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2020 Player Outlooks: Miami Dolphins

By Andrew Swanson | 8/7/20 |

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
(2019 QB Rank – No.20, 20.3 FPts/G)

Fitzmagic lived up to his name at times last season, with seven games of at least 25 fantasy points, including a fantasy super bowl-winning performance against the Bengals in Week 16, with 419 passing yards and four touchdowns.

From a fantasy perspective, Fitzpatrick proved to be a decent streaming option, yet his lack of consistency made him too much of a risk to be an every-week starter. Perhaps his most important contribution from a fantasy perspective was his assistance in helping DeVante Parker breakout.

As is always the case for the journeyman QB, Fitzpatrick is a placeholder yet again, keeping the seat warm until Tua Tagovailoa is healthy and ready to take over the starting role. Tua will most likely take over the starting job at some point in the season, making Fitzpatrick someone to avoid in drafts.

A brutal schedule to start the season is another reason to consider passing on Fitzpatrick as a streamer. The Dolphins take on the Patriots, Bills, and 49ers, three of the top defenses in the league, in their first five weeks of the year.

QB Tua Tagovailoa
(2019 QB Rank - N/A)

The Dolphins used the fifth pick of the 2020 NFL Draft to select quarterback Tua Tagovailoa from Alabama. Tua will be given every opportunity to be the team’s franchise quarterback for years to come, and he has the pedigree and skills to be a star in the NFL.

With that said, Tua will likely start the season on the bench as he continues to recover from a serious hip injury that he suffered last season with the Crimson Tide. If the team is smart, they will not rush him back too early, especially considering the difficult schedule the team faces to start the year, with matchups against the Patriots, Bills, and 49ers in the first five weeks.

Fantasy owners will likely pass on Tua to start the season, yet he could have some value as a streamer down the stretch.

RB Jordan Howard
(2019 RB Rank - No.21, 11.3 FPts/G)

Howard’s one-year stint with the Eagles was cut short due to a shoulder injury that cost him six games in the regular season. Howard was used sparingly with the Eagles as part of the running back rotation utilized by Doug Pederson. Despite this fact, he did post the second best YPC average of his career and did reach the end zone seven times.

The Dolphins signed Howard to a two-year, $10 million deal with nearly $5 million guaranteed. Although they did trade with the 49ers later in the offseason to acquire Matt Breida, Howard’s size and contract make him the front runner to be the lead back in an offense that is in dire need of a running game.

Miami was far and away the worst rushing team in the league last year, posting just five total touchdowns and only 1400 total yards among all of their RBs combined. Howard should give them a boost in the arm, and Howard could be a nice value for a back who could get upwards of 250 touches.

RB Matt Breida
(2019 RB Rank - No.49, 7.2 FPts/G)

Matt Breida posted his second straight season averaging over five yards per carry as a member of the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers. He boasts sprinter speed, above-average pass-catching ability, and he is a threat to take it to the house anywhere on the field.

Unfortunately for Breida, he went from the league’s best rushing offense to the worst, and Kyle Shanahan’s innovative running game will not be there for Breida as a member of the Dolphins.

Look for Breida to share the load with Jordan Howard. Breida is a far more talented pass catcher than Howard, but he is too small to be an every down, between the tackles type of back.

DeVante Parker

WR DeVante Parker
(2019 WR Rank - No.6, 10.9 FPts/G)

2019 was finally the year for Parker to live up to the draft hype. The 6’3”, 210-pound former first-round pick always had all the skills required to be a stud wide receiver in the NFL, he just lacked motivation and the work ethic to produce elite numbers. Although he reportedly turned things around last season from a work ethic perspective, the Dolphins were downright dreadful in 2018 and injuries limited him to just 11 games.

Two other key components led to the big season for Parker in 2019. The Dolphins went with the gun-slinging Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, a player who loves to target big wide receivers like Parker downfield, and someone who does not mind throwing into tight coverage. Another component was the fact that the Dolphins were terrible on defense, the Dolphins had no run game, and the team constantly chased points.

This season, those factors may not be in place. Eventually, Tua will take over at QB, the running game looks to be more viable with Jordan Howard and Matt Breida, and the defense seems to be improved.

Parker will likely lead the team in targets once again, and he will be a red zone threat, but he may not get the same level of volume that helped fuel his breakout season.

WR Preston Williams
(2019 WR Rank - No.45, 7.6 FPts/G)

Williams’ impressive training camp and preseason thrust his name into the fantasy community as more than a few writers made him their late-round sleeper. At 6’4, 210 pounds, he is a little taller than his counterpart across the formation (DeVante Parker), and he seemed to earn the confidence in quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, with four games of seven or more targets, including 12 targets against the Cowboys Week 3.

Williams suffered a season-ending ACL tear against the Jets Week 9. He will likely limited in training camp, yet it is not out of the question for him to be ready Week 1. He will likely be on the WR4 radar as the No.2 wide receiver on a team that wants to run the ball more, but his value could jump significantly if something happened to Parker, a receiver with a history of injuries. With Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns choosing to opt-out, the Dolphins will likely get Williams on the field as soon as he is ready.

TE Mike Gesicki
(2019 TE Rank - No.11, 5.8 FPts/G)

Only Tyler Higbee, Jared Cook, Travis Kelce, and George Kittle scored more fantasy points than Mike Gesicki over the final five weeks of the season.

The former second-round pick from Penn State caught all five of his touchdowns during that span, including a two-touchdown performance against the Bengals in the fantasy super bowl.

Now that he is entering his third season, Gesicki looks primed to be a breakout player with the opportunity to possibly finish in the top-5 at the position.

The return of Preston Williams, an increase in efficiency in the run game, and a change at QB to Tua could limit his volume. However, Gesicki should still be a red zone threat and could be one of the best values at the position in 2020.

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