Former Houston Texans first-round pick Will Fuller began a breakout season as Houston’s true No. 1 in 2020, the first season without DeAndre Hopkins. He has agreed to take his services to South Beach to catch passes from Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The deal is believed to be a one-year, $10 million contract, which allows Fuller to set himself up for a run at more money in 2022. (Keep that in mind for full-retention keeper/dynasty formats.)
In 11 games last year, Fuller posted eight touchdowns. An extrapolated total of 77 receptions for 1,278 was within reach prior to being suspended for the final five games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs. He will miss Week 1 in the upcoming season.
Miami provides a so-so situation for Fuller. While Tagovailoa was a winner as a rookie, his presence certainly didn’t help the receiving corps, and he’s no Deshaun Watson. The Dolphins were focused on putting more talent around him, and this could be the most talented top three of any receiving corps in the NFL right now.
DeVante Parker took some time to come along but established himself as a WR1 in 2019. He had great chemistry with Ryan Fitzpatrick but took a step backward during Tua’s stint as the starter in 2020. The talent is there, for sure, so it may come down to a more traditional offseason worth of working together.
WR Preston Williams (foot) has missed the second half of each of his first two seasons but has scored seven touchdowns in 16 pro games. He underwent surgery in November and should be fine in time for fantasy purposes.
Tight end Mike Gesicki is a talented pass-catching option, too, and there’s going to be an issue at times of not enough footballs to go around. Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s system hasn’t been particularly favorable for tight ends throughout its history, but if Gailey is great at anything, it’s his ability to morph an offense to fit the talent.
Fantasy football outlook
With a litany of injuries on his rap sheet, and now a serious suspension concern looming for any future misstep, Fuller is one risky dude.
There shouldn’t be any argument over his talent being in the conversation of a No. 1 receiver, but he now will play one fewer game off the bat and has capped upside with Parker, Williams and Gesicki in the fold.
Then there’s the worry about Tua as a passer. He’s a great athlete, but we have yet to see enough to firmly say Tagovailoa is ready to take his aerial game to the next level. If you’re a believer in Tua, feel free to bump Fuller up a few notches. It really could go either way, so understand what degree of risk is being assumed.
The 2021 Dolphins will be an interesting bunch and could surprise in the passing game, but there are more issues here than desired when considering someone of Fuller’s talent. It would have been nice to see him land in a more favorable setting, but here we are …
Gamers have a shaky WR2 on their hands, and Fuller is more safely drafted as a third option. Chances are, though, drafters will be forced to spend market value if they want to roster him.