The Dolphins made big noise this offseason by landing Brandon Marshall. He has a chance to have the biggest impact of any player switching teams for the 2010 season.

Fantasy Playoffs Schedule:  Favorable
Sure the take on the Jets in Week 14, but if you can survive that game, it’s smooth sailing. They finish with two home games against the Bills and the Lions.

Five Star Fantasy Options
Brandon Marshall – Some people don’t care for Marshall, but they most likely haven’t been a Marshall owner the past three years. The Broncos switched from Jay Cutler to Kyle Orton and he didn’t miss a beat. Chad Henne has a big arm, and could lead Marshall to another monster year.

Four Star Fantasy Options

Three Star Fantasy Options
Chad Henne – Henne was solid in his first NFL action this year, and with new weapon Brandon Marshall at his disposal, Henne has a chance of being a low end QB1 or a solid QB2.

Ronnie Brown – I’m a bigger fan in Brown than most. He is a super talented RB. His main problem is staying healthy. When he plays, he’s quite effective. Right now I consider him a low end RB2 or a high end RB3.

Two Star Fantasy Options
Ricky Williams – I’m loving the resurgence of Ricky’s career. He had 1121 yards and 11 TDs last year. He is 33 so don’t get too excited. He’s still the backup RB when Ronnie Brown is healthy. That said he’s a decent source for RB depth.

Davone Bess – He’s going to catch a lot of passes, so he should definitely be on the radar for those in PPR leagues. In standard leagues he’s nothing more than bench depth.

Dolphins Defense/Special Teams – Right off the bat I can tell you I like the fantasy playoffs matchup.They also play the Bills in Week 1, Raiders in Week 12, and Cleveland in Week 13. Fortunately their second meeting with New England is in Week 17.

One Star Fantasy Options
Greg Camarillo – He has great hands, but given the priority of the running game, along with Marshall and Bess, I’m not too concerned about losing out on Camarillo.

Brian Hartline – He’ll need an injury along the way to become fantasy relevant.

Anthony Fasano – He caught just 31 passes for 339 yards and a pair of scores. This after posting a line of 34-454-7. He’s a backup/spot starter at best.

Click here for additional 2010 NFL Team Previews.

NFL Week 10: Injuries Galore

16 November 2009

It seemed the chic thing to do this weekend was get hurt. Here’s an early look at how some of the trendiest players have responded the morning after.

It sounds like Cedric Benson (hip) will be able to play this weekend, which is great news for Benson owners because he faces Oakland, Cleveland, and Detroit over the next three weeks. Look for Bernard Scott to get plenty of action as well as the Bengals put a hurtin’ on these floor mats. How crazy is it that the Bengals could easily be 10-2 when they face the Vikings in Week 14. 11-1 if the Broncos didn’t win on that miracle tip in Week 1.

Speaking of the Bengals, Larry Johnson is rumored to be signing with them as an insurance policy. Character isn’t their bag so he shouldn’t have a problem with the team or the fans. It remains to be seen if he has anything left in the tank.

Ronnie Brown most likely would miss a game this week if the Dolphins played on Sunday, so the fact that they play on Thursday all but seals that fate. At least you don’t have to worry about the dreaded game-time decision.

Julius Jones is bleeding in his lung, which sounds extremely painful. That injury should cost him a couple of games. Justin Forsett will fill the void, though I expect the Seahawks to be pass happy.

The is reporting that Kyle Orton will give it a go this week despite his ankle injury. While this is good news for Brandon Marshall owners, I’d cancel the victory parade. Orton will likely be limited, and San Diego is tough against the pass.

Michael Turner suffered a high ankle sprain and will miss at least a couple weeks. Turner was in the midst of a phenomenal season. There is no replacing his production. You have to hope you had early success or this injury could derail your fantasy season.

Brian Westbrook suffered another concussion in the Eagles’ loss to San Diego. At this point in the year, I’d say it’s safe to cut bait on Westy and go in a different direction. I don’t see him playing any time soon.

Obviously the combo of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams put on a show tonight, but there were a couple of other surprising performances.

