On the one hand, head coach Mike McDaniel has helped the Dolphins emerge as one of the league's single-most lethal offenses over the past two seasons: Only the 49ers have averaged more yards per play since 2022.

On the other, the team has consistently hit a wall of sorts in January, most recently not even looking overly competitive in a freezing 26-7 loss to the Chiefs at Arrowhead. The highs of the Tua Tagovailoa experience have certainly been high, but there's a growing case to be made that this offense simply isn't the same monster when winter starts rolling around.

Of course, it's far from a given that the new-look 2024 Miami offense will function all that similarly to what we saw over the past two seasons. A quick overview of the Dolphins' fantasy-relevant coaching staff and major offseason moves (QB/RB/WR/TE) to this point:

The additions of Jonnu Smith and Jaylen Wright further cement the Dolphins as the league's fastest offense — now it's up to their QB to get this group humming. Let's dive into the Miami Dolphins fantasy football outlook for 2024.

Miami Dolphins Fantasy Football Outlook: Position by Position


Spreadsheet warriors might mistake Tua for one of the NFL's single-best QBs. After all, his numbers are up there with anyone since joining forces with McDaniel and Tyreek Hill in 2022.

Tua among 36 QBs with 500-plus dropbacks in 2022-23:

  • EPA per dropback: +0.194 (No. 5)
  • Completion percentage over expected: +3.2% (No. 4)
  • PFF pass grade: 90.4 (No. 1)
  • Passer rating: 103.1 (No. 2)
  • Yards per attempt: 8.6 (No. 2)

Of course, the improved supporting cast has definitely helped matters, and Tua's penchant for being figured out as the season goes on has been problematic, to say the least.

Just look at his fantasy points per game by month over the past two seasons:

  • September: 22.1
  • October: 18.7
  • November: 16.9
  • December: 14.1
  • January: 10

I'm not trying to make this "shit on Tua hour"; the man just led the NFL in passing yards (4,624) and at times has looked unstoppable while threading dimes over the middle of the field to his speedy WRs.

Jan 7, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) throws the football against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Still, the Jekyll and Hyde nature of his passing success is especially problematic in fantasy land because there has never been a rushing floor here: Tua has totaled 144 yards on the ground over the past two seasons and has never reached even 50 rushing yards in a game during his collegiate or professional career.

Tagovailoa put up solid fantasy production in 2022 (17.8 fantasy points per game, QB10) and (to a lesser extent) in 2023 (15.9, QB18), but it's at least a bit curious why he's flying off draft boards so far ahead of fellow pocket passers like Jared GoffKirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford.

Age matters, of course — and an optimist could instead comp Tua as a discount to guys like Joe Burrow and CJ Stroud — although it's worth wondering if we've already seen the best of the former No. 5 overall pick considering just how blessed he's been with high-end weaponry and schematic genius over the past two seasons.

Bottom line: Tua is hardly a stay-away fantasy option at his affordable 10th-round ADP, but his consistent failure to keep on keeping on as the season progresses keeps him out of the QB1 "start every week and don't worry about it" conversation. I prefer to target Tagovailoa when stacking his speedy WRs and/or if getting a big-six option at the position fails to come to fruition.

Running Back

Achane's rookie-year efficiency essentially broke RB performance charts. The man skews everything thanks to his regular placement DEEP in the upper right quadrant.

DeVon Achane

The man averaged 7.8 yards per carry last season. Seven point eight. Do you realize how ridiculous of a number that is? Here are the most efficient RB seasons in the Super Bowl era with at least 100 rush attempts:

The absurd efficiency on hand naturally led to more than a few blowup performances, as Achane wound up posting top-12 PPR numbers in five of his nine full games last season — that 56% mark was only topped by Christian McCaffrey (81%, lol), Kyren Williams (75%) and Derrick Henry (59%).

Of course, Achane didn't exactly dominate usage in this backfield despite the big-time production. Here were the Dolphins' RB splits in an eight-game sample that featured both Achane and Mostert healthy:

  • De’Von Achane: 239 snaps, 83-640-7 rushing, 34 targets, 23-175-2 receiving
  • Raheem Mostert: 236 snaps, 96-416-9 rushing, 20 targets, 18-123-2 receiving

Could rookie RB Jaylen Wright also work his way into the equation? Maybe, although the history of day three talents doing much of anything in fantasy land is pretty rare. It does matter that the Dolphins traded a 2025 third-rounder in order to move up and select Wright, but expecting the rookie to simply displace either Achane or Mostert seems a bit much considering the duo, you know, spearheaded the NFL's single-most efficient rushing offense … literally last season.

Miami Dolphins running back De'Von Achane (28) breaks free for a 76-yard touchdown run against the New York Giants during the first half of an NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, October 8, 2023.

Overall, 2023 Mostert and Achane join 2017 Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram as the only backfield duos to BOTH turn in top-12 PPR numbers on a per-game basis in the same season over the last decade of action. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Ultimately, the Round 2, RB8 price tag on Achane is admittedly steep, but he offers far too much blowup upside to completely fade. As much as we can wonder about his ability to stay healthy and hold off Mostert and Wright … what happens if the second-year talent ascends to a bigger role while his 32-year-old veteran and fourth-round rookie competition fail to get things going?

