In our “32 in 32” series, we are highlighting three of the most notable fantasy football players for each team, covering all 32 teams in 32 days!
Tua Tagovailoa (QB - Miami Dolphins):
Tua struggled early in his career, failing to eclipse 2,800 total yards or 20 TDs in either of his first two seasons, but then Miami went out and got him a true WR1 in Tyreek Hill last offseason and we saw the impact.
He followed the common trend that we’ve been seeing lately with struggling QBs getting a true WR1 and coincidingly taking a massive leap forward into fantasy stardom. Tua continued that trend in 2022, producing at a strong level, except for injuries.
Tua suffered two ugly concussions last season, which not only cost him significant time last year but also led to him reportedly contemplating retirement this past offseason. That’s the only major concern surrounding Tua – any play could be his last in the NFL, even if it is him simply hitting the turf wrong.
From a fantasy standpoint, outside of that concern, he’s fantastic – ranking as the QB5 in scoring behind only Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and Trevor Lawrence in points during weeks that Tua was fully healthy.
It looks like many are worrisome over his concussion concerns, seeing his draft price fall to that of a fringe QB1 (QB11 on ECR, QB12 on ADP) in the mid-9th round. At that price, you’re getting upside with very minimal risk associated with how much you’re investing in Tua. I’m all for drafting him as a value QB option with realistic top-5 upside at a fantastic draft price.
Tyreek Hill (WR - Miami Dolphins):
It was Tyreek Hill’s first season away from Kansas City, joining the Miami Dolphins via trade last offseason and moving away from Patrick Mahomes as his QB. That move, away from a proven elite Andy Reid offense with the best QB in the NFL, raised major security concerns heading into 2022 for Hill.
Hill then turned around and had a career year, both for production and consistency, bringing in 119 catches for over 1,700 yards and 9 total TDs as the WR3, including performances of 13+ points in all but two games.
He could’ve had an even better 2022 season if not for multiple concussions to Tua Tagovailoa. In games where Tua was fully healthy, Hill was the WR2 in PPR scoring posting 15+ points in all but one game with Tua as his QB and averaging 21.7 PPG.
There’s no doubt that Hill should be taken as a top-5 WR off the board this season with the potential to finish as the top-scoring WR in fantasy. How highly you value him will almost certainly come down to how confident you are in Tua’s ability to remain on the field.
Jaylen Waddle (WR - Miami Dolphins):
Coming off a fantastic rookie season in 2021 that saw him rank as the WR13 in PPR scoring with over 100 catches, over 1,000 yards, and 7 TDs, many, including myself, anticipated a drop-off in production for Jaylen Waddle with the acquisition of Tyreek Hill.
The addition of Hill in the offense significantly impacted Waddle’s workload, dropping him from 141 targets in 2021 to just 117 in 2022 (with an extra game), but it did the opposite for his efficiency. Waddle saw his yards per catch nearly double, hitting an absurd 18.1 figure (most of any WR with 20+ catches), and saw his overall production finish inside the top-8 WRs in points.
It was a big surprise, but Waddle ended up being the efficiency-based producer between him and Hill, which gives him week-winning upside (25+ points in 3 games) but also leaves him far more susceptible to poor performances (4 games of under 6 points).
It’s difficult to pass on him as a low-end WR1 as no other WRs beyond that point closely compare to Waddle’s production, but he’s a player that I would be “tongue-in-cheek” over drafting. He’s not a player that I will necessarily target on draft day, especially considering his price (2nd round), but would take him if there’s not a better option available.