Dynasty Capsule: Miami Dolphins

James Simpson

Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the regular season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.

Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”


Ryan Tannehill (Age: 28)

Not surprisingly, Tannehill is experiencing a dip in value right now. He’s fallen a long way since a QB6 dynasty ADP a couple of years ago, and in the recent December ADP he settled in at QB22 (179 overall). However, with a huge contract (over $20 million next year) he’s a sure-fire starter in 2017 and that, in itself, should put him in the group of players who dynasty owners should consider as potential cheap acquisitions for their teams.

His 2017 campaign was going well after a slow start, and on the six game winning streak that got the Dolphins rolling, he had a touchdown-interception ratio of 9:1. After a blip in Baltimore (one touchdown and three picks in a blowout loss), he bounced back against Arizona with three scores before hurting his knee in an injury that ultimately ended his season.

He is exactly the type of off-season target I’m looking for at quarterback. I don’t expect a lot – he doesn’t need to finish as a QB1, and we shouldn’t expect him to. In his best season so far (2014), he was the QB8, but his total of 278.50 points was less than 20 points more than the QB13 (Joe Flacco, 262.44). The point is not that QB8 isn’t a solid finish and something he’s capable of again, but placing in that late QB1/early QB2 range would be just fine. He’s been a great option for a solid floor in the past, and was continuing that good floor in 2016. If we don’t get too carried away with expectations every time a young quarterback has a good year, they can continue to do so.

Matt Moore (32) and T.J. Yates (29, UFA)

Moore has played admirably, but isn’t worth drafting in a startup. He won’t start next year, but has shown he should be monitored in 2QB and superflex leagues. Yates is not worth rostering.

Running Back

Jay Ajayi (23)

There’s somewhat of running joke within coverage of Ajayi over here in England. Did you hear the phrase “British-born” before Ajayi’s name when he was mentioned? Drink. We make no apologies for it, but I think it’s fair to say he’s turned into one of the young stars in the NFL, not just the best Brit.

It’s no secret that I was a huge fan of the 2015 class of running backs, and the patience definitely paid off with Ajayi and fellow sophomore Melvin Gordon (next up, Ameer Abdullah). The same story kept re-appearing with Ajayi leading up to the draft – “great player, bad knees”, leading to both a draft and dynasty fall. So in a way, we got what we expected – he’s talented, but we were worried about his durability, not his ability. What do we do now?

While he doesn’t provide as much in the passing game as a Le’Veon Bell or David Johnson and may never reach those heights, it looks like this team is designed for him to succeed as a workhorse back. Head coach Adam Gase would be wise to lean on the running game to take the pressure of Tannehill, using an improving offensive line and strong blocking receivers like Jarvis Landry who are willing to throw themselves in front of defenders. The future looks bright for him, and as the tenth back off the board in the December ADP, he’s worth it. But remember, if the pre-draft rumors are true, the clock is ticking.

Damien Williams (24, RFA)

I profiled Williams for DLF a couple of years ago as a ‘summer sleeper’, and while he’s provided no real dynasty impact at all, he’s managed to stick around as a receiving back and steal six touchdowns this season. He’s not worth owning anywhere other than a super-deep league.

Kenyan Drake (22)

When Dan Meylor completed his rookie profile on Drake in April of last year, he did so with clear excitement and enthusiasm. While Drake hasn’t truly broken out, he’s shown a spark on a number of occasions, most notably his stunning spinning run in week 16 versus Buffalo and a game-winning kickoff return against the New York Jets. With only 33 rushes and nine receptions, it’s hard to say how big his role will be moving forward, but I imagine it will be similar to that of Williams, with more big-play potential. Drake’s speed and game-breaking ability paired with Ajayi’s powerful running style could make for a solid dynasty duo.

Wide Receivers

Jarvis Landry (24)

When it comes to pure ballers, Landry is right up there. He’s been the subject of many debates since joining the league, with questions about his speed and size, but you know what? He has the desire and fight to take his good-but-not-great ability to the next level.

