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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
Packers' Jared Abbrederis goes down to injury in first practice
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(12:49 pm ET) Packers wide receiver Jared Abbrederis left the team's first training camp practice with an undisclosed injury. 

Abbrederis tore his ACL in the fourth practice last year, but this year's injury didn't appear to be related to that.

"The way he fell, I don't think it was his knee," coach Mike McCarthy said, indicating that Abbrederis may have landed hard on his tailbone, per the Journal-Sentinel.


Chris Clemons doesn't report to Jaguars' camp
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(12:43 pm ET) Jaguars defensive end Chris Clemons was a surprising no-show for the start of training camp on Thursday. 

Clemons isn't holding out for a change to his contract, coach Gus Bradley said, per Jacksonville. com. The reasons for his absence are "clearly personal – all personal," Bradley said. 

“This one is a little concerning," Bradley said. "My hope is we can work through this. I talked to him last night and again this morning. Hopefully we can come up with a decision to speed this up a little quicker. I don’t see this as a situation that’s extended. We’re sensitive toward it, but we also need some urgency.”


Report: Bears' Tim Jennings has DWI case resolved
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(12:39 pm ET) Bears cornerback Tim Jennings wasn't at the opening of the team's training camp, as he wrapped up an offseason legal matter. 

Jennings was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of DWI after he was stopped for going 100 mph on a Georgia highway. He admitted to driving too fast but maintained that he hadn't been drinking. 

On Tuesday, TMZ reported that Jennings entered a guilty plea on reckless driving charges and the DWI charge was dropped. 

Jennings claimed he was speeding, because he was late to a parent-teacher conference. 


Ravens LB C.J. Mosley says wrist is fine and he's ready for camp
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:51 am ET) Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley has declared that x-rays have shown that his broken wrist is almost completely healed and that he's been cleared for full contact, per the Baltimore Sun.

Mosley had predicted in June he'd be ready to roll after undergoing surgery on the wrist.

The second-year player enjoyed a strong rookie season, contributing to 133 tackles and adding three sacks and two interceptions.


Owner expresses confidence in Cowboys RB Joseph Randle
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:13 am ET) Always-involved Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has endorsed Joseph Randle as the team's featured back in 2015.

Jones expressed his belief to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Randle can be "the No. 1 back."

Randle must step up in the wake of the departure of superback DeMarco Murray, though an offensive line considered one of the best in the sport should help. Randle averaged 6.7 yards per carry a year ago.


Lions place RB Joique Bell on PUP list to open camp
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:06 am ET) Lions featured back Joique Bell has been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to start training camp, per ESPN.

Bell sat out all offseason practices after undergoing surgery for an issue that he has yet to divulge. But Bell did have problems with his knee and Achilles last year.

He should be set as the No. 1 option out of the backfield in 2015 after the release of Reggie Bush, though rookie second-round pick Ameer Abdullah could push him.


Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) says he's set for camp
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:51 am ET) Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin has declared that the hamstring he hurt in minicamp has fully healed and that he'll be a full-go when training camp begins, per the Charlotte Observer.

Benjamin enjoyed a fine rookie season, snagging 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns.


Titans OLB Brian Orapko feeling fine for start of training camp
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:46 am ET) Titans new outside linebacker Brian Orakpo has declared himself healthy and ready for training camp. He is coming off a pectoral injury that required season-ending surgery last October.

"I'll be ready to rock and roll as soon as we open camp," he told ESPN. "Body-wise, I feel 100 percent. The pec and everything else feels real good. We kind of played it safe in OTAs and minicamp for precaution, but now we can kind of unleash everything."

Orakpo signed with Tennessee as a free agent after six seasons with Washington.


Niners RB Carlos Hyde cleared to practice
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:38 am ET) A mere two days after his placement on the non-football injury list, 49ers running back Carlos Hyde has been removed from it, the San Jose Mercury News is reporting.

Hyde, who had been dealing with a lower leg strain, has been medically cleared to participate in the team's first full workout Saturday.

He is considered the front-runner to serve as the featured back this season, though a committee approach after the departure of Frank Gore is also a possibility. Hyde rushed for 333 yards and four touchdowns on 83 carries as a rookie in 2014.


Chiefs release RB Cyrus Gray
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:28 am ET) The Chiefs have released running back and special teams standout Cyrus Gray, per the Kansas City Star.

The sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft carried just 24 times during his career with the team for 99 yards and one touchdown. He had eight attempts for 31 yards and that lone score in 2014.

He was out after November 11, however, with a torn ACL.


 
 
 
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