NFL News & Analysis

Miami Dolphins are the frontrunner to trade for Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) warms up before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have “emerged as the frontrunner in trade discussions” for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, per Yahoo's Charles Robinson, who also mentioned that the Texans want three first-round picks and two second-round picks in return.

Even with DeAndre Hopkins gone, Watson established himself as an elite NFL quarterback when on the field last season, as he finished third among all QBs in PFF's passing grade (91.2) after throwing for 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He also finished second in big-time throw rate (7.4%) while posting the second-lowest turnover-worthy play rate among QBs with at least 150 dropbacks.

However, Watson's 2021 eligibility has come into question due to 22 allegations of sexual misconduct.

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Watson would be at least a top-10 fantasy quarterback. He's consistently ranked as a top-five fantasy quarterback when healthy since joining the NFL. The Dolphins lack an elite Hopkins-type that Watson is used to, but Miami has much more depth in its receiver corps. However, it would take some time for him to adjust to his new team. Click here to find PFF's 2021 fantasy rankings.

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Dolphins Season Long Outlook: Tua Tagovailoa has 1.5 spread points above replacement, but Watson is 6.0 points above him. If the trade happens, they should see a drastic change to their futures outlook and are much better than an even-money bet to make the playoffs if Watson is allowed to play a full 17 games. Take advantage of the uncertainty in the betting market and jump on any Dolphins futures bets still available at sportsbooks. PFF's new Power Rankings Tool offers projections based on 10,000 season simulations given Team Point Spread Ratings, Strength of Schedule and team records.

Will Fuller Player Props: Fuller has to be the Dolphins pass-catcher with the most favorable outlook if Watson is under center. Fuller has a relatively modest 875.5 receiving yardage prop still available at DraftKings, but PFF's fantasy projections are more bullish, projecting Fuller to finish with 949.7 receiving yards with Tagovailoa under center. If Watson takes over, Fuller should easily eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving threshold, so bettors should smash his over while it is still available at sportsbooks. PFF's Betting Futures Tool reveals betting opportunities within season win total and future markets.


Tua Tagovailoa has performed well in the preseason. He looks much more confident in Miami’s offense with a 75.9 overall grade so far this preseason. Click here for PFF's premium stats. 

But Watson is elite.  He is coming off a career-high 92.5 overall grade despite losing No. 1 receiver DeAndre Hopkins before the season. Click here to read PFF's 2021 QB Annual.

Miami's offensive line could play foil to either QB. The Dolphins still need to figure out their offensive line woes, as 2020 first-round left tackle Austin Jackson has a 33.1 pass-blocking grade this preseason. Click here for PFF's offensive line rankings. 


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