Sterling Shepard was limited to just 10 games last year due to injuries, but he had some productive outings when he was on the field. He scored three touchdowns and had 100-yard games against the Bucs and the Dolphins. Shepard has shown flashes of ability throughout his four-year career, albeit inconsistently. He also showed some range last season, lining up out wide on 54% of his offensive snaps for the first time in his career. Until last season, he’s been mostly a slot receiver. If Shepard can stay on the field, he should get plenty of targets as well. The Giants were ninth last season in passing attempts and don’t figure to be leading in many games again this season.
Shepard’s main issue is injuries, and specifically concussions. He had two last year, within three weeks of each other, and that kind of regularity is concerning for long-term health. The Giants will need to be careful with him, making it risky to count on him for a full season. Shepard also hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire when given the opportunity to be the top option. He had ample opportunity to produce in 2018 with Odell Beckham Jr. sidelined, but he wound up with just 872 yards and four touchdowns on 107 targets that season. His career catch rate is just 65%. Shepard will have to be better if he’s going to be worth taking a risk on his health in most fantasy leagues.
2020 Bottom Line
Shepard is being drafted just ahead of his teammate Golden Tate in the early-11th round of 12-team leagues. While that’s not a lot of draft capital to invest in a player who has the potential to lead his team in targets, it’s hard to overlook the significant risks associated with him, particularly when you could grab someone like Tate, Jamison Crowder or Mike Williams at the same ADP. Shepard has upside, but is probably better off as the last receiver on your roster in most league formats, and is too risky to count on as even a fringe WR3.