As for Mostert, we're in scary territory when it comes to the age cliff, although he is relatively young in football years considering he still has just 766 career regular season touches on the odometer. This risk seems more than baked into his RB27, pick 92.8 ADP: Mostert (again) profiles as a rock-solid zero-RB piece with weekly multi-TD upside — be careful about fading any (currently healthy) player under the assumption that, “They're just going to get injured.”

Bottom line: The NFL's reigning No. 1 offense in expected RB PPR points per game has more than enough opportunity for both Achane and Mostert to (again) provide weekly boom upside. Both are in play at cost — I'm less enthused with taking Wright (RB44, pick 145.1) ahead of cheaper Day 2 backs with a better chance at obtaining standalone value like MarShawn Lloyd and KenDre Miller.

Wide Receiver

No WR duo has combined for more receiving yards than Hill and Waddle (5,879) over the past two seasons. Part of the reason is certainly volume; the Dolphins join the Raiders and Eagles as the only three offenses with at least 50% of their total team targets funneled through two specific WRs last season.

The other reason is because Hill and Waddle are both really f*cking good at football.

Pre-snap motion helped take Hill's game to an even more dominant level in 2023, as his weekly route trees certainly give defensive coordinators nightmares. Now responsible for PFF's top-two seasons in yards per route run since 2010 (read that sentence again), the artist known as TyFreak is the WR1 in PPR points per game (21.9) over the past two seasons and is only going behind CeeDee Lamb in early drafts because of the lack of target competition in Dallas.

Oct 29, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (17) celebrates his touchdown against the New England Patriots with wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

And then there's Waddle, who would be a WR1 in plenty of different offenses around the league. This is mostly thanks to the sort of hot, nasty, badass speed that most mere mortals can only dream of possessing.

It's tough to argue that Waddle would be far higher in the fantasy rankings if he wasn't forced to share the field with probably the single-most explosive player in the NFL.

Waddle among 107 WRs with 100-plus targets since 2021

  • PFF receiving grade: 90.7 (tied for No. 8)
  • Passer rating when targeted: 104.4 (No. 29)
  • Yards per reception: 13.5 (No. 38)
  • Yards per route run: 2.27 (No. 10)
  • PPR points per game: 15 (No. 14)

Maybe the presence of Odell Beckham Jr. — who I maintain is not dust — shrinks Waddle's target ceiling, but the six-year age gap between the pair is probably enough to not overly worry about that scenario. If anything, it'd make sense if the Dolphins improve upon their standing as just the 14th most pass-happy offense over the past two seasons (61% pass-play rate) should they decide OBJ is worth heavily involving in the offense.

Bottom line: Hill's standing as a top-two WR in fantasy land doesn't need much dissection, while Waddle (WR19, pick 27.6) looks fairly priced alongside fellow overqualified No. 2 WRs like DeVonta Smith and Tee Higgins. Both present league-breaking upside should the other miss any time. OBJ isn't more than a late-round best ball dart; he's unlikely to emerge as a consistent fantasy asset as the distant No. 3 (at best) pass-game option here.

Tight End

Smith (29 in august) is coming off career-best marks in receptions (50) and receiving yards (582), showcasing plenty of his patented YAC ability along the way. Overall, only Isaiah Likely and George Kittle posted better ESPN YAC scores than Smith in 2023.

Any conversation surrounding Jonnu typically boils down to people being angry about Kyle Pitts not being utilized more, although at some point the former TE deserves credit for largely making the most out of his opportunities.

Smith among 24 TEs with 50-plus targets in 2023

  • Yards per route run: 1.55 (tied for No. 10)
  • Yards per reception: 11.6 (No. 4)
  • Targets per route run: 18.4% (No. 17)
  • Yards per target: 8.3 (No. 3)

Responsible for the two fastest ball carrier speeds from a TE in 2023 (Next-gen Stats), Smith adds ANOTHER speedy element to what was already the fastest offense in the NFL.

That said: Smith’s fantasy ceiling isn’t all that high considering Dolphins TEs rank dead last in total targets (120) since Mike McDaniel got to town back in 2022. Wild but true: You can’t score fantasy points in the year 2024 without getting the football first.

Bottom line: Don't hate the player, hate the ADP: Smith is a fine enough late-round dart, but he doesn't profile as more than a TD-dependent TE2 option when Miami has healthy versions of Hill and Waddle available.

Dolphins 2024 Season Prediction

Even mediocre late-season production likely won't stop McDaniel from putting forward another top-10 scoring offense, but whether or not new defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver is capable of turning around the league's reigning 22nd-ranked scoring defense remains to be seen.

Losing not one, not two, but three key defensive linemen in Christian Wilkins (Raiders), Emmanuel Ogbah (free agent) and Andrew Van Ginkel (Vikings) is hardly a great start with Jaelan Phillips (Achilles) and Bradley Chubb (knee) not guaranteed to be at 100% following their season-ending injuries.

The 9.5 win total feels spot on — I'm leaning toward the under due to the potential for this defense to remain mediocre and for Tua to not exactly take a massive step forward.

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