Meet the 2011 Jacksonville Jaguars!
The most memorable thing about the 2012 Miami Dolphins will probably be their appearance on HBO's Hard Knocks, but on the bright side, at least people will remember this team at all. I have stayed rather positive and optimistic with most of my previews, but sometimes you've got to call a spade a spade.
Not even the coaches seem pleased with this team and when they were cutting half of the no-name receivers to temporarily keep half of the other no-name receivers, they basically told the guys they cut, "We waited for somebody to step up and nobody did." NOBODY DID. Hey, I hear that Chad Johnson is available.
On top of their lack of receivers, the Dolphins never seemed all that confident in their quarterbacks. They gave the coach speak about "I think we can win with any one of these guys" but I think the reality of they are saying is "I think we have just as good of a chance to win with any one of these guys." Which is: Almost no chance. Who else thought that Pat Devlin came off better than Matt Moore? Or that Lauren Tannehill is six months away from her own reality TV show?
But I think it's evident that not even the coaches and management expect many wins this year. They knew what they were doing when they traded away Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis. They knew what they were doing when they named a rookie QB, one considered raw by most evaluators at the draft, as their starter. The Dolphins best bet to avoid 12 or more losses this season is to have a good offensive line, a running game, and a good defense. Your best bet if you're in Vegas betting on who the worst team of 2012 is going to be is: The Miami Dolphins.
2011 Record: 6-10
Drafted Skill Players: Ryan Tannehill, QB (1st), Michael Egnew, TE (3rd), Lamar Miller, RB (4th), B.J. Cunningham, WR (6th, released), Rishard Matthews, WR (7th)
Dearly Departed: Chad Henne, Steve Slaton, Brandon Marshall, Clyde Gates
I hate to pass judgments on a guy based on how HBO edits him, but Tannehill came off as a bit of a "kid in the candy store" for his first go-around of the NFL experience. He seems like a super nice guy, someone that wants to get along with everybody, a man with a good heart. But did I ever see that Peyton Manning in him? That Michael Jordan? That kind of leadership that's going to whip a bad team into good shape? I realize that he's a rookie, but if you're the starting quarterback, you're no longer going to be able to use the excuse that you're a rookie.
As the QB, you're expected to lead. I'm not saying that Tannehill doesn't possess those qualities, I'm just saying that over five episodes of Hard Knocks, they never showed. Which obviously might mean nothing, or it might mean something. On the bright side, Lauren Tannehill.
No receivers. No experience. Didn't overly impress in the preseason.
2012 Projection: 52%, 2,400 yards, 13 TD, 15 INT
Matt Moore is definitely a backup QB that you might expect to come in and play this year. He had a few quality games last season that made him one of the top 12 QBs in fantasy a number of times but that was still before this team decided to enter the season with the worst WR corps in football. I'd be highly surprised if a Miami QB is worth playing once this year.
If this team is the 2012 version of the Jags last year, congratulations to Reggie Bush on the rushing title! He says he has set high goals for himself this year, and he might get the touches to do so. Bush had 1,086 yards rushing last season, which is over a third of his career total. He might never become the player that he was expected to become when he was drafted with the number two overall pick, but there's still a good chance that he could break out. He's only 27 and he has very few career touches for a guy that's been in the league six years.
Bush was a personality that came across positively for me in Hard Knocks. Say what you will about the rules Bush broke in college, but he seems like a hard worker and a leader that's willing to put in the time to stay at the highest level he can. It somehow just failed badly in New Orleans, but maybe another crack at a high-powered offense could make him a top 10 fantasy pick. I still don't see it in Miami, but he might be a high-end RB2.
2012 Projection: 220 carries, 1,050 yards, 5 TD. 60 catches, 500 yards, 4 TD.
He was such a sleeper in drafts last year that he wasn't a sleeper at all. Everybody thinks that those 2nd round running back picks are sneaky, but we're all saying the same thing so no, it is not sneaky at all. Thomas ran for 202 yards over his first two games but struggled bad over the rest of the season. He averaged just 3.06 yards per carry in his final eleven games. He also didn't seem to get off to a good start with Joe Philbin.
I don't see Thomas with much fantasy value right now. He didn't perform well in the preseason and hasn't performed well since week three of 2011.
2012 Projection: 140 carries, 500 yards, 3 TD
Lamar Miller could be coming after Thomas' job. Jorvorskie Lane was an interesting story and might grab some vulture TDs at the goal line.
Davone Bess and Brian Hartline
Is this an opportunity for Bess or Hartline to show that they can be a #1 WR and maybe top 1,000 yards and make a name for themselves, sort of like how Nate Washington did in Tennessee last season, or is it foolish to expect that just because a star WR leaves that someone else is going to step up? More opportunities don't always mean more production and some teams really are led in receiving by someone with 500 yards.
Hartline had 35 catches for 549 yards last year and a 15.3 YPC average in three seasons. Bess had 51 catches for 537 yards last season and has always been around 10 YPC in each of his four seasons.
Hartline Projection: 30 catches, 450 yards, 4 TD
Bess Projection: 65 catches, 650 yards, 3 TD
Legedu Naanee, Anthony Armstrong, Rishard Matthews, and Marlon Moore round out the group. Moore was shown as the guy that worked hard on special teams to make the final roster. Armstrong was a deep threat in Washington the past few years and added on September 1st. Naanee is the most eexpeerieenced but not sure where he'll fit in the scheme. I expect either Hartline or Bess to lead the receivers in receiving, so not much else to see.
Anthony Fasano and Michael Egnew headline the group but I'm not expecting either to be worth a roster spot on fantasy. Fasano is going to get around 400 yards. Egnew, who knows, but might be too raw to contribute this season.
In conclusion, yuck. I can't fathom anyone other than Bush being fantasy worthy this year. Well, Lauren Tannehill is worthy of some fantasies too I guess.
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