Kadarius Toney 2021 Fantasy & Dynasty Outlooks with Giants
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Kadarius Toney
Kadarius Toney Fantasy Profile
Kadarius Toney Fantasy Fit with Giants
Sharp mockers faded Toney down the stretch, but he landed in Round 1. And with that draft capital, he should be locked into Round 1 of rookie dynasty drafts.
But the landing spot itself leaves much to be desired. Toney is more of a speedster than a receiver, so it will be hard for him to draw targets via talent: Many of his opportunities will likely need to be schemed for him.
And that’s not a given to happen. The Giants should theoretically be incentivized to get targets to Toney since they just used a premium pick to acquire him — but wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard will likely play ahead of him in New York, and it’s possible that even tight end Evan Engram and running back Saquon Barkley could push him for targets.
If you're the Giants and you have the opportunity to draft in the first round a gadget receiver who as a rookie might rank fifth on your team in targets, you've got to do it.
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) April 30, 2021
In an offense quarterbacked by Daniel Jones and coordinated by Jason Garrett, Toney looks like a less-than-desirable fantasy option for 2021. Beyond that, he maintains some appeal.
Dynasty Fantasy Analysis
Note: The following was written before the draft.
Shall we come in hot? Sure, let’s live as if this might be the last article ever published on the internet.
Toney looks exactly like the wide receivers teams draft on Day 1 and then cut unceremoniously two years later.
ICYMI: This is also a Kadarius Toney tweet … https://t.co/4fpXImNkJ1
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) April 11, 2021
Sharp dynasty investors prioritize rookie receivers who break out early in college and then leave early for the NFL. Toney didn’t break out until his senior season. LOLz.
So Toney isn’t beloved in the analytics community, and yet he’s also not esteemed by the film hive because he’s an incredibly inconsistent and un-nuanced route runner who plays to his smallish size, especially against physical and bigger cornerbacks.
As a receiver, Toney is limited. In his two final seasons he played the supermajority of snaps in the slot, and when he ventured to the outside, he was literally a negative in the passing game (per SIS, 2021 Sports Info Solutions Football Rookie Handbook.
Slot Route Rate
- 2019: 69%
- 2020: 70%
- 2019: 0
- 2020: -1
With his speed and agility, Toney is incredibly strong against the softness of zone coverage, but he is much less capable against man defense (per SIS).
Positive Play Rate
- Zone Coverage: 85%
- Man Coverage: 58%
But aside from all of that, HE’S THE PERFECT PROSPECT.
I’m joking. He has more flaws.
In college, Toney regularly dealt with availability issues. As a freshman, he missed three games and struggled to play through others because of injuries. As a sophomore, he was suspended for the season opener because he pulled an airsoft rifle in an on-campus altercation and then a couple of months later was discovered to have an assault rifle in his car during a traffic stop.
And then as a junior he missed six games because of a shoulder injury.
Basically, he’s Percy Harvin with some off-the-field issues and without 70% of the factors that made Harvin a special prospect.
And I mean that sincerely.
With his strong pro day performance, Toney exhibited some Harvin-esque athleticism.
Freakiest thing I saw at Florida's pro day: Kadarius Toney's first broad jump came in somewhere around 10'4" but he jumped up and out, not straight out. He got way high in the air and still cleared 10 ft. Once he did drill correctly, hit 11'4"
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) April 1, 2021
And you see on the field that Toney is not a technician, but he’s an explosive and agile playmaker capable of turning any touch into a touchdown against the most staggering of odds.
Thinking about submitting a piece to my editor that is just screen grabs of Kadarius Toney highlights with the caption "Kadarius Toney really scored on this play" pic.twitter.com/ppHLycD0zc
— Luke Johnson (@ByLukeJohnson) April 5, 2021
Every week of the 2020 season, Toney seemed to accomplish some athletic feat that made TV announcers verbally ooze themselves with the utmost of superlatives.
Kadarius Toney adds to the highlight reel every week. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/FPyRz12R1Q
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) December 13, 2020
And he did it as a receiver, runner, and returner. Like Harvin, Toney gets his touches in a variety of ways. He is unapologetically versatile — for better and worse.
For the first three years of his college career, Toney was a general utility player who contributed in a part-time hybrid role as a wide receiver, running back, wildcat quarterback and return man.
- 2017 (8 games): 15-152-0 receiving | 14-120-1 rushing
- 2018 (12 games): 25-260-1 receiving | 21-240-0 rushing
- 2019 (7 games): 10-194-1 receiving | 12-59-0 rushing
In the worst of ways, he was a jack-of-some-trades offensive weapon, a gadget player. I say this without hyperbole: As a receiver, he was more valuable running the ball out of the backfield and on end-arounds than catching it.
For his first three seasons, Toney was an absurdist caricature of Antonio Callaway. A dual-threat high-school quarterback, Toney was always likely to have a steep learning curve as he transitioned to receiver in college. Unfortunately, he took almost the entirety of his undergraduate tenure to trek the hill of competence.
Finally, though, Toney reached the summit and transformed himself into a full-time all-around producer in his 11-game final season.
- Receiving: 70-984-10
- Rushing: 19-161-1
- Punt Returning: 11-139-1
- Kick Returning: 7-155-0
That Toney is athletic and versatile are undeniable factors in his favor. If you look at him only at his best, he can warrant some all-time comps.
Kadarius Toney's NFL comp is Dante Hall for a reason.
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 27, 2021
But do not forget: Toney is a final-year breakout entering the NFL only after his collegiate eligibility has expired. That is a massive mark against him, even with his expected draft capital.
You add on top of that the fact that Toney is less of a football player and more of an athlete, and his most realistic comp all of a sudden seems much less enticing.
NFL Prospect Comp: Dante Pettis with more rushing production but a later college breakout and less returning production.
Matthew Freedman is 1,018-828-37 (55.1%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.