2014 Fantasy Football Team Previews – Miami Dolphins

Miami has been a weak NFL franchise over the last five seasons (35-45).  They have only made the playoffs once in the last 12 years (11-5 in 2008).  Joe Philbin returns for his third season as head coach. Last year, the Dolphins held together pretty well, despite having some adversity due to the Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin incident.  Incognito is no longer in the NFL, while Martin signed with San Francisco.  Bill Lazor takes over as the offensive coordinator.  Last year, he was the quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.  He will add diversity to the offense and his expertise is quarterback development.  Kevin Coyle returns as a defensive coordinator.  Miami struggled against the run game all season.  They finished 26th in the league in rushing yards (1,440), while only attempting 21.8 rushes per game.  The Dolphins allowed a league high 58 sacks.  They finished 20th in passing yards per game (222.9) with 24 TD’s and 19 INT’s.  The #1 issue headed into the draft was improving the offensive line.  Miami finished 24th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed (1,998).  Their lack of success was somewhat due to game score as they allowed 30.2 rushes per game (27.3 is the NFL average).  The Dolphins were about NFL average in pass defense (235.5 YPG), but they only allowed 17 passing TD’s.

Position Breakdowns

*Wide Receivers

Mike Wallace – Wallace set a career high in catches (73), but his TD production (5) was a career low.  He flashed his upside in four games last season where he posted 100-yard games, but there were too many times when he was double covered and Tannehill didn’t have enough time to get the ball downfield. Mike had nine games with less than 50 yards receiving.  Tannehill had 9 of his 17 interceptions when attempting to throw the ball to Wallace.  Wallace also ranked near the top of the league in drops (11). The Dolphins attempted to throw 36 deep passes to Wallace in 2013.  He only caught 6 of his chances, but only eight of those attempts were catchable.  He only ran 2.8% of his routes out of the slot.  In coach Lazor’s system, Wallace should be given a DeSean Jackson opportunity.  He has shown big play ability earlier in his career with some value at the goal line.  I have to believe Wallace will improve on his 2013 season.  He has 80 catch/1200 yards upside if Miami has improved play by their offensive line.  Solid upside WR2 in PPR leagues that will most likely be drafted as a WR3.  The key for his fantasy value in 2014 will be more consistent play from week to week.

Brian Hartline – Hartline was the Dolphins best wide receiver in 2013.  He had his second straight 1000- yard receiving season with a career high 76 catches.  He was by far Miami’s most consistent receiver.  He had 5 catches or more in 9 of his 16 games with two 100-yard receiving games.  He finished with 127 targets compared to 137 by Wallace.  Hartline ranked 8th best in the NFL in drop rate (6.2%).  Hartline has improved enough where he has enough value to be played as a WR3 in 12-team PPR leagues.  He only has 10 TD’s in 76 career games, which limits his upside.  His resume is strong enough where fantasy players should expect another 70-catch/1,000 yard season.  For him to have further growth, Miami would have to make a step forward offensively.  In the last game of the season in 2013, Hartline suffered a PCL tear in his left knee.  The injury didn’t require surgery, but it does invite risk for this season.

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