Sterling Shepard's Updated Fantasy Outlook After Giants' Week 2 Game vs. WFT

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 17, 2021

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Sterling Shepard #3 of the New York Giants brought down by Kendall Fuller #29 of the Washington Football Team during the first quarter at FedExField on September 16, 2021 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard followed up a standout Week 1 performance with another solid showing in his team's 30-29 loss to the Washington Football Team.

The 5'10" pass-catcher finished with nine receptions for 94 yards on 10 targets. ESPN's Mike Clay noted how he has become a consistent favorite of Daniel Jones over the last few years:

Mike Clay @MikeClayNFL

With 7 targets tonight, Giants WR Sterling Shepard has now been targeted 6+ times in 28 of his past 30 games (one of the exceptions he left injured)

Fantasy football managers had good reason to question Shepard's value entering 2021. He missed 10 games between 2019 and 2020, and New York's offense looked a bit different than it had a year ago.

Saquon Barkley was coming back from a torn ACL, while the team signed Kenny Golladay and selected Kadarius Toney in the first round of the draft. Throw in the inconsistency Jones has displayed under center, and it didn't make a great recipe for Shepard.

Instead, the 28-year-old's fantasy stock is steadily rising, and his consistency is standing out with Golladay and Toney failing to deliver so far.

Patricia Traina @Patricia_Traina

Is there a more underrated player on the Giant offense than Sterling Shepard?

According to FantasyPros, Shepard is only rostered in 54 percent of Yahoo's fantasy leagues, illustrating how a 113-yard, one-touchdown outing against the Denver Broncos wasn't enough to win over all of the skeptics.

For many of the reasons outlined above, fantasy managers should keep their expectations in check. It seems unlikely Shepard breaks into the elite tier or warrants WR1 status on a weekly basis.

But he's making a strong case for low-end WR2 consideration, especially in point-per-reception leagues.

Michelle Magdziuk @BallBlastEm

Sterling Shepard is going to be one of the safest PPR flex plays this season. <br><br>Iā€™m here for it.

For managers needing to strengthen their options at receiver, put in a claim for Shepard now because this might be the last week for a while he's still available.

The Giants have the Atlanta Falcons (who allowed 264 yards and three touchdowns to Jalen Hurts) in Week 3, so adding Shepard could yield immediate dividends.