2020 Miami Dolphins Fantasy Team Outlook: New Look Offense Has Something to Prove in Wide-Open AFC East

SI Fantasy's Team Outlook series from high-stakes legend Shawn Childs aims to break down the Miami Dolphins to evaluate the offense, defense, coaches and everyone in between with a fantasy-slanted analysis.
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Miami Dolphins

Coaching Staff

After a slow start (0-7) in his rookie season as a head coach, Brian Flores saved his job by winning five of his final nine games. The Miami Dolphins started the year by being outscored 162 to 26 over the first four contests.

Flores worked in New England’s system for 15 years with a variety of jobs. Over the last eight seasons with the Patriots, he worked on the defensive side of the ball as a defensive assistant, safeties coach, and linebackers coach. Flores has been a part of four Super Bowl winnings teams and seven AFC Championships.

After retiring for three years, Miami coaxed Chan Gailey into taking over their offensive for 2020. He struggled over his five seasons as a head coach (34-46) while making the playoffs in 1998 and 1999 for the Cowboys. Gailey coached in the NFL for 26 seasons, with nine years coming as an offensive coordinator.

Last year Miami ranked 25th in points scored (306) and 27th in offensive yards, which was an improvement from 2018 (30th in points scored – 319 and 31st in offensive yards).

Josh Boyer takes over as the defensive coordinator after working last year as a cornerbacks coach while handling the defensive pass game responsibilities. He worked with Brian Flores in New England for 13 seasons.

The Dolphins allowed a league-high 494 points, which was 61 more than 2018. They also slipped a notch in yards allowed (30th).

Free Agency

Their big signing in the offseason was CB Byron Jones, who ranked highly in coverage over the past two seasons for the Cowboys. Jones picked up over $50 million in guaranteed money over a five-year deal.

The Dolphins added four players (LB Kyle Van Noy, LB Shaq Lawson, LB Elandon Roberts, and C Ted Karras) that played for division foes in 2019. Van Noy showed growth in his production over his three and a half seasons for New England. Lawson helped the Bills to a successful season on defense in 2020. He is a former first-round draft pick (2016) who showed improvement rushing the quarterback last year. Roberts saw his opportunity slide to a backup role in 2019 after playing at a league-average level this previous season.

Injuries on the offensive line in New England led to Karras earning a full time starting job for the first time in his career. He projects as a starter for Miami while needing to clean up his risk in pass protection.

They also signed G Ereck Flowers. His path to the Dolphins came via underwhelming seasons for the Giants, the Jaguars, and the Redskins. DE Emmanuel Ogbah made the jump for the penthouse (Chiefs) to the outhouse (Miami) in the offseason. He missed the second half of 2019 with a pectoral injury after being on pace to set a career-high in sacks.

Miami decided to invest in RB Jordan Howard to improve the power run game. They also acquired RB Matt Breida in a deal during the 2020 NFL Draft. Breida adds speed to the running back positions with some pass-catching value.

Draft

Over the last couple of years, the struggles for Miami led to them having five draft picks over the first two rounds in the 2020 NFL Draft.

They hopefully secured a franchise quarterback (Tua Tagovailoa) with the fifth overall selection. Miami did their best to help his pass protection by adding T Austin Jackson (1.18) and T Robert Hunt (2.7).

Tagovailoa shows much more upside as a runner if asked to do so. His pocket movements under duress have a kamikaze feel at times, which may lead to some bad hits at the next level. When given a clean pocket and length to his passing window, his feel, accuracy, and velocity look top-notch. Tagovailoa makes good reads with the arm to stick a ball into tight coverage. He’ll be dangerous inside the ten-yard line with his legs while being expected to extend drives in the run game. Tagovailoa throws the ball well on the move.

Jackson should slide into the starting lineup at left tackle. His movements project well while needing to improve his hands and technique with his footwork. Jackson comes to the NFL with plenty of size (6’5” and 322 lbs.) with an athletic feel. He plays with power and quickness.

Hunt is a second big framed (6’5” and 323 lbs.) offensive lineman. Miami would like him to develop into the top option at right tackle. He projects well in the run game with the talent to be a beast once his footwork improves.

CB Noah Igbinoghene was the other choice in the first round. In your face type of cornerback, that continues to develop his craft. Igbinoghene is a former wide receiver with a short resume of experience at his position. He plays with strength and fight, but his hip flips and backpedal could get him trouble vs. top wide receivers in the deep passing game. His next step is developing his instincts rather than being a thinker, which can lead to a missed step and a losing play.

