The Dolphins are going into this season ranked as my 25th best team. I have them winning 6 games this year and finishing 2nd in the AFC East and 12th in the AFC. Below is my in-depth breakdown of the team by position, staff, and fantasy worth.
Coaching: B+; I really like Brian Flores. He is probably the only great current coach from the Belichick tree. He has a lot of Belichick’s style, attitude, and team building skills. I think that he could be a fantastic coach. He built a winning team in the last few weeks of last season with arguably the worst roster in football. He is building a culture in Miami.
QB: C+; I think Tua is my favorite quarterback from the draft. I don’t think he has the raw skill of Burrow, but he is great in a good system. He gets knocked often for being a system quarterback, but I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing. Brady and Brees were system quarterbacks, and they thrived in those systems. I really think that he has a quick path to rookie of the year if he is started. Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently the starter, but I don’t think that will stay when week 1 roles around.
RB: B+; I think Howard is fairly underrated due to a poor 2018 season. He put up 525 yards and 6 touchdowns in 10 games with the Eagles last year while sharing carries with Miles Sanders. He only truly started 4 games. He will have a worse offensive line with the dolphins, and he will have to split carries again this year, so I don’t think he will be as productive. He is still a fine running back option. Their second option, Matt Breida, will also be a fine back. He was great even when he had limited carries with the 49ers. He had a very solid 5.1 yards per carry last year. I like Breida more than most. He has crazy speed, burst, grit, and decent vision. I think he has a chance to emerge as a top 15 running back in the near future. I really like the Dolphins one-two punch. Could be scary.
WR: B+; Devante Parker broke out as a top 10 wide receiver last season. He had 1,202 yards and 9 touchdowns last year while being thrown passes to by Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick was also behind probably the worst line in the league, so Parker had limited time to get open. He has the ability to take over games. With an improved line and Tua Tagovailoa, don’t be surprised when Parker is an all-pro caliber receiver. Other than Parker, Preston Williams and Albert Wilson are good options. Williams, the undrafted rookie, was stellar in the first 8 games in the season before injury. He had 428 yards and 3 touchdowns. Impressive. If he recovers well, he could develop into a very good second option.
TE: C+; Gesicki is a candidate for a breakout year. He has all the necessary skills to be a good tight end and has shown flashes of his true skill. He clearly improved later into the season. Right now, even though I think he has a good chance at breaking out, he hasn’t yet, so I can’t give him a higher grade than a C+.
O-line: C-; This Dolphins offensive line went for a full overhaul in the off-season. They added guard Ereck Flowers and center Ted Karras in free agency. They also drafted tackle Austin Jackson in the first round and tackle Robert Hunt in the second. Both of them are projected to start this year. I don’t think the Dolphins line will immediately turn great, but it could develop quickly.
D-line: C-; This is a very unimpressive group. Their left defensive end, Avery Moss, is really just a body on the field. Davon Godchaux is a very below average tackle. Christian Wilkins shows a lot of potential, however, as an interior defensive lineman. He was drafted 13th overall in last year's draft, but didn’t have that great of a rookie season. Don’t count him out yet, though. At defensive end, Emanuel Ogbah is a decent starter. He is nothing special, but he will most likely pick up double digit stats if he starts 16 games.
LB: B; The additions of Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson, and Kamu Grugier Hill definitely make this linebacking corp above average. Van Noy just came off of a career year with the Patriots and will hopefully ride that momentum into this season with the Dolphins. Shaq Lawson has been a pretty unappreciated player with the Bills. He is pretty good at getting to the quarterback on blitzes and is overall an above average outside linebacker. Jerome Baker is an ok middle linebacker. He picked up 126 total tackles last year. He’s no field general, but he is serviceable.
DB: A-; Even after the loss of Minkah Fitzpatrick, this secondary is very good. They will retain cornerback Xavien Howard and safety/cornerback Eric Rowe. They also made the stellar addition of lock-down corner Byron Jones. Finally, they drafted Noah Igbinoghene late in the first round of this year’s draft. He should play very well in his rookie season given that he won’t have to cover elite talent all the time. I really like this secondary.
Overall: B-; I think that skill wise, this roster is top 20. They have the potential to be a top 15 roster even. I don’t think that the Dolphins will find immediate success with this amount of player turnover and their tough schedule, but they could be a good playoff team by next year if Tua works out. Watch this team. They’ve got a lot of skill. They are very young though, so don’t be expecting any deep playoff runs in the next 2-3 years.
Fantasy Value: I would be hesitant to draft either of the Dolphins running backs. Howard and Breida will likely be in rotation. If I did get one of them it would be Breida. I feel his speed will be utilized better in Miami. I still don’t think it would be a good idea to get either. Tua could be a very underrated quarterback. Though I don’t typically draft rookie quarterbacks because of the risk, Tua is in the best position of any other rookie quarterback. He has a decent line and some good weapons. He is definitely a fantasy sleeper. I really think that Gesiki could explode as a tight end this year. He is a physical freak and has shown flashes of his receiving ability. He is a risk I’d be willing to take. Finally, Parker will be a great option at wide receiver. He could fall in some drafts due to lack of name recognition. If you can get him at value, he could be an easy steal