Saturday, August 20, 2016

Let's All Panic About the Defense?

    The number of shrill headlines following the Dolphins defensive performance versus Dallas is truly mind-boggling.  While it is true that the Cowboys walked up and down the field at will last night, it is worth remembering that different teams use the preseason for different reasons, particularly in week two.
    It was clear that Gase wanted to get the offense going last night.  We saw some things that were not quite vanilla- RT's rollout bomb to Stills comes to mind, as do a few designed QB runs.  Last night the defense, however, seemed to be playing a very limited game plan.  Sure, it would have been nice to see better tackling, more one-on-one effort in the trenches, and above all better coverage, but I suspect that the Dallas O unit and Miami O unit were more under examination than the respective defenses.
    But don't take my (speculative) word for it.  Take a look at a few preseason results from last year.  The following are the 30+ point performances against defenses:

KC 34, AZ 19
PHI 36, IND 10

PHI 40, BAL 17
CAR 31, MIA 30

PHI 39, GB 26
WAS 31, BAL 13
CLE 31, TB 7
AZ 30, OAK 23

Baltimore surrendered 30+ points twice in the preseason, but was number 8 in total defense during the regular season.  Arizona got lit up by Kansas City but was fifth in the league.  Tampa Bay had the league's number 10 defense and gave up 31- to CLEVELAND.  And Miami hung 30 on Carolina- and we all know what that meant, long term.

So:  relax!  It is going to be a long season, with ups and downs.  Last night was neither.  But if you really want something to worry about, the running game might be a good place to start...

Jay Lopez

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dolphins expectations by Mike Gil

I keep hearing how Gaze is a QB guru and a great offensive coach and i don't doubt it, but come on the dolphins are or were in trouble and couldn't do much of anything and that's why we got Gaze because we suck. Now that been said, i have hope and i love the fins, but what should we really expect this year out of a 6 - 10 team (that's what we are till we start the season). If you think we can win 10 or 11 games then you are dreaming. As much as i want this team to win it's not wise to set yourself up for a heart break and history is with me on that because my heart breaks every year. So this year I'm trying to to set the bar low because unless Tannehill suddenly turns into Aaron Rodgers we are mediocre and thats what we are. I'm not trying to put are QB down but let's face it if he could carry the team he would but he is not that guy and even with Gase he needs help with the heavy lifting. What I'm trying to say is that there is to ways to get there 1 is to have a QB that can carry the team on his shoulders and makes other players better and 2 is to have a really good team that can carry the QB, to be honest ido not see any of those two things happening. As Gase may be it's a process and it will take time. But what the heck we have been waiting so long i will be happy if we show improvement and hold our own in the AFC East which let me remind you we are the celler and punching bag of the division (a fricking pinata) 1 division game we one last year maybe 2, all i remember is the pain of watching my loved team get beat. So my friends enjoy the football season enjoy the games but don't go crasy with expectations just cheer support and go ahead and talk smack to every team we play and if it works out great but don't set yourself up to get hurt keep in mind it's a building process so hope for the best but keep it real when it comes to what you should expect. It would be great if we surprise and surpass all expectations.

Dolphins Fantasy Outlook: Who to draft, who to ignore.

    Draft day is imminent.  I wonder if any of you have ever been guilty of reaching for a hometown player (think the under-utilized Lamar Miller) or passed on a Miami player and then had to watch him eat your lunch week in, week out (Jarvis Landry anyone?)  Here is a quick and handy guide to getting value on Dolphins players in this year's draft.

Note:  My projections involve ADP- I like many Miami players production-wise, but I don't like how early some are being selected.  I like others precisely because they can be had at a bargain.


Ryan Tannehill:  (Draft) A lot is being made of Gase's desire for more balance in the offense.  This won't necessarily hurt RT's production.  Longer, more sustained drives should lead to more plays from scrimmage, a greater number of touchdowns, and fewer picks.  I think Tannehill will improve on his 2015 totals in touchdowns (24) and hold steady in yardage (4200).  If he does so, he might be a very valuable addition, particularly if Gase likes the idea of allowing Tannehill to run, a luxury Gase never had with Manning and Cutler.  A final note:  The Dolphins corners will likely take a while to gel (I think Culliver will need to return from injury before the unit fully stabilizes.)  Other teams may be throwing a lot on us.  If so, the Dolphins T.O.P. stands to benefit due to a shifting run/pass dynamic in our opponents, resulting in a greater number of snaps for Miami on offense.  Tannehill is going far too late in most drafts; take him late and prosper.  He is a viable low-end starter in 12 team leagues and a very useful insurance policy on an aging starter.


Jarvis Landry:  (Draft in PPR, ignore in standard.) Landry is our best player.  He will post huge numbers in the PPR format.  His value slips in standard leagues, where he will likely be over drafted.  This team has a large number of red zone  targets (Cameron, Parker, multiple pass-catching backs) which may limit Landry's scoring plays, but he will remain the go-to option in terms of possession.

