1) Sterling Shepard
The argument for Shepard is simple: he appears to be the undisputed WR1 in his offense, which is a quality that instantly vaults any receiver into at least FLEX consideration in deeper formats.
The Giants’ revamped coaching staff has also made it clear that they will start the best players available based on their practice and game performance, and that appears to mean a lack of tolerance for Golladay’s and Toney’s collective lack of effort – which also means more targets for the man who has been the Giants top receiver for a few years now.
Beyond Shepard’s role, his talents are pretty stunning if you watch his reps. He has the versatility and toughness to work inside in the slot in addition to the explosive speed and ball-tracking ability required to stretch the field.
— NFL (@NFL) September 11, 2022
It seems the Giants coaching staff is in love with Shepard based on his target share (team-leading 10 targets last game), and for that reason you should be in love with him too.
Although Shepard can’t even be considered a reliable WR2 yet given he’s widely available in many leagues and considering he had just two catches in Week 1 (one of which saved his day and went for a TD), he could be on your radar in Week 3 if your team is already savaged by injuries.
Here’s how Shepard ranks so far among all players (not just receivers) in 2022:
- 45th in yards
- Tied for 12th in catches
- Tied for 13th in targets
- 39th in yards per catch
Sterling Shepard should still be running pic.twitter.com/OBxez7j9VB
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) September 19, 2022
Today Shepard sits as fantasy’s WR36, which means statistically he is already a WR3 or FLEX despite the Giants putrid offense. This also means if he’s still available after waivers have gone through, you should rush to pick him up if you are WR-needy.
2) Gerald Everett
Every season there’s a top-5 TE available on the waiver wire that nobody saw coming. This season it appears that tight end is Gerald Everett.
Everett has always impressed when given the opportunity with both the Seahawks and Rams, but he may have found his NFL home in the Los Angeles Chargers.
The latest team change suits Everett as he has gone from a gadget receiving TE to a teams’ undisputed TE1 and a target magnet in one of the NFL’s most pass-happy offenses.
Herbert with the back-shoulder DIME to Gerald Everett for the TD ?
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 11, 2022
Everett’s size allows him to box out smaller defenders while his athleticism makes him a mismatch for slower linebackers and defensive backs, both of which are qualities that has Justin Herbert frequently looking for his new security blanket.
At this point Everett is not only a starter, but a fantasy TE1 until he proves otherwise considering he’s fantasy’s fourth-highest scoring tight in 2022.
So far Everett has had at least four targets in both of his games and has averaged at least 10 yards per catch – impressive feats for a TE.
Among tight ends in 2022, Everett ranks:
- 5th in yards
- Tied for 6th in targets and receptions
- 2nd in yards per catch
If Keenan Allen is forced to miss more time, Everett is a blatant must-start (which he already is for tight end-desperate teams). Add in the tinted visor and the arm sleeve and this man might very well be the next Josh Gordon of nonsensical fantasy fandom.
3) Greg Dortch
Still widely available in many leagues, Dortch is one of the most unlikely surprises of fantasy’s young 2022 season.
Good QBs love good slot receivers, and it looks like by all accounts Dortch is Kyler Murray and the Cardinals’ new favorite slot man.
In an offense that throws as much as the Cardinals, his role alone should give Dortch at least some dart throw value week to week even when his fellow Arizona receivers are healthy and unsuspended (Rondale Moore, Hopkins, and Andy Isabella were all out last week).
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 18, 2022
Dortch possesses that fast-twitch agility and acceleration that all good slot receivers need, and the Cardinals have been leaning on those skills heavily.
Here’s how Dortch ranks so far among all players (not just receivers) in 2022:
- Tied for 9th in catches
- Tied for 14th in targets
- 37th in yards (ahead of Jerry Jeudy and Diontae Johnson)
- Tied for 10th in YAC
- Tied for 9th in catches for first downs
Greg Dortch leads the Arizona Cardinals with 11 catches and 118 receiving yards with a TD. Dortch is 10th in the NFL with 60 YAC.
He's more than a guy that flashed in camp and the preseason, he's making a big impact to start the season.
— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) September 20, 2022
Even when Hopkins and others return, Dortch will likely maintain a stranglehold on Arizona’s slot position considering it has been he – not Marquise Brown – who has stepped up the most to lead the Cardinals in receptions, targets, and yards in the absence of Hopkins.
Dortch ranks 2nd among the team’s receivers in offensive snaps (115) behind Hollywood Brown (132) and ahead of A.J. Green (113). He currently has a team-leading 11 catches for 118 yards.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) August 28, 2022
Furthermore, Hopkins and Marquise Brown have always been more traditional outside receivers and someone will have to fill Christian Kirk’s very productive slot role from last season. Bet the farm that someone will be Dortch after his recent performances.
Dortch’s current PRK is 22, which means technically he has already performed at a WR2 level.
If Rondale Moore and Andy Isabella are both out again in Week 3, Dortch warrants WR2 and FLEX consideration in all formats.