Fantasy: What does Tua Tagovailoa bring as QB 1?

By: Kyle Williams (Twitter :@betonthegame)

Destined for greatness, Tagavailoa was born to shine on the biggest stages. From his days in high school in Hawaii his homeland from his days at Alabama to now his first venture to starting in the NFL. Tagovailoa was built to perform on the front and center stage. After the Dolphins bye in week 7, Tagovailoa will grace the Dolphins logo on the helmet and jersey as he walks onto the field in Miami to take his first career snaps as a starter.

Shoes to fill

After being named the starter on Tuesday afternoon, Tagovailoa will be thrown into his first career start in Week 8 versus the Los Angeles Rams. Tagovailoa will have some shoes to fill left behind by Ryan Fitzpatrick who propelled the team to 3 wins and 2 losses as a starter. It’s not just the wins and losses but the numbers in fantasy that Fitzpatrick put up. Currently, Fitzpatrick sits at QB8 in fantasy averaging 19.6 points per game. Fitzpatrick has been a magician so far in fantasy, if Tagovailoa can produce even remotely close to what Fitzpatrick does he’s an upper-echelon QB 1 for fantasy.

The schedule breakdown

Man oh man is the schedule juicy for the Dolphins and Tagovailoa. According to Pro Football Focus strength of schedule metric, the Dolphins have the 8th easiest schedule for their fantasy QB ahead. Facing off against teams like the Jets, Rams, Cardinals, Seahawks, and Raiders who have low-end level passing defenses. The whole schedule for the Dolphins sets up nicely for Tagovailoa, his first real tough defensive opponent doesn’t come up until week 15 versus the New England Patriots.

Here’s a look at the season-long schedule for Tagovailoa:

Here are the ranks of pass defenses the Dolphins will face starting from Week 8.

  • Week 8: vs Rams [8th best]
  • Week 9: @ Cardinals [17th Best]
  • Week 10: vs Chargers [20th Best]
  • Week 11: @ Broncos [4th Best]
  • Week 12: @ Jets [25th Best]
  • Week 13: vs Bengals [9th Best]
  • Week 14: vs Chiefs [18th Best]
  • Week 15: vs Patriots [3rd Best]
  • Week 16: @ Raiders [31st Best]

As you can see there are some bumps in the road for Tua, playing teams like the Patriots are going to be tough. Taking them out he looks primed to tear apart this schedule.

Weapons should go Crazy

With the Dolphins on the bye week, the roster should get healthier and the weapons will get better. Heres what the offense for the Dolphins look like

 The offense looks super enticing, Tagovailoa’s primary weapon DeVante Parker is rated as PFF’s 25th best WR out of 125 in the league. Pairing Parker and Tagovailoa is a dream come true. Tua loves to throw the deep ball and that’s a specialty of Parker’s game.

Parker is an absolute force in the passing game and is one of the league’s premier wideouts. He and Tua should establish an early connection that should look similar to what Tagovailoa did in college with Ruggs and Juedy. 

The Safety valve

This could fall under the weapons category as well but I truly believe he’s not only the X-factor but the guy who benefits the most from this change at QB. That man is TE Mike Gesicki. Rated as the 5th best TE according to PFF, Gesicki is an absolute nightmare so far for linebackers and defenders. Gesicki almost never leaves the field as he’s rated as an upper-echelon run blocker at the position. With every young QB needing the run game it’s helpful to have guys like Gesicki. 

He’s more than just a blocker though he’s a handful in the passing game. The most important thing for a young QB in the league on offense other than a good offensive line is a great check down option. Gesicki’s ability to break plays open and catch everything in site is what makes him so intriguing. I really believe he will be the guy who helps Tagovailoa the most in the offense and should move the chains.

Wrap up

Tua Tagovailoa is that guy I promise you, a true 5-star elite level quarterback. So great, I even had him ranked above Joe Burrow pre-draft. I believe in his potential, now with his first crack I greatness I think he will show it.

His fantasy numbers should be there, there’s no reason why he can’t be a QB1 in fantasy. Fitzpatrick did it with ½ the ability Tua has. A stronger arm and more ability to run in open space should propel Tagovailoa into stardom and fantasy greatness quickly. Pairing his potential and his easy schedule is a recipe for success. Look for Tagovailoa to be a no-doubt QB1 in fantasy and making the case for top-7.

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