Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
In the seventh installment of a series, we return to the AFC East and evaluate the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins (7-9) were 15th in scoring at 22.5 ppg and 25th in points allowed at 24.4 ppg.
Since the beginning of 2009, the Dolphins offense has undergone major changes. Chad Pennington was the quarterback heading into last year, but by the end of the season Chad Henne emerged. Whether he is the "starter of the future" or not is yet to be determined. Meanwhile, the team also brought in a "star" receiver, Brandon Marshall, to help improve their passing game and try to bring it on par with a solid running attack. It will be interesting to see if the "Marshall Plan" works.
Chad Henne - After throwing for less than 250 yards in his first nine games, Henne showed progress in the second half of the season, including a couple of 300+ yard days. We're still not sure if he is the long-term answer, but barring a complete collapse or injury, Henne should be the team's starting quarterback all season. Pennington will be a solid backup along with Tyler Thigpen (unless the former Kansas City quarterback is traded) while Pat White is a fantasy non- factor. Henne has a current ADP (Average Draft Position) of 133, meaning most owners believe he's a backup fantasy quarterback despite the addition of a quality wideout and a more passing-friendly atmosphere which saw the team throw more than it ran the ball last year (545 vs. 509).
Ronnie Brown - Brown was having a solid season when he suffered a Lisfranc injury that cost him the final seven games of 2009. It was his second major leg injury in three years which has to concern all fantasy owners and Dolphins' fans. As of June he claimed he was about 80%, but should be ready by September. Still, it's tough to have your fantasy team rely heavily on a guy who is injury prone. It's difficult enough to get through an entire season even when you start it healthy. Brown will continue to share the workload with Ricky Williams, but until I see him run at 100% I'd rather have the "other guy." Brown's ADP is currently at 44, but should rise to his 2009 level (ADP 33) if owners see him running in preseason.
Ricky Williams - At this point, I'd rather have Williams for a sixth-round pick (ADP 70) than Brown in the fourth round. Mainly because I know that Williams will be there every week as he has been for the past two seasons. With Brown out of the picture over the final seven games, Williams posted four 100+ yards games and finished the season with 1,385 yards from scrimmage and 13 scores. Neither Lex Hilliard, Patrick Cobbs or Kory Sheets should be fantasy-worthy barring multiple running back injuries.
Brandon Marshall - The last time the Dolphins had this talented a wide receiver was back in the Mark Duper/Mark Clayton era. Unfortunately, he comes with baggage, but he has shown he can produce in the form of 100+ receptions (three consecutive seasons) and 1,100+ yards (also three straight seasons). He'll cost you a second-round selection (ADP 19), but given the consistency of his statistics whether the quarterback was Jay Cutler or Kyle Orton, I see no reason he can't do the same with Henne.
Davone Bess - Bess was the No.1 receiver of a mediocre group, but with all the attention on Marshall in 2010 could have just as good a season as in 2009 (76-758-2). He might be a nice late-round pick (ADP 160) with little downside and plenty of upside.
Greg Camarillo - Camarillo and Brian Hartline's fantasy stock will suffer dramatically because of the addition of Marshall and barring injury will have little fantasy value this season in Miami.
Anthony Fasano - Fasano's numbers fell in 2009 both in yardage and touchdowns and with the quality at tight end throughout the league this season shouldn't be a starter.
Dan Carpenter - Carpenter is a totally professional kicker who has made 86.8% of his field goal attempts over the past two seasons (46-for-53) and 77-for-78 in extra points. Unfortunately, Miami doesn't attempt many 50+ kicks so his ability to get bonus points is limited. That and the offense has only tried 28 kicks last season which left him at 11th best in 2009 fantasy points.
The Dolphins' defense finished in the middle of the pack from a fantasy standpoint despite putting up a solid sack total (44). They just didn't turn the ball over enough (six fumbles, 15 interceptions). They'll also miss Ted Ginn Jr.'s two kickoff return for touchdowns. On the other hand, Bill Parcells loaded up on defensive players in the draft (DL Jared Odrick, OLB Koa Misi, OLB A.J. Edds, S Reshad Jones, OLB Chris McCoy, LB Austin Spitler) to try and reduce his team's points allowed total. They are currently the 15th team off the board with an ADP of 165.