Tua Tagovailoa 157 ADP (21st QB) – Thanks to how talented this Dolphins defense is, this upcoming year has a lot of fans excited. They were the 4th best scoring defense in the league in 2020. All signs point to an improvement in 2021 with a beefed-up pass rush and improved chemistry.
However, with the offense being unproven still, Tua’s main responsibility in his sophomore season is to not turn the ball over and maintain favorable field position. This “game-manager” status doesn’t scream fantasy appeal…until you consider his schedule.
Miami has the 2nd easiest strength-of-schedule amongst fantasy QBs in 2021. They face six of the nine worst teams against QBs in 2020, making him a viable start in these matchups. These bottom-feeders include Atlanta, Houston, Carolina, Jacksonville, Tennessee, and the Jets twice.
Sure, many variables go into strength-of-schedule and it will fluctuate from one season to the next. No one stat holds all the answers. But as far as metrics are concerned, strength-of-schedule provides a decent signal for future performance, especially for players on the extreme “easy” and “hard” ends of the spectrum. For instance, the QBs with the two easiest fantasy schedules on paper going into 2020 were Aaron Rodgers and Justin Herbert. Both players went on to wildly outperform their ADP.
Tua is only rostered in 47.8% of ESPN leagues currently. He should be drafted in all standard leagues. This doesn’t mean go out and take him in the 3rd round, but instead consider him as a next-to-last-round snag that you can pair with a veteran with a higher floor, a la Matt Stafford or Tom Brady. I wouldn’t recommend taking the chance that he’ll be available on waivers. The easy matchups are spaced rather evenly throughout the season, including the fantasy playoffs. Whoever owns Tua is liable to hang on to him for the whole season.