Miami Dolphins Depth Chart and Fantasy Preview: What Is Jaylen Waddle’s Ceiling In 2024?

After another outstanding offensive season last year, what can fantasy managers expect from the explosive Miami Dolphins offense in 2024?

The Miami Dolphins‘ offense finished the 2023 NFL season inside the top 10 in scoring offense (third), total offense (third), rushing offense (seventh), and passing offense (second). In addition, they managed to add more talent at offensive line, running back, and wide receiver in the NFL Draft.

Can fantasy managers expect more elite offensive production for the Dolphins’ offense in 2024?

Miami Dolphins Fantasy Depth Chart

QB
Tua Tagovailoa, Mike White, Skylar Thompson

RB
De’Von Achane, Raheem Mostert, Jaylen Wright, Christopher Brooks

WR1
Tyreek Hill, Erik Ezukanma, Bryalon Sanders

WR2
Jaylen Waddle, River Cracraft, Anthony Schwartz

WR3
Malik Washington, Tahj Washington

TE
Jonnu Smith, Durham Smythe, Julian Hill

Tua Tagovailoa’s Fantasy Outlook

Tua Tagovailoa finally managed to stay healthy for an entire NFL season, and the results were pretty exceptional as a result. He led the league with 4,624 passing yards while throwing 29 TDs on his way to a QB9 overall finish in 2023.

Sure, he benefitted exponentially from two of the most dynamic yards-after-the-catch (YAC) playmakers in the league at wide receiver, but Tagavailoa’s exceptional processing ability and anticipatory throws into tight windows over the middle of the football field helped this offense fire on all cylinders.

The advanced analytics numbers speak to this trait of Tagovailoa’s as he had the lowest time to throw (2.36 seconds) in the NFL.

One may assume this could lead to a low average depth of target or an abundance of screen passes to get the ball out of his hands quickly, but Tagovailoa actually ranked second behind San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy with the second-highest air yards per attempt at 5.1 in the league.

Despite not being renowned for his arm strength, Tagovailoa actually attempted more passing attempts (seven) that traveled 50+ yards down the field than any other quarterback in the NFL in 2023.

Tagovailoa isn’t simply dinking and dunking his way down the field, he is actively threatening opposing defenses on all three levels of the football field consistently.

Admittedly, Tagovailoa’s struggles against teams with a winning record last year were a bit eyebrow-raising, throwing for under 240 yards in four out of their six games against teams above .500. Yet, there is some noise to these numbers with other factors like their makeshift offensive line coming into play.

The additions of TE Jonnu Smith and rookie WRs Malik Washington and Tahj Washington could have a small positive impact on Tagovailoa’s 2024 fantasy outlook, but ultimately, this offense will still feature the same cast of characters we have become accustomed to over the last two seasons.

Speaking of the last two years, Tagovailoa has given a consistent fantasy floor when on the football field in Mike McDaniel’s offensive scheme, averaging 18.4 fantasy points per game (PPG) in 2022 and 16.7 in 2023.

With the same ensemble returning in 2024, there is little reason to expect Tagovailoa won’t put up fairly similar numbers on a per-game basis this season.

De’Von Achane’s Fantasy Outlook

For a very small period of time during the 2023 NFL season, Dolphins RB De’Von Achane looked a league-winner. In his first three games with a significant amount of work in the Miami backfield, Achane rattled off rushing performances of 203, 101, and 151 yards to go with seven total TDs over a three-week stretch.

Unfortunately, Achane’s quick ascension up the weekly rankings at the RB position came to an abrupt end when a knee injury sent him to Injured Reserve (IR) for four weeks in the middle of the season.

Sure, Achance would come back into the fold later in the season and have another couple of nice games, but he never quite reached the heights of his exceptional success from earlier in the year.

To put in perspective how absurd Achane’s efficiency was during that hot start, he averaged 12.3 yards per carry (YPC) prior to his injury with 455 rushing yards on 37 carries and included an additional eight receptions for 63 yards on his way to averaging an insane 33.3 fantasy PPG.

It’s unfortunate that the expectations were set unrealistically high early in the year, and his 5.2 YPC after returning from IR felt like a massive disappointment.

The biggest concerns for Achane’s fantasy outlook revolve around losing a significant amount of work to another running back on the squad and staying healthy. Missing six games your rookie season while sustaining multiple injuries certainly could cast doubt over the organization’s mind when trying to project Achane as a full-time feature back in the NFL.

Yet, Achane’s explosive fantasy ceiling in this dynamic offense still firmly put him in the low-end RB1/high-end RB2 conversation in 2024.

Raheem Mostert’s Fantasy Outlook

Despite Achane getting far more fantasy buzz heading into the 2024 NFL season, it was actually Raheem Mostert who was the most productive fantasy back in Miami last year.

How productive? Well, it’s not every day you see a 31-year-old running back register his first top-10 fantasy finish at the RB position with 1,012 rushing yards and 18 rushing TDs while adding an additional 175 and three scores on 25 receptions in the passing game, which produced an RB5 overall finish in 2023.

Mostert was excellent in this scheme and signed an extension to potentially play through the 2025 season, which would make him a free agent again at the age of 34.