Devante Parker:  (Ignore in all formats.)  Parker is going to go very high on draft day- there is so much buzz around him given the insane ability he showed down the stretch last season.  The consensus on fantasy sites is that he is a superstar in the making.  I love this player's upside and hope the "experts" are right, but I won't be drafting him.  He is likely to be picked in 12 team leagues by, at latest, the 5th round, meaning that he needs to be at least a WR2 and will be many team's WR1.  I don't like the risk.  Parker is a boom or bust player, and I hate boom or bust starters in season-long fantasy.  In weekly leagues I'll be playing him regularly when the price is right, but I don't want to count on him week in, week out, until he has a healthy season.

Kenny Stills, Jakeem Grant and Leonte Caroo:  (Draft)  These players are all worth fliers in my opinion.  I love Caroo in dunasty leagues, and I think he'll have gigantic value if anything untoward happens to Parker.  If you do draft Parker, consider insuring with Caroo.  Stills will produce big games but also pull disappearing acts.  With a good matchup, he can be a WR3 with some value and he is going too late in drafts.  Grant is just plain fun; draft him and enjoy watching Gase get him involved in the second half of the season.


Jordan Cameron: (Draft)  Cameron will have a big year in this offense.  Please see my earlier article on this site for a more detailed breakdown.  He's and excellent TE2, maybe more, and will go too late in most drafts.


Arian Foster:  (Draft)  Foster is a boom/bust back.  Somehow he is going at #82 overall and the #26 running back in the draft.  That means he may be on the board in round 7- that is ludicrous.  Take him as your RB 2 and prosper, as your RB 3 and destroy.  This is a superstar with a chip on his shoulder, and as I pointed out in an earlier article, Gase leans heavily on experience in the backfield.  This player can be the steal of the draft, as long as you properly insure against injury via handcuff.

Jay Ajayi:  (Draft only as handcuff.)  Ajayi is going far too early.  He is being drafted only one round later than Foster.  That is a mistake.  Let someone else pay this price.

Jakeem Grant:  (Draft)   Grant gives you pure upside on a late flier.  Pick him up late, stash him, and have fun with a talented player, especially in PPR formats.

Thanks to the excellent people at Fantasypros for all ADP ratings.

Jay Lopez

Monday, August 15, 2016

Dion Jordan Likely to be Cut

        As I read all of the articles mentioning that Dion Jordan is slated to be a DE, I can't help but ruefully chuckle.  This is classic coaches' doublespeak.  When Vance Joseph told us today that Jordan would be evaluated at Defensive End, he was really telling us that Jordan would not make the Dolphins final roster.
       At this moment, the Dolphins are deeper at DE than at any other position.  As Adam Beasley delicately points out, Chris McCain and Terrence Fede are on the bubble, with one of them likely to be cut unless there is a camp injury above them in the pecking order.  Where, then, does this put Jordan?  In street clothes, on a practice squad, or as a short-term Patriot so Belichick can pick his brain for schemes before showing him the door.
     I don't mean to be unfair to a still young man trying to find his path.  He may well find a spot on another, less talented defensive front.  But I do mean to close the door on this silly non-story.  Watching Dolphins writers nervously wonder when the NFL would reinstate Jordan, whether he would be in shape, whether Kiko Alonso thought Jordan was a good player, all of it was meaningless. This team moved on from this disastrous decision when we switched coaching staffs.
     It would have been nice to hear that Dion was "totally engaged" in meetings when he was first drafted.  Instead, we all discovered that the team had wasted a draft trading up for a non-entity who was only drafted out of fear about covering a tight end tandem that the legal system was soon to dismantle.  Let's face it: Jordan was a bust, is a bust, and shall be a bust.  Let this last rusting, vestigial trace of the Philbin "era" gently slip away; let's save our attention for players who will earn their keep.
   Of course, that may be precisely what Joseph was doing today: answering the Jordan question by letting us all know that the Dolphins will shake his hand, look him in the eye, and move on.  By slating Jordan for competition with McCain and Fede, Joseph was politely showing Jordan the door.  The future is waiting in the two hard-working young men who are making the most of their shot.  It's time to let the past go.

Jay Lopez

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Trade Matt Moore, give QB2 to Doughty.

I have to say, I watched Friday's game, and I know, I know its only preseason week 1 but, I was no impressed with Tannehill, his movements, his decisions at all, that being said I know he will be the starter and there is no way around it.  I believe The Dolphins need to trade Matt Moore and keep Brandon Doughty.  What I saw from Doughty, I absolutly love his play.  Confident, and accuracy is amazing which is what he is known for.  He was the most productive QB in college prior to him entering the draft, ahead of the 2 first picks in 2016.  He led the nation in yards, completions and completion percentage.  If Tannehill isn't going anywhere and Matt Moore is not going to be a starter for us, trade Moore and give that spot to Doughty.  Who knows, maybe he has what it takes to be the answer Miami is waiting for.  I do not want to see him slip to the practice squad because he won't be there long.