Do you even tan bro?
Throughout the world of fantasy football, there are varying degrees of talent. Of course, it’s easy to point out the studs and duds each season. After all, studs end up drafted in the first round or two while the duds find themselves on your league’s waiver wire. However, the most important thing to remember is that fantasy football championships are won in the back-half of your draft. Finding quality depth for your roster is undoubtedly the most important (and difficult) thing for fantasy owners to do year in and out. With that being said, here is a look at one of many quality veterans who are being vastly undervalued in fantasy football drafts across the world and could help you win your league: Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline.
Hartline was drafted out of Ohio State University by the Dolphins in the fourth-round of the 2009 draft. Despite being plagued by injuries early in his career, Hartline has managed to bounce back and become the most consistent receiver currently in Miami’s core. In fact, Hartline has posted back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons over the past two years with Dolphins franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
That’s quite impressive given the lack of explosiveness in Miami’s offense over the previous several years. Additionally, Hartline broke the Dolphins single-game receiving record in 2012 posting a ridiculous 253 yards week 4 against the Arizona Cardinals. Unfortunately, not even a 250+ yard receiving game could place Hartline on fantasy football’s waiver-wire radar. It just seems like most owners steer clear of the former Buckeye despite his consistency and tremendous upside. Yet, this could end up being the season that changes. While Hartline obviously won’t be a WR1 in any fantasy football leagues this season, that certainly doesn’t mean he has no fantasy value.
Consider this, over the past two years, Hartline started 15 games each season and averaged 5 catches for 65+ yards per game. In PPR (point per reception) Leagues, that alone adds up to 11 points. Add in the fact that Hartline will be in a new receiver-friendly offense under former Chip Kelly protégé and current Dolphins’ Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor, along with posting a career-high 4 receiving touchdowns last year, and all signs point toward Hartline being a legitimate breakout candidate in fantasy football this year.
Non-believers need look no further than the tremendous red-zone production from Philadelphia Eagles receiver Riley Cooper last season. After all, Hartline will be playing a similar role within the Dolphins offense this year, and might actually be more talented and reliable than Cooper at this stage in their respective careers. In the end, however, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for Hartline to duplicate Cooper’s 2013 touchdown production. That would put him at 8 end zone appearances this year. If Hartline can hit that mark and couple it with his consistent production yardage-wise, it would make the Dolphin receiver a solid WR3 or flex play with WR2 upside this season, particularly in PPR leagues.