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Sterling Shepard clears concussion protocol, will play in Week 9

Giants WR Sterling Shepard is set to return to action for the first time since Week 5. We break down the fantasy football implications for Week 9.

Sterling Shepard of the New York Giants stiff arms Eric Kendricks of the Minnesota Vikings during their game at MetLife Stadium on October 06, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

The New York Giants expect to have wide receiver Sterling Shepard available this Monday when they host the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9 Monday Night Football. He has officially cleared the concussion protocol, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport. The team has one more practice on Saturday, but full practices on Thursday and Friday are enough to likely move him off the final injury report when it arrives on Saturday afternoon.

Shepard suffered his concussion in Week 5, and after sitting out Week 6 practices, was limited the past two weeks. He’ll start opposite Golden Tate in Week 9 against the Cowboys.

Fantasy football analysis: Giants WRs Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton

Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones suddenly has a veritable embarrassment of riches with Shepard, Tate, and Slayton at wide receiver, Evan Engram at tight end, and Saquon Barkley at running back. Their offensive line remains a problem, but they are starting to put Jones in a position for success.

The downside for fantasy football owners is what this means for target distribution. Slayton is likely the biggest loser after showing signs of progress in Shepard’s absence. He likely takes a step back, but it remains to be seen how Shepard will compete with Tate for targets. This Monday is a solid matchup with Dallas, but expectations should be tempered while we wait and see how Jones looks with all these weapons.