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Offseason Primers: Miami Dolphins

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The Dolphins had an interesting season in 2012. It started with HBO's Hard Knocks and ended with a respectable 7-9 campaign. The new coaching staff under Joe Philbin proved competent, and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill made plenty of strides.

Now, the Dolphins have the chance to take the next step. The key will be the additions made this offseason with the Dolphins adding receivers Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson and tight end Dustin Keller.

2012 Touches Leaders
944 total touches (rush attempts + receptions)
Reggie Bush 262 (227 car., 35 rec.) 27.7%
Daniel Thomas 106 (91 car., 15 rec.) 11.2%
Brian Hartline 74 rec. 7.8%
Davone Bess 61 rec. 6.4%
Lamar Miller 57 (51 car., 6 rec.) 6.0%
All Others 384 40.6%

Tannehill needed weapons after he had 3,294 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and 48 carries for 214 yards and two touchdowns with eight fumbles. Adding some receiver help -- Brian Hartline and Davone Bess combined for two touchdowns as the starters -- is the biggest need, and Wallace, Gibson and Keller should help tremendously. Tannehill might also see time in the read-option offense, which would enhance his skill set and help his Fantasy value. He could end up as a reliable No. 2 Fantasy quarterback with upside.

Finding a starting running back is also important. Reggie Bush is off to Detroit this year, and the Dolphins have to decide if Lamar Miller or Daniel Thomas is the answer as the No. 1 option in the backfield (we like Miller as the favorite). Bush had consecutive seasons of at least 1,200 total yards and seven touchdowns, so whoever starts for the Dolphins has potential as a No. 2 Fantasy running back.

Lamar Miller -- Sleeper

2012 Target Leaders
504 pass attempts
Brian Hartline 131 25.9%
Davone Bess 105 20.8%
Anthony Fasano 69 13.6%
Reggie Bush 52 10.3%
Charles Clay 33 6.5%
All Others 114 22.6%

If the Dolphins don't bring in a big-named talent at running back then the backfield tandem in Miami will be Miller and Thomas, with Miller the expected starter. That bodes well for his Fantasy value. Miller had an unimpressive rookie season playing behind Bush and Thomas. He finished 2012 with 51 carries for 250 yards and one touchdown and six catches for 45 yards. But he has the skill-set to take off, which should have Fantasy owners excited. There's also production to be had in this backfield since Bush had consecutive seasons of at least 1,200 total yards and seven touchdowns. Going into the season, we consider Miller a low-end No. 2/high-end No. 3 Fantasy running back with upside, and he's worth drafting with a pick as early as Round 4 or 5. He should be on most sleeper lists, and the Dolphins are in love with Miller's playmaking ability. He could end up as a quality Fantasy option if he opens the season as the starter.

Reggie Bush -- Player on the move

Expected 2013 Draft Averages
Ryan Tannehill Undrafted
Lamar Miller 45-53 overall
Daniel Thomas 130-137 overall
Mike Wallace 63-69 overall
Brian Hartline 140-148 overall
Davone Bess Undrafted
Brandon Gibson Undrafted
Dustin Keller Undrafted

Bush signed with the Lions this offseason, and he's expected to share playing time with Mikel Leshoure. But make no mistake, Bush is the new starter for the Lions, and he has a lot of upside. Bush showed he can be a featured running back for the Dolphins. In 2011, Bush had a career season with 216 carries for 1,086 yards and six touchdowns and 43 catches for 296 yards and a score. He followed that up with a career-high 227 carries for 986 yards and six touchdowns and 35 catches for 292 yards and two touchdowns. Now, Bush goes to a Lions team that should involve him more as a receiver. He has at least 43 catches in five of seven years, and we know the Lions love to throw the ball. We still view Bush as a No. 2 Fantasy running back with upside, and he could total 1,500 total yards with about six touchdowns. He is worth drafting in all formats in Round 3 with the potential to be drafted in Round 2 in PPR leagues. This could be a big year for Bush in Motown.

Ryan Tannehill -- Late-round flier

Tannehill was part of the successful rookie quarterback class of 2012, but he was at the back of the room, well behind Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson when it came to performance. Tannehill had his moments with four games with at least 20 Fantasy points, but he had six games with eight points or less. We expect Tannehill to improve in 2013, especially with the upgrade the Dolphins had to their receiving corps. The Dolphins also want to use Tannehill in the read option more, which should showcase his running ability. Tannehill should be considered a low-end No. 2 Fantasy quarterback to open the season, but he's someone to keep your eye on. He might not get drafted in the majority of leagues, but he could turn into a quality playmaker as the season goes on.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Raiders ink Jeremy Deering
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:03 pm ET) The Raiders signed safety Jeremy Deering, who was waived in May by the Patriots.

