ESPN Dolphins beat writer Cameron Wolfe has an interesting "early projection" for Miami's new backfield: "[Jordan Howard is] a true workhorse who fits well in the Dolphins' power scheme. Don't be surprised if Howard comes close to doubling up [Matt] Breida in carries, but Breida's value will come in the passing game, where he should receive most of the touches and increased playing time when Miami is trailing." Wolfe's opinion is worth noting, but this reads as just that rather than a report on the team's usage plans. Frankly, we'd be shocked if Howard comes anywhere close to doubling Breida's carry count -- as you can see in our 2020 RB rankings. But we agree with the expectation that Howard leads the team in carries while Breida operates as the lead back in the passing game.
Dolphins WR Preston Williams (knee) is "on schedule" for Week 1, according to The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson. Williams is rehabbing his November torn ACL. He was enjoying an excellent rookie campaign before going down, compiling a 32-428-3 line in 8 games. Williams sat 36th among WRs in PPR points at that time. Miami didn't make any significant additions to its WR corps this offseason, which would appear to be a vote of confidence in Williams. If healthy, he should open the 2020 campaign as a starter alongside DeVante Parker.
The 49ers have traded RB Matt Breida to the Dolphins in exchange for a 5th-round pick. Breida has been excellent for the 49ers over the past 3 seasons, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and 8.4 yards per catch. This past year, he ranked 21st in Pro Football Focus' rushing grades among 45 RBs with 100+ carries. Breida was a victim of the numbers game in a packed 49ers backfield but will find plenty of opportunity in Miami, where Jordan Howard resides atop the depth chart. Expect some sort of committee attack in 2020, but Breida's explosiveness and pass-catching ability might make him the more valuable fantasy asset.
The Dolphins selected Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa with the 5th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. We can’t talk Tua without running through the injury history: a sprained right knee in 2018, a left high-ankle sprain in 2018 that required surgery, a left high-ankle sprain in 2019 that required surgery and the dislocated right hip that ended his college career in November. Insider Michael Lombardi also reported earlier this month that Tagovailoa has broken his left (throwing) wrist twice. Slightly undersized at 6’0 and 217 pounds, his short- and long-term durability is a real concern. When healthy, though, Tagovailoa is 1 of the best pure passers we’ve seen come into the league in recent memory. He took over as the Tide’s starter as a sophomore in 2018 and set school records with 3,966 yards and 43 TDs. He tossed just 6 INTs and registered a 69% completion rate and 11.2 yards per attempt. Tagovailoa was even more efficient this past year, posting a 71% completion rate and 11.3 yards per attempt. We’ll see if he’s healthy enough to get under center for the season opener — or if Miami decides to redshirt him and let QB Ryan Fitzpatrick play out the year. The Dolphins have 4 more 1st-round picks and 4 2nd-round picks between this year and next to build around Tua.
The 49ers have played a 2nd-round tender on RB Matt Breida and restructured RB Jerick McKinnon's contract. It looks like both guys will be back in the fold for 2020. RBs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman remain better fantasy bets at this point, but this could once again be a frustrating Shanahan backfield.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Dolphins have agreed to a 2-year, $10 million deal with RB Jordan Howard. He instantly becomes the top RB on a team that only saw QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and RB Mark Walton crack 200 yards on the ground in 2019. We'd be surprised, though, if Miami is done making offseason changes to that backfield.
The Dolphins will be signing LB Kyle Van Noy to a 4-year, $51 million deal, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Van Noy produced LB3-level numbers his first 2 years in New England before slipping last season. His fantasy points per game dipped each of the past 2 seasons, though. Van Noy turns 29 this month and should still be in his prime. In Miami, he'll play under HC Brian Flores, who served as New England's LBs coach in Van Noy's first 2 Patriots campaigns. Expect Van Noy to play full-time snaps for the Dolphins and continue to see plenty of use as a blitzer.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Dolphins have agreed to a "massive deal" with free-agent CB Byron Jones. The former Cowboy is regarded as 1 of the league's top cover men, but that hasn't translated to much fantasy production the past couple of years. We'll see if that changes in a new defense.
