• Inside the Locker Room
With Ethan Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post
Is Brandon Marshall a top-five fantasy WR? Or is the QB situation that bad?
I would not take Marshall too high in fantasy drafts this season. While he has worked hard to get back to top speed this offseason, he can’t be counted upon to generate big yards or touchdown numbers until the Dolphins develop or acquire a proven passer. He might be one of the more talented receivers in the league who is not an attractive option in fantasy drafts.
Cameron Wake: Fluke in 2010 or fantasy stud in 2011?
Wake may be a late bloomer, but his work ethic and natural pass-rushing ability will make him a stud for years to come. I would think he would be an attractive pick in IDP drafts this season. Not bad for a guy who was a virtual unknown before the 2010 season.
After improving in each of his first three years, has Davone Bess peaked?
Bess is a solid slot option, and a crafty route-runner, but he lacks the straight-line speed to become statistically elite. He has averaged around 10 yards per catch in each of his three years in the league, and I wouldn’t expect much more than that in the future. He did improve his touchdowns last year (five up from two in 2009), but I don’t think he will ever be a big scorer.
With Miami’s top four skill players all ranking in the 20s at their positions in 2010, is kicker Dan Carpenter the most consistent Dolphin for fantasy players?
Perhaps, but Carpenter, after a great start, actually struggled down the stretch. If he’s attempting that many field goals again, Tony Sparano might have trouble finishing the season.
• Fantasy Playoff Run — Weeks 14-16: PHI, @BUF, @NE
If the Fins want to run, they’ll do so against last year’s 15th-, 30th- and 20th-ranked fantasy defenses vs RBs. Of course, they managed just 287 yards combined in the four meetings vs. Buffalo and New England last season. Philly’s and Buffalo’s pass defenses were in the top half vs. fantasy WRs, but Marshall went 29-for-306 and a score in the four meetings with the Bills and Pats, while Bess was 26-for-260 with two scores.
• Athlon Best Bets
Sleeper: Davone Bess, WR
Deep-Sleeper: Edmond Gates, WR
Overvalued: Reggie Bush, RB
Top Rookie: Daniel Thomas, RB
Bounce-Back: Brandon Marshall, WR
Top IDP: Yeremiah Bell, DB
• Try to Avoid
Anthony Fasano, TE
Despite career highs in targets (60), catches (39) and yards (528) last season, where does he fit in this season? He has rookie Charles Clay to compete with, as well as Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess and Reggie Bush in the passing game.
WAIT UNTIL: Never
• Draft Class Fantasy Impact
With uncertainty surrounding which running backs will return to Miami in 2011, getting a workhorse in the draft was one of the top priorities. Thomas rushed for 2,850 yards and 30 touchdowns in two years at Kansas State and should have every opportunity to win the starting job this season. Thomas got a little help up front thanks to the first-round selection of Mike Pouncey at center. Gates adds speed to the receiving corps, which should help to open the middle of the field for Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess.
More Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets and Rankings:
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 280
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 240 w/ IDPs
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers
2011 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defense/Special Teams