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Miami Dolphins Team Preview

Is Ryan Tannehill primed for a breakout? Should you select Knowshon Moreno in drafts? Jacob Adler breaks down the fantasy options on the Miami Dolphins.

Tom Pennington

QB: Ryan Tannehill

Although he finished 16th among passers in standard fantasy points, Tannehill ranked only 27th in Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, an efficiency metric. This is mostly due to the 17 interceptions Tannehill threw in 2013. Two of the main factors may have been poor play from receivers and the offensive line, but he’ll face the same challenges this season. Tannehill is a solid QB2, or starter in deep enough leagues, and decent streamer in standard leagues.

RB: Knowshon Moreno, Lamar Miller

According to Football Outsiders, the 2013 Broncos had the 8th best run blocking unit in football. Knowshon Moreno also had Peyton Manning distracting defenses, giving him goal line carries, and just making life easier. The 2013 Dolphins had the 28th best run blocking unit, although they did replace two starters with their first and third round picks and sign Branden Albert. Tannehill has enough on his plate, and the Dolphins don’t have any weapons to take attention away from Moreno. I don’t think this ends well. Miller, who busted last year, might find his way into carries, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be effective.

WR: Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Rishard Matthews, Jarvis Landry

What’s the big deal with Wallace again? He was last great in 2011, and he’s being drafted as a flex. He was well below average the past two seasons, and has no chemistry with Tannehill. Meanwhile, Hartline can be much more efficient, although without scoring touchdowns he’ll probably have a hard time cracking a lineup. He’s great for deeper leagues or as a bye week replacement. Gibson, Matthews, and Landry should be grouped together because only one will be fantasy relevant this season in the slot receiver role. Last year, Gibson put together a few good games as other teams ignored him, until he went down with a season-ending injury. Matthews had his 11 catch, 120 yard, and 2 touchdown game in week 10, but failed to contribute after that. Landry was drafted in the second round this year, and the scouting reports are pretty clear that he can pretty much only play the slot. Look for some innovation and slot-heavy play to keep these guys active, but they’ll probably just fight each other for targets.

TE: Charles Clay

After a strong start last year that led to his becoming a hot waiver pickup, Clay only provided three start-worthy games after week 7. He actually finished as the seventh-highest-scoring tight end last season, but he brings almost no upside to the table. Since the only the variable that can really change for Clay is how many touchdowns he scores, he is probably best left as a streamer.

Defense/Special Teams

In terms of DVOA, the Dolphins ranked 12th against the pass and 29th against the run. Not much was done in the offseason to address defense, but the Dolphins did take a chance on Cortland Finnegan, who forgot how to play when he cashed in with the Rams. Defensive tackle Paul Soliai signed with the Falcons and was replaced with the cheaper Earl Mitchell, so the defensive lineup is mostly the same. Since they can be run on so easily, the Dolphins are streaming material, to be used against teams without a rushing threat.