2014 Team Outlook: Miami Dolphins
QB Ryan Tannehill, MIA - Quality Backup
SNEAKY UPSIDE: This may very well be Ryan Tannehill's make-or-break year. Despite having a disastrous offensive line that allowed him to be sacked 58 times, Tannehill was much-improved in 2013. He doubled his touchdowns from 12 to 24 and threw for over 600 more yards. It wasn't all good news though, because unfortunately the Dolphins once again missed the playoffs and Tannehill really struggled with his deep ball. That problem may have been due to lack of time, but much of free agent signing Mike Wallace's struggles were blamed on Tannehill. With new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, Tannehill will get every opportunity to throw the ball and throw it often. Expect Tannehill's attempts, completions, yards, and touchdowns to increase. His job will be to keep the turnovers down and completion percentage up. It is also expected for him to carry the ball more than 50 times this season.
Miami has taken great strides to improve their offensive line by signing offensive tackle Branden Albert from the Chiefs. They also drafted Tennessee OT Ja'Waun James in the first round and North Dakota State linemen Billy Turner in the third. Tannehill doesn't necessarily have the greatest weapons, but has more than enough to be successful. If the line is in fact improved, the running game should take some pressure off the passing game. Wallace reportedly has a better grasp on the offense this season, so he should be able to take the top off the defense. He has plenty of short to mid-range targets in Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Rishard Matthews, Charles Clay, and rookie Jarvis Landry. Knowshon Moreno has also come over from Denver and is a proven pass catcher out of the back field. After playing only one full season at QB at Texas A&M, there was expected to be a learning curve, but patience is rare in the today's NFL. Everything is set for Tannehill to have a breakout season, now he just has to make it happen. Tannehill is a very good fantasy backup with upside.
QB Matt Moore, MIA - Not Draft Worthy
Matt Moore is a veteran backup QB. He even had quite a few suitors as a free agent before the 2013 season. Moore is a crafty player that knows how to grind out tough wins. He has had a solid career in Carolina and Miami with a total QBR of 79.3. Moore is a long shot to have any fantasy relevancy. He is at best a bye-week fill-in if Tannehill is injured.
RB Lamar Miller, MIA - Sleeper (undervalued)
TRENDING!: The arrow is pointing up for Lamar Miller after reports out of Dolphins camp indicate the former Miami running back is taking the majority of first-team reps. Miller disappointed last season (only averaging four yards a carry and scoring two touchdowns), but this very well could have been due to a disastrous offensive line. The Dolphins have made a lot of improvements to their big uglies by signing and drafting some new blood. Miller's main competition to start is Knowshon Moreno. The former Georgia back came into camp out of shape, so Miller has an excellent opportunity. The biggest concern may be the Dolphins lack of a run-heavy offense, and Miller isn't a great pass catcher. Hoever, he is a versatile runner that has power to go between the tackles, speed to get around the corner, and the explosiveness to break the big play. Miller was a big-time talent for the Hurricanes, and may for the first time have a real shot to showcase his talent. Miller should be drafted as your RB3, but don't be shocked if he exceeds expectations to become a solid RB2.
Editor's Note: Miller is a buy-low option in dynasty leagues. The hype is shifting as we speak, so get your foot in the door before he more closely approaches his ceiling. Every day that passes with no positive news regarding Moreno due to his injured knee, Miller's value soars. Click here to read more about dynasty over- and under-valued rookies.
RB Knowshon Moreno, MIA - Bust (overvalued)
After three miserable seasons in Denver, Moreno was considered a bust due to injuries and poor performances. In 2012, he did exhibit flashes of the talent he showed at the University of Georgia. He followed that up with a monster 2013 season, propelling him back into fantasy relevancy. There are reports out of Dolphins camp that Moreno showed up out of shape, possibly due to a knee injury which may require surgery. No matter where he ends up on the depth chart, do not expect him to duplicate his 1,600-plus yards and 13 touchdowns from last season. The Dolphins' offensive line will be better; however, a crowded backfield and desire to throw the ball more will hurt their backs' production. The good news is Moreno is by far the Dolphins' best pass-catching back, so he will enjoy more value in PPR leagues. His pass-protection skills and ball-security may also earn him additional playing time. Moreno touched the ball 301 times in 2013 and did not lose a single fumble. A lot is up in the air right now for the former Bulldog because of his injury. Moreno can be a RB3 or perhaps a RB2 in PPR leagues, assuming his health holds up.
Editor's Note: Before committing to Moreno in any of your leagues, monitor the latest breaking news regarding his health and the competition between he and Lamar Miller.
RB Daniel Thomas, MIA - Not Draft Worthy
A disappointment since entering the league, Daniel Thomas has never managed to average more than 3.7 yards per carry or catch more than 15 passes in a season. He is likely battling sophomore running back Mike Gillislee for a roster spot. The only bright spot for Thomas were his six touchdowns. With Moreno added to the backfield and Charles Clay expected to be more involved on goal-line carries, Thomas' goal-line presence may become a thing of the past. His only chance at playing time is injury, and even then he has proven to lack what it takes to make an impact. Unless something unforeseeable happens, Thomas has no fantasy value in any league format.
RB Marcus Thigpen, MIA - Not Draft Worthy
Thigpen is nearly a lock to make the roster due to his versatility. He is the team's top returner, which should secure his job. There is one thing that should peak some interest about Thigpen: the report out of Miami is that the Dolphins would like to get Thigpen more involved. The offense may want to line him up at receiver as well, and perhaps involve him on trick plays and reverses. Thigpen is not draft worthy, but is worthy of a footnote.