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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
Cowboys add LB Smith to roster as DL Crawford goes on IR
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:15 pm ET) Cowboys defensive lineman Jack Crawford was placed on injured reserve Wednesday due to a thumb injury, according to the team's official website. Linebacker Keith Smith was added to the roster to take Crawford's spot.

Bills' Marrone not worried about Robert Woods' ankle injury
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:11 pm ET) Bills wide receiver Robert Woods was limited in practice Wednesday due to an ankle injury. However, coach Doug Marrone said he will be fine for Week 13 against the Browns, per ESPN.

Woods had a season-best nine catches for 118 yards and one touchdown in Monday's 38-3 win against the Jets. He has 45 catches for 479 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games.


Colts TE Dwayne Allen misses practice, still day to day
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:07 pm ET) Colts coach Chuck Pagano said tight end Dwayne Allen missed practice Wednesday and remains day to day leading up to Week 13 vs. Washington. Allen sat out Week 12 due to an ankle injury.

Bengals' Devon Still responds to allegations of unpaid child support
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:00 pm ET) Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still responded Wednesday to allegations he hasn't paid child support in months. Still has been in the public eye recently showing support for his 4-year-old daughter Leah, who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pediatric cancer.

"My daughter's battle with cancer has been inspirational to many all over the world," Still said in a statement released by the team, per ESPN. "When she gets older, I want her to be able to look back and read about her positive impact on the world, not about the private issues her parents were going through. I am not going to retaliate against the mother of my daughter, and the untruthful reports in the New York Daily News article, by criticizing her character. I am going to continue to allow the court system to handle this matter, as it has been doing these past couple of months."

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Channing Smythe (Still's ex-girlfriend and Leah's mother), sent a letter to the NFL on Tuesday asking the league to investigate if Still has violated its personal conduct policy by failing to pay child support.

"I don't consider him a deadbeat dad," Smythe told the Daily News on Wednesday. "I know he loves and cares for his daughter and he is there for her. I just need him to help me financially."


Bears add Brandon Dunn to roster as Brian de la Puente goes on IR
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:48 pm ET) The Bears announced Wednesday they placed offensive lineman Brian de la Puente on injured reserve due to an ankle injury. The team promoted defensive tackle Brandon Dunn from the practice squad to take his roster spot.

Packers RB Eddie Lacy (illness) practices Wednesday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:35 pm ET) Packers running back Eddie Lacy was able to practice Wednesday. He was unable to meet with the media after Sunday's game against the Vikings due to an illness.

Lacy rushed for a season-best 125 yards during Sunday's 24-21 win. The Vikings will play the Patriots in Week 13. New England is yielding 108.2 rushing yards per game and have allowed five rushing touchdowns in 11 games.


Texans sign QB Lewis to live roster, safety Parks to PS
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:31 pm ET) As expected, the Texans have signed Thad Lewis to take the roster spot vacated when fellow quarterback Ryan Mallett was placed on IR.

The team has also added safety Terrance Parks to the practice squad.


Texans place QB Ryan Mallett on IR
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:26 pm ET) A torn right pectoral muscle has landed Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett on IR. The move confirms reports that he would be out for the year after sustaining the injury Sunday against Cincinnati.

Mallett finishes the year having completed 41 of 75 passes for 400 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in two starts. He did not throw a pass in any other game.


Giants' Coughlin hints at more playing time for Damontre Moore
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:24 pm ET) Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday giving defensive end Damontre Moore more playing time could be an option to help a lackluster pass rush, according to NJ.com.

"Young Damontre, everybody wants him in the ball game, he did have some success the other day with one sack," Coughlin said. "He should have been playing a little bit more (Week 12 vs. Dallas)."

Despite Moore showing at times he could help the pass rush, he has spent a lot of time on the bench this season.

"Because there are times, to be honest with you, during the week when you talk about confidence level, whether it's assignment football or whatever, for whatever reason, it hasn't been something that we thought [Moore] knows exactly what he's doing and so on and so forth," Coughlin said. "The practices have to fulfill the idea that we can go ahead and play him under all kinds of circumstances is what we'd like to do, not just on third down."


Eagles release Week 13 injury report
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:16 pm ET) The Eagles announced Wednesday quarterback Nick Foles will miss a fourth straight game Thursday the Cowboys due to a collarbone injury. He headlines the team's Week 13 injury report.

Linebacker Emmanuel Acho is listed as questionable due to a groin injury, while safety Nate Allen (ankle), defensive end Brandon Bair (elbow), tight end Zach Ertz (oblique), wide receiver Jordan Matthews (knee), kicker Cody Parkey (right groin) and tackle Jason Peters (quadricep) are all listed as probable.


 
 
 
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