The quickest way to fall behind in a fantasy football league is to become complacent and rely on the team you drafted, neglecting the all-important waiver wire. As managers make numerous waiver claims for Week 3, should Arizona Cardinals WR Greg Dortch be a priority addition off the waiver wire ahead of his matchup with the Los Angeles Rams?
Rondale Moore’s absence has allowed Greg Dortch to become an intriguing fantasy option
Outside of die-hard Cardinals fans, not many knew the name Greg Dortch before the season began. A third-year player out of Wake Forrest, Dortch had appeared in just five games before this season and had three targets. But things have been different in 2022.
With the Cardinals already down DeAndre Hopkins (suspension) for the first six games, losing Rondale Moore (hamstring) to injury stressed an already-thin receiving room. Luckily for Arizona, Dortch has done an admirable job filling in.
In Week 1 against the Chiefs, Dortch saw a team-high nine targets on 59 snaps (second-highest). He converted those targets into seven receptions for 63 yards while posting a 21.4% target per route run (TPRR) rate. Fast forward to Week 2, and though Dortch’s numbers didn’t match his Week 1 production, he put up a respectable outing.
The 5’7″ wideout reeled in all four of his targets for 55 yards with a touchdown while running routes on 75% of Kyler Murray’s dropbacks (compared to 96% in Week 1). Dortch also saw a dips in a few other metrics including his target share (28% to 9%), TPRR (10%), and average depth of target (4.8 yards).
It is worth noting Zach Ertz seemed to be back to full strength in Week 2 which may have led to Dortch’s drop in targets from the previous week. Still, Dortch has put together a noteworthy start to the season.
Through two weeks, Dortch currently is the WR23 in PPR scoring (14.4 PPR/game) and sits T-30th in targets (13), T-18th in receptions (10), and 32nd in yards (118). For someone who went undrafted in the vast majority of leagues, that’s impressive.
Should Dortch be a priority waiver wire claim in Week 3?
While I wouldn’t say he is a priority, Dortch could be worthy of a look in 12-team leagues. Hopkins’ absence is the known commodity in this equation, as the earliest he can return is Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints. Moore’s timeline, on the other hand, is less certain.
Per ESPN NFL Insider Jeremy Fowler, the Cardinals could be without Moore for a few more weeks, pushing his absence to over a month. The team is hoping to have Moore back soon enough to justify keeping him off of injured reserve which would mandate an absence of at least four weeks.
Last year, Murray and Hopkins were listed as “game-time decisions” for what felt like four weeks in a row, so forgive me if I am not the quickest to take Arizona Cardinals projected injury timelines as gospel.
That said, at wide receiver, I believe there are options with higher upside and more long-term potential than Dortch including Jahan Dotson, Garrett Wilson, Jakobi Meyers, Joshua Palmer, and Sterling Shepard. I’d even throw George Pickens into that group.
At other positions, quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, and Tua Tagovailoa, tight ends Evan Engram and Logan Thomas, and running backs Jordan Mason, Raheem Mostert, and Darrel Williams are all worth priority targets ahead of Dortch. If you’re desperate at the wide receiver position, that calculus should change, of course.
If you’re in a deep league in which most of the above names are gone, Dortch is a perfectly fine waiver wire claim candidate, but I’d be careful starting him this week against the Los Angeles Rams if you choose to take a shot.