Heading into year six of his career, Sterling Shepard is the longest-tenured Giant.
In those six years, he has only played 16 games twice (2016 and 2018).
The 2021 offseason saw the Giants add more firepower to their offense with the additions of Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney. All these factors may lead one to question how Shepard could be a steal, but there is a path.
He has been a good receiver when Shepard is healthy, hence why he got a second contract with Big Blue. At the spot he is being taken, Sterling Shepard has the chance to be a steal for your fantasy team.
Nobody likes to draft an injury-prone player, but with Shepard’s role on this team, he could blow away his fantasy expectations.
According to Fantasy Pro, Shepard’s average draft position right now is somewhere between 59 and 67 (half-PPR scoring). His highest finish in fantasy of his career is 30th in 2018; this year, he can beat that.
I’m not saying he will be a top 15 receiver or even be in the top 20. Think Cole Beasley last season, who finished as the 26th best fantasy receiver (half-PPR). Sterling Shepard has the chance to be to Kenny Golladay what Cole Beasley was to Stefon Diggs. For Shepard to finish this high, he has to overcome some friendly obstacles.
This Giants’ offense is loaded with receiving threats that cannot be denied. Kenny Golladay is Daniel Jones’ new number 1 receiver, but there is no reason why Shepard won’t be his number 2. Darius Slayton has the chance to rebound from his underwhelming 2020, but he is more of a deep threat than a possession receiver like Shepard. With Shepard back playing his more natural slot receiver role, he can eat up targets on the inside if he can stay healthy. Shepard will have to fend off Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley, as they could take some of his targets away, but perhaps Shepard’s most intriguing hurdle is Giants’ first-round draft pick Kadarius Toney.
The Giants have big plans for Toney, and many think that Toney was drafted to replace Shepard. That is not happening anytime soon, as Toney is just now getting onto the field on a consistent basis. That gives Shepard the early advantage over Toney, and if he plays well early, it could give him the advantage for the whole 2021 season.
There are obvious risks with taking Sterling Shepard in fantasy drafts. This Giant’s offense is loaded with weapons, and Shepard has had injury problems in the past.
There is also new competition in town in the form of Kadarius Toney.
If Shepard can fend off these risks, number 3 may be able to have his best fantasy season to date.
Featured Image: USA Today