2023 Fantasy Football Miami Dolphins Preview

by Dennis Sosic
2023 Fantasy Football Miami Dolphins Preview

Welcome Fantasy friends and foes to the kickoff of the immensely popular F6P Fantasy Football Team Previews. With the thrilling privilege of getting the Team Previews started, I tackled the 2023 Fantasy Football Miami Dolphins Preview.

The Dolphins went 9-8 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The Dolphins accomplished this feat with first-year head coach Mike McDaniel. Miami was led by Tua, who produced an 8-5 record before recurring concussion issues knocked him out of the remainder of the season, including their playoff matchup versus the Buffalo Bills. They were forced to start third-string signal caller Skylar Thompson after losing backup Teddy Bridgewater but fell short in a surprisingly close game in Buffalo.

Miami made some splashy off-season moves. They traded for stalwart cornerback Jalen Ramsey to pair up with elite corner Xavier Howard. In addition, they moved on from defensive coordinator Josh Boyer who led the Dolphins to finish in the bottom ten across multiple telltale defensive categories. After his unsuccessful three-year stint as the Denver Broncos head coach, the Dolphins hired longtime defensive genius Vic Fangio, a defensive consultant for the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Dolphins also upgraded their offense by signing former New York Jets quarterback Mike White, who has thrown for 300 or more yards in three of his seven career starts. White should be a viable backup with Tua's long-term health uncertainty.

Can Tua stay healthy? Is Mike White able to lead this Dolphins offense if called upon? Will rookie running back Devon Achane be another speed weapon for Mike McDaniel to elevate the Dolphins' offense? The answers to these questions and much more can be found in the 2023 Fantasy Football Miami Dolphins Team Preview.

2023 Fantasy Football Miami Dolphins Team Preview

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Quarterbacks

Tua broke out in his first year with the new head coach and play-caller Mike McDaniel. He led the NFL in TD% (6.3) and passer rating (105.5). Tagovailoa finished with over 3500 passing yards and 25 touchdowns across 13 games. Every NFL fan knows Tua's struggles with concussions, although Tua is now clear from the NFL's concussion protocol and expected to be ready for the 2023 season.

Tua is currently ranked as the QB11, with the former Alabama quarterback playing in an explosive offense with elite weapons. However, it is hard not to be nervous about his concussion history. The subsequent concussion he suffers could result in long-term effects and his ability to continue to play in the NFL.

To combat that anxiety, the Dolphins signed former Jets signal caller Mike White to back up Tua. White was a waiver-wire darling last season after throwing for three touchdowns in the first start in Week 12 against the Chicago Bears. Unfortunately, White suffered a rib injury that finished the season. Still, he has flashed upside and can produce splash plays, which is necessary for the Dolphins' offensive scheme.

White provides an upgrade over Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson and includes insurance for Miami. The Dolphins must come to grips with the fact that Tua is always susceptible to missing a few games each season. Therefore, rostering Mike White is an essential draft selection if you select Tua.

Running Backs

The midseason addition of Jeff Wilson to combine with Raheem Mostert in the Miami Dolphins backfield seemed inevitable after Mike McDaniel took over as the new head coach. McDaniel brought over a similar offensive system as he coached the running back duo in San Franciso together.

The issue with both running backs is that both are often injured and miss time on the field every season. Raheem Mostert racked up 891 rushing yards (55.7 per game) and three touchdowns last season, while Jeff Wilson produced 486 scrimmage yards and four scores in his eight games with the Dolphins. However, the Dolphins rushing offense struggled last season, finishing in the bottom third in rushing yards per game (99.2). Surprisingly, they didn't attempt to improve an offensive line filled with holes until the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Dolphins went in a different direction in the 2023 NFL Draft. They decided to add more speed to their offense by drafting back Devon Achane in the third round. Adding the speedy Achane to the already deadly speed of Hill and Waddle results in the Dolphins having the fastest combination of skill set options. Achane has seen his value skyrocket on draft boards, and selecting him in rookie drafts has to be very tasty.

Even with a steady 1-2 veteran punch and an exciting rookie who has been impressive in rookie camp, rumors are circulating that the Dolphins are interested in Dalvin Cook. The Minnesota Vikings were trying to unload Cook during the 2023 NFL Draft but could not find any takers. It is believed that the Vikings will outright release the veteran Cook whose contract and production are not equaling out for the Vikings. His inclusion into this backfield will cause a significant drop in fantasy value for each running back.

Wide Receivers

Fantasy managers know the drill with the dynamic duo of Tyreek Hill, who set career highs across the board, and Jaylen Waddle, who led the NFL in yards per reception (18.1) driving this offense. They are fantasy studs, with both wideouts finishing in the top seven wide receivers in fantasy points scored. Fantasy managers can rely on each receiver to produce 1,000 yards receiving and 8-10 touchdowns and continue being WR1 options in your weekly fantasy lineups. Of course, this is predicated upon the health of Tua.

Cedric Wilson, Jr. has been a disappointment after signing with the Dolphins last season. His tenure as the third wideout in the Dolphins' offense is tenuous, especially with plenty of trade speculation surrounding the former Cowboys receiver. The team brought in former New York Jet wide receiver Braxton Berrios,  who provides depth and will assist in special teams. However, Berrios, the newly signed Chosen Anderson, and any wide receiver outside Hill and Waddle will not be fantasy relevant.

Tight Ends

Mike Gesicki took 50 targets and five scores to the division-rival New England Patriots. His departure left the Dolphins with an underwhelming Tight End group. Surprisingly, Durham Smythe played nearly 100 more offensive snaps than Geskicki, but he is not a fantasy option. Smythe is on the field mainly for his blocking and recorded just 15 catches last season. The Broncos added former Bronco Eric Saubert and veteran journeyman Tyler Kroft to complete one of the least effective Tight End Fantasy Football options.

Final Verdict

The Miami Dolphins face one of the most challenging NFL schedules this upcoming season as they gear up to produce their first back-to-back playoff berths since the 2000-01 seasons. The Dolphins have plenty of talent to make the playoffs again. However, the Dolphins will go as far as Tua can take them. He is becoming more of a voice and a leader in the locker room, and his continued health is the key to the team's success.

To break the Buffalo Bills winning their fourth consecutive AFC East,  their defense must improve, which should be aided by the additions to their defensive backfield. However, the Dolphins didn't improve an offensive line that was considered an upgrade after the additions last season. The offensive line still has a long way to go before being considered elite which seems necessary for protecting the health of Tua.

The Dolphins look to be better this season, but so have their counterparts in the AFC East. This is a playoff team with a 10-7 record next season. They will be a team that no one will want to face in the playoffs. However, with a win in the first round, they take the following steps to contention in a highly competitive AFC.


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