The Dolphins landed DT Raekwon Davis and S Brandon Jones in the second and third rounds.

Davis showed first-round talent early in his college career. He struggled to improve over the last two years, leading to questions about his motor and commitment to the game. Davis should be a pure run stopper with pass-rush traits if/when he develops his thought process attacking the quarterback and improve his first step of the line of scrimmage.

Jones plays the game hard with an attacking mentality, but his overall traits can’t make up for his shortcomings in physical skills. His feel for play development puts him a tick behind his responsibilities at times, and he lacks the speed to make up for his mistakes in coverage. The short field should be his friend while being challenged when asked to face top receivers in the deep passing game. I expect him to a better player when moving toward the line of scrimmage than away from it.

Miami shifted back to the offensive line in the fourth round (G Solomon Kindley). The theme for the Dolphins and their o-line in this draft is power and size. Kindley checks in at 6’3” and 337 pounds. His game is all about the fight over his small area of the field. He can’t overcome his lack of quickness if tested outside his body. Kindley needs to improve his drop and drive to gain better leverage at the point of contact.

With their final four addition over the fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds, the Dolphins took a swing on DE Jason Strowbridge, LB Curtis Weaver, LS Blake Ferguson, and WR Malcolm Perry.

Strowbridge offers a physical presence with flashes of pass-rushing ability. His downfall tends to be his quickness, which trails his plan and hands. Sometimes his decision making after the snap puts him out of position to finish as play. More of a rotational player with his best of seeing the field coming in the pass rush.

Weaver looks to be a pass down rusher while being a tweener in size (6’2’ and 265 lbs.). He plans to win off the snap and his eyes looking to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Weaver can get stymied vs. physical offensive lineman, and his game takes a hit when asked to retreat for his initial plan.

Perry lacks size (5’9” and 186 lbs.), speed (4.6 forty), and strength (ten reps in the bench press at the NFL combined), but he plays hard with intelligence and fight to his game. His best chance at playing time will come in the return game or out of the slot.

Offensive Line

Miami ranked last in the NFL in rushing attempts (349) in 2019, leading to the 32nd ranking in rushing yards (1,156) with ten rushing TDs. Their offensive line allowed 58 sacks and 147 QB hits. Somehow, the Dolphins climbed to 12th in passing yards (3,804) with 22 TDs and 18 Ints.

LT Austin Jackson

Last year Miami had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL with disaster downside at each position. Jackson should be an instant upgrade at left tackle. He has to be an upgrade in run blocking, and his game projects well in pass protection. Jackson will make mistakes, but he should improve over time.

LG Ereck Flowers

The Giants drafted Flowers in the first round in 2015, but he failed to make an impact over three-plus seasons while playing left tackle. Washington shifted him to left guard last year, which led to better play in pass protection. His run blocking has been an issue over the previous three seasons. Flowers should be a slight upgrade after the position switch last season.

C Ted Karras

In his first season as a starter for the Patriots, Karras gave up pressure to the quarterback up the middle. He did minimize the damage in sacks, which helped Tom Brady get the ball out quickly on most plays. Overall, his run blocker came in at about the league average.

RG Michael Deiter

Last year Deiter didn’t play well in his rookie season after getting drafted in the third round in 2019. The addition of Ereck Flowers should push him to right guard. His game has risk vs. power defenders in pass protection. It’s almost like his value takes a step back when the bully gets bullied. Deiter works hard, but his upside is limited. His experience with multiple positions helps his playable value in his second year in the league. Deiter has a lot to prove in 2020 if he wants to be in the starting lineup every day.

RT Robert Hunt

Just like Austin Jackson, Hunt should replace a weak link in the starting lineup at right tackles. He’ll have his growing pains, but his game should improve over time. Hunt looks more advanced in run blocking at this point of his career.

This offensive line of full of wild cards, but they have a low bar to replace the losing production in 2019. Even with a slow start, the Dolphins’ talent on their offensive line should be much better this year with the best play coming over the second half of the season.

Offensive Schedule

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The above data shows the strength of schedule as far as rushing attempts (RATT), rushing yards (YDS), yards per attempt rushing (YA), rushing touchdowns (TDs), completions (COMP), passing attempts (PATT), passing yards (YDS), yards per attempt passing (YA), and passing touchdowns (TDS).

