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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
Muhammad Wilkerson's injury not considered serious
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:03 am ET) The knee injury suffered by Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson in the fourth quarter Monday night is not believed to be serious, reports the New York Daily News. Wilkerson recorded 1.5 sacks, three quarterback hits and five tackles before leaving.

Jets DST hurt by officiating
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:00 am ET) The Jets DST recorded four sacks and recovered a fumble in Monday's loss to the Bears, but should have scored a touchdown too. The score was negated by a controversial call.

Just before halftime, linebacker David Harris sacked quarterback Jay Cutler and popped the ball loose. Linebacker Demario Davis picked it up and had a clear path to the end zone. Officials, however, had blown the play dead, ruling it merely a sack.

Upon review, the play was correctly called a fumble. But the whistle wiped out the Jets' score. The Jets DST missed another opportunity in the second half when corner Antonio Allen dropped an easy interception.

The Jets host the Lions in Week 4.


Nick Folk stays busy Week 3
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:48 am ET) The Jets' struggles in the red zone gave kicker Nick Folk ample opportunities Monday night. He nailed field goals of 43, 28, 22 and 42 yards and added a PAT for a 13-point night. Now 7 of 7 on field goals this year, Folk plays the Lions in Week 4.

Jets get offensive contributions
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:45 am ET) Several Jets made offensive contributions in the Week 3 loss to the Bears. Quarterback Michael Vick had a 3-yard run. Running back Bilal Powell carried twice for 13 yards and caught two of three targets for 6 yards.

Jets' tight ends combine for seven grabs
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:43 am ET) The Jets got their tight ends heavily involved Week 3 against the Bears. Rookie Jace Amaro caught three of four targets for 54 yards, Jeff Cumberland caught three of six targets for 18 yards and Zach Sudfeld had a 15-yard grab.

They'll face the Lions in Week 4.


David Nelson draws seven targets
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:40 am ET) Jets receiver David Nelson was targeted seven times in Monday night's loss to the Bears, second-most on the team. Nelson managed three catches on 15 yards. He'll play the Lions in Week 4.

Greg Salas makes a 51-yard catch
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:39 am ET) Jets receiver Greg Salas spun away from a defender for a 51-yard catch-and-run late in the Week 2 loss to the Bears. He finished with two catches on three targets for 56 yards. Salas plays the Lions in Week 4.

Jeremy Kerley leads the way
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:36 am ET) With No. 1 wideout Eric Decker succumbing to a balky hamstring, Jets receiver Jeremy Kerley stepped up Week 3 against the Bears. Kerley led the team with seven catches for 81 yards, including a nifty 19-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Kerley was targeted 11 times, four more than any other Jet. The 81 receiving yards were his most since Week 7 last year. Kerley takes on the Lions in Week 4.


Chris Johnson goes nowhere on MNF
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:32 am ET) Jets running back Chris Johnson carried 10 times for 34 yards and did not catch either of his targets in Monday's loss to the Bears. Through three games, Johnson is averaging 3.5 yards per carry.

He'll face the Lions in Week 4.


Chris Ivory delivers a punishing 96 yards
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:30 am ET) Jets running back Chris Ivory bowled over multiple would-be tacklers in Monday night's loss to the Bears. He ran 10 times for 44 yards and caught all four of his targets for 52 yards.

Ivory was clearly more effective than backfield partner Chris Johnson, who averaged 3.4 yards per carry and did not make a catch. Ivory plays the Lions in Week 4.


 
 
 
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