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:
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.
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.
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.