Golden Tate Injury Update Boosts Sterling Shepard And Darius Slayton's Fantasy Value

Max Staley
Golden Tate's injury update knocks him out of the New York Giants' first game in 2020.
Golden Tate's injury update knocks him out of the New York Giants' first game in 2020. / Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Just a couple hours before kickoff, Golden Tate has been ruled out as a surprise inactive for the New York Giants' Monday Night Football game. Tate's absence should lead to some extra targets for the likes of Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and Darius Slayton.

However, facing an elite Pittsburgh Steelers' defense, neither wideout looks like a recommended play, though Engram could provide some value.

The Steelers were the league's best defense in 2019, according to Football Outsiders' weighted DVOA metric. Pittsburgh was also the league's third-best unit against the pass by DVOA, generating a higher sack rate than anyone else in the league.

In other words, it's not easy to throw on the Steelers. Wide receivers had a particularly difficult time with this defense last year, as Pittsburgh surrendered bottom-five fantasy production to the position. Even with the increase in volume that comes with Tate's absence, it'll be difficult to rely on either Slayton or Sheppard tonight.

Pittsburgh was league average against opposing tight ends in terms of fantasy points allowed, though, so Engram could have the much easier path to production tonight. Plus, he's actually healthy, and he was dominant when on the field last year, finishing as fantasy's TE5 from Week 1-8 before injuries derailed his 2019 campaign.

Tate's absence could lead to an uptick in targets for Shepard and Slayton, but Engram is the Giants' pass-catcher to play tonight.

GET AN INSTANT DEPOSIT BONUS UP TO 500! We'll match 20% of your first deposit on FanDuel Fantasy Sports. Max bonus $500

Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.