You're living good if you started Giants RB Matt Breida in fantasy football vs. the 49ers on Thursday night. He finished with just 18 total yards on seven touches. But one of those touches went for an eight-yard TD. That at least salvaged a useable fantasy performance in what was an ugly game for Breida and the Giants. The team ran just 46 plays and had only 11 rushing attempts. But Breida split carries down the middle with RB Gary Brightwell, finishing with four apiece. Both RBs also saw three targets. Breida did handily lead Brightwell in snaps and remains the best fantasy bet in this backfield as long as RB Saquon Barkley is out. But he's no better than a RB3, even in an easier Week 4 matchup vs. the Seahawks.
The Giants have officially ruled RB Saquon Barkley out for Thursday night's game against the 49ers. That's been expected since news broke of his Week 2 ankle sprain. Matt Breida is expected to be the first guy up in the Week 3 backfield, but that's only enough to land him in RB4 territory in our Week 3 RB rankings. Expect Gary Brightwell and rookie Eric Gray to mix in as well for a backfield that has been limited even with Barkley through two weeks.
ESPN's Jordan Ranaan gave his take on what the Giants' backfield will look like for however long RB Saquon Barkley is out. Ranaan expects RB Matt Breida to have the "biggest role" due to his familiarity with HC Brian Daboll's offense and his reliability in pass protection. Ranaan adds that RB Gary Brightwell will get "some carries," while RB Eric Gray will be used "sporadically as a runner and pass-catcher." It's confirmation that Breida is the best fantasy bet here -- although not a particularly good one.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Giants RB Saquon Barkley is expected to miss three weeks with his ankle injury. It's an "ordinary" sprain, rather than a high-ankle sprain, Schefter adds. It's all relatively good news, but fantasy owners will still need to prep to be without Barkley for the short term. Schefter's timeline would have him back for Week 6 vs. the Bills. Barkley's absence leaves the Giants' backfield to Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell, and rookie Eric Gray. Breida is the preferred fantasy add but shouldn't be considered more than a low-upside RB3 or flex.