Tua Tagovailoa is one of the most controversial quarterbacks in all of fantasy football. Some people are concerned with his injury history while others flat out don’t like his play. While I understand concerns about his history of concussions, Tua’s talent and potential are undeniable.
Tua is currently being drafted as the QB13 and I simply can’t wrap my head around this. If you are one of the last managers to select a QB in your draft, you must target quarterbacks with high ceilings. Tua Tagovailoa absolutely screams high ceiling and upside.
With Tua currently being selected as the QB13, I think he is being selected at his absolute floor. When I recently wrote about Joe Mixon, I discussed drafting players at their floor. Let me reiterate this point: there is absolutely nothing better than drafting a player at their floor. Drafting a player there is enough to produce fantasy wood, in my book.
Why do I think a low-end QB1 is Tua’s floor? It’s quite simple… his 2022 performance. Tua finished 2022 as the overall QB15 despite missing four games and leaving his Week 4 matchup in the middle of the second quarter. To further build on this, Tua finished as the QB7 on a points-per-game basis when excluding this early exit in Week 4. But, let’s take a closer look at why Tua’s ceiling is as high as Laremy Tunsil on draft night.
DOLPHINS OFFENSE AND SURROUNDING TALENT
The Dolphins’ productive offensive scheme stems from none other than head coach Mike McDaniel. As we all know, McDaniel is a disciple of the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree and it certainly shows. McDaniel has been able to shape his offensive game plan so it can exploit opponents and bring out the best in his players. McDaniel’s effectiveness as a head coach was demonstrated right away in Miami:
2021 (without McDaniel)
- 25th in total offense, averaging 307 yards per game
- 17th in passing offense, throwing for 214.8 yards per game
- 22nd in scoring offense, producing 20.1 points per game
- 10th in pass rate, throwing on 59.71 percent of plays
2022 (with McDaniel)
- 6th in total offense, averaging 364.5 yards per game.
- 4th in passing offense, throwing for 265.4 yards per game.
- 11th in scoring offense, producing 23.4 points per game.
- 7th in pass rate, throwing on 61.97 percent of plays.
In addition to an improved offensive scheme, Tagovailoa will benefit from some of the best weapons in the NFL, highlighted by Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Everyone knows what these guys bring to the table, so there is little that has to be said. These dynamic speedsters are some of the top wideouts in the league and their talent will surely be once again put on display in the upcoming season.
The Dolphin’s running back room features talented veterans in Jeff Wilson Jr. and Raheem Mostert, with Mostert seeing the majority of the work in the passing game. To me, the most intriguing RB on the roster is explosive rookie Devon Achane. The third-round draft pick out of Texas A&M features lighting-quick speed, running a 4.32 40-yard dash. This speed and opportunity in a premier Dolphin’s offense has The Wolf incredibly excited and has him ranked as RB3 in his Rookie Dynasty Rankings.
Advanced metrics do not tell the whole story of the fantasy outlook of a player by any means. However, Tua has some indicators that should get you excited for the upcoming season. These metrics also help to explain the ceiling I have discussed.
These metrics can be found on Player Profiler and PFF.
To start, Tua led the league in yards per attempt, averaging 8.9 YPA. It’s pretty simple why this exciting. Tua likes to push the ball downfield and create big plays. Yards per attempt can be inflated by receivers making good plays and racking up yards after the catch. However, this is not the case with Tua. Tagovailoa was third in the league in air yards per attempt, showing he truly wants to push the ball deep to his two talented wideouts.
It’s one thing to throw the ball down the field, it’s another for those passes to end up in completions and fantasy points. But, there’s no need to worry because he led the league in deep ball completion percentage. In 2022, Tua completed 50 percent of passes that were 20-plus yards down the field. Outside of Brock Purdy and Jordan Love, Tagovailoa ranked second in the league in passer rating. Behind only the king himself, Patrick Mahomes.
THE FINAL TAKE
You don’t earn the nickname Tua TurnDaBallOva for no reason. Tua certainly had a difficult start to his NFL career. Yet, I believe Tua is set up with the coaching staff and offensive personnel to find success in 2023.
The Dolphins are primed to have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL and Tua will be at the helm. He’ll be tossing the ball deep all year long, resulting in explosive plays and plenty of fantasy points. People may mock you for supporting Tua or drafting him ahead of some more highly-ranked QBs. If they do, show them the stats and make your case because Tua is HIM.