Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel on WR Jaylen Waddle: 'I would start him in fantasy'

Most of the focus in Miami following the hiring of new coach Mike McDaniel has surrounded quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, but there are, in fact, other key pieces of the Dolphins offense to discuss.

Receiver Jaylen Waddle set a rookie record with 104 catches in 2021 and is set up for a massive role in McDaniel's system.

Joining "The Dan Le Batard Show," the new coach said he expects Waddle's production to remain high.

"I talked with him [the day after being hired], and he understands his leadership role on this team," McDaniel said, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. "The easiest way to get yards is to give it to a really talented player. I would start him in fantasy."

Waddle generated 1,015 yards and six TDs on his 104 catches as a rookie, with much of his production coming on short passes. The Dolphins rarely used Waddle's speed deep, targeting him 13 times on passes of 20-plus air yards, with just four completions, per Next Gen Stats. Utilizing his deep speed could be an added element McDaniel could add to the table.

McDaniel could also attempt to use Waddle as a Deebo Samuel-type player, getting the receiver the ball with a bevy of handoffs. Waddle earned just two rushes for three yards with a TD in 2021.

While the counting numbers for Waddle were solid in his rookie campaign, there is plenty of room for the 23-year-old to grow. McDaniel's offense feels like the perfect fit for Waddle to make an even bigger leap in 2022.

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