Fantasy Football Mailbag: Dolphins display new receiving corp at minicamp
Jamey Eisenberg answers your questions in his latest edition of #fantasymail and also looks at the Dolphins receiving corps after going to one of their minicamp practices.
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DAVIE, Fla. -- The Dolphins' receiving corps will have a new look in 2018 with Jarvis Landry gone. And there's a lot of production to replace.
Not only has Landry been Miami's best receiver over the past four seasons, he set an NFL record over that span with 400 catches, the most for any receiver through the first four years of his career. In 2017, Landry led the NFL in receptions with 112, and he also added 987 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 160 targets.
So who will get the majority of that production this season?
The Dolphins added two receivers to replace Landry after he was traded to the Browns. Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola were signed as free agents, and they will join Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker as the top options in the passing game.
None of those guys jump off the page as a star, and Fantasy owners aren't gravitating toward any of the Dolphins receivers on Draft Day. Based on early Average Draft Position data, Parker is the only receiver being selected in single digit rounds, and it's Round 9. Stills, Amendola and Wilson are afterthoughts with just late-round fliers.
And that could be a mistake.
Wilson said in an interview with CBS Sports at Dolphins minicamp that this receiving corps has a chance to be special, even without Landry.
"We know how good we are," Wilson said. "We know how good this group is. For people to doubt us, it just gives us that much more room to grow. We just have to get things together. We're having a lot of fun competing with each other, and I think we're going to surprise some people."
The two receivers with the most upside for the Dolphins and Fantasy owners are Stills and Parker, and I like Stills the best. Parker has the most upside, but he's had trouble living up to expectations since being a first-round pick in 2015, as well as staying healthy.
So far this offseason all reports on Parker have been glowing. That's been the case the last two offseasons as well. Parker said at a news conference during minicamp that his goal for 2018 is "at least hit 1,000 yards or something and a few touchdowns." But he also acknowledged that he's under-performed so far in his career.
"Not where I want it to be," Parker said. "That's just it. It's as simple as that."
The good news for Parker is his best production came in 2016 when Ryan Tannehill was healthy, and Tannehill is back at 100 percent following his knee injury. Parker had 56 catches for 744 yards and four touchdowns on 90 targets in 2016, compared to 57 catches, 670 yards and one touchdown on 96 targets last year when Jay Cutler started most of the season.
It's worth drafting Parker in Round 9, but it's also worth taking Stills in the same range since he's been Miami's second-best receiver behind Landry over the past two seasons. He scored 15 touchdowns over the last two seasons, along with at least 840 receiving yards, and this could be his first 1,000-yard campaign.
Stills also has the same attitude as Wilson, that the Dolphins' receiving corps is being undervalued with Landry gone.
"Our group has a chance to be special," Stills said at a recent news conference. "Guys are working hard and having fun. Just continue to come with the right attitude and right work ethic, and we'll see what we put on the field."
Amendola might benefit the most with Landry gone, because he could be the direct replacement in the slot. He's coming off a strong playoff run with the Patriots with 26 catches for 348 yards and two touchdowns in three games, and he scored at least 11 Fantasy points in a non-PPR league in all three outings.
The biggest difference for Amendola is obvious going from Tom Brady to Tannehill, but Amendola could have a huge role with the Dolphins if he's able to stay healthy. The Miami Herald predicted Amendola could have 80-85 catches this season, which would clearly make him worth at least a late-round flier in all PPR formats.
And then there's Wilson, the wild card of the group. He is expected to see time in the slot and outside, and this could be his first chance at an expanded role after being more of a role player with the Chiefs through the first four years of his career.
His best season was 2017, when he had 42 catches for 554 yards and three touchdowns on 63 targets, but the Dolphins thought enough of him to give him a three-year, $24 million contract, including $14.45 million guaranteed. In the one game where he was featured in the offense last season with the Chiefs resting starters for the playoffs in Week 17 at Denver, Wilson had 10 catches for 147 yards on 11 targets with rookie Patrick Mahomes under center.
Dolphins fans and Fantasy owners would love to see that type of production from Wilson for most of this season in Miami. And Wilson is just excited for his new opportunity.
"I love playing inside, but I love just as much playing outside," he said. "That's the good thing with me, I can play both positions very well."
If Fantasy owners are smart they will take advantage of the new-look Dolphins' receiving corps. In Round 9, look for Parker or Stills, whichever you like better. With one of your last picks, take a flier on Amendola or Wilson, depending on format.
