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Tua Tagovailoa Fantasy Outlook

By Kevin English | Updated on Sat, 20 Apr 2024 . 2:28 PM EDT

Bottom Line

With help from HC Mike McDaniel and WR Tyreek Hill, Tua Tagovailoa enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2022.

A top-10 repeat (in fantasy points per game) is well within reach – if he can avoid further concussions. Tua's a risk/reward pick, especially in two-QB best ball builds.

Elsewhere, he profiles as a matchup-dependent QB1 with an explosive ceiling.

As of early June, he's the QB12 on Underdog Fantasy and the QB14 at the FFPC. He sits higher in our updated fantasy football QB rankings.

What We Learned Last Year

  • Tagovailoa finished 15th among QBs in total fantasy points; eighth in points per game.
  • He ranked as a top-12 fantasy QB five times; a top-6 QB four times.
  • Tua sat fifth in Pro Football Focus passing grade and third in average depth of target (aDOT). He added a league-high 8.9 yards per attempt.
  • Tua easily ranked first in deep-passing (20+ air yards) completion percentage: 54.5%. So much for the narrative that he can't throw downfield.
  • Rushing production wasn’t a strong suit. Tua rushed for only 70 yards on 24 attempts. He posted 10 scrambles.
  • New HC Mike McDaniel supplied an excellent match for Tua.
    • A well-schemed offense helped Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle absorb a massive 51% target share.
    • Tua ranked fifth league-wide in pass attempts off run-pass options; third in play-action attempts.
  • Tua suffered two -- maybe three -- concussions. He considered retirement over the offseason.

What to Expect in 2023

  • Going back to 2017 at Alabama, Tua has never had the same OC in consecutive seasons. That'll change this year with the return of Frank Smith, plus HC Mike McDaniel and QB coach/pass-game coordinator Darrell Bevell.
  • Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill played all 17 games in 2022 – good injury luck for this unit. Any missed time for either player in 2023 would likely hurt the QB.
  • Miami’s pass-catching depth remains thin. Offseason adds Chosen (Robbie) Anderson and Braxton Berrios don’t move the needle.
  • Mike Gesicki walked in free agency, although he saw just a 9.2% target share.
  • Rookie speedster Devon Achane looks like the biggest offseason addition. He has already turned heads at OTAs.
  • The Dolphins’ O-line profiles similarly for 2023. The health of 32-year-old LT Terron Armstead remains critical for a unit that ranked 11th in adjusted sack rate.
  • Concussions will remain a risk. Another head injury could force a significant absence.
  • Tua has at least tried to address the durability concerns. He showed up to OTAs with added muscle mass. 
  • Tua also spent part of the offseason learning judo, with the goal of learning to better brace himself when falling.

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