While Sterling Shepard was an early fantasy football darling, but he had faltered hard in the last couple of weeks, putting up 44 combined yards, when his previous logs from the last three games were 43, 117 and 73 yards. He’s struggled recently and has struggled on the back of the Giants’ overall passing woes. This week, those woes are likely to continue against a Baltimore pass defense that has allowed six touchdowns on the year to wide receivers not named Michael Crabtree.[embedit snippet=”jeff-ads”]
The Ravens defense on the season is only yielding 19.8 passes per game to the wide receiver position, seventh-fewest in the league. This is likely due to the Ravens playing a methodic dink-and-dunk game plan that chews up the clock. This combined with the Terrance West breakout means that the Ravens are likely to keep the Giants’ offense off the field, and it is the reason why there are so few passing attempts for their opposition.
With Odell Beckham, Jr. quickly becoming the squeakiest of wheels, he is likely to get the lion’s share of these targets from Eli Manning. He is also most likely to be on the receiving end of a Manning desperation pass. The Ravens’ game plan limiting the passing production to wide receivers does not bode well for Shepard’s target volume.
There’s also a matter of the defenses that Shepard feasted against; he may not be the great fantasy option we had hoped he would be. Against defenses in the top half in fantasy points against, he flourishes. He has put a hurt on Washington (in the middle), and New Orleans (top-ten), and he’s been shut down by Dallas, the Vikings and inexplicably, the Packers (24th, 31st, and 6th in FPPG to wide receivers).
He has become a matchup play who is questionable to take advantage of his matchup. This week he takes on a Ravens defense who is thirteenth in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, most of which is on big days from Michael Crabtree and Corey Coleman.
Sterling Shepard is a firm sit for now given the trend of his production over the last couple of weeks and the opponent. It is possible that he has a big day given that it has been #2 receivers who have done well against the Ravens.
However, he has been on a definite skid and is taking on a team that doesn’t give up a ton of opportunity to the wide receiver. A cautious owner would keep Shepard on the bench this week since his production is not something you can rely on after two rough weeks.