Can you smell that? The smell of appetizers and cold beer is about to overtake someone’s home including my own.
Ahhh, smoke pork butt!
It’s time to draft your fantasy teams fellas!
Most people are expecting the Miami Dolphins to be a little barren of talent this year at the skill positions, but the Dolphins are not short of sneaky picks. How great is it when you can draft a guy from your favorite team to fill roster spots on your fantasy team? There are some definite opportunities with this year’s group. My rankings are based on half point PPR format since that is the league I play in.
First let’s talk Kenyan Drake, the ultimate boom or bust pick currently going into this year. Most fans expect him to make the next step, but I’ve been a critic of this thought process. My first concern is we’ve only seen it a few times and why in the heck couldn’t he steal the show from Granddaddy Gore?
I argue with my fellow writers all the time about this. Was Adam Gase just that stubborn and ghastly as a coach? Or, is Kenyan Drake a third down runner with pass catching ability in situational football? That’s all he’s ever really been going back to Alabama. Maybe Nick Saban was actually right on his ability.
My take with Drake is he has always been a third down running back. If you want to draft him this year, do so as a fallen value in the 70-80 pick range. If you really think he’s a franchise guy, you can pick him as high as the 65-70. He’s an inconsistent player playing behind an even more inconsistent offensive line, so flex appeal is his best fit for any team he finds himself on.
Draft him as a RB2 and you might very well not make the playoffs. Drake is no better than the 25th best runner this year as he also faces competition behind him.
Secondly, staying on the RB theme make sure that if you invest in Drake, you also invest in Kalen Ballage. Having Ballage is the upside you may need to win your league let along mitigate risk in picking Drake. He may very well get his opportunity to take over the starting job at the bye week if the team is looking for a spark coming out of the time off.
You’re starting to see Ballage pop up on “2nd Year Backs To Watch” lists all over the fantasy landscape and you can include me in that group. At 6’2” and 231 lbs., running a 4.46 at the scouting combine and 4.35 at his pro day. Ballage is built to be that every down back the Dolphins have been desperate to find, and they may have very well found him.
Draft Kalen Ballage as the 35th to 40th Runner off the board. Consider him higher than a handcuff somewhere in the Austin Ekelar, Royce Freeman, Duke Johnson range and he shouldn’t disappoint. It could very well be the Ballage-Walton show to close out the season.
Well thanks for reading, the rest is a complete wasteland…or is it?
Kenny Stills is walking into this years Fantasy Season undervalued once again. At 27 years old, Stills is in his prime and with previous QB/Coach woes there is no doubt in my mind he can be at minimum a WR3 capable of filling bye weeks or operating as a flex most weeks.
Draft him knowing that there could be legitimate upside because there is little competition and a new staff and QB who can throw the deep ball. Landry was so effective here because Tannehill couldn’t complete anything past 10 yards.
That no longer applies with either of the QBs Miami now has on the roster. There will be lines that break down and force Fitzmagic/Rosen to get creative and an astute Stills can be a difference maker.
Draft Stills as the 50th or so Wide Receiver off the board ahead of guys like Emmanuel Sanders, Donte Moncrief, and DeSean Jackson. He’s the number one guy on a rebuilding team that will be playing from behind a ton. He should absolutely finish higher than where he’s being drafted.
And with the last pick of every fantasy football draft, every team not in my league, should take a flier on Preston Williams. He may already be the best wide receiver on the roster. I know it was preseason but how impressive for this young guy to come out and make those catches. He played the ball exceptionally well and that size! You may say I’m overreacting, but his story isn’t new.
The message has been the same through all camps this year. That man can ball. I never bought into the idea he was a project. He was very productive; it was really about the grey matter between his ears that caused him to fall out of the draft and the combine. Everything I’m reading is that he really has done everything he can to turn his life around. And great job Grier for giving a young man a chance to prove he deserves another shot at life.
I love the versatility and skills sets in Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson. I just don’t see them finding much consistency although there will undoubtedly be a four catch, 130 yard, one touchdown stat line. Don’t draft any of these guys and expect consistent production.
Undraftable positions is Tight End and Team Defense. We just don’t have the guys built for the defensive system yet. Mike Gesicki can’t block hence bringing in Dwayne Allen. I’m not even sure he can beat out the feisty Nick O’Leary yet.
Minkah Fitzpatrick may be a viable option but you’ll need to see that develop. He’s a swiss army knife that will play near the line of scrimmage quite a bit. If he puts a couple weeks back to back with ten plus point, pull the trigger.
This story was written by Steven Paulsen. Follow him on Twitter: @SarcasticPhin
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