since the Giants play Monday night, it is unlikely anyone will be able to take advantage of being able to open up a roster spot.
When the NFL eliminated the probable tag, they did so because it was pointless — nearly every player listed as probable played. Similarly, 99% of players listed as doubtful do not play. If the Giants thought Barkley had a realistic shot of playing, he’d be listed as questionable.
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There is still a chance the Giants will downgrade Barkley to out tomorrow, which would help fantasy managers who need to replace him off the waiver wire. Otherwise, you will need to use someone already on your roster or drop someone to grab a replacement.
Should You Start Matt Breida?
One option to fill in for Barkley is the guy stepping in for him on the Giants, Matt Breida. The journeyman veteran made the start last week and completely dominated the Giants backfield.
Breida played 82% of the snaps. It was true bell-cow usage. Unfortunately, Breida was unable to do much with all of his time on the field. He carried the ball just four times for 17 yards in a game that was never competitive.
The Giants were heavy underdogs against the 49ers last week. Game script should be much more favorable against the Seahawks, with the Giants at home and less-than-field goal underdogs. They shouldn’t have to abandon the run so early in the game.
Three games is still too small of a sample size to fully gauge how favorable a matchup is, but the Seahawks have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to running backs. At the very least, they are a better matchup than the 49ers were.
Breida checks in at RB35 in our PFN Consensus Rankings. He should see much more volume this week, giving him a bit of a higher floor. But his value will largely be dependent on whether he finds the end zone.
Fantasy managers shouldn’t go out of their way to start Breida, but if you need to play him, he’s not the worst option for Week 4.
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