Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa, Sterling Shepard Post-Week 3 Fantasy Advice

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2016

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Sterling Shepard #87 of the New York Giants scores a touchdown in the first quarter as  Dashaun Phillips #35 of the Washington Redskins defends at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The New York Giants spread the wealth in Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins, utilizing some lesser-known names to move the ball offensively.

Eli Manning remains a quality starter at quarterback, and Odell Beckham Jr. will be an elite wide receiver all year long. But in Week 3, fantasy football owners saw some other players who might be relevant going forward.


WR Sterling Shepard

Sterling Shepard Stats
CatchesReceiving YardsTDsAvg.Targets

Beckham will be the go-to option for most of the year, but Sterling Shepard is a star in the making.

The second-round pick was already off to a strong start to the season, with 160 receiving yards in his first two games.

He kept it going with this 23-yard score Sunday, via NFL Network:

NFL Network @nflnetwork

This rookie is special. Eli to @sterl_shep3. TOUCHDOWN. #WASvsNYG https://t.co/1bFCrh7nIm

As Tristan H. Cockcroft of ESPN noted, the rookie has put himself in rare territory with his start to his career:

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Tristan H. Cockcroft @SultanofStat

Sterling Shepard is 1st WR w/10+ FPTS in 1st 3 career G since Martavis Bryant (2014 Wk7-9); he’s the 7th NFL WR to do it since 1950.

Shepard is a natural pass-catcher who should have no problem getting open with Beckham drawing a lot of attention on the other side of the field. With the Giants using three-receiver sets often, the rookie should continue getting plenty of usage as the year progresses.

He not only should be on 100 percent of fantasy rosters, but he is also quickly becoming a must-start player.


RBs Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen

Giants RB Stats
PlayerCarriesRush YdsTDsCatchesRec. Yds
Shane Vereen11671228
Orleans Darkwa1053119

Both running backs were impressive in a time share Sunday, each totaling over 50 rushing yards with a touchdown. Shane Vereen is usually the receiving back, but he got tough yards inside, while Orleans Darkwa also showcased his versatility.

Rashad Jennings is the normal starter at running back for the Giants, but he was inactive in Week 3 after suffering wrist and thumb injuries, according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. He practiced during the week but was limited.

The question is what happens when Jennings is healthy, especially considering this doesn't appear to be an injury that will keep him out for long.

Based on what we have seen to this point, Darkwa will likely return to being the odd man out. He had only one carry on the season coming into Sunday's game, and it would take a lot to move up the depth chart.

On the other hand, Vereen could keep his role in the offense as a pass-catcher and big-play threat. He had a 25-yard run against the Redskins, the first 20-yard run of the season for the Giants, and he entered the week fourth on the team with six catches.

Even with Jennings on the active roster, Vereen could continue to get 10 to 15 touches per game. In a quality offense, the running back is worth a roster spot in all leagues and could be a starter in points-per-reception formats.


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