Evan Silva

Offseason Low Down

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Sunday, July 1, 2018


Dolphins Offensive Profile Under Adam Gase

2016-2017 Pass Attempts Rank: 31st, 4th
2016-2017 Rush Attempts Rank: 18th, 32nd
2016-2017 Play Volume Rank: 32nd, 22nd
2016-2017 Yards Per Play Rank: 7th, 22nd
Unaccounted for Air Yards from 2017 (Rank): 1,718 (8th)
Unaccounted for Carries from 2017 (Rank): 207 (7th)

Projected Starting Lineup

QB: Ryan Tannehill
RB: Kenyan Drake
WR: DeVante Parker
WR: Kenny Stills
WR: Albert Wilson
TE: Mike Gesicki
LT: Laremy Tunsil
LG: Josh Sitton
C: Daniel Kilgore
RG: Jesse Davis
RT: Ja’Wuan James

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Passing Game Outlook

Ryan Tannehill originally tore his left ACL in Week 14 of the 2016 season. The tear was diagnosed as “partial,” so Tannehill opted against surgery. He “fully” tore the same ACL last August 3, did undergo surgery, and participated fully at 2018 OTAs/minicamp. Tannehill looked to be on an upward trajectory during his cut-short 2016 campaign, establishing career bests in completion rate (67.1%), touchdown rate (4.9%), and yards per attempt (7.7) in his first season under Adam Gase. Tannehill’s fantasy impact was minor, however, logging QB21 results in Weeks 1-14 as a low-volume game manager averaging a career-low 29.9 pass attempts per game. The Dolphins have since shipped off Jarvis Landry, who arguably limited Gase’s passing attack by vacuuming low-efficiency targets in the slot. Having also parted with two-down grinder Jay Ajayi, Gase intends to open up Miami’s offense with Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker outside, freak athlete Mike Gesicki at tight end, and versatile Kenyan Drake at running back. Tannehill’s ceiling is low and his injury risk is likely higher than most quarterbacks’, but his price is right with an ADP in the mid-20s at the position. He’s a worthwhile late-round two-quarterback-league and best-ball investment.

DeVante Parker teased with a big 2017 preseason, Alshon Jeffery comparisons from interim QB Jay Cutler, and stat lines of 4/85/0, 8/76/1, and 6/69/0 in Miami’s first three games before suffering a Week 5 high ankle sprain. The injury essentially cost Parker five games, and he didn’t score another touchdown the rest of the way. A to-date bust as the No. 14 pick in the 2015 draft, Parker’s work ethic and ability to play through nagging injuries have drawn scrutiny inside the Dolphins’ organization. He has also struggled to win against press coverage. Still, Parker has “flashed” just enough for lasting optimism he can break through as a fourth-year pro at age 25. At minicamp, the Palm Beach Post reported Parker spent more offseason days at the facility than “few if any” Dolphins players. Due mainly to Landry’s exit, Miami is missing the NFL’s second-most targets (290) from last year’s team. Even after underachieving for three seasons, Parker’s potential and opportunity are worth the risk in the early double-digit rounds.

Kenny Stills quietly drew a career-high 105 targets in 2017, parlaying them into top-30 fantasy receiver results amid Cutler’s inefficient play. Whereas Parker ran over 80% of his routes outside, Stills continued to show superior versatility with a 47% slot-route rate and team-best 1.76 yards-per-route-run average (PFF) when targeted on the interior. Landry’s exit frees up nearly 90 targets in the slot alone, although most are likely earmarked for free-agent pickups Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola. Stills’ counting stats have improved each year he’s been in Miami, and the Dolphins showed their commitment to him with a four-year, $32 million contract last offseason. Still only 26 years old with job security and big-play chops in a passing game suddenly flush with opportunity, Stills is one of my highest-owned best-ball picks in the 10th and 11th rounds. I have him as the favorite to lead this year’s Fins in receiving yards.

 

Editor's Note: The 2018 Rotoworld Draft Guide provides more than 500 extensive player profiles, tiers, projections, Evan Silva’s Sleepers and Busts and much more. Get the NFL Draft Guide now.