You may wonder why I keep bringing up his age. That is because we simply don’t see fantasy backs traditionally produce RB1-type seasons at 32 years old.

Mostert is already an outlier with his breakout year coming in his ninth year in the league, it’s also worth mentioning much of Mostert’s game is built around speed. At what point will Father Time tap him on the shoulder?

MORE: Consensus Rookie Rankings

The answer is unclear, but certainly, age and efficiency for a back who has had his own issues staying healthy over the years make for an interesting outlook in 2024.

Ultimately, Mostert’s role looks somewhat secure heading into the season but makes for a riskier draft-day investment with potential pitfalls in his profile.

Tyreek Hill’s Fantasy Outlook

One such Miami Dolphins player who has no such pitfall concerns is Tyreek Hill, who has been nothing short of fantasy football royalty during his time in Miami.

Hill has caught 119 passes for 1,700+ yards and scored a minimum of seven receiving TDs in both of his seasons with the Dolphins. In case you need some confirmation, those numbers have led to Hill finishing as the WR2 overall in back-to-back seasons.

The real question becomes is how long can a receiver whose game is built largely around his top-tier speed continue to produce at this level?

The advanced on-field GPS analytics suggest Hill hasn’t lost a step at all compared to his days with the Kansas City Chiefs. Hill topped out at 22.01 MPH on a long catch-and-run against the New York Giants last season, which still shows that Hill has mind-blowing top speed when he gets the ball in his hands.

Hill ranked fifth in the NFL with 683 yards after the catch, which helped him produce 5.6 yards after catch per reception — his highest mark since 2020 when he was with the Chiefs.

Another thing that helps Hill’s fantasy numbers quite a bit is how creatively McDaniel moves Hill all over the formation before the snap. Hill lined up in the slot on 37% of his snaps in 2023 and was schemed up for 36 manufactured touches in the screen game and carries out of the backfield.

Ultimately, Hill is still the premier offensive weapon in the NFL and should be a top-three WR off the board in your fantasy draft in 2024.

Jaylen Waddle’s Fantasy Outlook

Another dynamic weapon at the disposal of McDaniel and Tagovailoa is WR Jaylen Waddle, who had the worst fantasy finish of his young career at WR34 with 72 receptions for 1,014 yards and four TDs last season.

To be fair, Waddle did miss three games last year and was fairly close to the same exact fantasy PPG production in PPR formats from 2022 (15.2) to 2023 (14.2). To further that point, Waddle actually saw his yards per route run (YPRR) actually rise from 2.46 to 2.52 last season, which certainly suggests there was no significant drop-off in his play on the field.

To further that point, Waddle actually logged a lower drop percentage, a higher contested catch rate, and generated more broken tackles last year, which is exactly why Miami was still committed to getting him the football in a variety of ways, including 15 screen passes and three carries in the running game.

Yet, the biggest hindrance to Waddle’s fantasy outlook is his running mate at wide receiver. Hill’s healthy target share can somewhat be tolerated by Waddle truthers because Hill’s presence on the football field certainly opens things up for him to make explosive plays.

The real tough pill to swallow for Waddle believers is the big discrepancy in red zone looks.

Red Zone Production 2023 NFL Season

Hill: 24 targets, 15 receptions, 54 yards, 4 TDs
Waddle: 8 targets, 3 receptions, 20 yards, 2 TDs

Hill seeing three times as many targets as Waddle in the red zone is wild, which frustratingly will continue to cap Waddle’s fantasy ceiling in 2024.

Waddle is still a great WR2 option for your fantasy this season and has the physical tools to be a legit top-10 fantasy WR, but don’t be surprised if you continue to get volatile production while Hill continues to dominate the work in the passing game.

Dolphins Fantasy Sleepers

The addition of the aforementioned Smith to the tight end room looks good on paper, but I’m still a bit skeptical about projecting a fantasy-relevant role for a tight end in this offense until I see it.

Smith’s TE17 fantasy finish in Atlanta last year, working behind Kyle Pitts and suffering through subpar quarterback play, is certainly encouraging. His run-after-catch (RAC) ability could help exploit some mismatches when defenses give too much attention to Waddle and Hill.

Speaking of RAC ability, the Dolphins’ pair of Day 3 selections at wide receiver — Malik Washington and Tahj Washington — could provide a nice upgrade in 11 personnel sets. Both players project as ready-made slot contributors in the NFL who consistently create a ton of yardage after the catch and display the route-running nuance to win against man or zone coverage.

Unfortunately, both players are a bit undersized and will likely not have a fantasy-relevant role unless an injury happens to either of the starters at receiver.

Lastly, one player to definitely keep an eye on is the explosive rookie running back out of Tennessee, Jaylen Wright, who the team invested fourth-round draft capital to help add more speed to this backfield. Wright has 4.3 speed on a dense 5’11”, 210-pound frame that resembles Mostert’s quite a bit.

KEEP READING: Dynasty Rookie Rankings

If he manages to make some impact plays in a complimentary role early in his rookie year, Wright could be in line for an expanded role in this Dolphins’ sooner than we think.

As we look ahead to the 2024 fantasy football season, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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