For yet another season, Razzball will be interviewing local NFL beat writers for some in-depth actual football knowledge to sway some insight in our fantasy football knowledge. Keep your eye out for an interview for every NFL team through the summer and check out each one on the “2012 Fantasy Football Team Previews” link. This installment comes courtesy of Kevin Nogle from the Miami Dolphins blog The Phinsider:
1) Reggie Bush had a stellar 2011 campaign. So stellar, in fact, he came out in the Spring saying he wanted to win the rushing title in 2012. Then the Dolphins said they might put him in a wide receiver role this year. If our understanding of football is correct, that is a hard position to win a rushing title from. With all this information swirling around, it’s hard to gauge what Bush will do this year for fantasy purposes. In your opinion, what will Bush’s role be in the offense and will he have as big or maybe even a bigger impact for fantasy in 2012?
Bush should have a bigger overall role in the offense this season, but you’re right, his “running back” role may be down from last year, when you consider just rushing yards. He’s still going to be the starting running back, and he’s going to get the majority of the carries in the offense, but the total carries may be below his 216 carries last year, especially if Daniel Thomas or Lamar Miller can be successful on third down and goal line situations. Ultimately, Bush should should see more touches, as he is used more in the passing game,both coming out of the backfield, and lining up as a wide receiver, and could be a solid flex play, but if you need pure rushing yards, you can probably do better than Bush.
2) The QB situation seemingly got less murky with the injury to David Garrard. Will Ryan Tannehill hold down the fort now or is Matt Moore gaining ground and will either be fantasy worthy in a standard 10 or 12 team league?
At this point, I think the job is Tannehill’s to lose. I really liked the idea of Garrard starting the season, with Tannehill learning, but if it’s between Moore and Tannehill, and it remains a close contest, I don’t see why you don’t go with the rookie. I would not expect great stats from him if he does start – he is still going to make his rookie mistakes, and even Peyton Manning was negative in TD:INT ratio his rookie year – but, he is clearly someone I would target in a keeper league, and as a possibly bye week replacement this year.
3) It was looking a tad dire before Chad came into camp. Davone Bess and Brian Hartline looked destined to be the number one targets at wide receiver. Though they’re both capable players, neither seem to be top end WR material. With that said, will either of them be fantasy relevant this season or perhaps is there a darkhorse we need to know about at the wide receiver position at Dolphins camp?
Bess is one of the top slot receiver in the league, but people just don’t realize it yet. He has been burning it up in training camp, and is set to blow up this year. Bess should be a mid-round grab, and should really be a draft target in a PPR league.
4) We are always trying to find a diamond in the rough for fantasy purposes. While we’re not trying to say finding fantasy value is rough when it comes to Miami, all the off-season issues with Garrard’s injury and Chad Johnson’s firing are making it hard for us fantasy owners to find someone fitting our needs. Are there any players we outsiders looking in are missing out on to tuck under our caps for draft day sleepers?
I recently put this post up on The Phinsider that lists four possibles
, but there are two I would highlight here. Julius Pruitt has a chance to take on the #1 wide receiver spot vacated by Brandon Marshall. Pruitt has looked good in camp, and he has the potential to come out of no where this year and have a very effective campaign. My second is a deep, deep sleeper – tight end Charles Clay. Clay is not going to put up gaudy numbers, and you should not be counting on him as a starting tight end. But, with the Dolphins looking to find the seam stretching tight end like head coach Joe Philbin had in Green Bay with Jermichael Finley, and Clay’s ability to get open and some great hands, he could be a guy to watch as a late waiver-wire pickup. He’s a guy you want to stash on your bench and flex into a bye week replacement late in the season as the Dolphins get used to their new offense and the dynamic Clay brings to them.
5) It was believed Daniel Thomas was going to be the lead back last year while Reggie Bush filled the role of all purpose like he did for New Orleans. Then Daniel couldn’t stay healthy and was ineffective when he was healthy and began to lose carries to Bush. We know how the rest of that story went. With that said, 2012 is a new year so what is your take on Daniel Thomas’ role this season and will he be an asset to have for fantasy purposes?
I really think the idea that Thomas was going to be the lead back was more of a story from the media not seeing Bush as capable of carrying the ball like he did. And, early in the season, it did seem that Bush was struggling, especially between the tackles. But, once then offensive coordinator Brian Daboll figured out exactly how to use Bush, you saw him suddenly transform into a feature back. All of that, plus the hamstring injuries he suffered, kept Thomas from becoming the main back. Now, this year, Thomas is coming back from, what he would see as, a disappointing rookie year, trying to keep a hold on his second string spot in a suddenly crowded backfield. With his size, Thomas should fill the third down role for the team, and could be a goal line touchdown thief from Bush – but the Dolphins are also focusing on use of the fullback position, and with 6′ 4″, 250+ pound tailback Jerome Messame working as a fullback right now, Thomas could even lose that role. Rookie Lamar Miller could also be a threat to Thomas’ carry total this season, as the Dolphins look to prepare Miller for assuming Bush’s role in the offense should the team decide to not re-sign Bush after the season.