Overall outlook: Not only did the Dolphins’ logo undergo a facelift, Miami’s offense was drastically overhauled. Mike Wallace signed a 5-year deal with Miami in March. Three months later, the team passed on Reggie Bush, letting him go to Detroit. The Dolphins also brought tight end Dustin Keller into the mix from division-rival New York. Fans are now hoping that these changes help improve the 27th-ranked offense.
Bye week: 6
Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill
Last year, Tannehill was one of three quarterbacks who threw for more interceptions than touchdowns (minimum of 400 passing attempts) with 12 TDs and 13 INTs. Brandon Weeden (14:17) and Mark Sanchez (13:18) were also on that list. That’s not the best company in which to surround yourself. Granted, it was Tannehill’s (and Weeden’s) rookie season. Jeff Ireland made great stries to build an offense around his quarterback to help boost his fantasy stats.
Running back: Lamar Miller
Though Reggie Bush was the featured back in 2012, Miller still received some playing time in his rookie campaign. Things were looking good as he scored in his first game (10 carries, 65 yards, and a TD vs. Oakland), but Miller failed to reach paydirt the rest of the season. Meanwhile, Bush racked up 986 yards and six scores. With Bush in Detroit, Miller currently leads the running back stable for 2013.
Running back: Daniel Thomas
Of the returning Dolphins running backs, Thomas received the most carries . On 91 attempts, he tallied 325 yards and reached the endzone four times. Out of the three featured backs, Thomas had the fewest yards per carry (3.6) in 2012. However, besides Bush (and Charles Clay), Thomas received the most targets (22) and receptions (15).
Running back: Mike Gillislee
With the starting running back role still not set in stone, we must look at all options. Gillislee was a speedster at Florida. In his senior season, Gillislee ran for over 1,100 yards (4.7 yards per carry) and scored 10 rushing TDs. In 2012, the Gators were ranked 39th in rushing and 118th in passing.
Wide receiver: Mike Wallace
“Mr. Sixty Minutes” takes his show on the road to Miami in 2013 where he’ll be Ryan Tannehill’s main receiver. In his last season with Pittsburgh, Wallace was targeted over 100 times (third-straight year) for 836 yards and eight TDs. Though his track record precedes him, Wallace will still need to fight for attention from Tannehill’s favorite 2012 wide receiver…
Wide receiver: Brian Hartline
In 2012, Ryan Tannehill threw towards Hartline 128 times or 23.6 percent of the team’s targets. The Ohio State alum may have set career-highs in targets, receptions (74), and yards (1,083), but Hartline still only scored one touchdown. Maybe with Mike Wallace as the number one receiver, Hartline will cross the goal line more often.
Wide receiver: Brandon Gibson
This was where the write-up for Dolphins receiver Armon Binns was going before a torn ACL and MCL in practice ended his season before it even started. Now, Gibson becomes the third receiver in the Miami regime. While with St. Louis last year, he was second in targets (19 behind the leader), receptions (12 behind the leader) and yards (seven yards behind the leader).
Tight end: Dustin Keller
Last year’s tight end, Anthony “Sal” Fasano led all Dolphins with five receiving touchdowns. This season, he’s a Kansas City Chief and Keller makes the move from the New York Jets to Miami. As a Jet, Keller led his team in receptions in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, a groin injury and high ankle sprain hindered Keller’s season and kept him from playing in half of his team’s games. *UPDATE: Knee injury – OUT FOR SEASON
Tight end: Charles Clay
On the Miami depth chart, Clay is listed as the next tight end. Last year, Clay was targeted 33 times and made 18 catches for 212 yards. It looks like he’ll get the first chance to replace Dustin Keller.
Tight end: Dion Sims
Don’t sleep on Sims to get some playing time for the Dolphins. In 2012, he caught 36 passes for 475 yards at Michigan State. Solid hands and great build for an NFL-type TE.
Placekicker: Caleb Sturgis
Dan Carpenter was the main kicker for Miami last year, but the Dolphins spent a fifth-round draft pick on Sturgis leading me to believe that the Florida kicker will be starting this season. In his senior season with the Gators, Sturgis made a career-high 85.7 percent of his field goals (24-28).
Miami ranked 24th in fantasy stats last year with 109 points via 10 interceptions, six fumble recoveries, and one TD. In the NFL, the Dolphins were 13th in rushing defense, 27th in passing defense, and 21st in team defense. Either way you spin it, Miami isn’t worth your last-round draft pick.