If one or more of these guys hits, then your team is in great shape. If not, you can cut that player and move on. It's low-risk, high-reward, and whoever helps replace Landry could also help your Fantasy team in a big way.
As for this week's mailbag, continue to submit your questions on Twitter @jameyeisenberg and on my Facebook page. All you have to do is use the hashtag #fantasymail, and I'll be answering your questions throughout the offseason.
For this week, we're going to cover the following topics:
- Would you rather have Mike Evans or Saquon Barkley this year?
- Who is the best No. 3 receiver on their respective team?
- Who is the better keeper: David Johnson or DeAndre Hopkins?
- Who is the better dynasty option: D'Onta Foreman, Marlon Mack, Anthony Miller or Christian Kirk?
- What rookies can you target toward the end of Round 1 in a rookie-only draft?
- What's Todd Gurley worth in trade in a dynasty league?
From Twitter ...
It's hard to fully answer this question without knowing the format because in a dynasty league, especially PPR, Evans should have more long-term value than Barkley given the career lifespans of receivers vs. running backs. But in a seasonal league this is easy: You should give up Evans for Barkley. I have Barkley ranked as a first-round pick in any league, while Evans is going in Round 2. While I do expect Evans to rebound from last year's disappointing campaign, Barkley could be a generational talent and a top-five running back in any format. If you have the chance to draft him, do it.
I like this question a lot because one of these receivers could easily be a breakout candidate in 2018. And there are likely several No. 3 receivers on other teams we can dissect as well. It's a story worth writing this summer.
Of these three, I like Kenny Golladay the best, followed by Cameron Meredith and Paul Richardson. All three are in good situations, with Meredith getting the chance to play with Drew Brees, and Richardson potentially being a go-to target in Washington. But Golladay has the highest ceiling in Detroit because of his touchdown potential. The Lions lost their third-leading receiver from last season with Eric Ebron, who accounted for 53 catches for 574 yards and four touchdowns on 86 targets. A good portion of those stats should go to Golladay, who had 28 catches for 477 yards and three touchdowns on 48 targets as a rookie. I could see Golladay catching seven touchdowns this season if he stays healthy, and he's worth a late-round flier in all formats.
I love both of these guys this season, so take the player who is cheaper here, which is Hopkins. I'm not a fan of devoting so much salary to one player in an auction league, but Hopkins should be a great with a full season of Deshaun Watson. In the seven games Watson played before suffering a torn ACL, Hopkins had 45 catches for 606 yards and seven touchdowns, including four games with double digits in Fantasy points in a non-PPR league, and no games with worse than seven points.
It's too bad that you have to part with any of these guys in a dynasty league because all of them have upside. And while it's tempting to keep Foreman or Mack since both are among my favorite sleepers, you have to keep Miller here, especially in PPR. Foreman (Achilles) and Mack (shoulder) are coming off injuries, and their long-term outlooks don't guarantee them featured roles. Miller could be stuck as the No. 2 receiver in Chicago behind Allen Robinson for several years, but I expect the Bears offense to be on the rise with Matt Nagy and Mitchell Trubisky. But before you dump any of these guys, see if you can package them in trade. You might have limitations with roster space, but try to turn two or three of these guys into one potential star.
Your team is in pretty good shape for 2018, especially at receiver if you have both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen to go with Keenan Allen and Cooper Kupp. But running back could use an upgrade long-term since this could be LeSean McCoy's last hurrah. For your pick at No. 11, without knowing the veterans who could be available, your hope would be a rookie running back falling in the draft. If so, take the leftover from Barkley, Rashaad Penny, Derrius Guice, Ronald Jones, Sony Michel, Royce Freeman, Nick Chubb or Kerryon Johnson. If those guys are gone, then look at the best receiver available out of D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley or Miller. Looking past Round 1, some other rookie running backs to target include Jordan Wilkins, Mark Walton, Kalen Ballage and Nyheim Hines. Ballage might make sense for you as a handcuff for Kenyan Drake.
From Facebook ...
It's not a bad idea to trade for Gurley, but don't overpay for him. You obviously have tremendous depth at running back along with studs, and don't need Gurley. The one player who might entice the Gurley owner in a dynasty league is Kamara since he's coming off an explosive rookie campaign and could be headed for a bigger role, especially given Mark Ingram's four-game suspension. But if I'm the Gurley owner I would keep him since he's just a year older than Kamara (22) and should have a higher ceiling in the future. Your best bet to get Gurley is to package one of these running backs and a receiver, quarterback or tight end to get the deal done. But instead of targeting Gurley, you might approach another team about getting a stud receiver for one of these running backs to make your team more complete.
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