This information is based on 2019, which will work as our starting point for 2020. We’ll look at all the changes on offense on each team in the NFL plus the upgrades and downgrades on each team on the defensive side. We’ll update this table when we finish the research on all 32 teams.

2019 LG Average = the league average of all stats from all 32 teams in 2019.

2019 Results = this is the results for each team in the NFL.

2019 Adjustment is based on the 2019 league average and the 2019 results for each team, this number will show if each team is above or below the league average in each stat category and the basis for the strength of schedule.

Miami has two tough matchups for their rushing offense against the Jets, which come over three weeks sandwiched between a bye week. They also have five other mid-tier contests (LV, BUF X 2, and NE X 2) against teams that ranked below the league average defending the run in 2019. Their other two favorable games for their run game come against the Jaguars and the Bengals.

The Dolphins have one of the most rigid schedules for their passing offense in the NFL. They have six games (LAC, SF, BUF X 2, and NE X 2) that played well defending the pass last year. Miami has one winning matchup (ARI) in the passing game and two contests with a slight edge (SEA and LV).

Offense

Game score led to Miami ranking seventh in the NFL in passing attempts (615), but they gained only 6.7 yards per pass attempts with almost the same number of touchdowns (22) as interceptions (18). Their first step in being more competitive this year is improvement in the run game. In 2019, they ran the ball 36.2 percent of the time while averaging only 21.8 rushes per game. Their ball carriers gained only 3.3 yards per carry with only three runs over 20 yards.

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Here’s a look at the early projections for Miami, which will be fluid all summer after taking in all injury updates and training camp news:

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Quarterbacks

QB Tua Tagovailoa, MIA

Last year Tagovailoa was on a higher path after nine games (2,840 passing yards with 33 TDs and three Ints) than Joe Burrow, but his season ended in mid-November with a significant hip injury and a broken nose. In Week 8 of the season, he passed for 418 yards with four TDs and one Int against LSU, but Burrow (393/3) won the game 46-41.

Tagovailoa had an exceptional TD: INT ratio (87:11) in college with strength in his completion rate (70.0) over his last 24 games.

Last year Miami climbed to 12th in passing yards despite gaining only 6.7 yards per pass attempt. The Dolphins decided to improve their offensive line rather than investing in more offensive talent with the other draft picks over the first two rounds in this year’s draft.

Tagovailoa is a high ceiling player that needs to shine for Miami to become a powerhouse again in the AFC East. His upgrades at wide receiver should come over the next couple of drafts or via free agency.

The Dolphins don’t have enough talent in the passing game for Tagovailoa to hit the ground running. I gave him 93 percent of the quarterback snaps in the first run of the projections, but that number could be lower if Ryan Fitzpatrick gets in the way early in the year. For now, Tagovailoa is projected for 3,908 combined yards with 21 touchdowns.

His early ADP is 184 in the high-stakes market as the 28th quarterback off the table.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA

Over his last 23 games, Fitzpatrick has shined multiple times for the Bucs and the Dolphins while delivering elite value to some of his WRs. Last year he stole the starting job from Josh Rosen with his best play coming over the final five games (326 passing yards per game with 11 TDs). The Dolphins drafted QB Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick, which points to Fitzpatrick returning to a bench role this year. This best part of his game last year was unlocking the keys to DeVante Parker (72/1202/9). Possible short-term matchup play if Fitzpatrick earns the starting gig for a couple of games in September.

Other options: Josh Rosen, Jake Rudock

Running Backs

Here’s a look at the running back data for Miami over the last three seasons:

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In one season, Miami went from a successful running team (4.75 yards per rush) to the worst team in the league. Their running backs combined for only 1,564 yards with seven TDs and 79 catches. Their backs caught 21.5 percent of the quarterback targets, which led to only 14 percent of their passing yards.

RB Jordan Howard, MIA

Howard held off RB Miles Sanders for the first nine games, but he failed to rush for over 100 yards in any week. From Week 4 to Week 9, Howard gained 476 combined yards with six TDs and seven catches highlighted by one explosive game (115 combined yards with three TDs and three catches). His season ended with a shoulder issue, costing him the final seven weeks.

Over his first three seasons in the NFL, Howard gained 3,938 combined yards with 25 TDs and 72 catches over 47 games. He averaged 283 touches per year with most of his big-play ability coming in his rookie season (14 gains of 20 yards or more).

