The 2020 NFL Season is nearly upon us, and in anticipation of the new season we’ll be previewing the action team-by-team, using the draft order from last season. The previews will kick off with the Bengals and run right through the reigning champion Chiefs. Come back each day to check out your favorite team. All ADP and Rankings reflect PPR scoring. 2020 Projections are based on a 12-team league (i.e. WR1 (Top 12), WR2 (13-24), WR3 (25-36)).
The Miami Dolphins entered 2019 as a re-building project. Most thought they were tanking for Tua Tagovailoa, the Alabama quarterback the figured to be a top option in the 2020 NFL Draft. When the team traded away star running back Kenyan Drake and star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick during the season, it was clear the tank was on.
The thing is, Head Coach Brian Flores seemed to inspire a young group of Dolphins, and a few savvy veterans like Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Dolphins lost seven straight to open the season, but they ended up winning five games and moving themselves right out of the race for the top overall pick. They also ended up being one of the most fun teams to watch in late 2019, something they hope to continue in 2020.
While the Dolphins finished with the fifth pick in the NFL Draft, they still got their man in Tua. As a sophomore, Tua threw for 3,966 yards and 43 TDs. In just nine games last year, he threw for 2,840 yards and 33 TDs with just three INTs. A fractured hip ended his season early and lowered his draft prospects enough for the Dolphins to grab him at pick five. He figures to be their franchise quarterback, and is a great pick up in dynasty, but it remains to be seen how quickly the Dolphins get him on the field in 2020.
In free agency, the Dolphins addressed their running game by signing veteran Jordan Howard. During the draft, they traded for 49ers back Matt Breida. The combination should ensure that Fitzpatrick doesn’t lead the team in rushing again with just 243 yards, as he did in 2019. Miami also spent a fair amount of free agency and the draft adding pieces on defense and offensive lineman to keep building up the squad.
The question at quarterback is when does Tua play? I think with his injury recovery and the fact the team has a solid veteran in Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick started 13 games and threw for 3,529 yards and 20 TDs, rushing for 243 and four more TDs. He was 5-8 as a starter, too. I think he could be a low-end QB2 if he plays all season, but it comes with a risk. In re-draft leagues with only one QB, you’re not looking to carry four quarterbacks on the roster. Fitzpatrick could be a great late grab if you’re starter has an early bye.
In the backfield, it should be a combination of Howard and Brieda. For the Eagles in 2019, Howard had 525 yards and six TDs in 10 games, but the previous season in Chicago he went for more than 900 yards. He’s a grinder and could fare well in Miami. Breida has explosive talent, too, and is a better pass catcher. He has struggled at times to stay on the field. I like Howard as an RB3, and think he’ll lead the team. Breida is more of an RB4 with upside.
Among pass catchers, DeVante Parker broke out, finally, in 2019. He caught 72 passes for 1,202 yards and nine TDs. He has WR2 potential in 2020 and is a decent deal at his ADP of WR26. The other receiver I like for the Dolphins is Preston Williams, who tore his ACL in early November, but looked like an up-and-coming star prior to that. The undrafted free agent caught 32 passes for 428 yards and three TDs. His current ADP is WR54, which is way too low. I think he’s a high-end WR4 with upside. The Dolphins have veterans Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns on the roster, but I’m not interested in either for fantasy. The only other relevant Dolphins asset is tight end Mike Gesicki, who caught 51 passes for 570 yards and five TDs in 2019. He has TE1 upside, but right now I have him as a high end TE2. He’s going as TE15, which gives him excellent value in 2020.
The Dolphins were a fun team to watch in 2019 and seemed to really respond to Flores and what he’s trying to build. They added pieces this off-season and the AFC East is more wide open than its been in 20 years. I don’t think the Dolphins are quite there yet, but they should be around .500 and, if things break right, they could well compete for a Wild Card berth.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a proud member of the Drive-In Podcast Network.