Dolphins' Top Players to Target in Fantasy Football Drafts

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2021

Dolphins' Top Players to Target in Fantasy Football Drafts

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    Fading the Miami Dolphins offense in 2020 was a winning strategy in fantasy football, but managers should be wary of trying that tactic again in 2021.

    Last season, Mike Gesicki finished sixth among tight ends and Jason Sanders was the highest-scoring kicker. Outside of that, the Dolphins didn't have another player finish in the top 15 of their position in fantasy scoring.

    That should change in 2021. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa takes over as the starter with a year and a full offseason to master the playbook. The offensive line, which features several rookies, should come together as an improved unit over last year.

    In short, Miami could have an offense that wins leagues in 2021. Based on their current ADP and their upside within the Dolphins' offense, these are the players who should garner strong consideration on your draft board. 

RB Myles Gaskin

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    Current ADP: 50.4 (RB22)

    Myles Gaskin isn't getting much respect for a running back who figures to play the kind of role he will see in Miami. 

    The 24-year-old's 2020 campaign was derailed by a knee injury that held him out of four straight weeks. Upon his return, he played one game before heading to the COVID-19 list for two games. 

    Before the injury, Gaskin was the bell-cow running back for the Dolphins. In the five games before his absence, he averaged 16.8 carries and 4.8 targets per game. That's major opportunity and he took advantage multiple times, scoring double-digits in each of his final six starts of the season. 

    What's more encouraging for those who target the Washington product is what the Dolphins did this offseason. They made investments along the offensive line, adding receiving threats in Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller V. Most importantly for Gaskin, though, they made no major moves at running back. 

    His greatest new competition will come from Malcolm Brown, who was signed from the Rams in free agency. The Dolphins had multiple opportunities in the NFL draft to get a rookie running back who could have started but opted not to. 

    That's a great sign that they still believe Gaskin can tote the rock for them in 2021. 

TE Mike Gesicki

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    Current ADP: 105.9 (TE11)

    The Dolphins may have added Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller V in the offseason, but Mike Gesicki is still the Miami pass-catcher to have. 

    The 25-year-old's ADP doesn't line up with where he finished last season. He's just outside of the top 10 tight ends, although he finished just outside the top five in scoring in 2021. 

    That value is likely a projection based on the influx of talent at the receiver position. Granted, the Dolphins have more firepower, but two things still work in favor of the tight end. 

    First, the Dolphins receivers aren't exactly durable. Waddle is coming off a serious ankle injury that cost him most of his final campaign at Alabama, and Fuller has missed at least five games every year since his rookie season. DeVante Parker has remained relatively healthy, but his performance is why the other two were brought in. 

    Gesicki has only missed one game. 

    Another reason to believe that the Penn State product will be better is the improvement of Tagovailoa. Last season, the passing game was proficient at best. The team oscillated between Ryan Fitzpatrick and their rookie at quarterback and just tried to not mess up good situations the defense created. 

    This season, the hope should be for a more developed and dynamic offense. While Fuller and Waddle will take up some volume, there should still be enough targets for Gesicki to make an impact and have a strong fantasy campaign.

QB Tua Tagovailoa

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    Current ADP: 125.8 (QB23)

    Finding a late-round quarterback who can end up being in the top 12 scorers at the position can be a huge boost for your fantasy team's success. Josh Allen was that guy in 2019, and Justin Herbert was the guy in 2020. 

    Tagovailoa has that kind of upside in 2021. 

    Targeting any of the receivers is risky based on the injury factor and unpredictability of who the 23-year-old will favor. But few teams have upgraded their offensive weaponry quite like the Dolphins did. What was essentially a nondescript collection of possession receivers now has two burners in Fuller and Waddle to join Jakeem Grant and Mike Gesicki. 

    That should allow DeVante Parker to drift into his more natural role as the No. 3 receiver, and he has a breakout candidate in Gesicki over the middle. 

    Tagovailoa took some criticism after his rookie season, but he still threw 11 touchdowns to five interceptions. His teammates are already saying he looks much more confident in training camp. 

    "Last year, I even noticed his playbook was condensed to slants and bubbles," safety Eric Rowe said, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. "They really wouldn't let him show his arm. Now seeing training camp, a lot more deep routes, they're allowing him the opportunity to throw it deep. That's what we need."

    That sounds like a pass offense that should take a step forward in 2021.