New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning was yanked from the team’s starting lineup, for what looks like for good, following a gruesome start to the 2019 season. Manning’s demotion has in return elevated rookie sixth overall pick Daniel Jones to the top of the Giants depth chart.
Many Giants fans are equally eager to see Jones take the field this Sunday, as they are concerned that the team has not done it’s duty to surround the young signal-caller with the needed talent to succeed. However, Jones could be greeted by some much-needed help in the huddle come game time in Week 3.
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Sterling Shepard Trending Towards a Return
Golden Tate may still be serving part of his four-game suspension, while Cody Latimer has not practiced all week, but the Giants may be adding some firepower back into their offense.
Sterling Shepard, the team’s second-leading receiver from a season ago, seems primed to clear concussion protocol on Thursday. Shepard missed last week’s game vs. the Buffalo Bills following a head injury that he suffered in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys.
As shown in the video below, Shepard likely should not have been allowed to return to action vs. Dallas following what was clearly a concussion. The NFL/NFLPA seems to agree with that sentiment, as they are currently reviewing the matter.
However, all seems well for the Giants wideout above the neck at the moment, and the Giants are currently prepping as Daniel Jones will have his top receiving target vs. Tampa Bay.
Shepard’s Value: In Fantasy & to The Giants
If and when Shepard clears protocol, he will immediately slide in behind Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram as one of the Giants’ top three, and arguably only, fantasy options.
Most wideouts’ fantasy value would take a bump with a QB change. However, if all goes as expected Jones will produce at the very least similar box score stats. Shepard currently sits as a WR4 in most formats. If Jones can prove to be a viable signal-caller you could see Shepard’s value bump to a WR3, but that’s likely the ceiling for the New York receiver.
While Shepard is a nice roster-filler for your fantasy team, he’s so much more for the Giants. Shepard’s play style is exactly what a young QB needs to succeed in this league. Shepard is a short-to-intermediate route runner who does most of his damage after the catch.
New York will likely regularly orchestrate quick, easy throws for Jones to get the ball out of his hand and into Shepard’s. This is something that they have proven to already focus on with Shepard this season, even before Jones was named starter. Shepard hauled in six receptions on seven targets for a grand total of 42 yards in his lone appearance of this season.
Shepard certainly isn’t the most prolific wideout in the league. However, adding Shepard to a talent stricken New York Giants offense may be the best addition any NFL team has received this week.
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