Coming off a devastating hip injury, Tua Tagovailoa led the Miami Dolphins to a 6-3 record as a rookie. He threw 11 touchdowns to 5 interceptions across 10 appearances. From a real-football perspective, he was fine – if a bit underwhelming.
The same cannot be said of Tua as a fantasy producer, however. He only delivered two games with 20-plus fantasy points, and he posted a single-digit score three times in his nine starts. That's not good.
Still, there's plenty of reason to believe the Alabama signal-caller is poised for a bounce-back year. In fact, he has all the makings of being an excellent post-hype sleeper candidate.
Tua Tagovailoa Fantasy 2021
Tua currently carries an average draft position (ADP) of QB22, per FantasyPros. That makes him more of an option for two-QB leagues, though he's not someone you should ignore in standard formats.
Truth be told, there are very few numbers from his rookie season that suggest a year-two breakout is imminent. The No. 5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft had an adjusted yards per attempt mark (AY/A) of 6.2 – worse than the likes of Nick Mullens, Andy Dalton and Mitchell Trubisky. He also posted bottom-10 marks in yards per attempt (6.3) and QBR (52.5).
But there are fair explanations for those struggles. He was working his way back from a 2019 hip injury that nearly ended his career. And it's not like his supporting cast was great, either. He was surrounded by a poor offensive line and a lackluster, injury-plagued skill-position group. It was a tough situation for a rookie quarterback.
All of those issues could be things of the past, though. By all accounts, Tua has looked a lot more like the quick-twitch athlete he was in college. The zip and mobility he had with the Crimson Tide appear to be back.
And a healthy Tua throwing to this revamped Dolphins' skill-position group is an exciting proposition. Miami added two incredibly explosive receivers in Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller this offseason, forming a dangerous trio with DeVante Parker. Add TE Mike Gesicki and RB Myles Gaskin into the mix, and there aren't many QBs who will have better weapons than Tua this season.
Tua Tagovailoa ADP
Drafting Tua is a bit of a leap of faith. We saw virtually nothing last year that sets him up for success in year two. But carrying an ADP of QB22, Tua is a guy fantasy managers can afford to be wrong about. And if he gets back to being the superstar we saw at Alabama, being right could pay off in a big way.
Take him as a high-upside flyer toward the end of your draft, just be sure to pair him with some more reliable options at QB.
Tua checks in at QB22 in our 2021 fantasy football rankings.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.