No, I’m not talking about Ted Ginn, Jr. actually holding onto the football.  I’m not talking about the gutsy use of Pat White late in the game.  I’m talking about Chad Henne and Braylon Edwards.

Chad Henne had an outstanding game completing 20 of 26 passes (76.9%) for 241 yards and 2 TDs.  He was decisive.  He showed good poise, a strong arm, and good touch.  If he is available in 2 QB leagues, be sure to put in a claim for him.  He looked that good.

The Jets got an encouraging sign in the debut of Braylon Edwards.  He caught 4 passes for 64 yards and a TD.  He nearly had a second score, getting tackled on the 1.  He also drew a pass interference on a deep ball that set up Thomas Jones’ second TD.  If you have Edwards on your fantasy roster, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that he’s on a team with a pulse.

Ronnie Brown Wildcat
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

Ronnie Brown set the NFL ablaze with his role in the Wildcat Formation.  Most have Ronnie rated a bit lower, partly because four of his 10 rushing TDs came in a 38-13 drubbing of the Patriots (he threw the other TD).  His workload was kept light with just 214 carries as he recovered from a knee injury.  He still managed to gain 916 yards on the ground and 254 yards on 33 receptions.  Prior to his knee injury in 2007 he was putting together a monster year (991 yards, 5 TDs in seven games) despite playing on a terrible team.  The team has improved dramatically and he should be back to full strength.  Ricky Williams turned 32 in May, and it’s a fair assumption that his 160 carries will be reduced slightly in 2009.  With the addition of Pat White, it’s unlikely Ronnie plays the lead role in the Wildcat Formation, but he’ll still get plenty of touches.

The Dolphins schedule is tougher than last year.  They face an improved Jets D twice, the Patriots, Tampa, Carolina, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh (though it’s in Week 17).  His fantasy playoff schedule consist of games against Jacksonville, Tennessee, and Houston.  Not ideal, but his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield help his cause.  Ronnie will likely go somewhere in the second round.  He could slip to the third round in smaller leagues.  I’m looking for him to produce about 1400 total yards and 9 TDs.

This is my preseason top ten.

Click here for my Midseason revised rankings.

Click here for my Second Half rankings.

1.  Adrian Peterson – All Day led the league in rushing and scored double-digit TDs again.  Sure, the loss of Matt Birk will hurt, but Peterson shouldn’t miss a beat.  He’s looking to add some muscle mass this offseason without losing any speed.  A bigger AP with the same speed and quickness.  Scary.

2.  Michael Turner – Burner Turner did not disappoint in his first shot as the feature back.  He struggled early against good defenses, but scored in seven of his last eight games.  As Matt Ryan progresses at QB, it will become more difficult to key in on Turner.

3.  Matt Forte - I love Forte’s versatility.  As a rookie he had the third most receiving yards for a Running Back.  Second if you discount Kevin Faulk, who isn’t a feature back.  He had 1715 total yards and 12 combined TDs.  Even if he has a 10% Sophomore slump dip in production, he’d still be good for over 1500 total yards and 10-11 TDs.

4.  Maurice Jones-Drew – With Fred Taylor heading to New England, MJD should be huge in 2009.  He’s always good for 400+ receiving yards and double-digit TDs.  Give him 300-320 carries and you could be looking at nearly 2000 total yards and 15+ TDs.

5.  Ronnie Brown - Last year Ronnie had 214 carries to Ricky Williams’ 160.  I think the split will be even more in Ronnie’s favor next year.  With Ronnie another year removed from his knee injury, he should be closer to the 2007 back that had 991 total yards and five combined TDs in seven games.

6.  LaDainian Tomlinson - LT battled through a variety of ailments last year and still managed to produce 1536 total yards and 12 combined TDs.  Not only do I think he’ll be healthy in ’09, I think he will be motivated.  I don’t see pre-2008 LT, but a better version that last year’s model.

7.  Clinton Portis – CP was severely overworked last year, but he still remains on the right side of 30. I see him producing similar numbers next year, only spaced out a whole lot better.  Jim Zorn will do a better job managing Portis’ carries so he doesn’t wear down at the end of the year.