Miami brought him in to upgrade their dismal success on early downs (297/962/7 – 3.2 yards per rush). The Dolphins also traded for RB Matt Breida on draft day, which points to him being a change of pace player and any higher upside in the passing game.

Howard has an early ADP of 110 as the 39th running back drafted. I have him ranked 33rd in my initial ranking while being projected for 958 combined yards with about five TDs and 22 catches on 215 touches. I expect his value to rise this summer, and Howard may end up with a floor of 240 chances in 2020.

RB Matt Breida, MIA

The RB situation in San Fran was messy, heading into last year. Breida had midteen touches (12.6 per game) over the first nine games with success on early downs in two contests (12/121 and 11/114/1). After missing three games with an ankle issue, his opportunity was lost to RB Raheem Mostert down the stretch and in the playoffs. Breida still has a lot to prove as a pass-catcher, but the Dolphins trade ensures he’ll be in the RB2 in 2020 with rotational value on early downs. I like his upside while also understanding his past injury risk.

His ADP (111) is just behind RB Jordan Howard in the early draft season as fantasy owners wait for some coach-speak to determine each player’s role. His projections (775 combined yards with three TDs and 33 catches on 150 touches) ranks him 40th out of the gate in fantasy scoring in PPR leagues.

RB Kalen Ballage, MIA

Ballage gained only 4.4 yards per rush in his college career. He’s a power type runner with some pass-catching ability. His lack of a full-time job in college sets a lower bar in the NFL. In his 12 games of limited action in 2018, Ballege looked explosive at times. He gained 5.3 yards per rush, but 75 of his 191 yards came on one play. Over his other 35 runs, Ballage gained only 3.3 yards per carry. Last year he gained only 1.8 yards per rush with none of his 74 runs gaining over 20 yards—a bottom-tier player who may play his way off the team by the start of the regular season.

RB Myles Gaskins, MIA

Based on experience running the ball, a fantasy owner won’t find a player in the 2019 NFL Draft with a better resume. Over four seasons at Washington as a starter, Gaskin average over 250 touches per year leading 5,888 combined yards with 62 TDs and 65 catches. Myles checked in at 5’9” and 205 lbs. at last year’s NFL combine. His strength (24 reps in the bench press) graded will while coming up a bit short in speed (4.58 40 yards dash) and quickness compared to the top RBs in the NFL. Gaskin sees the field well with the first step to get through tight holes. His short legs don’t match his frame, but his quick steps help him weave his way through traffic. Myles didn’t get many chances in the passing game while showing pass-catching hands. More than a change of pace back. Gaskin needs to prove himself in pass protection.

In his rookie season, Gaskins only saw the field for 125 plays, which led 184 combined yards with one TD and seven catches on 43 chances. Only a low-level handcuff in deep leagues.

Other options: Patrick Laird

Wide Receivers

The wide receiver position for Miami is trending down as far as the overall completion percentage (their WRs caught 58.7 percent of the Dolphins’ completions in 2019) over the last two seasons. In 2017, their wide receivers caught 66.2 percent of the team’s completions, which led to over 73 percent of their passing yards. After struggling to get their WRs going in 2018 (175/2250/60), the Dolphins did complete more balls to their wide receivers in 2019, helped by more overall passing attempts (615).

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Miami still lacks a viable WR2, which is highlighted by their completions to their secondary wide receivers (Albert Wilson – 43/351/1, Preston Williams – 32/428/3, Allen Hurns – 32/416/2, Isaiah Ford – 23/244/0, and Jakeem Grant – 19/164/0) behind DeVante Parker (72/1202/9).

WR DeVante Parker, MIA

It only took five seasons and a sharp kid from Harvard to figure how to get Parker the damn ball. He set career-highs in catches (72) receiving yards (1,202), touchdowns (9), and targets (128), highlighted by his play over the final seven games (39/733/5 – 7/135, 7/159/2, 4/72/2, 5/111/1, and 8/137)). Parker showed growth in his catches over 20 (21) and 40 yards (7) over his previous 39 games (27 and 7) in 2019. The Dolphins extended his contract in mid-December, which puts him at the services of rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa for the next four years. Chemistry is a big part of football, but it could be gone after one excellent season. Torn here, I want to believe, but I can’t get past his slow start to his career.

