Sterling Shepard is kind of like vanilla ice cream. Nobody picks it right out of the gate, but people are generally happy with it when it’s plopped down in front of them. Shepard has quietly been very productive – especially in PPR formats – throughout his career. He has a career average of 7.2 targets and 54.1 yards per game. Also, he had eight touchdowns as a rookie when the offense was a bit better and Odell Beckham Jr. was taking all the pressure off him. With Kenny Golladay in town and Saquon Barkley presumably back healthy, it’s possible Shepard finds the end zone a bit more after just 12 touchdowns in his past 49 games.
Shepard is always an injury risk, as he’s missed at least four games in three of the past four seasons. He also suffers from Daniel Jonesitis, which may result in poor performance. There’s also a risk he loses targets based on the additions to the offense, including Golladay, Barkley’s return to health and first-round rookie Kadarius Toney. Toney seems like the biggest concern for Shepard, given both are shifty players who may operate best out of the slot. That being said, Toney might play more of a gadget role with Shepard lining up both in the slot and at the z-spot.
2021 Bottom Line
Shepard is available at the end of drafts with a 16th-round ADP in 12-team leagues as the WR64 off the board. With that price tag, he’s worth gambling on, especially in PPR formats. While he’ll have more competition for targets, he generally produces a decent floor when healthy. If your roster is full of upside guys with risk, Shepard might be a nice WR6 to round out your roster. If your roster is full of stable producers, maybe swing bigger at the end of the draft.