The Yahoo Fantasy analysts will preview all 32 NFL teams between now and the eventual start of the 2020 draft season. Here, we’ll tackle pressing fantasy questions, #FantasyHotTaeks, and team win totals. Next up, the Miami Dolphins.
Does Devante Parker build on his breakout season for another top-10 WR finish?
Dalton: After Week 3 last season, only Michael Thomas scored more PPR fantasy points than Parker, so he’s being underrated at drafts. He ranked fourth in air yards last season, and Miami only added offensive line help and a possible star at quarterback in the draft, leaving Parker’s main competition for targets at WR an undrafted Preston Williams who ran a 4.66 40 and is now coming off a torn ACL. Parker is a former top-15 pick who passes the eye test, and again, was #2 behind only Thomas among fantasy wideouts over the final 14 weeks last season despite finishing #82 in catchable target rate. Parker is plenty capable of finishing as a top-10 fantasy WR once again in 2020, and his ADP is outright disrespectful.
Scott: Parker was a blast in the second half of 2019, but I have to lean no. We’re not sure if he’ll be playing with a new quarterback. Preston Williams is back to absorb targets, and Mike Gesicki has breakout potential. And the wideout position is so deep, a Top 10 finish is difficult for anyone, even those in pristine setups.
Liz: You’d love to see it, but NO. I’m enthusiastic about a further Preston Williams breakout, which would obviously decrease Parker’s target share, as Parker averaged three more targets per contest after Williams’ electric rookie campaign ended in Week 9 of last season. Factor in opportunities for pass-catching back Matt Breida as well as slot weapon/receiving tight end Mike Gesicki, and Parker’s ability to match his 2019 hog rate of 15% feels like an uphill battle. For reference, he’s my WR21 … just behind Courtland Sutton and ahead of T.Y. Hilton.
Matt Breida and Jordan Howard head a revamped backfield. Pick one to draft or are you simply fading?
Liz: Breida is the flashy pick with high-end speed and fire burst coming from an uber-friendly scheme and (brief) postseason appearance. Howard is the dull plodder with bad hands who’s now on his third team in five years. And yet … give me Howard.
Limited to a max of 15 carries (Weeks 1 and 9), Breida averaged just ten totes per contest in 2019, forever in a timeshare with a banged-up (or bad) Tevin Coleman. Howard, on the other hand, not only touched the ball with more frequency last season but also posted at least six goal-line attempts and cleared seven scores for the second straight season. Players who “fall into the end zone” may not be explosive or exciting, but they put up points. And when debating the difference in price between these two backs, I’d prefer the veteran gremlin in the tenth over the former 49er three rounds earlier.
Scott: Typically I sing Breida praises in this spot, but he’s priced optimistically. I actually like Howard as a cheap, “nobody likes this guy” value, one of the cheapest starters on the board. He has a very clear path to 250 or more touches and should be the goal-line option.
Dalton: Breida. Howard is the goal-line favorite, but he’s a pedestrian runner and horrific as a receiver (although a terrific blocker), while Breida is the NFL’s fastest running back with a SPARQ-x in the 89th percentile who got the seventh-most yards-per-touch among backs in 2018 and owns a career 5.0 YPC mark (Football Outsiders has also graded him extremely favorably as a receiver in limited work over the last two seasons). He has a long injury history and briefly battled fumbling issues last year that resulted in him being lost in SF’s shuffle, but Breida has good skills and is suddenly looking at a major opportunity on an improving team, making him the RB to target in Miami.
Is 2020 the year Mike Gesicki finally gets unleashed and is a consistent threat, or will he get lost in the shuffle with the position being deeper?
Scott: All the dots connect here. Gesicki gloriously enters Year 3 at a position where the learning curve is pretty steep, he had spiky weeks at the end of 2019, and he has back-draft pedigree. I suspect his ADP will rise steadily all summer, but this is a fun place to throw a dart.
Liz: LFG. Consistently deployed out of the slot and utilized more as a receiver than a traditional tight end in 2019, Gesicki posted top-seven numbers in route participation (71.6%) and total targets (nearly six per game). That usage resulted in a 51-570-5 stat line and a top-11 fantasy finish. Considering the Dolphins used just one of their 11 draft picks to obtain a pass-catcher, Gesicki’s role in the offense and dominance as a deep threat (TE3) figures to grow. He’s currently the Yahoo Consensus ranked TE14.
Dalton: He was fourth in air yards and third in end-zone looks among tight ends last season as a sophomore when he also averaged 7.7 targets and scored five touchdowns over the final six weeks. Gesicki’s workout metrics are off the charts, and this is a thin Miami offense outside of DeVante Parker that added three linemen and a potential star at QB in the draft (but no receivers until Round 7). Gesicki will be unleashed this year, and you’ll want to be along for the ride.
Liz: Preston Williams is going to CRUSH (respective to his current draft capital) in 2020. Expected to be ready for Week 1 after rehabbing an ACL tear suffered in November, it’s anticipated that Williams will resume his role opposite DeVante Parker. At 6-foot-4 and 211 pounds, Williams is a big dood who can high point and win in the red area of the field, as evidenced by 6 RZ receptions over just eight games in 2019. The emergency of Gesicki could negatively impact Williams’ overall target share, but the Colorado State product still figures to net a route participation average of better than 80 percent while also drawing plenty of high-value opportunities. FF: 55-715-5
OVER/UNDER on 6 Win Total from BetMGM
Dalton: Although quarterback is a bit of a wild card, the way I see it, either Tua Tagovailoa is healthy and provides strong QB play for years to come, or he sits this season and watches a perfectly fine backup in Ryan Fitzpatrick perform capably. In a division featuring Josh Allen at QB in Buffalo, Tom Brady gone in New England, and Adam Gase existing in New York, Miami suddenly might have the fewest questions in the AFC East. Given how quietly impressive Miami was down the stretch last season, a favorable looking schedule, loading up in the draft (while adding Byron Jones in free agency), a vastly improved offensive line and sneaky high upside at the skill positions (Parker, Gesicki, Breida, and Tua), this is an OVER for me.
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