Matt Brieda Fantasy Impact: Saquon Barkley Injury Means Flex Value for Giants vs. 49ers

Matt Brieda Fantasy Impact: Saquon Barkley Injury Means Flex Value for Giants vs. 49ers article feature image

Via Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Breida #31 of the New York Giants runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 21, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Saquon Barkley has not officially been ruled out of Thursday night's game between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers.

Barkley's status remains uncertain as Giants head coach Brian Daboll has said he will not make an announcement on Barkley's availability.

The initial prognostication on Barkley's ankle injury suggests that he would be out for 3-4 weeks. That timeline could be sped up, but it's not likely for Barkley to play against the 49ers on a short week.

That means Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell and Eric Gray will carry the load for the Giants, with Breida expected to get the bulk of the action.

Action Network fantasy expert Sean Koerner believes Breida is a waiver-wire add only if you are in dire need.

"Barkley is expected to miss 2-3 games, which opens the door for Breida to become the Giants' new lead back," Koerner explained. "He won’t dominate touches like Barkley does and could form more of a 50/50 committee with Gary Brightwell."

Koerner says to keep an eye on his usage on passing downs, especially for PPR leagues.

"The key role will be the passing-down role for this backfield considering the Giants will be involved in trailing game scripts over the next 3-4 weeks," Koerner said. "I would give Brieda the slight edge there, but Daniel Jones may be less willing to check down to a non-Barkley RB and opt to scramble even more."

"It's a situation where I’m fine scooping up Breida if you NEED a 2-3 week rental who may offer low-end RB3/Flex value, but just don’t go overboard."

Koerner says that there could be more value on Brightwell, depending on how the waiver system works in your league.

"You might be able to get Gary Brightwell dirt cheap and stash him on your bench in case he ends up emerging as the lead back this week," Koerner said.

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