We’re in the thick of the NFL offseason and it’s officially time to start fantasy football prep. I’ll be answering the biggest questions heading into the 2021 season. Click here to read the series of questions answered so far.
The 2020 Miami Dolphins were a bit of a mess. No. 5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa was outplayed by Ryan Fitzpatrick in terms of PFF passing grade (72.7 vs. 70.7), big-time throw rate (4.5% vs. 2.4%), yards per attempt (7.8 vs. 6.3) and adjusted completion rate (78.2% vs. 74.2%). Basically, the only thing the rookie did better than the longtime journeyman was posting a lower turnover-worthy play rate (3.1% vs. 4.7%).
An unexpectedly awesome defense led to the Dolphins being far more competitive than most anticipated throughout the season. Still, copious injuries to their wide receiver room led to their rookie signal-caller having his back against the wall for most of his time under center. Seriously: The following players had targets with Tua at quarterback (NSFW):
- DeVante Parker (48 targets)
- Lynn Bowden (34)
- Jakeem Grant (34)
- Mack Hollins (22)
- Isaiah Ford (16)
- Malcolm Perry (12)
- Preston Williams (10)
- Antonio Callaway (3)
Respect to TE Mike Gesicki and RB Myles Gaskin for generally making the most out of their pass-game opportunities; either way, this was objectively a below-average group of pass-catchers to throw the ball to. Don’t just take my word for it — watch the film.
(Tua Tagovailoa didn't get a lot of help as a rookie) pic.twitter.com/vO9UE0pY45
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) February 9, 2021
Suddenly the presence of ex-Houston Texans stud Will Fuller and No. 6 overall pick Jaylen Waddle leave the Dolphins with new, explosive weapons who could each feasibly lead the way in this passing game. What follows is a breakdown on both players and what to expect from this passing game as a whole in fantasy land ahead of 2021.
Passing games get better with Fuller involved
It’s easy to see how having Fuller’s field-stretching speed in the fold can immediately elevate an entire offense. Deshaun Watson has averaged 8.8 yards per attempt vs. 7.6 and 26.1 fantasy points per game vs. 23.1 with Fuller compared to without since 2017, while DeAndre Hopkins was also far better in the fantasy points (20.3 vs. 18.9) and TDs (0.81 vs. 0.43) per game departments with the Texans’ speedster even though he had more targets per game without.