No team in the NFL made more noise this offseason than the Miami Dolphins. As a devoted Buffalo Bills fan, this displeases me very much so. Still, all of these free agent acquisitions and more suddenly make the Dolphins in interesting team to talk about when discussing Fantasy Football relevance. That’s right, next up as part of Fantasy 32, the Miami Dolphins.
Sophomore signal caller Ryan Tannehill must be incredibly excited to get to work this season. Coming off of a decent rookie campaign in which he threw for 3,294 yards and 12 scores, Tannehill has some new toys to play with. Obviously, the biggest acquisition this season was the free agent signing of wideout Mike Wallace. He’ll be Tannehill’s big play, down the field guy, who can stretch defenses. Tannehill has a strong enough arm to hit the speedy Wallace downfield, and should benefit greatly from his presence. Tannehill could take a big step forward this season, but he needs to improve away from home. Last season, he sported a quarterback rating of 70.7 with eight interceptions to four touchdowns. After being highly overlooked as part of a dominating rookie class of quarterbacks, Tannehill has a great opportunity to make a name for himself, but I still wouldn’t target him in fantasy as anything more than a quarterback number two or bye week fill-in.
Sleeper city at the running back position in Miami. With Reggie Bush off to Detroit, there is plenty of opportunity for one of the younger guys to earn the starting gig. Many have former Miami Hurricane Lamar Miller as a huge sleeper heading into the season, seeing as he is likely the guy who gets the job. He’ll likely get a ton of touches, holds a ton of speed and has one of, if not the most favorable schedule among fantasy running backs. Playing division rivals such as the Bills and Jets twice, also known as two of the worst rush defenses in football, Miller has four awesome matchups just right there alone. However, as much as I like Miller this season, another explosive back that played college ball around town may also be in the mix. The team selected Mike Gillislee from Florida in April’s draft. I loved watching this kid in college last season. He runs extremely hard, has a strong skill-set, can block well and head coach Joe Philbin hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Gillislee being named the starter.
Obviously, we already dove into the addition of Mike Wallace. He is one of the fastest players in all of football and should give opposing secondaries constant headaches. However, not only will he obviously boost the value of Tannehill, but I believe fellow receiver Brain Hartline will benefit from Wallace’s presence. Last season, Hartline was Miami’s number one wideout on the depth chart, and opposing defenses knew that coming into games. Still, Hartline finished with over 1,000 yards, but only scored once. The presence of Wallace will keep defender’s eyes fixed upon him, allowing Hartline, a strong route-runner with good hands, to sneak his way into the open and see more opportunity. Also, the team brought in former Jets tight end Dustin Keller, who appeared to be on the rise before getting hurt. Keller is a big guy with soft hands, plays a very physical game and should be a red zone target for Tannehill early and often. Since the 2009 season, Keller’s stats have improved each year, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fairs in Miami, assuming he can stay healthy.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.