8.  Brandon Jacobs - You would think Derrick Ward’s departure to Tampa Bay would have a significant impact on Jacobs’ value.  I don’t think so.  Ahmad Bradshaw will likely pick up most of the slack. As long as Jacobs can stay healthy, there isn’t any reason he couldn’t run for 1200+ yards and scored 18+ TDs.

9.  DeAngelo Williams – You must think I’m crazy putting D-Will this low after leading all RBs in scoring last year.  I’m sorry, but I don’t see another 1700 total yards from him.  Furthermore, there is little to no chance he approaches 20 TDs again.  Jonathan Stewart played a major role last year, and I think the split will be a little closer to 50/50 this year.

10.  Steven Jackson - Steven Jackson’s strong finish (637 total yards and 4 combined TDs in his last five games) is sticking in my mind more than the most forgettable 19 games he had in 2007 and the first part of 2008.  If he can stay healthy he has a chance to leapfrog several of the guys above him.  I haven’t completely forgotten though, which is why he’s in the ten spot.

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

The Dolphins completed an amazing turnaround improving for 1-15 to 11-5 and an AFC East title.  Chad Pennington got plenty of the credit, and deservingly so, for the turnaround.  I can’t help, but to be impressed with the way Ronnie Brown returned from his knee injury.  Ricky Williams was a solid compliment, but I expect RB to take the lion’s share of the carries with Ricky seeing less action in ’09.  Ted Ginn, Jr. made strides at WR last year, and I expect him to continue his progress as a third-year WR, which historically has been when wideout have had breakout seasons.  Davone Bess will likely start opposite of Ginn, Jr. with Greg Camarillo serving as the third WR (assuming his knee fully heals).  Anthony Fasano and David Martin formed a solid TE duo.  Re-signing RT Vernon Carey will be their top priority this offseason.  They don’t have too many holes on Offense, which is surprising from a team a year removed from a one-win season.  Bill Parcels will tinker I’m sure, but I don’t expect any major splashes.
LB Channing Crowder, the team’s #2 tackler with 113, will not likely return to the Dolphins so his hole will have to be filled.  The Dolphins have two key FA’s in their secondary:  CB Andre’ Goodman, who led the team with five INTs last year, and S Renaldo Hill, who was third on the team with 77 tackles and tied for second with 3 INTs.  They will both turn 31 later this year so that could be a factor in the decision to bring them back.  I expect both of them to test the free agency waters, meaning their secondary will be a key area of need this offseason.

KFFL Free Agent Tracker:

Pos Player Name FA Status Previous Team Current Team
RB Patrick Cobbs RFA Miami Dolphins Free Agent
RB Lex Hilliard Re-signed Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins
FB Chris M. Brown Re-signed Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins
WR Anthony Armstrong Re-signed Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins
WR Todd Lowber Re-signed Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins
WR Tab Perry UFA Miami Dolphins Free Agent
TE Aaron Halterman UFA Miami Dolphins Free Agent
OT Vernon Carey UFA Miami Dolphins Free Agent
OL Matt McChesney UFA (Cut) Miami Dolphins Free Agent
DL Joe Cohen Re-signed Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins
LB Channing Crowder UFA Miami Dolphins Free Agent
LB Quentin Moses ERFA Miami Dolphins Free Agent
LB Kelvin Smith UFA (Cut) Miami Dolphins Free Agent
LB Mark Washington ERFA Miami Dolphins Free Agent
CB Scorpio Babers Re-signed Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins
CB Andre’ Goodman UFA Miami Dolphins Free Agent
SS Yeremiah Bell UFA Miami Dolphins Free Agent
SS Will Billingsley Re-signed Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins
FS Renaldo Hill UFA Miami Dolphins Free Agent

Miami Dolphins Preview

28 August 2008

Few teams went through more of a turbulent offseason than the Miami Dolphins. They got a new Coach in Tony Sparano. They have a new QB in Chad Pennington. They are welcoming an old face back in Ricky Williams while the face of their franchise (Jason Taylor) was shipped out to the Nation’s Capital. His brother-in-law Zach Thomas left for Big D. Oh yeah, and The Tuna came to town.

