After an already scary scene last week, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, once again, experienced a frightening hit that drove his head into the turf during the second quarter of the Week 4 Thursday Night Football game which led to him being immediately transported to a local hospital. We unfortunately learned the clinical definition of “fencing response” as we were forced to endure a series of unfortunate (and unnecessary) replays showing us the hit and the cramping of Tua’s fingers, an immediate result of the neurological trauma. While he was released from the hospital and left Cincinnati with the team, this new injury, along with his already existing neck and back injuries, will likely keep him out for the foreseeable future. Our thoughts are with Tua for a speedy recovery.

While there are no immediate indications as to how long Tua will miss, Teddy Bridgewater will take over as the Dolphins’ starter in his absence. Bridgewater is not exactly known as an accurate downfield passer (finishing 32 in deep ball completion percentage in 2021), but he is accurate in short yardage situations. Last season with the Broncos, Bridgewater ranked 13th in true completion percentage, and he was even better in the red zone, ranking 6th in red zone completion percentage. We may not get the long bombs that we have seen Tua throw so far this season, but Bridgewater fits well into Mike McDaniel’s West Coast system that is based on intermediate passes and gaining yards after the catch (YAC). (You can find out more about Miami’s coaching scheme here.)



How does Teddy Bridgewater affect the fantasy value of the Dolphins skill players?

Tyreek Hill, WR

Despite Hill ranking third in the league in deep catches this season, his average depth of target is only 9.2 yards, 61st in the league. Hill has been able to make big plays with his superhuman ability to gain yards after the catch, and he should be able to continue this with Bridgewater under center. On the season, Hill ranks fourth in YAC with 109 yards, so if Bridgewater can find him in the intermediate part of the field, Hill should be able to take care of the rest. He may not have the top five potential he has exhibited so far with Tua, but he is still very much a WR1 option.

Jaylen Waddle, WR

If Tyreek Hill is a superhuman with his YAC ability, then Jaylen Waddle is an extraterrestrial. He actually ranks higher than Hill at first in the league with 143 yards. The question surrounding Waddle’s fantasy value is will Bridgewater give Waddle as many looks as Tua did. Waddle and Tua were college teammates, coming into the league with a built-in rapport that many other quarterbacks don’t have with their young receivers, giving him upside. After Bridgewater entered the game, Waddle was only targeted once in the second half in favor of Hill and Chase Edmonds. This is worrisome from a fantasy standpoint because, while there is no shortage of talent, you have to earn targets to get fantasy points. Without these targets, Waddle falls into WR2 territory.

Raheem Mostert, RB

Mostert has taken over as Miami’s lead back, seeing nearly 68% of the carries in Week 4, and even with a change of quarterback, it’s likely he’s unaffected. The only thing that may change is an increase in volume if McDaniel treats Bridgewater as more of a game manager type. Other than that, expect Mostert’s fantasy value to remain much the same.

Chase Edmonds, RB

After being heralded as Miami’s RB1 going into the season, Chase Edmonds has slid into a complementary role, seeing only five carries and three targets against the Bengals. You wouldn’t know if by looking at his stat line, though, so the touches he’s getting are high value opportunities. We saw Bridgewater utilize Edmonds in the red zone, and if he becomes Teddy’s security blanket over the next few weeks, he could become a startable flex option. 

Mike Gesicki, TE

Mike Gesicki has been invisible through the first part of the season, seeing only 10 targets through four games, but that could change with Bridgewater. Last season with the Broncos, Bridgewater’s average yards per attempt was only 7.2, and those intermediate routes are Gesicki’s bread and butter. Look for Bridgewater to utilize Gesicki to open up the deep routes for Hill and Waddle. While he’s not startable in fantasy leagues yet, he could become a streaming option over the next few weeks.