Dolphins 2021 NFL Preview: Miami 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Here’s The Game Day’s Miami Dolphins 2021 NFL Preview: 2020 Recap, Team 2021 Outlook, 2021 Betting Tips and 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook. Be sure to check out more of our preseason NFL coverage here.

Dolphins 2021 NFL Preview: Miami 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Fantasy Football & Betting

Miami Dolphins 2020 Recap

  • Final record: 10-6 (5-3 Home / 5-3 Away)
  • Division regular-season finish: 2nd in AFC East
  • Result: Did not qualify for playoffs

The rebuilding Dolphins took a huge step forward in Brian Flores‘ second year at the helm, doubling their win total from 2019 and narrowly missing the playoffs. Miami started 1-3, then proceeded to rip off a five-game winning streak and go 9-3 the rest of the way. The Dolphins showed significant improvement on both sides of the ball, scoring 98 more points on offense and allowing 156 fewer points on defense compared to the previous year.

A big reason for the midseason turnaround was the arrival of rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who supplanted Ryan Fitzpatrick as the team’s starter. The fifth overall selection of the 2020 NFL Draft held his own, putting together a solid debut campaign. Overall, 2020 went about as well as the Dolphins could have hoped for, paving the way for a promising 2021.

Dolphins 2021 Offseason Departures

  • Matt Breida, RB (Bills)
  • Julien Davenport, OT (Colts)
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB (Football Team)
  • Davon Godchaux, DT (Patriots)
  • Kamu Grugier-Hill, LB (Texans)
  • Matt Haack, P (Bills)
  • Ted Karras, C (Patriots)
  • Shaq Lawson, LB (Texans)
  • Kyle Van Noy, LB (Patriots)
  • Bobby McCain, S (Football Team)
  • Chan Gailey, OC (Retired)

Dolphins 2021 Free-Agency/Offseason Additions

  • Will Fuller, WR
  • Jacoby Brissett, QB
  • Malcolm Brown, RB
  • Adam Butler, DT
  • Cethan Carter, TE
  • Justin Coleman, CB
  • Robert Foster, WR
  • John Jenkins, DT
  • Benardrick McKinney, LB
  • Brennan Scarlett, LB
  • Duke Riley, LB
  • Matt Skura, C
  • Michael Palardy, P
  • Jason McCourty, CB

Dolphins 2021 NFL Draft Picks

  • Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama (Round 1, Pick #6 Overall)
  • Jaelan Phillips, DE, University of Miami (Round 1, Pick #18 Overall)
  • Jevon Holland, S, Oregon (Round 2, Pick #36 Overall)
  • Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame (Round 2, Pick #42 Overall)
  • Hunter Long, TE, Boston College (Round 3, Pick #81 Overall)
  • Larnel Coleman, OT, Massachusetts (Round 7, Pick #231 Overall)
  • Gerrid Doaks, RB, Cincinnati (Round 7, Pick #244 Overall)

Miami Dolphins 2021 Outlook

After making great strides in 2020, the Dolphins expect to be in the playoff hunt again this year. They made significant personnel upgrades through free agency, drafted well, and are banking on continued improvement from Tua Tagovailoa in his sophomore season.

At the very least, Miami’s busy offseason ensures that Tagovailoa will have better weapons than he did last year. With Will Fuller and former college teammate Jaylen Waddle on board — and veterans Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns returning from opting out of 2020 — he’ll be able to spread the ball around more. Tagovailoa can also continue to lean on tight end Mike Gesicki, with whom he built a great rapport down the stretch.

While the Dolphins’ passing game has improved, they struggled to run the ball effectively last year and need more from the ground game. Myles Gaskin showed potential in his first season as a starter last year and headed into training camp as the lead back. He’ll also have help from Malcolm Brown, who was part of the Rams’ formidable running attack last year, as well as Salvon Ahmed, who made waves last year as an undrafted rookie with 85- and 122-yard rushing performances, as well as some nifty receiving skills.

Miami will also look to remain strong on defense after allowing the NFL’s sixth-fewest points per game last year. Defense is Brian Flores‘ specialty, and the Dolphins should once again be one of the best-coached teams in this regard.

Dolphins 2021 NFL Preview: Miami 2020 Recap, 2021 Team Outlook For Fantasy Football Betting

Miami must improve its run game in order to strengthen its offense (Image: USA Today).

Miami Dolphins 2021 Fantasy Football Preview

With more weapons than last year and some NFL experience under his belt, Tua Tagovailoa should emerge as one of the better quarterbacks in fantasy football. DeVante Parker should also benefit from additional familiarity with him, although he’ll likely lose targets to both Will Fuller and Jaylen Waddle. Mike Gesicki could emerge as a top fantasy performer at tight end if he carries over his strong second half from last year.

While Myles Gaskin isn’t an elite tailback by any means, he should slot in as a solid RB2 based on workload alone. He may end up splitting carries with Malcolm Brown and Ahmed, however, especially if he gets off to a slow start.

Miami’s defense should continue to be one of the top units in fantasy. And don’t forget about Jason Sanders, who was one of fantasy football’s best kickers last year. Given the Dolphins’ improvements on offense, he’ll once again be an elite kicking option.

Miami Dolphins 2021 NFL Futures Bet Tips

Miami Dolphins Make Playoffs (+125)

As already detailed, the Dolphins did some prudent offseason shopping that addressed some of their few weaknesses from last season. Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller will prove a major upgrade to the receiving corps and facilitate a big leap for Tua Tagovailoa. The defense will again be a strength, and Brian Flores has progressively molded this team into a mentally tough unit that will do enough to qualify for the postseason as a wild card.

Miami Dolphins Finish Second in AFC East (+180)

The Bills are rightfully the odds-on favorite to repeat as division champs, but I believe the Dolphins will hold firm in their No. 2 spot from last season and keep the Patriots and Jets at bay. New York is still a work in progress, while New England has a major question mark at quarterback. Meanwhile, Miami upgraded enough on both sides of the ball to counter their moves and build on a successful 2020.

Miami Dolphins Win Over 9.5 Games (+110)

Coming off a 10-win season, the Dolphins could easily win double-digit games again thanks to their manifold improvements this offseason, especially with an extra game on the schedule. The AFC East will be tougher than it was last year, but Miami is equipped to hold its own.

Miami Dolphins Win Total Over/Under, odds and lines courtesy of BetMGM. BetMGM has a welcome offer for a Risk-Free Bet of up to $600. Use promo code THEGAMEDAY or click here to sign up for a new account.


Juan Carlos Blanco

Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports since 1997 and actively writing about the fantasy sports and sports betting industries since 2015 for multiple websites. He has covered a wide variety of professional sports leagues, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, CFL, Arena Football League, Alliance of American Football, XFL, NPB and KBO. He was the recipient of the FSWA's 2016 Newcomer of the Year award for his work with RotoWire.

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