The Miami Dolphins are hoping for some ‘Magic’ in the 2019 season! Ryan Fitzpatrick and his glorious beard have recently signed a two year, 11-million dollar contract to be the new starting Quarterback for the rebuilding Miami Dolphins. With all of the blockbuster activity we have seen recently in the NFL, this latest signing seems… uneventful. However, do not let this signing go under your radar as this ‘unexciting’ Dolphins team could deem fruitful in those later rounds of your 2019 fantasy draft.
At the beginning of this offseason, the Dolphins announced Brian Flores as their new Head Coach. Flores comes from the Bill Belichick coaching regime, spending the last 15 years within the Patriots organization. Most notably, the previous eight years coaching defense. His first move as the newly appointed Head Coach was to sign his old colleague, Chad O’Shea, to take charge of the offense. O’Shea spent the past nine years coaching the Patriots Wide Receivers. He comes into this Dolphins organization as the offensive coordinator/play caller for 2019. We should expect to see a similar offensive philosophy in Miami next year that we have seen from the highly successful Patriots offensive. The biggest thing for you to take away from the O’Shea signing without going too in depth is the fact that he takes mediocre Wide Receivers and turns them into highly productive players(Most notably – Julian Edelman). Also, he sets his Quarterback up for success with high-percentage throws. The Dolphins are bringing in a coach who can truly get the most out of his players which gets me excited for the Dolphins’ future.
The Dolphins brought Fitzpatrick in to be the starting quarterback during their rebuilding phase. And possibly a mentor if the Dolphins draft a QB in the 2019 or 2020 draft. He had a rollercoaster of a year last year, going back and forth with Jameis Winston as the Buccaneers starter during the season. He started the year blazing hot as the overall Fantasy QB1 through the first three weeks of the season. In the five complete games as a starter last season, Fitzpatrick finished all five games as a QB1 in fantasy. Even if we included the three partial games last season, he was on a 16 game pace to amass a stat line of 4,732 passing yards with 38 total touchdowns and 24 interceptions, and a QBR of 100.4.
Those numbers would have placed him as the fantasy QB5 last season. Yes, I understand that he is highly inconsistent, and isn’t going to have Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin, Adam Humphries, and OJ Howard to throw to next season. Although, if you tilt your head and squint, we could make a legitimate case that he could be a valuable streaming fantasy asset in the right matchups next year. No, I do not think he will finish as a QB1 next season but am willing to take a flier on him somewhere in my last few rounds, as he will have a handful of QB1 games. If you stream quarterbacks like I do, or play in a two-QB league, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a late round stash that you can most likely take as one of your last two picks next year.
DeVante Parker shockingly signed a two year, 10-million dollar deal with the Dolphins recently. This signing doesn’t have me all that excited in year-long leagues, as I think he will continue to be inconsistent and receive minimal targets. I have no interest in playing the weekly game of, “guess his good matchups.” Even if we take out last season and count it as a fluke, the three seasons prior, he finished as the WR77, WR50, and again the WR50. I see myself taking a few shots on him in DFS because he has big-play potential, but since this article pertains year-long leagues, there’s not much that gets me excited here.
Kenny Stills is still one of the best deep-threat receivers in the league. The problem last season was he didn’t have a Quarterback who was willing to throw the ball down the field. Ryan Tannehill was the QB23 for average yards gained per pass attempt last season, while Fitzpatrick was the QB1 in this category. Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to be given the green light to sling the ball all over the yard next season because he doesn’t have to worry about getting benched. He will be throwing it deep often, and Kenny Stills should be on the receiving end of enough of those targets to place him back into that high upside, starting flex position. I have him finishing the 2019 season at WR29, but there should be a few “week winning” games sprinkled in there. He is a buy-low candidate for me right now and should give you a solid return on investment.
Albert Wilson & Jakeem Grant
Who is going to play the Julian Edelman-esque slot role next year for the Dolphins? Hopefully, we’ll have this answer before our upcoming fantasy drafts. I think one of these two receivers will be that guy, and consequently be the most valuable fantasy player to own from the Dolphins in 2019. Most would agree that Albert Wilson is the front runner for the job as he flashed small glimpses of explosiveness last year before ultimately suffering a season-ending injury. Although, keep Jakeem Grant at the forefront of your mind because with a new coaching staff, comes new first impressions. This should be a great position battle to watch this offseason and into the start of the regular season. My money is that Albert Wilson secures this position and emerges as the top target and most consistent fantasy producing receiver from Miami. I am definitely interested.
Mike Gesicki did not live up to the hype last season as a second-round draft pick, but that seems to be a common theme with tight ends. It will be interesting to see the way O’Shea utilizes him now that he will have to share playing time with Dwayne Allen, who already is familiar with the offensive system after spending two years with the Patriots. Dwayne Allen is a strong blocker who may have been signed to mentor Mike Gesicki and help develop him into an NFL tight end. I won’t consider drafting Mike Gesicki next season in any redraft leagues but will be watching his development closely, as I think he is a potential 2020 breakout candidate.
I think it is important to mention that Kenyan Drake finished as the RB14 last year in PPR formats. Drake tallied over 1,000 all-purpose yards and nine total touchdowns on only 172 touches. He was extremely efficient whenever he had the ball in his hands but was seemingly disliked by Adam Gase. I am calling for him to be a breakout candidate next season as I think he will solidify himself as the featured back in Miami. James White saw 123 targets last season in O’Shea’s offense, and I expect Kenyan Drake to see similar work in the passing game (especially since the Dolphins will be playing from behind frequently next season). Drake should also see an uptick in rushing attempts with the departure of Frank Gore. I have high hopes for Drake and am projecting him to finish somewhere as the RB10-14 range at season’s end.
Thanks for reading, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Dolphins in 2019 and beyond on Twitter, you can follow me at @DFF_Guru.