The Miami Dolphins allowed a league-high 58 sacks in 2013, but quarterback Ryan Tannehill started all 16 games and if not for a knee injury that caused him to leave Week 16’s game against the Buffalo Bills he may have taken every snap. Through it all Tannehill was productive last season, throwing for 3,913 yards (10th in the league) and 24 touchdowns, and his production on the ground (238 rushing yards, one touchdown) was a bonus to fantasy owners.
The Dolphins have changed offensive coordinators, with the hiring of Bill Lazor to replace Mike Sherman. Lazor was the quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles last season, and he’s expected to bring elements of Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense to South Beach. The Dolphins were near the bottom of the league in plays from scrimmage last year, including the fourth-fewest rushing attempts in the league (349; 21.8 per game), and the entire offense should benefit from more plays and better balance.
Knowshon Moreno was added to Miami’s running back stable in free agency, and his ability as a pass catcher (60 receptions for the Denver Broncos in 2013) and pass protector should help Tannehill.
After last season’s off-field issues thinned their talent up front, the Dolphins made a concerted effort to upgrade their offensive line this offseason. Free agent signings Brandon Albert and Shelley Smith are in place as new starters at left tackle and left guard, with first-round pick Ja’Wuan James the front runner to start at right tackle and fellow rookie Billy Turner likely to be a backup at guard and tackle.
Tannehill completed just 16 of 64 pass attempts 20 or more yards downfield last season, which mostly explains his struggles to consistently connect with wide receiver Mike Wallace. Tannehill finished seventh in the league in pass attempts last year (588; 36.8 per game), and that number looks sure to go down some with Lazor bringing some focus on establishing the running game.
Simply put, other than Wallace Miami has very ordinary talent at the skill positions.
Tannehill is well-positioned to take a big step forward in his third season, but for fantasy purposes he is not yet a top-tier option. That said, Tannehill has more upside potential than a lot of other options as a QB2 and he could be a sneaky addition in dynasty leagues where he is still available.
Bye Week: Week 5
Projected Round: 10th-11th Round
Auction Value: $7 (Fantasy Sharks.com)