The “Top 5” is an ongoing article breaking down every NFL team’s top 5 fantasy football options.
Today’s team: MIAMI DOLPHINS
1-Mike Wallace- WR
The speedster and focal point for several years in Pittsburgh finally got his payday! While he did downgrade at quarterback, Wallace upgrades by joining one of the premier passing attacks in the NFL. A burner in his prime Wallace has the chance to win you fantasy weeks. Tannehill has the ability to take shots downfield, something Wallace has excelled throughout his career.
If there’s one thing I expect Wallace to accomplish more in Miami it’ll be with his receptions, the most he’s ever caught in one season is 72. With a pass happy offense at his side, Mike Wallace will continue to be a huge fantasy factor, make Miami fans forget all about Brandon Marshall, and is a legitimate threat to being a top 10 WR next season.
2- Lamar Miller- RB
Only reason he isn’t the top choice is because of Daniel Thomas. All signs are pointing to the 2nd year, fourth round RB being the successor to Reggie Bush as being the top guy in Miami’s backfield, but Daniel Thomas’ chances of being a touchdown vulture and short yards are still there. Given last year’s numbers being Miller’s only sample, he did manage to perform well when he was given a decent amount of touches running for 65 and 73 yards on only ten carries.
Coach Joe Philbin has not stated yet which RB will start the opener so monitor this battle closely. If Miller is the starter, his pass catching abilities as well his speed/hole bursting could lead himself as a possible first round fantasy back next season.
3- Dustin Keller- TE
This is the same tight end that produced with Mark Sanchez throwing him the ball. Just imagine what he can do with a competent QB throwing to him, especially in the red zone. Last season, Tannehill threw to former Dolphin Anthony Fasano 13 times in the red zone, the highest among all Miami WR/TE.
Granted, Keller is no Anthony Fasano, he’s quite better. Keller has better hands, is a better route runner, and most importantly, is playing for a big pay day contract (Keller only signed with Miami for one year). Include playing with a wiser Ryan Tannehill throwing to him, he could end up as top 5 TE by the end of the season and is in my opinion a sleeper option at TE.
4- Ryan Tannehill- QB
Even though I’ve got a gut feeling that Miami’s Def/ST is going to be a sleeper this year, I still cannot ignore the possibility that Ryan Tannehill could be one of/if not the breakout QB of the season. He’s got all the potential, playing in a division that’s defensively lacking (besides the Pats and Miami), being the focal point in Joe Philbin’s passing attack, and putting up a near 60% completion rate his rookie year (3rd among rookies, but RG3 and Russel Wilson threw 90 times less than Tannehill).
Also, unlike other rookies, Tannehill has two new, better players to throw to (Wallace and Keller). To put him on a 4000 yard pedestal wouldn’t be right, although it would not shock me one bit if Tannehill threw for over 3500 yards this year with 20-24 td’s and around the 10 ints marker. He’s got the chance to be a great backup to your starting QB.
5- Brian Hartline- WR
Last season was the first time he broke 1000 yards receiving in his career, and it still didn’t stop Miami from signing Mike Wallace. So the question remains, how much will Hartline’s value drop? While his targets (131) should drop this season, I don’t think it will affect his yards/catches/td’s this season. He saw a lot of double covers (especially in the red zone) last season due to Miami’s woeful injuries at WR, but with a speedster in Wallace and a sure-handed TE in Dustin Keller to take away a lot of the pressure.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Hartline got around the 800 yard rec, 70 catches, and a handful of TD’s this year.