Jason Pierre-Paul remains a low-end fantasy DL1 after re-signing with Giants
The Giants have agreed to terms with DE Jason Pierre-Paul that will pay the former first-round pick up to $10.5 million. This deal might seem like a big number for Pierre-Paul, given that he only played eight games last season, but it allows the Giants to gauge how effective Pierre-Paul can be a full year removed from his hand injury.
The good news for the Giants is the fact that they freed up around $5 million in cap money since Pierre-Paul had been franchise tagged, which would have netted him close to $16 million. Instead, the two sides were able to work out a deal that keeps Pierre-Paul around for at least one more season.
Before Pierre-Paul damaged his right hand in a fireworks accident last year, he was one of the most productive defensive ends in football. In 2014, he would our fourth highest rated 4-3 defensive end, compiling 13 sacks and 77 combined tackles,
Last year, Pierre-Paul had just one sack and 26 combined tackles in eight games. He struggled at times separating from lineman, rushing the quarterback on 61.4 percent of snaps and generating 41 total pressures and six batted passes, the most he’s had since 2011, despite having a cast on his right hand.
In the eight games he played last season, Pierre-Paul actually had a positive grade is six games. In those eight games, his 13.4 grade ranked eighth at his position, ahead of marquee names like Everson Griffen, Carlos Dunlap, and Ezekiel Ansah. His 14.7 grade as a pass rusher was fifth best in that same time frame.
Pierre-Paul projects as a mid to low end DL1 in IDP leagues. He should play this season without the cast, which will allow him to use his hands to get around linemen and get to the quarterback. He isn’t the elite scoring fantasy player he once was, but he has enough in his pass rush arsenal to threaten double-digit sacks and that pushes him into the DL1 conversation.
In terms of general defense on standard non-IDP leagues, Pierre-Paul’s return to the Giants shouldn’t do much from a fantasy perspective. The Giants were historically bad, and while Pierre-Paul has value from an on-the-field standpoint, he won’t be able to make enough of an impact to merit consideration for fantasy owners.