A knee injury in Week 14 against the Arizona Cardinals ended
a disappointing 2016 season for Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins,
in what many predicted to be Tannehillís breakout year with
highly touted QB guru Adam Gase taking over the head coaching
job in Miami.
Tannehill posted his second-worst season in fantasy points per
game, despite logging a career-best 67.1 completion percentage.
Perhaps the regression in fantasy production, mainly attributed
to the fact that he was on pace to throw 16 interceptions, can
be linked to growing pains associated with learning a new offensive
On a positive note, the Dolphins finished with the 9th-best rushing
attack in the NFL last season and will likely continue a balanced
philosophy for Tannehill and the passing game in 2017, assuming
Jay Ajayi and the offensive line can stay healthy. Also, Tannehill
will benefit from the return of all his skill position players,
and the addition of tight end Julius Thomas. Thomas was a high-priced
free agent bust in Jacksonville but could return to form when
reunited with Gase in Miami.
With the amount of depth at the quarterback position, mixed with
the fact that he has yet to throw for more than 27 touchdowns
in a season, Tannehill should be considered only a streamer or
second QB in two-quarterback leagues.
The sophomore season for running back Jay Ajayi was one of the
more bizarre storylines of the 2016 season, with the Dolphins
doing everything in their power to not play the former Boise State
Bronco. The Miami front office tried unsuccessfully to bring in
C.J. Anderson from Denver, and then settled on an aging Arian
Foster to start the season. Instead of using Ajayi as a backup
in Week 1 against the Seahawks, the Dolphins front office deactivated
the second-year player, citing attitude issues as the reason for
A career-ending injury to Foster forced the staff to give Ajayi
the start Week 5 against the Titans. Although the former fifth
round pick struggled with only 42 yards on 13 carries, he did
manage to find the end zone and post double-digit fantasy points.
Ajayi would then follow with consecutive 200-yard performances
against Pittsburgh and Buffalo, before posting 111 yards and a
touchdown at home against the Jets Week 9.
Ajayi enters 2017 as the clear lead back for an offense that
finished 2016 as the 9th best rushing attack in the league. He
is a lock for 250 carries, assuming that he can stay healthy and
does not lose the favor of the coaching staff. The health of center
Mike Pouncey and the Dolphins offensive line is critical to the
success of the rushing game - all but one of Ajayiís big
games occurred when the O-line was active.
On a negative note, Ajayiís fantasy production was not
consistent in 2016, with 57% of his yardage coming in a quarter
of his games. Although he delivered two 27-point performances
and a whopping 32.7 points against the Steelers Week 6, he failed
to post double-digit fantasy points in nine of his 16 games.
A valuable PPR asset as a target hog in the Miami passing game,
Jarvis Landry finished 2016 with 94 catches for 1,138 yards and
four touchdowns. Although the former LSU Tiger finished with fewer
targets (131) and receptions compared to 2015, he posted nearly
identical yardage because he saw an impressive two-yard increase
in his average yards per reception.
A favorite third-year breakout candidate for many fantasy owners
last season, Landry continued to disappoint in touchdown production
for standard league owners, with only four TDís on nine
red zone targets.
Landryís role is clear in the offense, and the addition of red
zone threat Julius Thomas and the likely improvement of DeVante
Parker will continue to limit Landryís role regarding touchdown
production. Despite this fact, his volume and yardage, especially
in PPR and half-point PPR formats, makes him an attractive No.
2 wide receiver to target in the in the fifth and sixth rounds
of fantasy drafts.
After a disappointing sophomore campaign in which he finished
with fewer fantasy points per game than fantasy stalwarts Dontrelle
Inman and Quincy Enunwa, former first round pick DeVante Parker
has reportedly changed his workout, eating, and sleeping habits
over the off-season with the hope of living up to his vast potential.
At 6í2Ē, 209 pounds, Parker has the size and atheism
to be a downfield and red zone beast for quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
But a lack of focus and dedication, with even his head coach calling
him out last season for poor toughness and professionalism, leaves
many wondering if Parker will go down as a bust.
Despite the negatives surrounding Parkerís off-field behavior,
he did see an increase in targets (87), receptions (56), yards
(744), touchdowns (4), and catch percentage (64%) from his rookie
season to last year. If he can continue to improve across the
board, a 70/900/7 season is not out of the question, making him
a viable No.3 wide receiver in 12-team formats.
With nine touchdowns on 42 catches for 726 yards, Stills emerged
as the favorite deep threat for quarterback Ryan Tannehill in
2016, with the two finally developing chemistry after a disappointing
first season for Stills as a Dolphin in 2015.
Although he is considered a boom-or-bust wide receiver by many,
Stills posted a high consistency score on our FFToday Wide Receiver
Consistency Rankings. In fact, Stillsí 15.42 score was better
than highly coveted wide receivers Amari Cooper, Doug Baldwin,
and Brandon Cooks.
Stills will continue to be the vertical option in the passing
game, and his volume will likely continue to be low. But at his
current ADP as a bench wide receiver in most formats, there are
few wide receivers with more upside in 2017 than Kenny Stills.
Thomas failed to live up to lofty expectations and his sizeable
contract in two seasons in Jacksonville, as the oft-injured former
Bronco managed to play in only 21 games for the Jags. Still just
29 years old, Thomas has a fresh start in Miami with his former
offensive coordinator that helped him become a star in Denver.
But Thomas does not have Peyton Manning throwing him the ball,
and it remains to be seen how well he and quarterback Ryan Tannehill
will gel on the field. Also, Thomas has yet to play a full 16
games in his six NFL seasons, as leg and hand injuries have plagued
him over the years.
Despite the many questions surrounding Thomas, his late-round
ADP and his ability to score touchdowns make him a desirable option
for owners looking for a second tight end with top-10 upside.
Just be sure to have another viable option at the position, as
Thomas will likely miss more than a few games due to injury.