Albert Wilson’s three-year, $24 million pact makes him the front-runner for third-receiver duties over 32-year-old Danny Amendola, who signed for two years and $12 million. Entering his tenth NFL season, Amendola has never cleared 700 receiving yards. He offers some punt-return value and is apparently a good “locker room guy.” Wilson, 26, spent four seasons in Kansas City as a low-volume slot receiver, failing to assert himself as a player Andy Reid would proactively scheme the ball. Dolphins WRs coach Ben Johnson talked up Wilson’s inside-outside versatility at June minicamp, suggesting Wilson and Stills could rotate positions with Parker at X receiver. Wilson is a low-upside, last-round deep-league and best-ball flyer.

No. 42 overall pick Mike Gesicki showed sure hands and dangerous seam-stretching ability as a three-year starter at Penn State before testing as a freaky 99th-percentile athlete at the Combine with 4.54 speed and a springy 41 ½-inch vertical. PFF College charted Gesicki with just two drops on 59 catchable targets last year. Gesicki is a receiving-only tight end on the Coby Fleener spectrum, however, and the Dolphins hedged their bets with superior blocker Durham Smythe (Notre Dame) two rounds later. Also in the hunt for tight end snaps are journeymen MarQueis Gray and AJ Derby. Gesicki is a toolsy prospect with intriguing opportunity, but odds are historically against rookie tight ends. Only nine have drawn 65 targets since targets have been charted, and only three rookie tight ends have hit 600 yards since 2000.

Running Game Outlook

Kenyan Drake’s role increased following the Dolphins’ Halloween trade of Jay Ajayi, but it wasn’t until Damien Williams’ year-ending shoulder injury in Week 12 that Drake emerged as Miami’s feature back. In post-Ajayi Weeks 9-12, Williams out-touched Drake 46 to 44, even as Drake logged a 56% snap rate to Williams’ 45%. Drake erupted in Weeks 13-17, averaging 21.6 touches for 118.8 yards per game and finishing the season No. 1 in Pro Football Focus’ Elusive Rating. Drake also ranked top five among 50 qualified backs in PFF’s Pass-Blocking Efficiency. Fantasy Labs' Ian Hartitz noted Drake's 4.96 YPC average over the last two seasons is second best in the NFL among running backs with 150-plus attempts. Forward-thinking concerns remain; in six college and pro seasons, Drake has never exceeded 133 carries. The Dolphins used Drake as a committee back until Williams’ injury forced their hand, then signed Frank Gore and drafted Kalen Ballage. Beat writers have suggested Miami will stay with an RBBC. At minicamp, RBs coach Eric Studesville wouldn’t name Drake the Dolphins’ starter. Uncertain usage renders Drake a risky RB2 in the early rounds of drafts.

35-year-old Frank Gore accepted a near-minimum contract to finish his career in his hometown after failing to reach 4.0 yards per carry in three straight years with the Colts and posting a 2017 rushing Success Rate of 44%, 23rd among 47 qualified backs at Football Outsiders. Although Gore’s prime is long gone, he is the type of hardworking, reliable veteran an NFL coaching staff could theoretically force on the field, even at promising youngsters’ expense. After fourth-round pick Kalen Ballage impressed at OTAs, the Miami Herald reported “people within the organization have been whispering (Ballage) might be a significant factor before the 2018 season is over.” Ballage was an underachiever at Arizona State, never earning more than 14.2 touches per game as a four-year committee back but showing plus receiving chops and running 4.46 at a rocked-up 6-foot-2, 228 before the draft. It’s conceivable Gore will open the year in Damien Williams’ former role, and Ballage will push him for it as the season progresses.

2018 Vegas Win Total

The Dolphins’ Win Total opened at 6.0 after Miami went 10-6 and 6-10 in Adam Gase’s first two years as coach. Last year’s Fins faced severe misfortune, losing their quarterback in training camp and playing 16 straight games because Hurricane Irma canceled Week 1 against the Bucs, costing Miami its bye. The Dolphins were still a thoroughly terrible team, finishing 28th in points for and 29th in points against, and eking out 5-of-6 victories by one score. Incredibly, 13-of-16 Dolphins wins (81.3%) on Gase’s watch have come by one score, and they are 13-5 all told in one-score games under Gase. Miami’s point differential is an abominable -129 during Gase’s two years, including -17 in the Dolphins’ fluky ten-win 2016 season. Warren Sharp did rate Miami’s 2018 schedule ninth softest in the league, mainly because they face the Jets and Bills twice. I just can’t support over six wins for a bottom-five roster.



Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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