The Dolphins have found their new slot receiver in Danny Amendola to the tune of two years and $12 million. This is sad news for those of us who were stashing Leonte Carro and Jakeem Grant, but more on that in a bit. First, let’s look at what this means for Amendola himself.
Danny Amendola, WR MIA
Many were likely expecting Danny Amendola to have a bigger year than he did considering Julian Edelman was out for the year. Don’t forget that he had to contend with Rob Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, and the stable of running backs that the Patriots had. When viewed in that light his 61-659-2 line on 86 targets looks pretty good. Additionally, don’t forget that about his playoff heroics.
I know Amendola wanted to stay with the Patriots, but this is likely an upgrade for him from a fantasy perspective. His main competition for targets are Devante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Albert Wilson. It’s possible that Amendola and Wilson are in a competition for the slot role, though I’ve heard some rumors that the Dolphins intend for Wilson to play on the outside.
If that’s true, Amendola would be the heir apparent to a role that has seen 570 targets over the last four seasons. Obviously, he isn’t going to command the same target share that Jarvis Landry did, but the slot position is one that is heavily featured in the Dolphins’ offense. With Ryan Tannehill still as their quarterback, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
In terms of dynasty, Amendola is currently a 19th round startup pick. You can expect that value to go up slightly, but if anyone is still pricing him that low I’d try to buy him. If I’m a contending team and another team will take pretty much any third rounder for Amendola, that’s a shot I’m willing to take.
Albert Wilson, WR MIA
It is sort of odd that the Dolphins would sign Danny Amendola so quickly after signing Albert Wilson for three years and $24 million earlier in the day. Wilson primarily played the slot in Kansas City, and he’s much younger than Amendola. Maybe the plan really is for him to play on the outside, or maybe the Dolphins just wanted to make sure they covered their bases.
There’s still a chance that Wilson emerges with the slot role, which as I detailed earlier is a very lucrative place to be, but I think it’s Amendola’s to run with barring injury. That means Wilson must compete with Parker and Stills for one of the outside roles in three wide receiver sets. The Dolphins seem to love Stills, so I doubt he’s losing his job. Parker has much more upside than Wilson but hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Additionally, Parker only has one year left on his contract with the Dolphins.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Dolphins try to capitalize on a team needing a wide receiver and moving Parker either before or during the NFL draft. That would open the outside role for Wilson. However, until that happens I do believe this suppresses his value. If you believe it’s just a matter of time until Parker is off the team since the current regime is reportedly growing tired of him, now would be a good time to pounce on Wilson.
Kenny Stills, WR MIA
I mentioned this in the piece I wrote about the Browns offense, but it has been Kenny Stills, not Devante Parker, who has been the second best receiver on the team after Landry. Stills just signed a contract extension last season and is signed through 2020. People forgot that he is only entering his age 26 season because it feels like he’s been in the league forever.
The Amendola signing doesn’t really impact Stills significantly. I still expect him to be the second most targeted receiver, if not the most targeted receiver if Parker were to be traded. I would however, like to draw your attention to this tweet from Rich Hribar:
It shouldn’t be overly concerning since these numbers were put up while Jarvis Landry was still around as well, but it is something to keep an eye on. If Amendola can be better at scoring touchdowns than Landry was, it may take away some of Kenny Still’s touchdown upside. Yet, I still believe in Stills and he was going four rounds after Devante Parker as recently as the March ADP. His price is sure to go up because of the Landry trade, but it’s still worth checking in with his owner.
Devante Parker, WR MIA
Is it possible to be both the biggest loser and winner of a trade? The different signings the Dolphins have made suggest heavily they are not picking up Devante Parker’s 2019 option. Yet, that may be good news for Parker.
His career with the Dolphins to date has been disappointing, to say the least. Every year as fantasy players we seem to hype him up, and every year he fails to finish as a Top 24 wide receiver. He seems like the classic change of scenery type of guy to me.
Considering their new found depth and their seeming growing frustration with Parker, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded as I mentioned earlier. Think he would look good in a 49ers uniform catching passes from Jimmy Garoppolo? I do too. Trading him for one of the 49ers third rounders as well as perhaps a fifth rounder almost makes too much sense for it to not happen.
I can’t really recommend Parker as a buy at the moment. It’s rough when you are three years into your career and you’ve been outplayed by someone on your own team who is much cheaper. Although if he were to find himself on a new team such as the 49ers, I’d change my tune quickly. I guess you’ll just have to decide how much my trade scenario makes sense for yourself.
Ryan Tannehill, QB MIA
There’s really no way to spin the loss of Landry as a positive for Ryan Tannehill. On the other hand, it could have been much worse than replacing him with Amendola. Tannehill appears to be the forgotten man in SuperFlex and 2QB formats. He was the QB29 in March ADP. I know he suffered a non-contact knee injury which is always scary, but this is the same guy who has never finished lower than being the 27th best quarterback for fantasy purposes in his five-year career. That finish was also in a season in which he only played 13 games. Every other season he’s been at minimum a QB2. I’d be buying in those formats hoping the owner is as low as consensus is.
Julian Edelman, WR NE
Amendola signing with the Dolphins is a big deal for Julian Edelman. It means that he only must contend with Chris Hogan to regain his job. Given the trust level between him and Brady, I fully expect to see Edelman manning the slot for the Patriots again.
It’s hard to trust a 32-year-old coming off an ACL injury. That said, just remember that this guy is only a season removed from being the WR14 in PPR formats. At his current price, I’m willing to take the bet that he recaptures some of his old magic.
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