His early ADP came at 61 as the 23rd wide receiver selected. I set his bar at 76 catches for 1,063 yards and six TDs in the first round of Sports Illustrated projections.

WR Preston Williams, MIA

Heading into the 2019 NFL Draft, Williams earned an eighth-place ranking at WR at NFL.com. His rise came after an excellent season at Colorado State (96/1345/14), but the volume of targets (175) was a big part of his breakout. Williams emerged as a Week 1 starter for Miami, and he held that status for the next six weeks. Over a half-season of play, he averaged 11.48 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues, putting him on a path to rank 36th at wide receiver. His season ended in early November with a torn ACL in his right knee. If the NFL season starts on time, Williams may not be ready for Week 1. May surprise with Miami getting a new toy at QB.

His early ADP (148) paints him as a WR5 in PPR leagues. I have him projected for 54 catches for 700 yards and about four TDs until I have a clear update of his ability to play all 16 games.

WR Albert Wilson, MIA

Over his first four years in the NFL with the Chiefs, he caught 124 passes for 1,544 yards and eight TDs on 198 targets. His game did show growth in 2017 (42/554/3) with Kansas City. In 2018, Wilson started as a rotational receiver over the first three games (8/142/2 on 11 targets) before earning three starts over the next four games. He flashed in the sixth game (6/155/2), setting up a waiver wire frenzy. Unfortunately, a hip injury ended his season the following week. Last year he battled a calf issue over his first month, which led to three missed games and emptiness in Week 1 (2/13). Wilson started to gain momentum over his final six games (29/267 on 37 targets) last year with his best value coming over his final three outings (5/59, 7/79, and 5/59). More of a flier than a target while never starting a game in 2019.

WR Allen Hurns, MIA

After flashing upside in his first two years (51/677/6 and 64/1031/10) with the Jaguars, Hurns struggled to find repeated success in any of his next four seasons. In 2015, he had 19 catches over 20 yards and ten TDs, but Hurns only has 23 catches over 20 yards and nine touchdowns over his next 51 games. Last year he had one contest (5/68) with more than four catches while failing to score over 15.0 fantasy points in PPR leagues in any game. Only waiver wire type options if Hurns gets a bump in playing time.

Other options: Jakeem Grant, Isaiah Ford, Mack Hollins, Malcolm Perry, Ricardo Louis, Greg Jennings

Tight Ends

With Ryan Fitzpatrick starting at quarterback, the Dolphins' tight end position gained much more value in 2019 (70/793/6 on 125 targets). The previous year, Miami barely used the tight end (39/386/2 on 56 targets) in their passing game.

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TE Mike Gesicki, MIA

After playing well in two (5/79/1 and 6/82/2) of his final five games, Gesicki climbed to 12th in TE scoring (137.0) in PPR leagues in 2019. His season started with only 15 catches for 153 yards and no TDs over seven games. Based on his play over his final two seasons (48/679/5 and 57/563/9), his ceiling should rise when Miami creates more offense in the passing game. Borderline fantasy starter, but I wouldn’t fight for him based on his early ADP (122).

His first projections came to 58 catches for 615 yards and four touchdowns, ranking him 16th at tight end in PPR leagues.

Other options: Durham Smythe, Chandler Cox, Michael Roberts, Chris Myarick

Kicker

K Jason Sanders, MIA

Over his first two seasons in the NFL, Sanders made 41 of 50 field goals (82.0 percent) while showing value from 50 yards or more (4-for-6). He missed one extra-point in each season, leading to a 97.0 percent success rate. In 2019, his field goal rate (76.7) did fall off from his rookie season (90.0). Miami scored only 72 touchdowns over the past two years. Possible upside leg, but the Dolphins have plenty of work to do before being considered a top offense.

Defensive Schedule

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Miami has the eighth easiest schedule for their run defense. They have five games (LAC, LAR, CIN, and NYJ X 2) vs. teams that struggled to run the ball last year, plus five other contests (KC, JAC, DEN, and NE X 2) that offer a slight edge. The Dolphins only have two games (SF and SEA) against top rushing teams based in 2019.

On the passing side, they face five opponents (DEN, NYJ X 2, and BUF X 2) that ranked poorly throwing the ball last year. The Broncos should be improved after adding more talent at wide receiver in this year’s draft. Miami also has three challenging matchups (LAC, LAR, and KC) for their pass defense based on 2019. The Chargers’ passing offense does take a hit after losing QB Philip Rivers.