The Dolphins have reached a 3-year, $30 million deal with former Bills DE Shaq Lawson, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Lawson spent his 1st two seasons looking like a 1st-round bust but improved over the past 2. His final Bills campaign included 18 QB hits, tied for 25th in the NFL. Lawson also saw his playing time grow to starter-level over the final third of the 2019 season. He joins a Miami defense in dire need of edge help. The Dolphins' scheme shouldn't alter his position designation for IDP purposes.
The Dolphins are comfortable with their current WR corps heading into the 2020 campaign, according to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson. DeVante Parker and Preston Williams were both big surprises this past year. Parker broke out for a 72-1,202-9 line and signed a big 4-year extension in December. Williams was pacing toward an 856-yard, 6-TD rookie season before tearing his ACL in November. He's tentatively expected to be ready for Week 1. Parker and Williams figure to open 2020 as Miami's top 2 WRs, with Allen Hurns, Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant and Isaiah Ford providing depth.
Dolphins GM Chris Grier "fully expects" QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to be back for 2020. He's due a reasonable $8 million, so it makes plenty of sense to bring him back even if he doesn't start all year. Miami is a strong bet to select a QB in the 1st round of this spring's draft, but Fitzpatrick could certainly open the season under center. He exceed expectations in 2019 and ranked 17th at his position in fantasy points per game.
The Dolphins have named Chan Gailey their OC. Gailey has been out of the league since 2016 but has 14 years of experience as a HC or OC with 7 different teams. His track record is largely uninspiring, though, with only 4 of those 14 teams finishing top 10 in yards and 4 finishing top 10 in points. Gailey has tended to skew toward the run, landing 11 offenses inside the top half of the league in rushing attempts. We'll keep an eye on his plans for a Dolphins offense that will have a bunch of new pieces in 2020.
The Dolphins have fired OC Chad O'Shea. The move is mildly surprising because it feels like Miami overachieved on offense this season -- although they still ranked just 25th in points, 27th in yards and 29th in yards per play. We'll see who HC Brian Flores and the Fins tab as O'Shea's replacement. This offense figures to have a bunch of new pieces in 2020, alongside building blocks DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki.
Eagles RB Jordan Howard (shoulder) is active for today’s game against the Giants. He’s expected to play sparingly behind Miles Sanders and potentially Boston Scott. Howard isn’t a viable Week 17 fantasy option.
The Bills have ruled DE Shaq Lawson (hamstring) out for Sunday's game against the Jets.
Eagles RB Jordan Howard (shoulder) has been cleared for contact, HC Doug Pederson said Friday. He's expected back for this weekend's game against the Giants after missing the past 6 contests. Rookie RB Miles Sanders has been excellent in Howard's absence, though, so Howard figures to return to a minimal role.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Eagles RB Jordan Howard will return to action for Week 17. With that, the team is releasing RB Jay Ajayi. Miles Sanders has delivered big production as the feature back with Howard out. He'll likely lose some playing time and touches to Howard, but we'd also bet on the rookie continuing to lead Philly's backfield committee. Boston Scott also becomes a shakier bet for touches in Week 17.
Dolphins RB Myles Gaskin suffered an ankle injury in the 4th quarter of Sunday's game against the Bengals and had to be carted off the field. That obviously makes him unlikely to play in next week's finale against the Patriots. RB Patrick Laird should be back in the lead role for that one.
Eagles RB Jordan Howard (shoulder) is inactive for today’s game against the Cowboys. Miles Sanders will continue to operate as the lead back, with Boston Scott in a change-of-pass role.
The forecast for today's Bengals-Dolphins game calls for sustained winds of 15-20 mph with gusts up to 30. That's enough to impact the passing and kicking games. Check the updated projections for all the guys in this game.
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