In his first year with the Giants, Shane Vereen collected a career-best 59 receptions. He has at least 47 receptions in three straight seasons, split between New England and New York. Vereen is purely a change of pace back for the Giants but is an effective receiver and runner. Vereen had 6 carries for 38 yards in week one, and 3 catches for 23 yards. While Rashad Jennings will get most of the carries in this backfield, Vereen is definitely the pass-catching back to own.
Consensus Ranking and Projected Stats
For week 2, Vereen is ranked as the 102nd Flex PPR player overall, and the 36th running back. His projections for the week:
Rushing: 5.2 carries, 24 yards, 0.1 TDs
Receiving: 3.2 catches, 29.1 yards, 0.1 TDs
Total Points: 10.2 PPR points
Current Week Match-up
While Vereen shouldn’t be counted on for every week production, he gets a favorable match-up this week. The Giants host the New Orleans Saints, who have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Saints gave up 35 points to the Oakland Raiders in week 1. They failed to record a single sack or generate an interception and gave up 22 points in the fourth quarter alone. Furthermore, Delvin Breaux, the Saints’ most reliable cornerback, is expected to miss a few weeks with a leg injury.
The total Vegas over/under is set at 53, the highest total of the week. The New York Giants don’t have the greatest defense as well, allowing 19 points to the Dak Prescott led Dallas Cowboys. The Giants failed to generate any sacks, interceptions, or fumble recoveries against a rookie quarterback last week. Facing Drew Brees, the Giants may be picked apart by the New Orleans high powered offense. This game has the makings of a shootout.
Look for Vereen to get multiple catches in this game on third downs. If the Giants fall behind early, Vereen will play an important role in generating points for the Giants. Paul Perkins was a healthy inactive scratch last week as well, which further cements Vereen’s role on third downs.
Comparable Flex Starters
I’ve analyzed some comparable flex starters, along with a brief description of why I like them more or less:
RB Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals. Projected PPR points – 9.4 points
Jeremy Hill is the starting RB for Cincinnati but loses third down work to the talented receiving RB Gio Bernard. Last week, Hill had 9 carries for 31 yards with a TD. While the touchdown saved his fantasy day, Hill produced nothing otherwise against a tough Jets run defense. Thus, the Bengals were content to air the ball out, funneling the offense through A.J Green. Against the Steelers, who were the 3rd toughest matchup for running backs in 2015, Hill faces similar issues. Furthermore, the Steelers have a far weaker secondary than the Jets, which leads to the idea that AJ Green and Bernard may see more work in this game. Unless Hill punches in a short yardage TD, look for a tough PPR day against the Steelers.
Conclusion: Start Shane Vereen over Jeremy Hill
RB Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles: Projected PPR points – 8.5 points
Darren Sproles has a very similar role to Vereen, operating as the third down back in Philadelphia. Ceding first and second down carries to Ryan Mathews, Sproles generated 12 yards on 5 carries and 2 receptions for 24 yards against Cleveland. With Mathews healthy, he should be receiving a majority of the touches in the Eagles’ backfield. The Chicago Bears defense isn’t anything too frightening to face in week 2, but I can see the Eagles having a more run-focused approach with the rookie Wentz this week. When Wentz does throw, Jordan Matthews is the preferred target. J. Matthews put up a line of 7 catches for 114 yards with a touchdown and is definitely Wentz’s favorite target.
Conclusion: Start Shane Vereen over Darren Sproles
Record to Date:
Player Projections: 1 – 0
Start/Sit Recommendations: 2 – 0