Sterling Shepard Out Week 8: Golden Tate Fantasy Start or Sit?

Getty Golden Tate of the New York Giants

The New York Giants offense and wide receiver Golden Tate’s production seem to have been going in different directions over the past few weeks.

While Daniel Jones has failed to recapture the magic that allowed him to orchestrate an 18-point comeback vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in Week 3, that hasn’t stopped Tate from putting up back-to-back stellar performances over the last two games.

With fellow wideout Sterling Shepard once again ruled out with an injury, does Tate suddenly become a must-start in all scoring-formats for Week 8 vs. the Detroit Lions? Let’s discuss.

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Golden Tate’s Fantasy Outlook vs. Detroit Lions

Golden Tate got off to an extremely slow start in his new surroundings this year. For starters, the former Fighting Irish wide receiver endured a four-game suspension to kick off the 2019 season. Once Tate returned to the team’s lineup in Week 5, he did very little to make his presence known. Tate finished his first game in a Giants uniform with just three receptions for a meager 13 receiving yards.

However, since that game, Tate’s fantasy trajectory has been trending up, way up. With Sterling Shepard continually dealing with concussion symptoms, Tate has staked claim to the team’s number one receiver duties. Over the past two weeks, Tate has hauled in a total of 12 receptions for 182 receiving yards and an average of 18.1 fantasy points per game. Even better than all those stats is the amount of times Daniel Jones seems to be looking for his new favorite target. Tate has averaged 10 targets per game since Week 5.

The Detroit Lions defense is somewhat middle of the pack in terms of defending fantasy wideouts. The unit has surrendered the 14th-fewest points to the position this season. However, they have been extremely courteous to players who see an abundance of usage. Wide receivers who have caught more than five passes again the Lions this season average 18 fantasy points. Tate has hauled in six receptions in each of his two previous games.

It’s also worth noting that the Lions will be without their 2018 pro-bowl alternate safety and former team captain Quandre Diggs when the team takes the field this Sunday. However, that is strictly due to their own doing. The team shipped Diggs out of town earlier this week in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. Diggs, a former nickel corner, would at times drop down to cover teams’ slot receivers such as Tate. Diggs’ likely replacement Tavon Wilson is much more of a box safety by heart.

If that wasn’t enough to get you on the Tate train, maybe this will. Former all-pro cornerback Darrius Slay will miss Sunday’s contest with a hamstring injury. Meaning the Lions will be down two of their usual four starters in their secondary.

Should You Start or Sit Golden Tate in Week 8?

Golden Tate seems to be the only player on the Giants roster not named Saquon Barkley that you can trust on a weekly basis. Of course his fantasy value, as it has throughout much of his career, weights a lot on which scoring format you play in.

If you operate on a standard scoring format Tate is more of a WR3 on Sunday. However, in PPR-scoring leagues, Tate is a solid WR2.

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