Defense

The Dolphins finished last year 27th in rushing yards allowed (2,166). Opponents averaged 30.9 rushes per game, which led to 4.5 yards per carry with 15 TDs. Miami only allowed nine runs over 20 yards (tied for 12th in the NFL).

Their pass defense gave up a league-high 39 touchdowns with 13 interceptions and only 23 sacks. The Dolphins ranked 26th in passing yards allowed (4,198) with quarterbacks gaining 8.0 yards per pass attempts (68 completions allowed over 20 yards).

The left defensive end position for the Dolphins’ defense is full of weak options, which is why Miami tried to add some pass-rushing talent to their linebacking position in 2020. Last year DE Avery Moss started eight games while offering no impact value in any area. The Dolphins hope to use DE/LB Shaq Lawson on the defensive line on passing downs. He’s a former first-rounder (2016) with 14.5 sacks over his past 30 games.

DT Davon Godchaux

Godchaux made 75 tackles in his third year in the league, which shows how many rushes teams ran up the middle against the Dolphins last year. Over 47 games in his NFL career, Godchaux only has three sacks. Miami hopes DT Raekwon Davis can make an impact in his rookie season after getting drafted in the second round. His best value should come in run support. And he recently asked "Why Not the Miami Dolphins?"

DE Christian Wilkins

In his rookie season after getting drafted 13th overall in 2019, Wilkins had 14 starts. He picked up 56 tackles with two sacks while ranking as a neutral run defender. Coming into the NFL, Wilkens relied on his quickness and athletic ability to make plays in the center of the defensive line. He doesn’t have the strength to a foundation run-stopper if he loses his edge after the snap. Endurance can be an issue if worked too hard within a game. His game does offer upside if he adds a better anchor to his small piece of real estate on the field.

LB Kyle Van Noy

Over the past three years for the Patriots, Van Noy posted 221 tackles and 15.5 sacks while returning two turnovers into touchdowns. His run support value was much improved in 2019, along with his ability to pressure the quarterback. Based on his career resume in the NFL, he’s not a lock to be an edge in any area.

LB Raekwon McMillan

Over his first two seasons with Miami, McMillan flashed upside in run support, but he doesn’t have a sack. His play in pass coverage does have some risk. He battled a hamstring and a knee issue late in 2019, which led to three missed games. The Dolphins drafted in the second round in 2017, but McMillan missed his rookie season with a torn ACL in his right knee.

LB Jerome Baker

In his second year in the league, Baker pushed his tackle total to 126 while improving his ability to pressure the quarterback. He tends to be a liability in coverage while keeping his missed tackles to a minimum.

LB Emmanuel Ogbah

Last year Ogbah played well over ten games for the Chiefs (32 tackles and 5.5 sacks), but his season ended in Week 10 with a torn pectoral muscle. Over 50 games in the NFL, he has 154 tackles and 18 sacks.

CB Xavien Howard

Heading into 2019, Howard came off two straight seasons with receivers catching a low percentage of passes against him. He picked 11 interceptions and 25 defended passes in 2017 and 2018. Last year Howard suffered a left knee injury in Week 3 that required surgery, costing him 11 games. He also has a domestic issue hanging over him from last December.

CB Byron Jones

Miami wanted to improve at the cornerback position, leading to a significant investment in Jones. His value in coverage improved in 2018 and 2019 while continuing to be a sure tackler with success in run support. Even with his game trending upward, Jones only has two career interceptions in 79 games.

The addition of Noah Igbinoghene in the first round of this year’s draft gives the Dolphins potentially a third cornerback with upside. He’s a former wide receiver who is learning the position.

S Eric Rowe

From 2016 to 2018 with the Patriots, Rowe missed 27 games. In his first year with Miami, he set career-highs in tackles (18) and defended passes (8). His value in coverage improved as the season moved on. Rowe has a second-round draft pedigree (2015).

The second starting safety option for the Dolphins looks to be in flux with rookie Brandon Jones possibly having the best chance to earn the starting job. His game can be hit or miss when facing more talented players.

This defense has talent in the secondary with a reasonable core at linebacker. The Dolphins' lack of impact pass rushers does lengthen the passing window on some plays. I expect better play defending the run. Overall, moving in the right direction, but they still need playmakers to create turnovers—only a waiver wire fantasy defense with possible matchup value. 

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