Chris Harris gains medical clearance
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:55 pm ET) Broncos cornerback Chris Harris has been cleared to start practicing on a limited basis, reports the Denver Post. Harris, who suffered a 30 percent ACL tear in the playoff win over the Chargers, got clearance from his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.

"It passed," Harris said. "Everything’s OK. Everything’s good. I can feel like a teammate now."

Harris hopes to join individual and position drills this week, the paper said.


Sammy Watkins shows big catch radius
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:45 pm ET) Bills rookie receiver Sammy Watkins made a difficult sideline grab at practice in which he displayed a large catch radius. Anticipation continues to build about what the No. 4 overall pick will do this season.

"There’s a lot of excitement for Sammy," offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said. "The good thing about Sammy is that he’s very humble and he’s brought a great level of competition to the group and to everybody. He gets us all excited.

"What he’s done is he has amped up the competition across the whole board. Even for the quarterbacks to get him the ball on time. His work ethic is going through the whole team. I think the guys really appreciate him because he is humble. It’s just fun to have him on the team. It’s just that simple."


Alshon Jeffery: 'I'm all right'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:38 pm ET) Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery, who left practice early with a sore foot, said it's nothing to be concerned about. "I'm all right," he told the Chicago Tribune.

Bills' OC: C.J. Spiller needs the ball more
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:33 pm ET) Bills offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said running back C.J. Spiller needs more touches. The comment came in response to a question about Spiller's yards per catch declining from 10.7 in 2012 to 5.6 last year.

"We just have to give him the ball more," Hackett said. "When you look at any situation when you have a player like C.J., you want to get him out there a whole bunch. You want to throw him the ball, you want to hand him the ball off and that’s one thing that we have to do. He’s a great player and we have to feature him just like we have to feature a lot of guys.

"It’s about getting more plays, getting more opportunities to get him out there, keeping the quarterback in there consistent and making sure we have a guy in there that knows what we want to do and keep him in there. We want to be able to distribute the ball across the field."


Odell Beckham's missed practices: Four and counting
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:24 pm ET) Giants rookie receiver Odell Beckham missed his fourth straight practice Monday with a hamstring injury, reports The Star Ledger. Coach Tom Coughlin is growing frustrated that the first-round pick is falling behind.

Beckham also missed a lot of spring workouts due to the injury.


Adrian Peterson: We won't be predictable this year
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:11 pm ET) Vikings running back Adrian Peterson sounds thrilled with the change in offensive coordinators from Bill Musgrave to Norv Turner.

"This is what I've been looking for the past seven years," Peterson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "And now I feel like we have an offense that fits our talent and what we have as far as the players at their positions and what they're able to do. I'm pretty excited for what Norv Turner is putting in for us. It's putting guys in opportunities to make plays and be more versatile as an offense. So I'm stoked about that."

Peterson said it's refreshing to play in an offense that's unpredictable.

"Not to take anything away from the coaches we had before, but just being more versatile as an offense," he said. "I just call it what it is. I feel in the past, we were predictable. You guys wrote stories about being predictable in the past seven years. You won't be able to write that story this year. That's pretty much all that I'm saying. You won't be able to do that because this offense is so versatile."


Dolphins let go of Michael Philipp
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:05 pm ET) The Dolphins released offensive lineman Michael Philipp.

Pierre Garcon leaves with sore hamstring
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:00 pm ET) Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon left practice early because of a sore right hamstring, but he's not concerned and neither is coach Jay Gruden.

"He’ll be OK,” Gruden told the Washington Post. Garcon said he felt some soreness and didn't think it was wise to push it.

"I’ll be good," Garcon said. "No need to rush."

The Redskins are off Tuesday before resuming practice Wednesday.


Giants set unrealistic goal for Eli Manning
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:55 pm ET) Giants quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf would like Eli Manning to complete 70 percent of his passes this year. While Manning is focused on improving his accuracy and will take fewer deep shots, the goal is unrealistic.

Manning has a career completion percentage of 58.5 and his career-best was 62.9 percent in 2010.

"We'd love to be up there at 70 percent," Langsdorf said, via the New York Daily News. "It hasn't been done very often. That's the ultimate goal. We'd like to raise his completion percentage for sure."

Only four players in NFL history have posted a completion percentage above 70. Manning has completed 70 percent of his throws in a single game just 15 times in 10 seasons.

"The high 60s is kind of the goal, to be in the top of the league," Manning said. "Sure it's realistic. It's a combination of the offense and the players we have."


 
 
 
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