If the matchup in New England on a short week was not bad enough for the New York Giants, they will now be severely short-handed on offense, missing arguably their three best playmakers. However, this does open the door for other players in this offense, making them intriguing options for fantasy football in Week 6.
Saquon Barkley being ruled out is not at all surprising. Him being listed as a limited participant was as easy to see through as a window, with them trying to play mind games with the masters of it. However, Barkley is not the only member of the backfield out, with Wayne Gallman also missing because of a concussion.
Starting for the Giants in the backfield is expected to be Jonathan Hilliman, the rookie from Rutgers. However, this does not shape up to be a good matchup at all. For starters, the Patriots defense may be the most balanced unit in the league. They are even more dangerous with the amount of offensive weapons out for the Giants. But it’s game flow that may be the most damaging. Hilliman will not likely see many rushes, with the Giants expected to trail through this game. He is also not a receiving back, catching just 12 passes in 11 games at Rutgers and one last week. Hilliman is nothing more than a desperation flex play.
Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram were also ruled out for the Giants, severely limiting Daniel Jones’ upside, but opening up opportunities for other pass catchers. Golden Tate made his return last week, taking over the slot. While he is not likely to destroy this defense, we can expect him to soak up a lot of targets and be viable in leagues rewarding points for receptions. The outside receivers, Darius Slayton and Cody Latimer are expected to struggle more than Tate given their individual matchups.
Picking up the slack at tight end will be Rhett Ellison, who did the same last season when Engram missed time. He had a solid two-game stretch near the end of last season without Engram that resulted in eight catches for 119 yards. Again, this is not a good matchup for Ellison, but we can expect Jones to pass short in this game, targeting both Ellison and Tate often, with the opportunity to score given his size (6-5), which is an advantage in the red zone.