Miami Dolphins Fantasy Preview

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The Big Tuna is in town to try and resurrect the Dolphins franchise that has fallen on some very hard times in recent years. As usual, he's cleaning house and trying to rid this roster of personalities that won't adhere to the work ethic he demands from his players.

Already he's made a shrewd move, ridding the Dolphins of their best defensive player, DE Jason Taylor, sending him to the Redskins last week.

The Dolphins narrowly avoided finishing the season 0-16 by defeating the Baltimore Ravens in an overtime game in Week 15.

As bad as they may have been, and as bad as they may be in 2008, there are a few viable fantasy options on this roster you will hear called on draft day. So pay attention and don't overlook these guys just because the team itself would have a tough time handling the Appalachian State Mountaineers.

Quarterback

Josh McCown
2007 stats: 1,151 yds, 10 TD, 11 INT

John Beck
2007 stats: 559 yds, TD, 3 INT

Chad Henne
Rookie

The reason I list all three of these players is that nobody is quite sure who will he handed the starting duties on opening day. Bill Parcells could literally go with any single one of these guys without ever offereing up a valid explanation as to why.

McCown has the most experience at the pro level, and has proven over time that he can put up big numbers in the air, most notably during his time with the Cardinals. From there he went to the Raiders and I personally discount any stats accumulated during players' time in the Black Hole that is Oakland.

He may get the starting nod, only because the two behind him have little or no experience at all, but I doubt he'll last the entire season under center unless he magically turns the Dolphins into a ten win team.

Chad Henne has yet to sign with the Dolphins and has not reported to camp. Already he'll be missing valuable time and will be forced to catch up with Beck and McCown because they'll have been there since day one. Henne is destined to become the starting QB of the Dolphins and can feel comfortable with number one overall pick and former University of Michigan teammate OT Jake Long watching his backside.

Even if Henne does get the nod opening day, he won't be someone you want on your fantasy roster. Rookie quarterbacks always go through their bumps and bruises and on a bad Dolphins team, it will make Henne's job that much more difficult.

Beck is the wildcard in this entire situation, entering into his second year in the league. He was a highly touted prospect coming out of Brigham Young, but looked awful when given the chance to start for the Dolphins.
Bottom line, the only quarterback that you should even consider selecting is McCown and that's only if you are desperate in the last two rounds of the draft.

Running Back

Ronnie Brown
2007 stats: 602 yds rushing, 4 TD, 389 yds receiving, TD

Ricky Williams
2007 stats: 15 yds, 0 TD

The most interesting position on the Dolphins is undoubtedly the running backs. Ronnie Brown was setting the league on fire in the first seven games of the season. In a four game stretch, Brown posted games of 112, 134, 114, 101 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns.

That's when things turned bad for the young Dolphins back, suffering a season ending injury against the New England Patriots in Week 7. At the time he lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage and was the surprise stud of fantasy football.

News out of Miami suggests the team plans on working Brown back into the mix slowly, giving him more time to rest his knee. That kind of injury used to be career threatening, but with today's medicine Brown could very well be ready to bounce back in a big way.

Especially with Ricky Williams on your tail.

Bill Parcells reportedly has a small man-crush on the oft-injured, suspended, intoxicated running back due to a renewed work ethic and commitment to the game of football. Nobody has ever doubted that Williams had the skill or ability to play running back in the NFL, that much was evident his first year with Miami when he posted a 1,853 yd, 16 TD season in 2002.

Believe it or not, but Ricky Williams may be a very nice sleeper pick in this year's draft despite the fact Ronnie Brown is telling anyone who will listen that he's feeling 100-percent.

Brown will go ahead of Williams in the draft, somewhere in the first four rounds. Williams will most certainly go later but wouldn't be a bad pick towards the end of the fourteenth to fifteenth rounds if you have a pick to use on a sleeper.

Wide Receiver

Tedd Ginn Jr.
2007 stats: 34 receptions, 420 yds, 2 TD

Ernest Wilford
2007 stats: 45 receptions, 518 yds, 3 TD

Derek Hagan
2007 stats: 29 receptions, 373 yds, 2 TD

The Dolphins lost their number one receiver from a year ago after Marty Booker signed with the Chicago Bears.

Now the onus falls on Tedd Ginn Jr. to live up to the expectations that come along with being taken ninth overall in the draft. Many blasted the Dolphins brass for selecting Ginn that high and described the kid as a glorified kick returner that may have the ability to be a wide receiver.

I always like a guy that plays with a chip on his shoulder because having something to prove usually makes you work that much harder and want it that much more. The quarterback play of the Dolphins will have the most dramatic impact on Ginn's development as a receiver and will determine whether he becomes a legitimate fantasy option.

My approach towards wide receivers in the draft is very simple: try to have as many players who are the number one wide receivers on their team because you know they will get more looks than anyone and thus have more opportunities to score. Take a flyer on Ginn somewhere in the last four to five rounds of the draft, he may just have a decent season in him this year.

Wilford's first year out of Jacksonville will be interesting to watch this season. He's been deemed a sleeper pick almost every year due to his height (6' 4") and what he can do with it highlighted by his second season in the league in which he had 681 yds receiving and 7 TD.

He's a nice compliment to Ginn and could have a decent year ahead of him but again, this will all come down to the quarterback position. Wilford isn't worthy of a draft pick, but could be an excellent waiver wire addition once the season begins. Keep an eye on him.

Tight End

David Martin
2007 stats: 34 receptions, 303 yds, 2 TD

Anthony Fasano
2007 stats: 14 receptions, 143 yds, TD

Neither of these men should ever be selected on draft day so we won't spend too much time talking about them.

But I will spend a second looking at Anthony Fasano, the tight end acquired from the Dallas Cowboys. Fasano never really got a chance during his years in Dallas because the 'Boys already had a Pro Bowl tight end in Jason Witten. Fasano has got the size (6'4") to be legitimate tight end in the NFL and is another of the TE/WR hybrid that offensive coordinators love to utilize. He's another guy I'll be keeping a close eye on once the 2008 campaign kicks off and I'd suggest you do the same.

Defense
2007 stats: 30 sacks, 14 INT, 2 TD, 16.7 ppg

This unit is looking awfully shaky now that DE Jason Taylor has been shipped to the Washington Redskins. He accounted for 11 of the team's 30 sacks last year and even more of them can be attributed to Taylor because of the double teams he demands at his position. Joey Porter had the second most sacks (5.5) for the Dolphins last season and he's a linebacker, meaning the Dolphins aren't going to be putting much pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

With Taylor out of the fold, the Dolphins will have a tough time stopping anyone this season.

Do not draft them. Period.

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1 Comments

Wow. That was a lot of work for nothing. Please, just say no one on the Fish is worth having on your team. Show me a fantasy team with a Dolphin as a starter and I'll show you a last place team in your league.

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Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Olsen published on July 25, 2008 10:50 AM.

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