The Miami Dolphins are an intriguing team to monitor going into this fantasy football season. Ryan Tannehill, the forgotten first-round member of the infamous quarterback class of 2012, showed glimpses of potential last season. When the dust settled, he actually threw for more yards than both Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson despite having minimal weapons on offense.
That changed in the offseason. The brain trusts in Miami deemed it a necessity to surround their young quarterback with weapons, so they went shopping. The Dolphins landed arguably the offseason darling when signing former Pittsburg Steeler wide receiver Mike Wallace. Of lesser glitz but just as important, the Dolphins grabbed a security valve for Tannehill in the form of former New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller. Finally, the Dolphins signed former St. Louis Rams wide receiver Brandon Gibson.
The Dolphins also took a passive position when it came to running back Reggie Bush, who would inevitably depart Miami to join the Detroit Lions. They instead placed their trust in second-year running back Lamar Miller.
Considering the success Tannehill had minus significant weapons on offense, it’s impossible for fantasy GMs to not be – at the very least – somewhat interested.
On Saturday night, Tannehill’s stock only went up after a solid effort versus the Houston Texans. In less than one half of football played, Tannehill went 10-for-15 with 141 yards and a touchdown.
Despite another impressive outing by Tannehill and performance by the Dolphins’ offense, Keller was carted off the field after what appears to be a serious leg injury in the second quarter.
Dolphin fans did get to see the first of what they hope to be many Tannehill-to-Wallace touchdown connections. Wallace caught three balls for 58 yards and the score.
Miller also scored for the Dolphins, finishing the night with rather pedestrian numbers: five rushes for 10 yards. However, he was once again used in the passing game, upping his stock in PPR leagues.
On the Texans’ side of the football, quarterback Matt Schaub recovered from a tough start to finish 8-of-11 for 92 yards, including a touchdown strike to tight end Owen Daniels.
Texans rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins caught two balls on the night for 22 yards before leaving the game in the second quarter with an apparent head injury.
Injuries have been a big part of preseason games across the NFL. Impact players have been lost for days, weeks, a couple months and in some cases the entire season. On Saturday night, the entire Miami fan base has to be holding their breaths awaiting the results of a scheduled Keller MRI.
As stated, he may not be the highest-profile offseason acquisition, but it could be argued that he is the most important. Early indications backed by video say the news won’t be good for the Dolphins. If they lose Keller for any significant amount of time, it will be a crushing blow to the young offense.