If you believe in Tua Tagovailoa, then you believe the Dolphins are close to championship-caliber. Mike McDaniel is from the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree and, if you compare this offense to the NFC Champion 49ers, there are a lot of similar pieces in place. 

Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are your Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Terron Armstead is your anchor at LT like Trent Williams. Alec Ingold is the Kyle Juszczyk. And the combined RB room wasn’t far off from Christian McCaffrey numbers. Maybe if they find their own version of George Kittle and bolster the line some, they could compete in 2024? 

Let’s take a look at the depth chart, contracts, and salary cap from both an NFL and fantasy football standpoint to see how they can get that done!

*The salary cap numbers referenced in this article come courtesy of our friends over at Spotrac.com*

Fantasy Football Depth Chart: Miami Dolphins


Tua Tagovailoa

Mike White

Skylar Thompson

Running Back

Raheem Mostert

Jeff Wilson

Chris Brooks

Running Back

De'Von Achane

Salvon Ahmed


Wide Receiver

Tyreek Hill

Cedrick Wilson

Robbie Chosen

Wide Receiver

Jaylen Waddle

River Cracraft

Chase Claypool

Wide Receiver

Braxton Berrios

Erik Ezukanma


Tight End

Durham Smythe

Julian Hill

Tyler Kroft


Alec Ingold


 White = unrestricted free agent

Green = role is safe

Yellow = role could be in jeopardy

Red = could be traded or released




Tua TagovailoaTua is coming off a year where he set career highs in passing yards, touchdowns, and completion percentage. There were health concerns coming in, but he played every single game. Now he needs to get paid. Joe Burrow set the market with the biggest quarterback contract ever, but Burrow has also won a handful of playoff games and an AFC conference championship. 

Dak Prescott is also poised to land a big contract and, after posting his statistical best season, he could be looking at numbers in the Burrow range (not because he’s as good as Burrow but because of a bump in the salary cap). The way I look at it is this - these guys don’t grow on trees. Tua not only knows the system, but he looks good in it. He’s bought in. Winning in the playoffs is hard and winning the Super Bowl is harder. 

It might not always go his way but he’s capable of beating the Bills, Ravens, Bengals, Chiefs etc. Whatever Dak Prescott gets, Tua is certainly deserving of that. And, if you have to set the QB market to lock Tua up, maybe you just do it. Tua is a franchise-caliber NFL quarterback. 

Mike WhiteThey signed Mike White specifically for injury concerns with Tua after concussions in 2022. Those concerns never arose as Tua played the entire year. Might as well hang onto White as a serviceable backup.

Skylar ThompsonThe relatively new “emergency third QB rule” makes it pretty easy to retain Thompson. He’s on a super affordable seventh round pick contract and they can have him available on game days without him counting against the gameday roster. 

DOLPHINS QB FREE AGENCY TAKE: The Dolphins don’t need to add anyone at quarterback in free agency - the only question is whether they want to carry two quarterbacks or three. 



Running Back

Raheem MostertMike McDaniel has liked Raheem Mostert going back to his time in San Francisco. And Mostert has a history of explosive plays so him making big plays was always on the table. Did we expect him to sore 21 touchdowns which is more than double his career high? Maybe not quite that many. But Mostert proved he can still play at a high level in this league at 31 and he’s once again under contract. He should absolutely continue to be in the mix in 2024, if not remain the starter.

De’Von Achane: The Dolphins like Mostert and his elite speed/elusiveness so much that they went out and got another one. In fact, they may have gotten something that turns out even better. Achane’s 4.32 forty-yard dash is literally 100th percentile for the position per Player Profiler, who lists his best comparable player as homerun hitter Chris Johnson

The question at this stage is not “if” Achane will be a fantasy football superstar but when. The only thing in his way is a rotation with Mostert who will turn 32 this April. Will be tough to trade for him in your dynasty leagues giving how exciting he is but sometimes you just have to buy high.

Jeff WilsonJeff Wilson is actually set to have the highest cap hit of any Dolphins running back in 2024 which is impressive considering it’s only $3.78 million. Wilson battled injury and even ended up a healthy scratch at times which means his roster spot isn’t necessarily safe. In fact, they are incredibly tight on cap space so he could easily be cut for the $3 million they would have in savings. 

Salvon AhmedAhmed did his job, helping to usher the Dolphins through the rebuild years but, as an unrestricted free agent this year, it seems unlikely he’s back. 

Chris BrooksLike many undrafted free agents, Chris Brooks could be released with very little dead cap if they choose to do so. He did contribute on four different special teams units this year which is the best argument for retaining him. If they were to move on from Jeff Wilson, that would help make his case. 

Alec Ingold: Thought technically a fullback, he’s absolutely a key cog in this offense. Mike McDaniel obviously came over from the San Francisco 49ers and he immediately tapped Ingold to operate in that Kyle Juszczyk role. Ingold actually played nearly 38% of the offensive snaps this year on top of contributing on special teams so his roster spot is safe. 

DOLPHINS RB FREE AGENCY TAKE: The Dolphins don’t need to do anything here honestly if they don’t want it. If they are really tight for cash after restructures and decide that they would rather have the $3 million than Jeff Wilson, they would either bring in someone on a very cheap deal or they’d add a guy through the draft. 

The only question is how the work will be split among Raheem Mostert and De’Vone Achane, but both can be viable in your fantasy leagues - with Raheem Mostert healthy as the starter over Weeks 3, 4, and 5, Achane totaled 518 yards and seven touchdowns. In three games.


Wide Receiver

Tyreek HillTyreek Hill is incredible and he’s under contract for three more years. Absolute star for fantasy football. He has said openly stated that he plans to retire after he finishes this contract but that would be after the 2025 season so it doesn’t concern us. The only concerns for your dynasty leagues stem from his off the field issues where he seems to always find himself in the headlines somehow. But, like Antonio Brown, he’s just too good at football to prevent you from drafting and starting him. 

