2021 Fantasy Football Miami Dolphins Preview

by Davis Peng
2021 Fantasy Football Miami Dolphins Preview

Welcome to our first round of 2021 Fantasy Football Preview; we'll be taking a look at the Miami Dolphins today. With mandatory minicamps officially underway, it will be Fantasy Football season before you know it. We at Fantasy Six Pack are providing our team previews to make you as prepared as possible for your draft and the upcoming season.

The Miami Dolphins have a lot to live up to after surprising the world with their 10-6 finish. Although they were able to hit such a high watermark, they did so while leaning heavily on a combination of head coach Brian Flores and defensive players on the team hitting career highs. Is this repeatable? Possibly, but highly unlikely.

One of the main reasons for this is the massive personnel losses in free agency. Players such as linebacker Kyle Van Noy, defensive end Shaq Lawson, defensive tackle Davon Godchaux and safety Bobby McCain have all left town. All had starter roles that helped the Dolphins succeed defensively.

With Coach Flores returning for his third year and Tua Tagovailoa officially going into his sophomore season, the team will now have to establish an identity both offensively and defensively.

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2021 Fantasy Football Miami Dolphins Preview

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The Dolphins' 2020 season was a fantasy disaster due to the hot-potato routine at quarterback. Considering that Ryan Fitzpatrick has been replaced with Jacoby Brissett and Reid Sinnett, I do not expect this to be the case in 2021.

Tua Tagovailoa had some moments in 2020 that showed he could lead the team. He is now officially the leading man on the depth chart and will get his chance to set the narrative of what kind of player he will be: NFL Draft bust, or future franchise quarterback?

Tagovailoa will be a viable streaming option in 2021 because Miami spent most of the offseason adding weapons that would best compliment Tua's game. On top of that, Miami is facing one of the league's easier schedules this season. The Dolphins have just seven games this year against 2020 playoff teams. The rest of the schedule are teams such as Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets twice, and other low-end teams.

As of now, I consider Tagovailoa a QB2 until further notice. I wouldn't recommend drafting him to be your starter coming into the season. This differs for dynasty leagues, two-QB leagues, or super-flex leagues. Any leagues with more flexibility at the quarterback position must look to draft Tagovailoa.

Running backs

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Leave it to the Dolphins to come into a season having a hodge-podge of running backs. They acquired bruising back Malcolm Brown, who has found some success as a backup for the LA Rams, along with seventh-round pick Gerrid Doaks. The lead back for this team is 2020 waiver sensation Myles Gaskin, an elusive runner with commendable pass-catching ability. He performed fairly well last season, but I do not expect him to monopolize the touches for the Dolphins.

Miami was expected to acquire a new running back in the offseason. Rumor had it they had Denver Broncos back Javonte Williams in mind before Denver traded ahead of the Dolphins to draft him. Miami also made a waiver reacquisition request for Kerryon Johnson. I believe Gaskin is the lead back for this team, but it is his to lose it. I expect goalline touches and short-yardage work to be given to the bruiser back Brown.

As of right now, Gaskin is going in the fifth or sixth round. He is priced adequately if the Dolphins do not trade for another starter. Gaskin averaged approximately 14.4 points per game when healthy, as he is able to catch passes and evade contact from defenders. I don't consider any of the backups worth stashing unless you play in a specialty league like a touchdown-only league. I would stash Brown in that case. Gerrid Doaks and Salvon Ahmed are dynasty/deep league stashes at best.

Wide Receivers

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The Dolphins have by far the most improved wide receiving core in the league. This is a crowded receiver room, but for Tagovailoa, this is just more with which to beat the opponent. Will Fuller, Devante Parker, and Jaylen Waddle are all starting-caliber players. The sheer mass of talent is bound to draw at least one mismatch against most secondaries. Do not be surprised if this team collectively leads the league in yards after the catch. I do not predict one receiver will finish head and shoulders above the rest. Rather, each will be due for an explosive game to two throughout the year.

Parker is predicted to be the WR1 for the team in-depth chart. This makes sense: he is the 50/50 guy, has lightning speed, and is already familiar with the offense. However, this does not mean he will be the leading receiver. A strong player in the red zone and great in contested catches, he will get his if he is able to remain healthy. Currently being drafted in the ninth to tenth rounds he is a solid stash and an every-week flex player if you need it. Parker is only one year removed from a season with 1202 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns.

Fuller is a new addition to the team on his one-year contract after leaving the Texans. In the 11 games played prior to his PED suspension, Fuller was on pace for a career-defining year. He had 879 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns in eleven games. This put him on pace in 2020 to have 1,276 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Fuller did play with elite quarterback Deshaun Watson. Switching to Tagovailoa will be quite the change, so there is some expected regression. Fuller possesses elite-level speed that allows him to always be a threat to take it to the house upon reception. Currently going in round seven, Fuller is a good option for WR3/Flex play as he has always shown to be a threat when on the field. His only compromising issue is the inability to stay healthy and finish a season.

Waddle is the sixth overall pick in the 2021 Draft and has pre-established chemistry with Tagovailoa from their college days. He is currently the third receiver on the team and, like Fuller, carries elite-level speed. I do not expect him to lead the team in targets, but rather I expect him to be an every-week dart throw. Waddle player worth stashing until further notice. I wouldn't be surprised if Waddle ends up as a full-time starter due to past injury issues with Parker and Fuller. Currently going in rounds twelve - thirteen, do not be afraid to take a dart throw on Waddle, especially if Tagovailoa takes a step forward.

Preston Williams was unable to finish his last two seasons due to injuries. I expect this to be the same narrative for William. As so do other fantasy managers as he is currently going undrafted in leagues. In the event of an injury, Williams could be a dart throw. He is a big physical receiver that can have fantasy relevancy if he is starting. I wouldn't worry about stashing Williams unless in a deep league.

Tight Ends

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As stated previously, the Dolphins have a stacked receiving core.

Even with third-round draft pick Hunter Long joining the team I don't expect any tight end besides Mike Gesicki to be fantasy relevant. Gesicki and Tagovaiola have decent chemistry as Gesicki was the only consistently healthy receiving option in 2020.

While I believe Gesicki can be an every-week starting tight end, his ceiling will undoubtedly be capped by the sheer amount of talent around him. This is due to Gesicki competing with three highly talented wide receivers and a receiving running back. There are only so many targets to go around.

Currently projecting in the eleventh round, Gesicki is slated to be a borderline tight end 1/2. This is a fair price to pay for an every-week starting tight end who will garner a handful of targets a week.

Final Verdict

The Dolphins have a lot to live up to after finishing 10-6 last season, but it's possible they can repeat this. As their offensive lineup is leagues better than what they had in 2020. This just comes down to Tagovaiola taking a step forward and the defense continuing to play at a high level. Under Coach Flores, it is very possible. I expect the Dolphins to repeat a winning season and go 11-6, vying for a possible wild card playoff appearance.

Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers!

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