2020 Fantasy Previews Part 20: Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins were supposed to be the worst team in the NFL last year. It looked like that was going to be the case when they allowed 102 points in their first 2 games. They started the season by losing 7 games and then they finally won. The Dolphins beat the New York Jets in Week 9. They then went on the beat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10. From their Week 9 victory against the New York Jets, the Miami Dolphins finished the season 5-4. This was capped off by beating the New England Patriots in Week 17. The Dolphins weren't supposed to win any of these games. They won with the superb leadership of first-year head coach, Brian Flores. The defense was one of the focal points for the Dolphins this offseason. They finished with the 3rd worst total defense, 7th worst pass defense, 6th worst rush defense, and the worst scoring defense. In free agency, they signed: Byron Jones, Kyle Van Noy, Emmanuel Ogbah, Shaq Lawson, Clayton Fejedelem, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Elandon Roberts, and Adrian Colbert to boost the defense. The Dolphins finished the season 5-11 and had the 5th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. They had 5 picks in the first 2 rounds and selected a quarterback, 2 offensive linemen, a cornerback, and a defensive lineman. Expect the Dolphins to improve this year with a much better defense and a decent offense.

Projected Depth Chart:

Quarterback: 1. Ryan Fitzpatrick 2. Tua Tagovailoa

Running back: 1. Matt Breida 2. Jordan Howard

Wide receiver: 1. DeVante Parker 2. Preston Williams 3. Albert Wilson 4. Mack Hollins

Slot receiver: 1. Allen Hurns 2. Jakeem Grant

Tight end: 1. Mike Gesicki 2. Durham Smythe

Quarterbacks - Ryan Fitzpatrick was a solid quarterback in 2019. He passed for 3529 yards on 62% completion, 20 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He also ran for 243 yards and 4 touchdowns. Fitzpatrick finished as the QB17 but started in only 13 games. He came off the bench in relief for Rosen in 2 games as well. If you take his average from the 13 games he started, he would've averaged 17.7 points per game. If he averaged this for a whole season, he would've finished as the QB9.

Fitzpatrick wasn't even supposed to be the starting quarterback. The Dolphins traded for Josh Rosen during the 2019 NFL Draft. Rosen started a couple of games last year and was not very good. This was after Ryan Tannehill left and they were looking to fill the hole. The Miami Dolphins selected Tua Tagovailoa with the 5th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Tagovailoa will likely replace Ryan Fitzpatrick at some point this season.

Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa should not be drafted in fantasy until we get a sense of who is going to play and when. Tua is the QB30 on ESPN and Ryan Fitzpatrick is the QB34. Whoever plays should be fantasy relevant. If it were closer to the season and I knew about how long Fitzpatrick was going to play, I would draft him as a backup to a quarterback that has an early bye week.

Running backs - The Miami running back situation was terrible last year. They had 7 running backs get carries. Those running backs were: Patrick Laird, Kalen Ballage, Mark Walton, Myles Gaskin, Zach Zenner, Samaje Perine, and De'Lance Turner. Most of these running backs are no-name players who should be the third-string running back on an NFL roster. The best fantasy player was Patrick Laird as he finished with 68.3 fantasy points.

The Dolphins thought this was a problem and added two running backs over the offseason in Jordan Howard and Matt Breida. Howard finished as the RB43 in fantasy in Philadelphia. He played in 10 games and had 525 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. Breida finished as the RB46 in San Francisco. In 13 games, he had 621 yards and 1 touchdown. He was the better receiver as he caught 19 passes for 120 yards and 1 touchdown.

I expect both of these running backs to be fantasy relevant this year. The Dolphins didn't draft a running back which shows their confidence in Breida and Howard. Howard will be used on the early downs as a power back and Breida will be used on the later downs as more of a receiving back. Jordan Howard is going in the 7th-8th round and I think that is good value for a player that should be in line for a decent workload. Breida is going around the 12th round and I think that is much better value. Breida will likely score the same amount as Howard, but he is going 4 rounds later. While I like both Breida and Howard, I like Breida better as a sleeper.

Wide receivers - There were 2 fantasy-relevant receivers last year in Miami. The first one was very surprising. Preston Williams was an undrafted rookie out of Colorado State. He is an insane physical specimen, but some off-field issues kept him from being drafted. In 8 games, he caught 32 passes for 428 yards and 3 touchdowns. If he played for the whole season, he would've finished as the WR35. While he was playing, he got more targets than the other fantasy-relevant receiver on the Dolphins, DeVante Parker.

DeVante Parker had 72 catches for 1202 yards and 9 touchdowns last year for the Dolphins. Parker finished as the WR11 and only had 3 games with under 10 points. When they played together, Parker averaged 1 less target per game than Preston Williams. When he got hurt, Parker really broke out. This was the first year of his career where he had over 60 receptions, over 1000 yards, and over 5 touchdowns.

Going into 2020, I think both receivers can be fantasy relevant. DeVante Parker is going in the 5th round and I think that is good value for him. He should see similar targets, but fewer yards, and touchdowns. I think Parker would be a great WR2 or 3 on your team. Preston Williams is being drafted around the 8th-9th round and I think that is excellent value. Williams was the #1 receiver before he got hurt. I think Williams is a breakout candidate this year and is a great value you can get as a receiver on your bench.

Tight ends - Mike Gesicki was targeted a lot last year. He finished with 51 receptions on 89 targets for 590 yards and 5 touchdowns. He finished with 136 fantasy points and was the TE12. Gesicki played in 16 games and had 6 or more targets in 10 of them. In the second half of the season, he had 7 of these games and had 29 in his final 3 games. If Gesicki played as he did in the second half of the season, he would've finished as the TE5 with 211.4 fantasy points.

Mike Gesicki will only get better in 2020 with another season to develop. ESPN has him as the TE15 going in the 12th round. This is amazing value for a tight end who played like a TE5 in the second half of the season. I am looking to target Gesicki in most of my leagues as a backup or even a starter in some leagues. He is a huge sleeper heading into 2020 who is a breakout candidate at the tight end position. To get him as a backup tight end would be amazing just because of the volume he gets.

Fantasy analysis:

Breakouts: Preston Williams, Mike Gesicki

Sleeper: Matt Breida

Good value: DeVante Parker, Jordan Howard

I'm not targeting: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa (QB Battle), everyone else (not enough touches)

I hope you liked 2020 Fantasy Previews Part 20: Miami Dolphins. Next up is 2020 Fantasy Previews Part 21: Minnesota Vikings. Feel free to comment your thoughts on the fantasy impact of the Dolphins' offense in 2020.

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