• Fins cut Grimes Fins cut Grimes The Fins release CB Brent Grimes, freeing $6.5 million in cap space
  • Mario Williams signed Mario Williams signed DE Mario Williams signs a 2 years deal with the Fins
  • Fins trade for CB Maxwell Fins trade for CB Maxwell Fins swap 1st round picks with the Eagles for CB Maxwell and LB Alonso
  • Adam Gase hired Adam Gase hired Coach Gase was hired as head coach of the Dolphins


Miami Dolphins Fantasy Watch

TE Dustin Keller could be a fantasy steal in the later rounds

Fantasy football will be here before you know it. So I thought I would look at how the Miami Dolphins rate out in terms of fantasy football numbers.

QB – There will be no bigger question in the Miami Dolphins training camp this year than if Ryan Tannehill can take the next step. Last year, Tannehill had a forgettable season from a fantasy standpoint. (12 TDs, only one game over 300 yards.)

Tannehill has the intangibles. He threw for more yards than RGIII or Russell Wilson last year, and he had a better completion percentage than Andrew Luck. With the added pieces now in place (Wallace, Keller, Gibson) Tannehill is poised for a break out year.

Both Gibson and Keller will be much better red-zone threats than what Tannehill had last year. And with the departure of Reggie Bush, I think you will see Miami throw the ball even more this season.

Right now, in terms of fantasy value, I see him as a late round, backup QB. If you have akeeper league, I’d certainly think he would be worth the investment of a mid-round pick.

<em>Fantasy prediction – 22TDs, 3600 yards.

RBs – Lamar Miller is currently listed as the starter. He has the explosiveness that Philbin likes, and is a receiving threat out of the backfield. But I think Miami will continue to use Daniel Thomas in short yardage, goal line situations, hurting Miller’s fantasy production a little.

I also think that with the additional offensive receiving weapons, Miami will tend to throw more now than they did last season…even if they add FB Vonta Leach.

Fantasy value-wise, I think Lamar will start off in most leagues as a secondary RB or even a backup. Last year, Bush had 8 total TDs and two games over 100 yards rushing. I could see Miller getting comparable numbers this year.

Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee will battle for playing time. I mentioned Thomas as the goal line guy. He had 4 TDs on 91 carries last year. But I don’t see either as little more than backup, depth chart guys at best unless Miller struggles or is hurt.

WRs – Much has been made about the Mike Wallace acquisition. It terms of overall value to the Fins, Wallace will let Miami open it up offensively. They will be able to be much more creative on offense as Wallace’s speed will keep defenses honest.

But in terms of fantasy value, I wouldn’t make Wallace the first receiver you take. I do not think he will come close to putting up the numbers of an AJ Green or Calvin Johnson.

Wallace is a speed threat more so than a red-zone threat, and will have his share of drops. While I think he’ll post better numbers than he did last year, (8 TDs and 2 games over 100 yards) I don’t think his fantasy numbers will justify taking him before the 3rd or 4th round.

Brandon Gibson’s numbers last year (5 TDs and 1 game over 100 yards) will justify taking a late round flier on him. I think he could post similar numbers this season. Especially because he will be more of a red-zone threat than Hartline.

Speaking of Hartline, I think his fantasy numbers will drop overall. With Wallace, Keller, and Gibson getting balls thrown their way, Hartline won’t be targeted 131 times like he was last year. But he also won’t be the defense’s primary focus on pass defense. So he may find himself in the end-zone a few more times.

All in all, I think Hartline, like Gibson, will garner some late round attention. Both would be good receivers to keep on your depth chart and plug in on a bye week or in case of an injury.

Although Armon Binns probably won’t get drafted, keep an eye on him in the early weeks of the season. He is impressing the coaching staff and could find his way onto the field as the season unfolds.

TEs – Dustin Keller, in my opinion, could be poised for a breakout year. Last year he had over 500 yards receiving, 5 TDs and 6 receptions of over 20 yards…and that is only in 8 games. (With Mark “Butt-fumble” Sanchez throwing to him.)

The two years before that, he had over 1500 yards and 10 TDs…again with Sanchez at QB.

Imagine what he could do this year?

Keller will be a primary red-zone threat for Tannehill. Last year, Tannehill targeted the TE position over 100 times for 7 TDs between Anthony Fasano and Charles Clay. Keller is an upgrade over both.

If Keller returns to full health, (there is currently no reason to believe he cannot), I think he would make a HUGE steal in the later rounds. He won’t be the first TE taken, but with TEs like Gronk having injury concerns, Hernandez with legal problems, Gonzalez getting long in the tooth, etc, I could see Keller sneaking up into the bottom of the mid-rounds.

As for Clay, Egnew, and Sims, I think all three will be non-factors for fantasy football.

K – The kicker is the biggest position battle with the Dolphins have so far. But to be honest, I think it is Sturgis to lose. That being said, I’d be surprised if he even gets drafted. At some point, someone may grab him later on as a free agent if they find themselves needing a kicker.

Def/ST – Miami was 27th last year in interceptions, and had zero defensive TDs. With the addition of Grimes, Ellerbe, and Wheeler, that should change some. Especially with the problems facing other teams in the AFC East.

Thigpen had a punt return and a kick return for TDs, and that should improve this year and he gains experience.

But despite the improvements, I do not think Miami is a top 10 defense from a fantasy standpoint. If your league counts sacks and forced fumbles, then they might be a top 12-15 squad.

Someone will most likely pick them up because they are a decent defense overall, but do not expect much in the way of fantasy stats. Certainly not on the level of the Seahawks or the 49ers.

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James Lancaster

James Lancaster

When not fighting crime or sleeping, James enjoys working out, playing with his K9 partner and his kids, participating in his "On The Fin Side" radio show, and working on this website.
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