Fantasy Football Free Agency: Golden Tate Signs With The New York Giants
Golden Tate has been one of the most productive wide receivers in football over the past half-decade. Prior to 2018, he had posted four straight seasons of 90 or more receptions and was on pace to complete the feat yet again last season before being traded to the Eagles halfway through the year. While on Philadelphia, Tate struggled to find a consistent role, recording just 30 receptions in eight games. It should surprise nobody that he decided not to return to the team.
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The Lions moving on from Tate likely had more to do with trying to get the ball to second-year player Kenny Golladay than a dropoff in skills.
Tate was about on par with his Detroit averages prior to being moved. Since he is such a low aDOT player, much of his efficiency is based on yards after the catch, which is highly variant year to year. Obviously, there is some natural decline expected for a player who will be 31 at the start of the 2019 season, but Tate does not appear to have lost a step just yet.
After trading Odell Beckham to the Browns, it appears that the Giants will ask Tate to be their new WR1. The four-year, $37.5 million commitment suggests a sizable role.
Fantasy Football Free Agency Golden Tate Outlook
Initially, there appears to be some redundancy issues with Tate and Sterling Shepard:
Per @PFF, Golden Tate played 70% of his snaps from the slot last year in Detroit, 77% in Philadelphia. Sterling Shepard led all Giants receivers with a 58% slot rate in 2018.
— JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) March 14, 2019
Fortunately, it appears that both players are capable of playing outside.
Sterling Shepard slot vs. outside:
Yd/Tar 7.8 vs. 8.3
Yd/Route 1.39 vs. 1.51
Catch% 68.3% vs. 56.6%
TD/Tar 6.3% vs. 0.0%
Golden Tate slot vs. outside:
Yd/Tar 7.8 vs. 8.2
Yd/Route 1.73 vs. 2.18
Catch% 74.9% vs. 68.8%
TD/Tar 4.1% vs. 3.4%
— Chris Raybon (@ChrisRaybon) March 15, 2019
The above numbers help us to have some more confidence in this WR tandem working out, and also point to Tate being the superior player. It is also worth noting that OC Pat Shurmer’s last major success came with the Vikings and multi-purpose wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Nobody is confusing Tate and Shepard for the Minnesota duo, but it appears that the Giants may be looking to give their offense a similar structure.
Golden Tate 2019 Fantasy Football Outlook
Barring any draft additions, the Giants will enter the 2019 season with another thin depth chart at the skill positions. Tate, Shepard, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley make up a very clear top four targets in the Giant passing game, and the team may not have another NFL-caliber receiving option on the roster.
It is worth noting that offensive target shares were as follows under Shurmer in 2017 when Case Keenum and Diggs were both active:
Thielen – 26.2 percent
Diggs – 21.1 percent
Kyle Rudolph – 15.1 percent
RBs – 20.2 percent
If Tate can establish that he is the team’s best WR, he could hit the 25 percent target share mark.
Tate is currently projected for a WR3 finish in 2019 by the RotoExperts premium projections. There is a good chance that the Giants’ overall perception and team struggles create a good buying opportunity for the former Lion.
Fantasy Football Free Agency Signings:
Featured Image Attributed to Mike Morris