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Zach's Guy: Tua Tagovailoa

I get it, he had a bunch of concussions last year and he missed games for you. Big whoop. It’s a new year, and Tua’s got a full sleeve tattoo on his arm. He also still has Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle to lean on, and if Hill’s gonna be chasing 2000 yards this season, the only way to get there is through Tua.

People don’t realize the year Tua had in 2022 because of the timing of his injuries. Let’s just throw some numbers out there right now: his season long stats are very solid – he led all quarterbacks with at least 300 dropbacks with 8.87 yards per attempt, and also posted an average depth of target of 9.8 yards, which was second highest. He threw 25 touchdowns, which tied for 6th most in the league despite only starting 12 games, and finished as a QB1 in fantasy points per game at 18.5.

But even those per game numbers are deflated by two games where Tua was either pulled from the game because of a concussion, or should have been pulled. In Week 4, Tua left the game early and played just 39% of snaps. He scored 2.4 points that game as a result. Then in Week 16, if you remember that game against Green Bay, he came out red hot and suddenly just couldn’t stop throwing picks. After the game, he was diagnosed with a concussion - and he ended up having just 8.4 points that game with all the interception deductions.

Take those two games out, and then we get to see the real picture - what a healthy Tua can be. His points per game jumps from the QB10 (as mentioned before, 18.5 PPR points per game) up to the overall QB5 (21.3 points per game). That’s Top-5 quarterback play you were getting from Tua when he was healthy!

I’ve got a bunch of stock in him in the eight and ninth rounds of drafts – sometimes as a QB1 if I punted on a QB early, and other times as a QB2, although that’s obviously more often in superflex and 2QB leagues. He’s got excellent upside that’s been super easy to target.


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