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Top Five 2013 Fantasy Football Players: Miami Dolphins

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Fantasy Football 2013: Top Five Miami Dolphins

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Many fantasy football owners may not realize the 2012 Miami Dolphins had a quarterback that approached 3,300 passing yards, a running back that got close to 1,000 yards on the ground along with more than 30 receptions and two wide receivers that had more than 60 receptions. Add a tight end that had more than 40 catches along with five touchdowns, and the Dolphins had a surprising amount of fantasy contributors even without an upper echelon option at any position.

Change was abound this offseason as the Dolphins look to establish themselves as a factor in the AFC East, most notably with the addition of wide receiver Mike Wallace in free agency. Last year’s top running back (Reggie Bush) signed with the Detroit Lions in free agency, and one of the 60-catch wide receivers from last season (Davone Bess) as well as the aforementioned tight end (Anthony Fasano) signed elsewhere too.

The Dolphins do have some intriguing fantasy options for this year that were on the team last season, including running back Lamar Miller and quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who should benefit from Wallace’s presence in his second season.

Miami lost a notable player this past weekend when tight end Dustin Keller went down with a right knee injury that will cost him the entire season, leaving some unproven options (Dion Sims, Michael Egnew, etc.) in his place, and yet another relevant tight end has been removed the mix for fantasy owners as well.

Here are my top five fantasy options on the Dolphins’ roster for 2013.

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5. DE Cameron Wake

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Wake had a career-high 15 sacks in 2012, which was good for fourth in the league. He now has 37.5 sacks over the last three seasons, and the presence of rookie Dion Jordan should help take attention away from him this year. Don’t look for a huge tackle total, but Wake’s upside as a pass rusher makes him an excellent fantasy option.

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4. WR Brian Hartline

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Hartline set career-highs, and led the Dolphins, with 74 receptions for 1,083 yards last season. But his touchdown total (one) did not match those numbers, due in part to a lack of red zone targets (12 out of 131 total). The presence of Wallace should open up the short and intermediate area for Hartline to operate, and I like him as a WR3 in PPR formats.

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3. QB Ryan Tannehill

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Tannehill started all 16 games for the Dolphins as a rookie last season, and his numbers (3,294 passing yards, 12 touchdowns; 211 rushing yards and two touchdowns) would have looked better if not for comparing him to other rookie signal callers. Tannehill only attempted more than 40 passes in a game once in 2012 and had just three games with more than 250 passing yards, which both should change in his second season with the addition of Wallace and Brandon Gibson at wide receiver. It will be another year at least before Tannehill becomes a legit top-tier fantasy quarterback, but he is a good choice as a QB2 with upside this year.

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2. WR Mike Wallace

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Wallace had a disappointing season with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012, with 64 receptions for 836 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging a career-low 13.1 yards per catch. Despite not being an overly physical receiver or a prominent red zone option, he has at least eight touchdowns in three consecutive seasons (26 total). Wallace is risky to have as a WR1 in fantasy leagues, but he is a legit WR2 with upside.

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1. RB Lamar Miller

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Miller did not see a lot of action as a rookie last season (51 carries for 250 yards; six catches for 45 yards), but with Reggie Bush gone he will now become the No. 1 running back for Miami. Daniel Thomas may take some short yardage and goal line work, but Miller is clearly the most versatile and fantasy-worthy Dolphins’ running back for 2013.