Now that Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has officially declared for the 2020 NFL draft, we can begin speculating on which teams might take a chance on the skilled passer, and what his fantasy football value in 2020 might become.
More so, however, we can now begin to project what the rest of the offense around him could look like from the wide receivers and tight ends, down to the running backs and offensive line. And after Tagovailoa’s agent, Leigh Steinberg, reported his client would be fully healthy and able to work out for NFL teams pre-draft, his stock is almost certainly going to skyrocket.
Here are five landing spots for Tagovailoa, and where I believe he could have the most significant fantasy impact.
According to Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford, the team is in a win-now mode in 2020. And when you look at what franchise QB Matthew Stafford is making, it’s hard to imagine the team investing a top-3 pick on a QB that might not see the field this season. Nevertheless, Tagovailoa would be a necessary move to ensure the future success of Ford’s once-promising franchise.
From a fantasy perspective, Detroit isn’t the worst destination for the Alabama QB. After all, they’re surrounded by former first-round pick T.J. Hockenson and wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. All three players could see their fantasy football value skyrocket with the addition of Tagovailoa. Then again, he will likely sit out the entire 2020 season.
I’m having trouble buying into a defensive-minded HC drafting a QB early with so much elite talent available. Furthermore, before his injury, Matthew Stafford was averaging 25.5 fantasy points per game over his last three starts. One thing is for sure, at some point, these teams with aging veterans will need to start looking towards the future, and Tagovailoa is a worthy investment for any franchise.
Kenny Golladay – 11.4 PPG (183)
Marvin Jones – 10.1 PPG (131.9)
Los Angeles Chargers
There’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding Philip Rivers’ future in Los Angeles. After all, he’s a free agent heading into the 2020 offseason, and with an important decision to be made on his future in the NFL. Rivers was spotty at best in 2019, and for a team in dire need of selling tickets, a young, franchise QB will almost certainly do the trick.
Much like several other teams in the top-15, the Chargers would be an ideal situation from a fantasy perspective for ‘The Left Arm of God’ to find himself. Surrounded by one of the most underrated RBs in fantasy football, Austin Ekeler can do things most RBs simply can’t. And then there’s the stable of WRs: Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and Travis Benjamin. Tagovailoa would inject new life into an offense that has struggled to find consistency from week to week.
The ultimate question, however, is whether or not they’re ready to invest that type of money in trading up for Tagovailoa. Then there’s also the potential to draft Justin Herbert or Jordan Love. Time will tell, but LA’s offense has the weapons to make some noise with a young signal-caller under center.
Keenan Allen – 9.8 PPG (155.7)
Mike Williams – 7.5 PPG (112.3)
Las Vegas Raiders
Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders are a wildcard in the 2020 QB carousel because much like the Miami Dolphins, they have the draft capital to move up and land whichever QB they believe to be their guy. If the rumors were true last draft season, Gruden was enamored by Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray. However, unlike Murray, it appears Tagovailoa could be ripe for the picking.
Las Vegas’ offense saw new life in 2019 with the addition of rookie RB Josh Jacobs. There’s no certainty Tagovailoa is the QB on Gruden’s radar, however. There are plenty of respectable players that can be had later in the first or even the second round. Jalen Hurts and Jacob Eason are two QBs that could have success in this style of offense. However, it’s Tagovailoa that could take things to the next level.
Besides having one of the better backs in football and TE Darren Waller, who is nearly unstoppable, the Raiders have some work to do at wide receiver. If Tagovailoa wants to help this offense ascend into another dimension, they will have to invest wisely at the other premium skill positions.
Josh Jacobs -13.2 FPG (171.6)
Darren Waller – 8.2 FPG (131)
There has been a whole lot of change in Carolina over the last several days, and anyone that pretends to know what the ultimate plan is would be sadly mistaken. After all, David Tepper just shelled out a ton of money to bring Matt Rhule to Carolina. And after LSU’s dominant performance versus Clemson on Monday, Joe Brady will be joining him to oversee Carolina’s offense.
Yes, Cam Newton is still on the roster. But the truth is, he’s been a shell of himself over the last several years. If there is any team that could feel obligated to trade up and get their QB of the future, it could be Rhule and the Panthers.
Adding Tagovailoa to an offense that consists of one of the league’s top RBs in Christian McCaffrey and a tandem of young, playmaking wide receivers like Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore, there’s plenty to like about the potential—primarily from a fantasy perspective.
Christian McCaffrey – 22.2 PPG (355.2)
D.J. Moore – 9.6 PPG (143.5)
There is no fanbase more excited around the NFL to potentially draft Tagovailoa than the Miami Dolphins. After all, it has been 20 years since they’ve had a QB they could trust. After an impressive season in 2019 that saw a team with minimal talent win five games, the future is bright for the once-storied NFL franchise.
Miami heads into the most critical offseason in franchise history with many glaring holes. Offensively, the team needs to build a stable offensive line and find a running back capable of carrying the workload. However, the team has a plethora of young wide receivers and a tight end looking to take the next step in 2020.
Adding Tagovailoa to an offense that features two towering receivers like DeVante Parker and Preston Williams won’t quite live up to the supporting cast he is used to in Alabama. The talent is there for this to become one of the league’s most explosive offenses, though. All they have to do is hope that Tua Tagovailoa falls to #5 or Chris Grier packages a few draft picks to assure his talents.
DeVante Parker – 10.9 PPG (174.2)
Mike Gesicki – 5.3 PPG (85)
New England Patriots
It seems like a longshot that the evil empire in New England would give up the draft capital it would cost to move up for Tagovailoa. But just as he would be a glove fit in Miami’s offense, the same is true in New England. His skill-set would be a match made in heaven for the Patriots’ offense, and he would be the perfect heir to the great one, Tom Brady. I don’t foresee this happening, but Tagovailoa in New England could be the ideal landing spot.