The Dolphins finished last season second in the division, but that’s not saying much. Miami still had a losing record at 7-9, which resulted in the firing of head coach Adam Gase after three seasons with the team. The knee injury to Ryan Tannehill was a factor in why the Dolphins finished with the third-fewest passing yards (181.3) per game. The team didn’t get much going on the ground, either, averaging 108.6 rushing yards per game. Miami’s seven rushing touchdowns were also tied with the Jaguars and 49ers for the fewest in the NFL.
Key Departures:Ryan Tannehill, QB; Danny Amendola, WR; Frank Gore, RB.
Key Acquisitions:Josh Rosen, QB; Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB.
2019 Fantasy MVP
Kenyan Drake, RB
There wasn’t much to get excited about with the Miami offense last year, but the hope is that it will be more explosive this season with a new offense and two key additions at quarterback. Arguably one of the biggest departures is Gore, who received 156 carries last season. He was still effective by averaging 4.6 yards per carry and his presence cut into Drake’s workload.
The good news for Drake is that when he did get an opportunity to touch the ball, he was successful. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry and managed to score four rushing touchdowns despite the terrible offense. He also proved to be an asset in the passing game, catching 53-of-73 targets for 477 yards and five touchdowns. Although he’ll lose some carries to Kalen Ballage, Drake’s speed and ability to have an impact both on the ground and in the passing game leaves him with the potential to be the most value fantasy asset on this team.
2019 Fantasy LVP
Josh Rosen, QB
The Dolphins had a very interesting offseason from the quarterback perspective. Not only did they bring in the veteran Fitzpatrick, but they also acquired who they hope will be their quarterback of the future in Rosen. Drafted 10th overall by the Cardinals prior to the 2018 season, his rookie campaign was a disaster. He completed only 55.2% of his passes and finished with more interceptions (14) than touchdowns (11).
The Dolphins are nowhere near ready to win now, but the expectation right now is that Fitzpatrick will likely get the first crack at the starting job. With his history of throwing interceptions, it seems likely Rosen will eventually get a chance to start when the Dolphins start to fall out of the playoff hunt. Even when that time comes, he’s not ready to be someone who is worth considering in fantasy.
2019 Breakout Player
DeVante Parker, WR
This feels like a trap, but looking at the roster around him, Parker is going to have yet another chance to cash in on his considerable talent. Whether it’s been injuries or lack of confidence in him by the Dolphins’ coaching staff, he hasn’t been able to do much up to this point in his career after being selected 14th overall in the 2015 draft.
Now with a new coach and the potentially dangerous Fitzpatrick starting at quarterback, this might finally be the year that Parker puts it together. Even with the Dolphins lack of talent at quarterback last year, Parker still had an average depth of target of 12.5 yards. Fitzpatrick’s average target depth of 10.8 yards last year was third-highest among quarterbacks to appear in at least eight games, so he’s known for airing it out. There’s plenty of risk with Parker, but he might be worth taking a chance on.
As far as tough starts go, it doesn’t get much worse than the schedule the Dolphins are faced with. Their first four games are against the Ravens, Patriots, Cowboys and Chargers. Yikes. The only saving grace is that three of those contests are at home, but the Dolphins could easily start out 0-4. They have an early bye in Week 5, so if Rosen isn’t the starter right out of the gate, he could become one in Week 6 if they get off to a 0-4 start. It’s hard to find an extended stretch of games that actually looks favorable for the Dolphins. They do play the Jets, Giants and Bengals from Weeks 14 through 16, so they could be somewhat of a factor during the fantasy playoffs.
Among cheaper tight end targets in DFS, Mike Gesicki is worth noting. Fitzpatrick helped propel Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard to hot starts when he was starting for the Buccaneers last year and the Dolphins don’t exactly have a ton of talent at wide receiver. His ceiling isn’t very high, but expect some improvement during his second season in the league.
As much as Drake has an opportunity to shine, Ballage shouldn’t be overlooked, either. After not seeing much action to open the season, he showed his upside when he ran for 123 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries in Week 15 against the Vikings. Should anything happen to Drake, he would likely be in line for plenty of carries, so don’t be afraid to take a flier on him later in season-long drafts or if you need a cheap GPP play.
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