After posting back to back 1,000 plus yard seasons with the Lions, Kenny Golladay's 2020 campaign was marred with injuries. Appearing in just five games, fantasy owners did not get much of a return on investment. Now in 2021, he will look to return to his pre-injury climb towards being a premiere wide receiver with a new supporting cast around him. The New York Giants signed Golladay to a 4 year, 72 million dollar contract in the offseason, filling a glaring hole at WR1 that had been evident since Odell Beckham was shipped off to Cleveland in 2019. In what many are calling a make or break year for quarterback Daniel Jones, the question becomes how quickly will they be able to find chemistry and help lead a Giants offense that was mediocre at best under first year offensive coordinator Jason Garret. Lets take a look at how Golladay's skill set fits with the Giants and if fantasy owners can get excited again about taking him as a starting wide receiver.
I've been telling anyone that will listen for the last 3 or 4 years that Golladay's hands/ catch ability is second to none. In terms of making contested catches, he has Deandre Hopkins like ability, and knows how to use his 6'4 frame to shield the ball from trailing defenders. In this video from 2019 vs the Chargers, Golladay catches what ends up being the go ahead touchdown. After taking an inside release, Golladay goes right up the seam and makes the catch with the defensive back draped all over him.
The interesting thing about this clip is I think it also speaks to some of his weaknesses. Golladay does not always get great separation from defenders, making his ability to make contested catches all the more important. He isn't the most gifted route runner in terms of getting in and out of breaks smoothly and speed wise will never be mistaken for Tyreek Hill.
In this game against his now current team, you can once again see how he uses his frame to bully the defender and win the jump ball in the endzone. He becomes a great target in the redzone where everything becomes more condensed and his elite ability to high point the ball can really be utilized.
So how does all of this line up in terms of potential production this year with a new quarterback, scheme etc. Matthew Stafford is a special talent, so I think it is fair to say at this point in his career, Daniel Jones is a bit of a downgrade. However, one thing that could spell magic for Giants fans and fantasy owners alike, is Jones's mostly overlooked skillset as a deep thrower. Per Next Gen Stats, Jones actually graded out as the BEST in terms of passes traveling 20 or more yards in the air downfield, posting a 134.3 passer rating on such throws in 2020. If offensive coordinator Jason Garret decides to open up the playbook a little more this year, it could result in plenty of 50/50 jump ball scenarios for Golladay which he routinely wins. Also given the fact that Giants should be getting back superstar running back Saquan Barkley by the start of season, teams will be forced to keep extra defenders in the box which is always a good thing for wide receivers.
Given his vastly underrated skill set, and the roster around him, I think anything less than a thousand yard season would be a huge disappointment for Kenny Golladay. In 2019 he caught 11 touchdowns, and I truly believe another double digit touchdown season is on the horizon as long as he can stay healthy. He may not be the best option in a PPR league as he has only averaged a little under four receptions per game in his career, but with 27 touchdowns in 39 starts and an average of almost 17 yards per catch, the boom potential is definitely present. I would peg him as a viable option as a WR1/WR2 in most leagues as I think we are about to see him take the next step in a promising career.