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 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.”
A team seemingly operating behind the eight-ball since quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s training camp ACL injury (more on that below), it’s no surprise the Dolphins cratered out to a 6-10 record on the season, just one game ahead of the division rival Jets. They were only able to put up a minuscule 281 points, placing them 28th in the league, along with a middling passing rank (18th in yards) and bottom barrel run game (29th in yards). It was a step backward from 2016’s surprise playoff appearance, and the future appears unfortunately cloudy. Let’s check out the state of things.
Brought out of retirement due to his familiarity with coach Adam Gase’s system, Cutler performed about as expected for a guy who has only matched or exceeded 25 passing touchdowns in a season three times. His completion percentage equaled his lifetime numbers, with his yards per attempt well behind. He only had one 300-yard game and only six contests with multiple scores. It’s more likely than not we’ve seen the last of “Smokin’ Jay” in an NFL uniform. If you play in a superflex or 2QB league, he’s worth holding until he makes his walk away official.
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
Moore’s a career backup, a man made more popular simply due to his place in the positional hierarchy. He only has one season with double-digit games played and isn’t going to be in the running for a starting gig anytime soon. He’s only rosterable in deep superflex or 2QB leagues.
His surname is homophonic with his status in the NFL.
The most interesting quarterback on the roster is the one who didn’t take a snap all season. A thoroughly average signal caller during his brief time in the league, Tannehill managed to go from seemingly overrated to missing link over the course of 16 games. Regardless, the dynasty community hasn’t seemed to catch up, with a current ADP of 230.67 (QB28). Likely locked into a starting job in 2018, he’s worth an add as your QB2, with the potential for a little bit more upside than that.
Drake represents the ultimate dynasty conundrum. What do you do with a player who seemingly came out of nowhere to light the world on fire for a short stretch of time? Should you get out while you can, or buy into the possibility that you’ve unearthed the next fantasy stud?
When it comes to Drake, I think he’s worth buying into. Upon receiving the keys to the kingdom, he never received fewer than 13 touches in a game, and had more than 20 in three of five contests. His YPC never dipped below 4.4 YPC in any of those games, and he had three or more receptions four of five times. He had at least one 30-plus yard run in four of five games. Long story short, he did everything that was asked of him, and more.
Perhaps the key here is that Drake comes with some draft capital behind him. He was the 73rd pick in 2016 by the same regime who’s currently in charge. This is the same regime who traded starter Jay Ajayi in order to pave the way for Drake’s ascension. The Dolphins might add another player in 2018, but I firmly believe it’ll be someone to share the load more than anything. Drake is currently the RB20 with an ADP of 61.5, and I believe that represents an opportunity to buy.
My man James Simpson is writing the SUPER BOWL CHAMPION (that’s for you, James) Eagles capsule, and I recommend you read his words. I was never a huge Ajayi fan and thought his upside was inflated due to a couple of massive performances in 2016. His performance in a Dolphins uniform was similar in 2017, and I think Drake ran circles around him, but all told he’s in a good place moving forward.
Williams was fine for his one start in 2017 before he got hurt and Drake took over. In four years he has yet to break 4.0 YPC and has barely cleared 200 touches. He’s an unrestricted free agent, and very well might not be brought back in 2018.
Perry’s total PPR output was less than a quality running back’s YPC. That’s about the sum of that.
Landry is one of dynasty’s more curious cases. Over the past three years all he’s done is average over 100 catches and 1,000 yards, and in 2017 he finally visited the end zone with a frequency befitting a top fantasy asset. He’s done this through multiple coaching staffs and quarterbacks, as well as despite all the hate he receives from grumpy analysts.
Landry isn’t a typical player, and that’s okay. He won’t wow you with depth of target or long speed, but he plays the slot role arguably better than any player in the league. The simple fact is he does what he’s asked to do, and whether it’s glamorous or not, it helps his team move the ball down the field, and it helps fantasy owners in the box score. In 2017 he exceeded five receptions in all 16 games, and only scored fewer than 10.0 PPR points once. He’s as steady a player as you could possibly hope for. It’s my opinion that if anyone could do what he does, there would be 32 Landrys in the NFL.
Landry is a free agent and the rumors are he won’t be following Will Smith’s advice and going (back) to Miami. He’s going to get paid by someone, and the smart money suggests they’ll know how to use him. This may be oversimplifying things, but I’m of the belief that if you don’t like Landry, you don’t like scoring PPR points and winning. He’s currently the WR16 with a mid-third round ADP of 30.17, and is worth investing in heavily at that price point.
Stills is another player worth investing in. He had his second-most receptions, yards, and touchdowns of his career in 2017, and is looking to pick up some of the slack left by Landry moving forward. He was decidedly boom or bust, with 11 of 16 games resulting in 54 or fewer yards, and eight of 16 yielding fewer than four receptions. However, he had the second most targets on the team, with a pathway towards more week-to-week normalization moving forward. As the WR65 according to ADP, he makes for a solid buy, especially with competent QB play on the horizon.
After taking a step forward from year one to year two, Parker stumbled some in his third season. Though he took a step forward in terms of volume (96 targets in what was essentially 12 games), his efficiency suffered, and he failed to get into the end zone after Week 2. The latter is part of a larger trend, as Parker has only scored the ball eight times over his 237 NFL targets.
It’s hard to say what Parker will bring to the table moving forward. He’ll be going back to Tannehill in 2018, with whom he had a solid first two years of his career. Along with Stills above, he’s also likely to improve upon his target share with Landry appearing ready to move on.
The dynasty community, though somewhat disgruntled, remains high on the freshly-turned 25-year old. He’s still checking in as the WR28 according to ADP, routinely being selected at the back end of the fifth round. Call me a sucker, but I’m willing to bet on the youngster moving forward. Albeit garbage time aided, he cleared both four receptions and 60 yards in his first five games (excluding the injury game in week four), and did the same over the season’s last three contests. His career to date (139 receptions and 1,908 yards over three seasons) is hardly catastrophic, especially when compared to fellow classmates Kevin White and Breshad Perriman. I’m willing to give him one more year to prove his mettle, especially at the current price point.
Through two seasons Carroo has 10 receptions for 98 yards and one score. He’s being very generously selected as the WR80 (ADP of 183.0), and theoretically offers the same sort of appeal as the other receivers mentioned above due to Landry’s impending departure. Nevertheless, I’m out. He was out-targeted by nine other players on the team (including Ajayi, who was traded mid-season), and clearly isn’t a favorite of the coaching staff. If you can use him to get 5% of the way to a bigger deal, I think you do it.
Following an off-season trade from Jacksonville, Thomas failed to emerge from irrelevance. He only managed to accumulate 388 yards on 63 targets (6.2 YPT), while also only managing three scores. His YPR average was held below 10.0 for the third straight year. Though Thomas broke out with Peyton Manning at the helm in 2013, he hasn’t cleared 500 receiving yards since that year. His ability to get into the end zone has also all but disappeared. According to the most recent ADP data, Thomas was only selected in one of six mock drafts. I’m in agreement with the masses, and wouldn’t invest any draft capital in the deteriorating tight end.
This trio combined for a robust line of 15 receptions, 137 yards, and a score. While it’s apples to oranges, Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers eclipsed that PPR points total in a single game twice this past season. Regardless, the underlying fact here is that none of these guys are the answer. The Dolphins simply need to upgrade the position going into the 2018 season.
Follow me on Twitter @EDH_27.
You can find his (typically strong and hopefully reasonable) opinions on Twitter at@EDH_27.