Heading into the final game of the season, the man who leads the New York Giants in receiving yards and touchdowns is rookie Darius Slayton, with 690 yards and 8 TDs.
His opportunity doubtless came as a result of a lack of stardom at the position, but that shouldn’t take anything away from the fifth-rounder out of Auburn. Few can honestly say they expected the Giants most reliable receiver to be a late-round rookie.
But Slayton has impressed enough to receive serious consideration for a starting WR2/3 pick heading into next year’s fantasy football drafts. I think he’ll be the Giants breakout fantasy star of the 2020 season with realistic expectations. You’re not putting him alongside Julio Jones, but I foresee quite a jump for Slayton next year.
At his current pace, he’ll finish 2019 at 743 yards and possibly 9 TDs. Next season, a 900 to 950-yard, 11 TD prediction is more than reasonable.
From a non-statistical standpoint, we know he’ll continue to develop chemistry with fellow rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. I see a similar path for Jones much like the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen, who took a big step forward in Year 2.
And because of that, I see Slayton receiving his dividends.
From a statistical standpoint, we know Slayton is an intermediate-to-deep threat. He leads the Giants with receptions of 20+ yards with 11, while Sterling Shepard is second on the team with 8. Slayton has not fumbled in 2019 and led the team with 31 catches for first downs.
As a team, I think the Giants might only need to add one more legitimate pass-catching threat. Some may call it a stretch, but I expect the trio of Slayton, Shepard and Golden Tate to each catch for around 900 yards next year. All three have caught at least 44 passes this season with Shepard gaining the least yards at 537.