Of course, I’m talking real football, but you might just be here for dynasty fantasy football. Landry is not what we’d regard as a ‘WR1’, but he still finished as the PPR WR13 this year, WR11 last year (almost identical seasons statistically) and WR30 in his rookie campaign – not a bad start. He’s definitely a favorite of Tannehill, and will continue to see the large volume of targets we want from a possession wideout like him. In the final year of contract (which will only net him just over $1 million), I’d expect the Dolphins to lock him up to a long-term deal and for him to continue this success for a long time.

DeVante Parker (23)

Sometimes we simply can’t tell how well a rookie class will slot into the NFL ranks until a few years down the line. Outside of Amari Cooper at the top, the 2015 crop (including Parker, Kevin White, Nelson Agholor, Breshad Perriman and Phillip Dorsett) has been extremely disappointing. While owners are understandably frustrated, we have to remember that the 2014 wide receiver class created unreal expectations for young players, and for Parker to have 56 catches, 744 yards and four touchdowns in his sophomore year (after missing his whole rookie campaign through injury) is not at all bad – it just doesn’t live up to expectations.

Yes, you may have been burned by his top-20 ADP last summer. Yes, you may have expected a breakout year in 2016. But show patience with him, because he’s certainly shown flashes of his explosive ability. That said, he’s maintained an ADP inside the top three rounds of startup drafts, and although his trade value might not be on par, he should still net a decent return if you want to cash out. But I think Parker has a solid chance of a nice 2017.

Kenny Stills (24, FA)

Turning just 25 in April, Stills could potentially be a starter on a new team heading into 2017. He’s definitely worth monitoring over the free agency period after a fine season in Miami where he racked up nine touchdowns on only 42 catches (with 726 yards). When you catch scores on over 20% of your receptions, it’s obvious it’s not sustainable, but it might simply push him into a starting role or more volume.

Fantasy points can come in all sorts of ways, and whether it’s catching volume with low touchdowns, or simply a ton of scores, we’ll take what we can get. I liken what he could be to Torrey Smith who had 202 fantasy points one year, 192 in the next, but on completely different stat lines (65-1128-4, 49-767-11). Stills could simply trade in his freak touchdown numbers for more involvement somewhere new. Even if he doesn’t, the illusion will be there if he signs to an attractive spot, so he should rise in value over the summer.

Leonte Carroo (22)

Before the NFL Draft, we had very high expectations for Carroo, and in April he came in at sixth among rookies in our ADP data (69th overall. Nice). But of course, when you fall to the third round and seemingly settle into a WR4 role, we lose the excitement. He’s now all the way down at 116, and hasn’t done anything of note this year, totalling only three catches in his rookie campaign.

If Stills moves on, he should have an extended role and start to show the talent we were excited about, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves up over the summer. But as long as he’s competing for targets with Landry and Parker, I’m not willing to invest until he produces on the field.

Jakeem Grant (24) and Rashawn Scott (24)

Grant is a 5’7″, 172 returner with nasty speed, and Scott has been active over Carroo because of his special teams ability but hasn’t recorded a statistic yet. They aren’t worth monitoring.

Tight End

Dion Sims (25, FA)

Sims is the top target at tight end, but that’s not saying much. He ended with 26 catches, 256 yards and a TE35 finish. Unless you’re desperate, you don’t want to be starting him. The Miami situation at the position in in flux with multiple free agents at the position, but Sims still won’t have a large fantasy role.

Jordan Cameron (28, FA)

Just a few years ago, Cameron was the talk of the town after a breakout season in Cleveland, but things change quickly for tight ends. Julius Thomas was the next big thing, and so was Coby Fleener. Sometimes one or two good years are all we get, then we can move on. Cameron has had extreme concussion issues to a point where he was mulling retirement, and there’s a chance he reflects again this off-season. His time as a fantasy asset is likely over.

MarQueis Gray (27)Dominique Jones (29, FA) and Thomas Duarte (21, ERFA)

There can be a dash of hope for Duarte considering he’s a TE/WR hybrid with a bit of athleticism, but don’t hold your breath for production from the 2016 seventh-rounder. Gray and Jones shouldn’t be owned.

james simpson