Fantasy Q&A with Dolphins Report’s Eric Roddy

Dolphins Report Publisher Eric Roddy sat down with Scout Fantasy’s Matt Brandon to discuss the Dolphins’ best fantasy options heading into 2015.

Scout Fantasy’s Matt Brandon: Ryan Tannehill showed flashes of brilliance last season while his supporting class has only improved during the offseason. How can he finish 2015 as a top-10 Fantasy QB?

Dolphins Report Publisher Eric Roddy: To me, Tannehill’s fantasy production in 2015 hinges not on this new talented group of wide receivers that he has at his disposal, but rather those blocking for him on the offensive line. The Dolphins have two bookend tackles on the outside in Branden Albert and last year’s first round pick Ja’Wuan James. Mike Pouncey is an All-Pro center. But at Guard, the Dolphins will likely be starting two new players for the first time. That worries me when it comes to keeping Tannehill upright in the passing game. That being said, I think RT17 will have his biggest season statistically speaking in 2015. Is it unrealistic to say that he could throw for over 30 TDs and run for another five scores? Not at all. Right now, Scout Fantasy has Tannehill as the 10th QB in their Average Draft Position rankings. I think Tannehill will meet that expectation next season. But, in order to achieve that ranking, Tannehill will have to get better at knowing when to throw the ball away and will have to work on his deep ball throws. Having new WR Kenny Stills in his arsenal should help with that. The Dolphins threw the ball 595 times last year and ran it just 399 times. That is a good trend for those wanting to take a chance on Ryan Tannehill as he enters his fourth season.

Matt Brandon: Lamar Miller was phenomenal for the Dolphins, filling in for the injured Knowshon Moreno last year. Many assumed he would be in for a huge 2015 campaign until Miami’s front office decided to draft Jay Ajayi out of Boise State. What will the Dolphins running game look like this coming season? Is Miller still worth drafting early on or should owners stay away from the Miller show this season?

Eric Roddy: Let me start by saying that I loved the Jay Ajayi pick for the Dolphins in this year’s draft. He is the definition of great value for a low price, as he rushed for 1,800 yards and added another 500 receiving yards through the air in 2014 at Boise State. However, I think it will still be “Millertime” in Miami next year. Lamar Miller is the undeniable starter for this offense, following what was his best statistical year last season. According to Scout Fantasy, Miller’s ADP as of now is 43. I think that might even be a bit too low.

The Dolphins steered away from the run last year following Branden Albert’s season ending injury last November, and Miller still managed to average over five yards per rush. Now that Albert is projected to be back, the Dolphins should turn to the running game more. While I think Miller is safe and should prove his fantasy worth on the ground again this season, the one area that Ajayi could affect Miller’s stock is in the passing game. Ajayi is the better pass blocker, and could see more playing time than most rookie backs because of his ability to protect the quarterback. Ajayi was also extremely productive in the passing game at Boise State, and could become Miami’s third down back because of his skill set. His ADP is 111th overall, and I think that is too high as of now. Until his role is more defined on this offense, I think the safe bet is to continue to draft Miller somewhere in the second round as a viable RB2.

Matt Brandon: The Dolphins greatly improved their receiving corps via free agency and the NFL Draft. What do you think of Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker as Fantasy WRs?

Eric Roddy: While the Dolphins should definitely see their new wide receivers making an impact in the wins column this season, I would proceed with caution when adding Dolphins receivers to my fantasy team, simply for the fact that Ryan Tannehill now has five solid options when it comes to pass catchers. Competing for catches will be DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, Jordan Cameron and Greg Jennings. Knowing Ryan Tannehill, he won’t discriminate when it comes to slinging the ball. He hits the open receiver every time, no matter who that is. He had more than a couple games last season where he completed a pass to at least seven different receivers in the same game. That being said, I do think Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker can make a splash in the fantasy scene. The Dolphins are hoping Stills will right their long ball woes, as he was the best deep ball threat last year in the NFL. I think Stills will be a homerun hitter next year, putting up big numbers and multiple touchdowns one week, and then disappearing off the fantasy map the next week. As for Parker, assuming he is healthy and ready to go Week 1 against the Redskins following a successful foot surgery, the sky is the limit for the 6-foot-3 rookie out of Louisville. The Dolphins drafted Parker with the intention to start him and target him especially in the red zone. When it comes to drafting either or both of these receivers, I would wait until the middle or later rounds. The depth of this receiving corps is the only red flag to me, but it’s a big one.

Matt Brandon: Jordan Cameron was extremely disappointing in 2014 after catching 80 passes for 917 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013. What does it take for Tannehill to turn Cameron into an elite tight end? Where does Cameron finish among this year’s thin class of tight ends in Fantasy Football?

Eric Roddy: Besides Ndamukong Suh, I am most excited about Cameron heading into the 2015 season. He is the first big-bodied and athletic tight end that the Dolphins have had since the days of Randy McMichael. With the aforementioned talent at wide receiver, I think Jordan Cameron will be open a lot more than he ever was as the number one target in Cleveland. Tannehill can revamp Cameron’s fantasy value by hitting him over the middle for those medium gains, especially on third down. Once the Dolphins hit the red zone, I expect Cameron to find his true niche on this team. He is match up nightmare, and I think he will catch at least six touchdowns this season, if not more. Scout Fantasy has Cameron as the 8th tight end when it comes to ADP. I think by the end of the 2015 season, Cameron will jump Julius Thomas, Zach Erts and Martellus Bennett into the top 5. If he can stay healthy, he will emerge as the team’s lead red zone and third down threat.

Matt Brandon: Lastly, the defense is much improved after bringing in the talented and intimidating Ndamukong Suh. With Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon and a strong secondary featuring Brent Grimes, Reshad Jones and Louis Delmas, are the Dolphins a starting Fantasy defense this season? With all that individual talent, could they be one of the top defenses in the entire league?

Eric Roddy: I am drafting the Dolphins’ defense in every league I play in this season. They are a tremendous value for their price. Ndamukong Suh himself should account for at least six sacks, a forced fumble or two and limit the rushing yardage from opposing offenses. But it is what Suh will do for his teammates that will make this defense a valuable week in and week out starter in fantasy leagues. Adding Suh frees up sack monsters Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon, and allows cornerback Brent Grimes to play tighter on wide receivers, which will produce more interceptions and turnovers. Delmas is healthy again in the secondary joining Reshad Jones as one of the best safety tandems in the NFL. While owners eagerly snatch up the Seahawks and Lions defense, you should comfortably sit back and relax and take the Dolphins defense in the later rounds, knowing you picked a fantasy gem. Then, enjoy watching this defense consistently put up 10-12 fantasy points each week.

FINS UP!

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