Miami Dolphins Fantasy Breakdown
There’s a lot going on for the Miami Dolphins. They’re smack dab in the middle of a rebuild and have loaded up on talent for 2020. Let’s break down the new and improved Miami Dolphins.
Offseason additions: QB Tua Tagovailoa,
RB Jordan Howard, RB Matt Breida, TE Adam Shaheen, WR/RB Malcolm Perry (R)
Offseason subtractions: TE Clive Walford,
WR Trevor Davis, WR Albert Wilson (opt out) and WR Allen Hurns (opt out)
Quarterback: This position is one of the biggest training camp storylines of 2020. The Quarterback competition is already underway and likely won’t be decided until very close to kickoff. Gathering as much information as I could led to the conclusion that this QB competition is for the week #1 opener against New England on September 13th and that’s pretty much as far as it goes. In other words, the winner of the starting job may not have the job for very long at all. They’re reportedly making a choice for “right now” and will change course quickly if warranted. This leads me to believe that veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick will win the initial QB competition. He had a fairly solid 2019 season finishing as the QB #16 and tallying his 3rd most passing yards of his career despite only starting 13 games. 5th overall draft pick Tua Tagovaila is undoubtedly the future of this franchise but definitely has a shot to be the present as well. He recently passed his physical and is ready to go for the 2020 season. Tagovaila obviously has tremendous value in dynasty formats but I wouldn’t touch him in redraft leagues. If we’re talking 2QB or superflex leagues than he could be a QB #3 or #4 but I’d try to package him with Fitzpatrick. It’s a similar situation to that of the Chargers, it’s not safe to rely on either quarterback because they could lose the starting job quickly. In drafts I’d stay away from this QB competition if possible but keep an eye on whoever is starting for streaming purposes. Former 10th overall pick Josh Rosen unsurprisingly doesn’t seem to have a shot at the job.
Running Back: Miami brought in some much needed talent at the running back position this offseason. Veteran Jordan Howard looks to be the favorite to start as of now but I see former 49er Matt Brieda as an equal to Howard. Both backs have good value this year and should have plenty of opportunities to outperform their ADPs that are near #100. Right now both Brieda and Howard are ranked next to each other with ECRs of RB #34 and #35. That’s fairly low considering that even Patrick Laird was a high end RB #3 through the last 5 games when he was starting or getting consistent work. With an upgraded offensive line and much better RB talent the Dolphins will look to run often which should provide Howard and the explosive Breida plenty of volume to share. They obviously cap each other’s ceilings but they’re also causing each other to be undervalued which is great for fantasy owners looking to snag some valuable depth at this year’s very thin RB position. It would be great if you could get them as a pair but they will have stand alone value as well. Patrick Laird will move back into his backup/fullback role and Kalen Balage who proved to be quite incapable last season shouldn't be a factor either.
Wide Receiver: 2019 was the year that we finally got to witness the long awaited breakout of former first round pick Devante Parker and what a breakout it was! Parker finished as the WR #11 in PPR formats and #6 in standard leagues. He was definitely in the “league winner” category going undrafted in most leagues last season. His numbers were very impressive 72/1,202/9 on a whopping 128 targets which was good for 13th among WRs. Due to last season being his first and only relatively productive one in his five year career the former Louisville Cardinal has the fantasy world expecting regression and then some. I think that regression is likely but not a certainty either. With an improved offense and most likely a lot more consistent QB play I think he won’t regress much or could even outperform his 2019 breakout. An ADP of #61 and an ECR of WR #25 is a bargain. Snag Parker as a low end WR #2 or a high end WR #3 with confidence. Preston Williams was a pleasant surprise last season bursting onto the scene as an undrafted rookie and putting up solid numbers through his first 8 games before tearing an ACL on a punt return in week #9. It’s been reported that he’ll be “good to go” for week #1 this season and will line up on the outside opposite Parker. Williams is currently ranked in the WR #5 tier and has an extremely low ADP of #160 which makes the 6 ft 5 WR a great value pick late in drafts and one of the more intriguing sleepers of 2020 especially now that there has been not one but two opt outs behind him. Albert Wilson had a career high 43 receptions playing primarily out of the slot and since him and fellow wideout Allen Hurns have opted out of the season that leaves some playing time up for grabs and also thins out the depth of this position. Speedy and talented kick returner Jakeem Grant will have a larger role on offense this season and will compete for that third receiver spot with former Colt Chester Rodgers, 7th round rookie Malcolm Perry, Former Brown and recently resigned Ricardo Louis.
Tight End: Mike Gesicki is one of my favorite Tight Ends for fantasy this season. He had a slowish start to last season but excelled down the stretch once he got more of a consistent workload. He ended the season with 6 or more targets in eight of his final nine games and caught all five of his TDs in his last six games. He finished as the TE #12 in PPR formats and currently is being ranked by a consensus of experts as the TE #14. Gesicki is quite a bargain considering how he carved out a large role for himself in this offense last season and has been touted to even play in the slot some in 2020. I can see his workload going up from his 89 targets which was tied for 7th most among TEs in 2019 since he was used sparely for the first month or so. An ADP of #130 leaves Gesicki plenty of room to easily be a steal on a much improved offense. Newly acquired Adam Shaheen figures to be the next man in line. Miami had very little depth at the position so they shipped a 7th round draft pick to Chicago for the 6 foot 6 inch Tight End.
Defense: This squad was dead last in fantasy points averaging just 2.8 per game. That certainly makes it difficult to imagine trusting the Miami D/ST in your lineup even if it is just a streaming situation against a poor offense. With that being said, this Miami defense has so many new faces that it can’t really be compared to the 2019 squad especially since superstar cornerback Xavien Howard missed most of last season. Head Coach Brian Flores seemed to have a way of getting the best out of his players even though they were extremely outmatched and really has this team behind him. This defense could be one of the bigger surprises this season if all this new talent can mesh together well. Former Patriots linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts should help lead this Belichick esque defense and newcomers Byron Jones, Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah should really help execute Flores’ aggressive scheme. First round rookie cornerback Noah Igbinoghene and huge 2nd round nose tackle Raekwon Davis should also provide a much needed boost.
It’s easy to have overlooked the 2019 Dolphins especially when they were supposedly tanking. They were the worst rushing team in the league, had a terrible offensive line and overall looked pathetic at times. That’s what most people will remember. What nobody seems to be talking about was the fact that they were actually a pretty productive offense despite all the bad. They were 12th in passing yardage, 11th in offensive plays, and 13th in offensive scoring. With a much upgraded running back room, an upgraded offensive line, and a QB duo pushing each other, this offense could be legit and could be a goldmine of fantasy steals.