Fantasy football flex of the week: Shane Vereen

John Korduner/Icon Sportswire

It’s that time again. Things went… OK for my flex play last week, Pierre Garcon. While he didn’t break out, he hit my prediction, which is something I can live with. Garcon was cheap, widely available and provided six receptions for 51 yards.

Can Shane Vereen do the same in Week 2? I don’t see why not.

Most of the talk going into the season for the Giants’ backfield revolved around Rashad Jennings. With Andre Williams gone, Jennings was going to see the majority of carries, similar to the end of the 2015 campaign.

Things played out exactly like that in the opener, but most people forgot about Vereen — the former Patriots running back. Vereen’s usage for most of last season was questionable at best. Why would New York bring in a pass-catching running back and barely use him?

He finished last year with five games of one reception or less and eight games with two receptions or less. Consistency was a major issue — he also had eight receptions in four separate occasions. But with his total production, he wasn’t worth the contract the Giants gave him.

Enter a new year and the first under head coach Ben McAdoo. Vereen finished Week 1 with six carries for 38 yards and three catches for 23 yards on five targets. For the most part, that’s right around where he was a year ago on a good day.

And honestly, that’s fine for this week. When these teams faced off last season, the Saints walked away with a crazy 52-49 win. Due to all the points – and passing – Vereen finished with eight receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown, one of his best performances of the season.

Sure, Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz are now at receiver, but it’s worth noting that no other running back had a touch outside of Jennings and Vereen in the first game.

In the win over the Cowboys, Jennings played 32 snaps and Vereen had 24. Not a huge difference.

This week’s opponent, the Saints, just gave up 35 points and has had the worst defense in the league for the last year or so. Jennings and Vereen, as well as the rest of the Giants offense, should be in for a huge game.

The difference for Vereen is that he’s only owned in 16% of Yahoo leagues and 32.1% of ESPN leagues. At DraftKings, he is $3,800 and at FanDuel, he costs $5,100.

Similarly priced players include Tim Hightower, Andre Ellington, Rob Kelley and James Starks. As of note, both of these sites use PPR.

In review, those prices don’t make sense. With the Giants expected to get a few more overall snaps this week due to the Saints’ high-flying offense (the Giants had 56 and Raiders 73 in Week 1 vs. Saints), Vereen should be around 30 for the game.

I can see Vereen getting five carries for 20 yards to go with five receptions for another 40 yards. In full PPR leagues, that’s double-digit points, and really, that’s all you need from a cheap option like him. And then there’s still touchdown potential in a high-scoring game.

Jennings will get plenty of carries and goal-line touches, but it’s not like Vereen won’t be used.

My other favorite options of the week include Danny Woodhead, Jacob Tamme and Emmanuel Sanders.

Fantasy football flex of the week: Shane Vereen

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