Sterling Shepard returned to the New York Giants lineup in Week 3 following a concussion that caused him to miss the previous week.
Shepard not only returned to the playing field for the G-Men, he returned in grand fashion. He put up 100 yards receiving in the team’s thrilling 18 point comeback victory vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers one week ago.
With a newfound passing attack led by the suddenly beloved Daniel Jones, does Shepard become a must-start in fantasy league’s this week?
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Sterling Shepard Fantasy Outlook vs. Washington Redskins
Sterling Shepard racked up seven receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown in his inaugural return to the Giants lineup. Shepard’s efforts were good enough to make him the sixth-highest scoring fantasy wideout of the week (27.10 points).
Seeing Shepard reach the century mark in receiving yards has been a rarity in the WR’s four year NFL career. Last Sunday marked just the third time he’s gone over 100 yards over his last 19 games.
We aren’t saying Shepard WILL double down on this feat this Sunday, but if there was ever a game to do so it would be against the horrendous Washington Redskins secondary. The ‘Skins currently give up the most fantasy points in the NFL to opposing wide receivers. Teams’ top targets at wideout have averaged 25+ fantasy points per game over the first three weeks of the season. That stat line includes last Monday’s game vs. the Chicago Bears. On national TV, Bears wideout Taylor Gabriel, who some would argue is a poor-mans Sterling Shepard, torched the ‘Skins secondary for three touchdowns in one-quarter of football.
Other statistics that work in Shepard’s favor are the amount of receptions receivers reel in against Washington. The Redskins have allowed 79 receptions since Week 1. That total is the fifth most in the NFL, and it’s great news for Shepard, and Shepard owners alike.
Shepard also has a great chance to see his usage rise even more than it previously has, thanks to an unfortunate injury in the Giants backfield. Running back Saquon Barkley will miss the team’s Week 4 game with an ankle injury. Not only does the loss of Barkley lend its hand to the Giants passing the ball more than usual on Sunday, it also frees up more targets. Barkley has averaged six targets per game this season, and that’s counting five targets in less than a half of play in last week’s contest vs. Tampa Bay.
Should You Start or Sit Sterling Shepard in Week 4?
While Shepard hasn’t made a name for himself in the league due to his big-play ability, he is a wideout who eats up catches. Only three teams surrender more receptions to the wide receiver position this season than the Redskins.
Shepard is a WR3-lock with upside in standard leagues, while PPR-formats can see the Giants receiver settle in as a middle of the pack WR2.