Sterling Shepard enters his third season in the NFL this year, and he could have the chance for a breakout campaign. Shepard had a solid rookie season in 2016 before struggling with injuries and inconsistent play last year. He should rebound this season with Brandon Marshall no longer on the team, and Eli Manning should focus on Shepard as a primary target along with Odell Beckham and Evan Engram. He had six games with at least eight targets in 2017, and he scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in three of them. In 2016, he had 10 games with at least seven targets, and he scored at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league in six of them. When Shepard gets a healthy amount of targets, he tends to produce, and he should see the ball plenty of times in 2018. Shepard goes into the season as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver with upside, and you should be able to draft him with a late-round pick
Giants quarterback Eli Manning expects Shepard to have a big season, Matt Lombardo of NJ.com reports. "I thought Sterling had a great camp during the spring," said Manning. "He's understanding the coverages, understanding the route combinations, he understands zone and man, and how to make little moves to get open against different techniques. I think he's primed for a big year. And I've been really impressed by his work ethic." Shepard averaged 8.2 targets and 72.2 receiving yards in his 10 healthy appearances last season, with an ankle injury, neck injury and migraines causing him to miss five full games and the majority of a sixth. While unlikely to match that volume if Odell Beckham (ankle), Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram all stay healthy, the third-year wideout won't need a huge workload to be a useful fantasy option if he can repeat last year's impressive efficiency marks -- 70.2 percent catch rate, 8.7 yards per target -- while adding a few more touchdowns. Shepard is locked in as the Giants' No. 2 wide receiver and seems to have Manning's full trust.
Shepard (neck) looked healthy for Eli Manning's passing camp at Duke University, dunking a basketball with ease between workouts, Pat Leonard of the Daily News reports. Shepard sat out Week 17 last season with a neck injury, but there hasn't been anything to suggest the issue will impact his preparation for the upcoming campaign. He'll likely be present Monday when the Giants begin their offseason workout program, whereas fellow wideout Odell Beckham (ankle) isn't expected to attend. The 2016 second-round pick had only two touchdowns in 11 games last season, but he did display significant improvement from his rookie year in terms of catch rate (70.2 percent), yards per reception (12.4) and yards per target (8.7). Assuming Beckham is still with the team and doesn't hold out into the season, Shepard and TE Evan Engram profile as the second and third options in the New York passing game, in some order. Brandon Marshall (ankle) also remains on the roster, though he'll probably need to accept a pay cut to avoid being released once he passes a physical.
Shepard (neck) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Redskins, Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record reports. Shepard didn't practice all week and never seemed especially likely to play. Injuries to Odell Beckham (ankle) and Brandon Marshall (ankle) left the 2016 second-round pick with an opportunity to front the Giants' receiving corps, but his own injury issues limited Shepard to 11 appearances. Shepard finishes with an efficient stat line of 59 catches for 731 yards and two touchdowns on 84 targets -- good for a 8.7 YPT and 70 percent catch rate -- albeit with 57 percent of his yardage occurring in three games. Shepard was clearly a better player this season than in his rookie campaign, but he nonetheless figures to serve as only the second or third option in the passing game next year. Whoever ends up playing quarterback for the team will have the privilege of throwing to Shepard, Evan Engram (ribs), Beckham and Marshall.
Shepard (neck) did not take part in Friday's practice, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com reports. Shepard has not practiced at all this week as a result of the neck injury he suffered in Week 16, so his chances of playing in Week 17 are not good. The Giants will reveal Shepard's official status for their regular-season finale when Friday's practice comes to a close.
Shepard (neck) didn't participate in practice Thursday. Shepard was contained to an elliptical bike for the second straight session, which wasn't nearly enough activity to warrant an elevation to limited participant. If he achieves such standing Friday, at the very least, he'll up his odds to suit up Sunday versus the Redskins.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||09/30||New Orleans Saints||20||20.00|
|10||11/13||@San Francisco 49ers||23||20.38|
|11||11/18||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||31||23.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||94||62||707||5||39||11.40||101|