WR Russell Shepard - Carolina Panthers
|6-1, 196||Born: 11-17-1990||College: LSU||Drafted: ---|
Week 12: at New York Jets
FBG says: Good matchup. The Panthers come fresh off a 45-21 dismantling of the Dolphins, which saw Cam Newton throw for 254 yards and 4 touchdowns. And the decimated Carolina passing game, which has lost both Kelvin Benjamin and rookie slot man Curtis Samuel in recent weeks, should enjoy a nice boost if Greg Olsen returns as expected. Olsen's presence is a huge deal: he'll likely vie for the target lead off the bat, and dating back to 2014, no Panthers receiver has produced more adjusted yards per attempt (factoring in interceptions) from Newton. Even with the personnel losses, we have to like at least the short-term outlook here. There doesn't seem to be much drop-off from the Olsen/Kelvin Benjamin pairing to Olsen/Devin Funchess, and with Christian McCaffrey erupting out of the backfield, there's still plenty of dynamism at play here. Consistency, as always, is the sticking point. Newton has thrown for 239+ yards 4 times this year - and that's plenty considering his rushing output - but also been held below 172 in 4 others. The Jets' young pass defense has actually overachieved a bit, considering its inexperienced and shaky personnel, but it's still a unit to target in fantasy. The team has allowed 5 of its last 6 opponents to top 250 passing yards, with 3 of them topping 285. It's not hard to see why: the team lacks strong coverage options at cornerback beyond Morris Claiborne, and has struggled quite a bit in the slot, allowing big recent receiving lines to Jarvis Landry (7 receptions for 93 yards and 1 touchdown) and Mohamed Sanu (6 for 74 and 1). And with two rookies starting at the safety spots, there's tons of opportunity for misreads and missed assignment. Tight ends tend to work them over as well - only six defenses have allowed more PPR points to the position - which bodes well for Greg Olsen's probable return to the field.
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2017 Week 10 vs MIA (7 / 3 / 40 / 0 rec)
Russell Shepard was perhaps the only part of the offense that didn't shine on Monday night, dropping a pair of simple passes - one of which would have been a 20+-yard completion. Making up for his early errors, Shepard aggressively attacked the next target that came his way, a bullet pass on a slant off play action. This time he didn't disappoint. Shepard seemed to up his game from that point on, looking explosive on a bubble screen and converting a third down by settling down at the sticks to give Newton an easy pitch and catch.
2017 Week 9 vs ATL (2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec, 1 / 11 / 0 rush)
Clearly the fourth option in the revamped Panthers passing attack pecking order after the trade of Kelvin Benjamin, Russell Shepard did little to distinguish himself in this game. To his credit, he showed good agility and acceleration on a reverse that gained 10 yards. However, a third down target on a corner route saw the football go tantalisingly in and out of his outstretched mits; it fell incomplete, but the ball was catchable.
2017 Week 8 vs TB (1 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec)
The oft-forgotten part of the Panthers passing attack, new signing Russell Shepard caught a lone pass on a drag route that he took up the field for a first down. With the coverage run off by the other receivers' deeper patterns, it was a simple pitch and catch. Shepard saw the field plenty in the game, but was generally working those shorter to intermediate patterns; Newton, for the most part, opted to go deep.
2017 Week 6 vs PHI (6 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)
Veteran Russell Shepard was kept quiet for the most part and is far down the pecking order in this passing game unless an injury occurs to one of Cam Newton's favourite targets.
2017 Week 5 vs DET (2 / 2 / 15 / 0 rec)
Russell Shepard saw plenty of snaps, with the Panthers opting to use empty sets quite often. It was not a fruitful day on the stat sheet for the veteran, however, as he was rarely targeted. Most of the time he ran off the coverage with deeper patterns, allowing players like Ed Dickson and Devin Funchess to capitalise on underneath routes.
2017 Week 2 vs BUF (2 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Russell Shepard continues to be utilised in three- and four-wide sets, an offensive personnel package the Panthers leaned on heavily in this game. Shepard was unfortunate not to reel in a touchdown reception from his quarterback in the red zone, a high pass getting knocked away at the catch point. His role will continue to be as a role player unless the team loses a receiver to injury.
2017 Week 1 vs SF (2 / 2 / 53 / 1 rec)
One of the new faces in the Panthers offense scored their first touchdown of the season. Lined up in a three by one set in the tight slot, Shepard sprinted up the seam and bent his route towards the sideline. The 49ers defense overplayed the deeper patterns run by Devin Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin, leaving Shepard unaccounted for. Cam Newton's pass was on the money, and Shepard made the pursuing safety look silly with a beautifully executed spin move to escape his grasp. Shepard was mostly featured in four-wide sets, with Benjamin and Funchess the de facto starting duo. Later in the game Shepard made a nice catch on a high fastball from Newton, attacking the football with his hands.
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|12||@ New York Jets|
|13||@ New Orleans Saints|
|14||vs Minnesota Vikings|
|15||vs Green Bay Packers|
|16||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|17||@ Atlanta Falcons|