Jaylen WaddleJaylen Waddle is under contract for this year and, if they don’t extend him, they will at least pick up his fifth-year option for 2025. The 25-year-old Waddle to me is one of the best buys right now in your dynasty league. Even though Tyreek Hill is better right now, he does turn 30 in less than a month. 

And the benefit of Mike McDaniel converting Waddle from a low aDot slot guy in Brian Flores’s system to a high aDot outside WR in the new system unleashes a new long-term level of upside for Waddle. He had three straight 1,000+ yard seasons to start his career but just wait until 140 target Waddle and double digit aDot Waddle converge either on the Dolphins or another team. That is going to be a special fantasy season. 

Braxton BerriosAfter the top two wide receivers the Dolphins used an interesting deployment. Braxton Berrios was the primary slot guy but he also came out of the game in favor of fullback Alec Ingold for two WR sets. If one of Tyreek or Waddle got hurt, the role for Berrios actually didn’t change - Cedrick Wilson stepped up on the outside. 

Berrios is an unrestricted free agent so they will need to decide whether to bring him back or not. On one hand, there might be a better slot WR out there but, on the other, Berrios returned virtually every punt and kick for the team this season which is valuable. I think there’s a good chance they bring him back but, because of the aforementioned usage, his ceiling in fantasy football will always be capped. 

Cedrick WilsonWhen you look back at the production, Cedrick Wilson probably didn’t live up to the contract they gave him coming off of the Cowboys. They were able to restructure his contract to free up cap space and make him an unrestricted free agent this year by concerting the last year of his deal into a void year. To me that signals pretty clearly that Wilson will not be back. 

River CracraftAnother holdover from McDaniel's days with the 49ers, Cracraft is a fine depth piece on the roster but doesn't have much upside in your fantasy leagues. In six career seasons he has 25 catches so he's more of your journeymen special teamer. 

Erik EzukanmaThis has been a strange situation. Ezukanma had suffered a neck injury in college at Texas Tech that was later re-aggravated with the Dolphins. Because the original injury was not sustained in the NFL, he was forced to be placed on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list. The rules regarding the list are far more complicated than the IR and he ended up not being cleared to play in time to be active this year, per WRs coach Wes Welker

He expressed his frustrations about this by tweeting that he wants to play football. There was some hype about what he can do both on offense and on special teams so I’m expecting him to be with the team in 2024, assuming he’s healthy. The fourth-round pick has two years left on his rookie deal.

Robbie ChosenChosen at this stage is just a field stretcher. The Dolphins were able to cut him and add him to the practice squad, but he never really did much for Miami. I don’t expect him back in 2024.

Chase ClaypoolClaypool and Chosen fall into the same category at this stage. They have flashed talent in the past. And teams might continue trying to chase that to see if they can “fix them”. But character concerns could eventually lead both guys out of the league if they don’t catch on somewhere soon.

DOLPHINS WR FREE AGENCY TAKE: This team uses the fullback so often that having a high end WR3 really isn’t a huge priority. There’s really no need to go after someone like Tee Higgins or Calvin Ridley if that means either they or Jaylen Waddle will be playing part time snaps. They need someone to operate out of the slot. And they need a next man up if either Tyreek Hill or Jaylen Waddle go down. Bonus points if they return punts/kicks. Maybe they bring back Braxton Berrios and/or Cedrick Wilson. But here are some other options. 

POSSIBLE FREE AGENT OPTIONS: Curtis Samuel, Tyler Boyd, Laviska Shenault, Richie James, Ray-Ray McCloud, Jamal Agnew


Tight End

Durham SmytheSmythe is a good blocking tight end, no question. But he’s not exactly a huge threat in the passing game. Despite playing a huge snap share, he only had one five catch game on the year. In fact, he had a three-game stretch at one point playing 80-90% of the snaps where he didn’t catch a pass. Blocking is crucial to the scheme that the Dolphins and 49ers run which is they opted for Smythe over Gesicki, but this team could us a two-way tight end. Defenses are not threatened by Durham Smythe.

Julian HillKudos to Hill for making the roster as an undrafted free agent but I would be shocked if he were to vault his way to the top of the depth chart this offseason. Crazier things could happen, and he could have some relevancy if they don’t upgrade and Smythe gets hurt, but his primary job was to play special teams and be the backup. 

Tyler KroftKroft is a primary blocking tight end and was fairly scarcely used, even when healthy. He’s an unrestricted free agent and I expect the Dolphins to upgrade the top end of this depth chart meaning letting him walk at the back end.

DOLPHINS TE FREE AGENCY TAKE: This is where I think the Dolphins can take this offense to the next level. The scheme was born from the 49ers offense which uses George Kittle as a two-way tight end with Charlie Woerner as a second blocking tight end. Durham Smythe is best in that Woerner role. They SHOULD have grabbed Dalton Schultz last offseason, but Demeco Ryans and Bobby Slowik (also from the Shanahan coaching tree) grabbed him first. 

If the Texans don’t extend Schultz, that should be priority #1 as he already has a good handle on this type of scheme. The top options for what they want to do would be Dalton Schultz and Hunter Henry as they are both good blockers with capable hands. Guys like Gerald Everett and Mike Gesicki simply aren’t good enough blockers for this scheme so, after Schultz and Henry, they’d be looking at reclamation projects.

POSSIBLE FREE AGENT OPTIONS: Dalton Schultz, Hunter Henry, Noah Fant, Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant


NFL Free Agency Previews

Discover our other breakdowns for the rest of the league ahead of 2024 NFL free agency: