Paul Perkins Fantasy
Over the past couple seasons, the New York Giants have not been known for their rushing prowess. Part of their lackluster running game could be attributed to their starting back, Rashad Jennings, being a 32-year-old journeyman. Or, one could say it was because of their lack of effort.
The Giants finished the 2016 season ranked a dismal 22nd in the league with a mere 398 rushing attempts. Whatever the reason may be, we can all agree that the Giants have ample room for improvement on the ground.
Many a rumor have manifested over who will be heading the rushing attack in the 2017 season after New York released Rashad Jennings this offseason. The most popular of those rumors would have you believe that Adrian Peterson is destined to become a Giant. Others have mulled over the option of signing free agent Jamaal Charles.
I, however, believe that the Giants already have the starting back for 2017 on their roster none other than the 5’10” 208 LB package of dynamite named Paul Perkins. This season will be Perkins’s 2nd in the league since his glory days at UCLA, where he finished 3rd in the PAC-12 in rushing with 1343 yards and 14 touchdowns. Perkins is a strong receiver out of the backfield as well, racking up 80 catches for 739 yards and three more scores in his career at UCLA.
If given the chance to lead the Giants rushing attack next season, I am confident that Perkins can translate his success from the college game to the NFL. Maybe not the exact same numbers, but I think he can come close. Realistically, if we assume as the starting back Perkins will receive approximately 50-60% of the teams carries, coupled with the 398 rushing attempts the team had last season meaning Perkins could be working with 225 carries, give or take. Pair those attempts with Perkins average of 4.1 YPC from 2016, he could accumulate about 920 yards on the ground. And as much as the Giants throw the ball, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is able to reel in about 250 yards receiving to boot. Touchdowns, however, are a hard thing to predict, but if I had to take a stab at it I would say 6-8 sounds reasonable for this type of volume.
These generous assumptions would have landed Perkins in the neighborhood of RB17 in 2016, according to ESPN’s standard scoring. That would slide him in right alongside Lamar Miller. Very respectable company for a 2nd year back.
Although, when estimating a player’s value, it is always wise to take the more conservative estimate and hope for the best. I have my sights set for Perkins to finish the 2017 season in the neighborhood of low RB2 high RB3 range. Somewhere around RB20-24 in standard leagues is where I see him. Although with his receiving ability, I think that number could creep closer to mid-RB2 range in PPR.
The future is bright for this young man. I just hope the Giants brass recognize the same potential I see and utilize him to his fullest.