Would You Rather: Own Sterling Shepard or Golden Tate for Rest of 2019 Fantasy Football Season

Dan Israeli
New York Giants v New England Patriots
New York Giants v New England Patriots / Billie Weiss/Getty Images
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The New York Giants have been banged up on offense as of late, but when healthy they have a fairly impressive array of skill position players at rookie QB Daniel Jones' exposure. The group is highlighted by superstar running back Saquon Barkley (currently battling a high-ankle sprain) and tight end Evan Engram.

Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard are the top options at wide receiver, but the two have only played one game together so far. Tate was suspended for the first four games, while Shepard suffered his second concussion of the year in Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings. Likely to play alongside one another again soon, both can offer some solid fantasy football value.

The Giants signed Tate this offseason almost immediately after trading former No. 1 wide receiver Odell Beckham to the Cleveland Browns, and he was then handed a four-game suspension for PED use. He only caught three balls for 13 yards in his Week 5 debut, but he went off in Week 6 with six catches for 102 yards and a touchdown.

Tate did his damage in Week 6 with several key Giants on the sidelines, including Barkley, Engram, Wayne Gallman and Shepard, who suffered his second concussion of the season in Week 5. Prior to that, Shepard showed some great chemistry with Jones, catching 19 passes for 225 yards and a TD between Weeks 3 and 5.

Shepard is questionable heading into the Giants' Week 7 home tilt against the Arizona Cardinals. While his chemistry with Jones left a lot to be excited about, he is an increasingly cautious case after sustaining two concussions in the span of five weeks.

Tate, meanwhile, is fully healthy heading into Week 7 and will likely operate primarily out of the slot going forward. It will be telling to see how productive Tate is once the Giants skill-player group reaches full health, but the trusty vet should carve out a significant role as a volume-based slot receiver in an offense that should frequently be playing from behind.

While Shepard may possess more upside than Tate, it is not significant enough to outweigh the injury risk caused by his battle with concussions. Tate is the safer play going forward, and he could be a real PPR asset if he can repeat his Week 6 success with Jones. As the healthy one in the duo this week, Tate sits at WR25 in our Week 7 PPR fantasy football rankings.


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