Offensively Chad Pennington should give them stability if, and I repeat if, he can stay healthy.  While he doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, he is an accurate passer with the ability to lead.  Ernest Wilford was added to the mix and Ted Ginn, Jr. has a season under his belt.   The Offensive Line should be better with the addition of #1 pick Jake Long at Left Tackle.  They will employ a two-headed monster at RB with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, assuming they can both stay healthy and away from the sticky icky.

Defensively, they will have to establish a new identity with the departures of Taylor and Thomas.  They will need more production from Channing Crowder, Vonnie Holliday and Rookie Phillip Merling.  Joey Porter is dealing with back issues which will limit his availability and production.  They were 4th in the league against the pass last year, but that’s simply because they had the league’s worst run defense last year and were behind in games for most of the year.

My outlook isn’t pretty for the Dolphins, although compared to last year’s one win, it will be a dramatic improvement.  I’m putting them on 4-5 wins.  It will still land them an early draft pick, but at least it’s a start.

Fantasy-wise I see a few options for the Fins.  I think Ronnie Brown will be a serviceable RB as he recovers from that knee injury.  I’d rank him as a 3rd RB at best at this point.  Ricky WIlliams has been growing on me, and I think he makes a decent 3rd or 4th RB.  I like Ted Ginn, Jr. as well, especially if your team awards points for his work in the return game.  Other than that, I wouldn’t invest too heavily in Dolphins for your fantasy team.

We’ve done the Big Dog RBs and the Second Tier RBs, now it’s time to look at the next wave of RBs.  These are likely your #2 backs unless you opted to go QB or WR early (which isn’t a bad idea).

Willie Parker – Fast Willie piled on the yards last year (1316 to be exact), but didn’t make many trips (2) to the endzone.  I don’t see Big Ben tossing as many TD passes next year so that number should go up.  The problem I have with Willie is the drafting of Rashard Mendenhall.  He scares me if I’m a Willie Parker owner.

Jamal Lewis – Jamal had a terrific season (1552 total yards, 11 TDs) last year with Cleveland, but I just don’t trust him to be my #1 RB.  I expect their passing attack to take a step back next year, which will make it harder to run.

Ryan Grant – Ryan Grant came in and answered Green Bay’s prayers for some balance.  Lost in the whole QB debate is whether or not Grant will be a fluke.  If Rodgers struggles at QB, things could get difficult for Grant.  I’d hate to pin my hopes on him.

Maurice Jones-Drew/Fred Taylor – MJD gets the TDs.  Fred Taylor gets the yards.  Will the recipe be the same in Jacksonville next year?  Most likely.  They compliment each other so well.  Unfortunately for fantasy owners it makes it difficult to rely on either one.  Obviously I give MJD the edge because of his age and his ability to reach paydirt.

Laurence Maroney – Did you see Maroney run in the playoffs?  I’m sure the Patriot Coaches did.  Heck, they probably even have video on it.  Bad jokes aside, I see the Patriots running a more balanced attack next year.  With the holes the passing game should open, Maroney should run wild.

Ronnie Brown – Until he got hurt, Ronnie Brown was having one of the best years by any RB.  Unfortunately he blew out his knee following an Interception (thanks Cleo Lemon) and will likely take a year or so to get back to form.

Brandon Jacobs – Brandon Jacobs is a beast.  He should have plenty of opportunity to score TDs.  He needs to prove he can stay healthy.  He’ll likely have to share carries with some capable running mates.

Edgerrin James – Edge had over 1400 total yards last year, but will turn the dreaded 30 next month.  That usually doesn’t go over very well for a Running Back.  The Cards have two extraordinary WRs to keep defenses honest, but I’d be shocked if Edge replicates his 2007 campaign.

Darren McFadden – This one is based on potential, but Run DMC sure seems to be this year’s version of Adrian Peterson.  I don’t see him running for as many yards, or breaking any records, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he finished in top ten for RB fantasy scoring.

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