Finsmagic: The Dynasty Implications of the Dolphins signing Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ken Kelly

The Miami Dolphins have been looking for a long-term option at quarterback since Dan Marino was at the helm for seventeen seasons from 1983 to 1999. Since then, they’ve trotted out the likes of Jay Fiedler, AJ Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Joey Harrington, Cleo Lemon, Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, Matt Moore, Ryan Tannehill and Jay Cutler, while still failing to find a true long-term answer. It’s only fitting they’d find yet another bridge quarterback after their latest failure and as a result, they signed the enigmatic Ryan Fitzpatrick to presumably keep the seat warm in 2019. The trade has some dynasty impact, so let’s take a look at the players affected by the signing.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB MIA

The ultimate nomad, Fitzpatrick will now join his seventh NFL team after stops with the Rams, Bengals, Bills, Titans, Texans, Jets, and Bucs. Over his 13 seasons, the 36-year old has amassed a respectable 29,357 passing yards, 190 touchdown passes and 148 interceptions in 140 career games. In Miami, he’s likely going to be asked to be the starter unless the Dolphins find a way to get a quarterback who’s ready to start in the upcoming NFL Draft. At this point, that’s starting to look unlikely unless they want to trade up.

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Fitzpatrick has long been known for both hot and cold streaks. In fact, he posted four 400-yard games last season in relief of Jameis Winston, including three in a row to start the season. The magic didn’t last, though. Fitzpatrick was only able to throw six touchdowns and was intercepted eight times during the final five games of a six-game losing streak that resulted in him being benched in favor of Winston.

In dynasty leagues, Fitzpatrick should be looked at as a QB2 for contending teams. He’s combustible, though. For every game that features a Fitzmagical performance, there’s a clunker waiting right around the corner.

Buyer beware.

Luke Falk and Jake Rudock, QBs MIA

At this point, this is who the Dolphins have as their quarterbacks of the future. While either or both of them could have a chance in the future, this pair isn’t exactly making Bill Belichick or Tom Brady think about retiring any time soon. Chances are the Dolphins find someone else to truly groom in an effort to take the long-term helm (again) of the franchise.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB NO

It was surprising on some levels to see Bridgewater pass on the opportunity to be an NFL starter and instead go back to backup duties in New Orleans. Realistically, that likely tells you all you need to know about where these two franchises are at the moment. Bridgewater likely believed the Dolphins would still look at drafting a quarterback this year and felt safer just going back with the Saints and hopefully becoming the successor to Drew Brees, eventually. It’s a tough break for dynasty owners as Bridgewater is a really tough hold in anything but deeper leagues. Expect his ADP to dip after he returned to New Orleans.


Kenny Stills, WR MIA

It’s hard to believe, but Stills has already put in four seasons with the Dolphins. After a breakout 2017 campaign where he caught 58 passes for 847 yards and six touchdowns, Stills came back to earth with just 37 catches for 553 yards and six scores last season. While his career 16.0 yards per catch average is nothing to sneeze at, Stills has proven to be a boom or bust option. On the plus side, DeSean Jackson feasted while Ryan Fitzpatrick was his quarterback and his downfield approach could fit Stills perfectly. At this point, Stills is what he is – a player who is going to have some big games and a few stinkers now and then as well.  His ADP should remain fairly stable.

DeVante Parker, WR MIA

THIS is the year! Well, maybe not. Parker has become the new age Jonathan Stewart in dynasty leagues as owners continue to hold out hope he’ll make good on his talent, but it just hasn’t happened yet. The Dolphins surprisingly signed Parker to a two-year contract this off-season after years of disappointment culminating in last year’s 26-catch, 494-yard, three touchdown season. Over his four years in Miami, Parker has only been able to muster 163 catches for 2,217 yards and nine touchdowns – hardly the return the Dolphins had in mind when they took him in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. While Fitzpatrick’s arm gives hope to all in Miami, it’s really getting impossible to get too excited about Parker, regardless of who’s throwing to him.

Albert Wilson, WR MIA

Wilson was off to a good start last season before an untimely hip injury ended his year. He was still able to catch 26 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns in seven games, including a 6/155/2 performance against the Bears. Wilson has nice potential and at 26, seems to be a little undervalued in dynasty leagues. While he may not have the game breaking ability of some others on the roster, he could become a slot dynamo and PPR asset at a fairly reasonable cost.

Mike Gesicki, TE MIA

Gesicki was heralded as the next great tight end but his rookie season was very disappointing as he posted just 22 catches for 202 scoreless yards. It typically takes tight ends a few seasons to really blossom – let’s hope that happens here with Gesicki. Having Fitzpatrick could actually help his short-term value, though. Fitzpatrick doesn’t typically play favorites in the passing game and looks like an upgrade on what they had last season at the position.


Ryan Tannehill, QB TEN

The Dolphins have gone 23 consecutive seasons without a Pro Bowl quarterback, the longest such streak in the NFL. Tannehill was never healthy or productive enough to break that streak even though he’s in the top five in Miami franchise history in touchdowns, passing yards, passer rating and games started. He started off well by playing in all sixteen games his first four seasons, but multiple injuries have held him to just 24 games the past three years.

The Dolphins traded Tannehill to Tennessee and signed Fitzpatrick instead, telling you all you need to know about their confidence in his ability to stay healthy or win football games for them in the future. In Tennessee, Tannehill will slide in as the backup to the equally unhealthy Marcus Mariota and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get some starts this year. Still, he’s going to be a really tough hold in conventional, non 2QB or Superflex leagues.

Marcus Mariota, QB TEN

After a fantastic Sophomore season where he threw for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns and just nine interceptions, Mariota has been fairly pedestrian. In fact, he’s only been able to produce 24 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in 29 games since that magical season. Much like Tannehill, Mariota has struggled to stay on the field, unable to finish any of his first four professional seasons. Bringing in a very capable backup in Tannehill puts Mariota clearly in the “what have you done for me lately” category of quarterbacks who are surely on notice going into next year. While still the unquestioned starter, the leash just got shorter.



ken kelly