The New York Giants offense dropped to new lows in the final year in Ben McAdoo’s scheme in 2017. Without Odell Beckham Jr. for the majority of the year, the Giants scored four fewer points per game and that was after scoring under 20 per game in 2016.
The Giants have shifted to Pat Shurmur as head coach and offensive play-caller heading into 2018. Shurmur will bring with him a heavy usage of outside zone run concepts, something the Giants rarely used under McAdoo. Shurmur will also bring with him a tendency to run often on first down, as well as throughout the game to setup the play-action passing game. Shurmur’s Vikings offense ranked in the top-seven in rushing attempts and quarterback Case Keenum attempted the third-highest percentage of play-action passes.
Both Shurmur and new general manager Dave Gettleman have made it a point to emphasize fixing the offensive line. That will be priority No. 1, but that doesn’t mean the skill positions will remain entirely intact. At running back, Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen are both headed for free agency. While Darkwa had a breakout season, the Giants could opt to go for a home-run pick in the middle round of the 2018 NFL Draft in a class that is loaded with depth and talent at running back. At wide receiver, the Giants can save $5 million in salary cap space by releasing Brandon Marshall. If they cut ties with Marshall, they will be looking for a big-bodied receiver to replace him on a depth chart that lacks any kind of depth behind Beckham and Sterling Shepard.
Three additions we want to see for fantasy
Dion Lewis, RB: Lewis averaged more than five yards per carry in 2017 and has consistently displayed the ability to make defenders miss and create yards after contact as evidence by his elusive rating. Shurmur has made it clear the screen game will be a priority for the Giants offense and Lewis has done well when given extended passing game work in New England.
Donte Moncrief, WR: Moncrief’s athletic profile is that of a true No. 1 NFL wide receiver (6-foot-2, 221 pounds, 4.40 40-yard dash, 39-inch vertical), but he hasn’t lived up to the hype in his first four seasons. Injuries, both to him and his quarterback, have stymied Moncrief’s progress. He has been efficient in the red zone and the Giants could get what they hoped for from Marshall in Moncrief at a massive discount.
First- or second-round running back: Saquon Barkley would transform the Giants rushing attack and his rare ability to impact the game as a receiver could be heightened with offensive coordinator Mike Shula, who recently worked with Christian McCaffrey during his rookie season. However, talented backs like Derrius Guice, Sony Michel, or Ronald Jones in Round 2 would also provide a spark for an offense that will consistently commit to the run game.