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NFL

Miami Dolphins

Division: AFC EastGM: Jeff IrelandHead Coach: Joe Philbin
2012: 7-9 (2nd AFC East)vs. division 2-4
Points18.0 (27th)
Yards311.5 (27th)
Pass Yards198.9 (26th)
Rush Yards112.6 (17th)

A Flurry of new additions brings hope for Dolphins in 2013

Key Additions

WR M.Wallace, CB B.Grimes,
TE D.Keller, LB D.Ellerbe,
OG L.Louis, OT T.Clabo,
DL V.Martin, LB P.Wheeler,
WR B.Gibson

Key Subtractions

OT J.Long, LB K.Dansby,
RB R.Bush, CB S.Smith, WR D.Bess
TE A.Fasano, LB K.Burnett

The Dolphins created a lot of buzz in the off-season with splashy moves in free agency. Combine that with a young quarterback who appears poised to take a big step forward in his development and you have a team that appears ready to challenge for a playoff spot.

However, for all the talk of new additions, it's important to remember what the Dolphins lost off their roster from last season. Gone is their franchise left tackle Jake Long, starting running back Reggie Bush and tight end Anthony Fasano. On defence, they watched cornerback Sean Smith, as well as linebackers Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby sign on with other teams.

With the arrival of wide receivers Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, and tight end Dustin Keller on offence, the Dolphins have surrounded Ryan Tannehill with the type of weapons he was lacking in his rookie season. Aside from an underrated Brian Hartline, Tannehill didn't have much in the way of playmakers in his receiving corps, but still showed signs of being a true franchise quarterback in year one. All reports since the end of last season have him impressing in the lead up to his sophomore season.

The main worry for Tannehill is his offensive line. Jonathan Martin will be asked to fill the void left by Long and there are no guarantees that he is capable of doing that. After playing at 305 pounds last season, Martin went on a mission to add 10-15 pounds to help him handle his new responsibility as Tannehill's blindside protector.

Martin will play alongside Richie Incognito, who was named as a Pro Bowl replacement last season, but you could argue that was more ceremonial than based on actual merit. Veterans Lance Louis and Tyson Clabo were signed in the off-season and should help bring stability on the right side of the line, while Mike Pouncey holds down the centre position.

Martin remains the biggest key to Tannehill and the Dolphins' success on offence. General manager Jeff Ireland is risking a lot on Martin, including his job in Miami.

Miller Time

After averaging nearly five yards per carry in his rookie season, Lamar Miller has been thrust into the starring role. Miller's stats came on a small sample size of 51 carries, but Miller has emerged as one of the most talked about breakout candidates of 2013.

Miller isn't the most physical runner, instead relying on a smooth running style and an impressive extra gear when he finds space. If he gets to the edge, he is lightning quick turning upfield. Improving his pass protection is the one area of his game he needed to work on and Tannehill and head coach Joe Philbin have already praised him for making strides with his blitz pickup.

Tannehill should be able to do enough to keep defences honest and Miller has the skill set to make them pay. (-TSN.ca)

Analysis: Jordan doesn't really have a position in the Dolphins' defence, but they will find a way to use his elite pass rushing skills. Combined with Cameron Wake, Jordan could give Miami one of the most fear edge rushes in the league... Taylor would be a welcome addition to the Dolphins' secondary as a solid corner, who can also help create turnovers and run defend. However, he will face competition for the starting corner role across from Brent Grimes... RB Daniel Thomas has underwhelmed in Miami, and fifth round rusher Gillislee has an opportunity to move into the primary backup spot. (-TSN.ca)

Round 1 3rd overall Dion Jordan DE Oregon
Round 2 54th overall Jamar Taylor CB Boise State
Round 3 77th overall Dallas Thomas OT Tennessee
Round 3 93rd overall Will Davis CB Utah State
Round 4 104th overall Jelani Jenkins OLB Florida
Round 4 106th overall Dion Sims TE Michigan State
Round 5 164th overall Mike Gillislee RB Florida
Round 5 166th overall Caleb Sturgis K Florida
Round 7 250th overall Don Jones SS Arkansas State

Defensive Gains

The turnover wasn't limited to the Dolphins' offence, as they replaced their departing defenders with linebackers Dannell Ellerbe, and Phillip Wheeler, and cornerback Brent Grimes.

AFC EAST PROJECTIONS

Patriots (12-4)

Still on top of AFC East


Dolphins (9-7)

Lose tiebreaker, miss playoffs


Bills (4-12)

Playoff drought continues


Jets (3-13)

Disastrous season in NY

Grimes should fit nicely as the number one cover man coming over from Atlanta, while Ellerbe and Wheeler will be tasked with taking over a linebacker corps that Dansby and Burnett held intact last season.

In the last three seasons, Cameron Wake has become the star of the Dolphins' defence, posting 37.5 sacks over the last three seasons. The former B.C. Lion has proved all doubters wrong by reaching the Pro Bowl twice and making first team All Pro last season.

Wake has been a one-man pass rush in recent years, facing regular double teams, so the arrival of Dion Jordan is welcome news to help balance their attack. Another name to watch for is second-year man Olivier Vernon, who may be rotational player off the edge.

The pressure on the outside will make life easier on interior linemen Randy Starks, Paul Soliai and Jared Odrick. The Dolphins finished near the bottom of the league in turnovers, making it imperative that they get a push from all positions on the line, not just Wake.

There is more than one reason to be excited entering the season in Miami, but expectations should also be tempered for a team with so many new pieces. (-TSN.ca)

OFFENCE

DEFENCE

LT

J. Martin
J. Adams
W. Yeatman

LG

R. Incognito
D. Thomas
J. Braun

C

M. Pouncey
J. Samuda
C. Burden
S. Brenner

RG

J. Jerry
L. Louis
C. Barker

RT

T. Clabo
N. Garner
A. McDonald

WR1

M. Wallace
R. Matthews
B. Tyms
K. Davis

TE

D. Keller
C. Clay
M. Egnew

WR2

B. Hartline
B. Gibson
A. Smith
J. Pruitt

QB

R. Tannehill
M. Moore
P. Devlin

FB

J. Lane
E. Rodriguez

RB

L. Miller
D. Thomas
M. Thigpen
M. Gillislee


Special Teams: K D. Carpenter, P B. Fields, KR M. Thigpen, PR M. Thigpen

Fantasy - By The Numbers

There may be potential with the Dolphins' offence, but there is also a lot of uncertainty. It starts with second-year QB Ryan Tannehill, who started all 16 games as a rookie and while he showed promise, passing for 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2012 hardly assures success in 2013.

Get ready for the fantasy season with the latest from TSN.ca.
Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF
Fantasy Schedules: AFC | NFC
2013 Auction Values: Cheat Sheet
Fantasy Depth Charts: AFC | NFC

Adding WR Mike Wallace, who had 3,286 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns for Pittsburgh in the last three seasons, gives Tannehill a better big-play threat and, even in an uncertain situation, Wallace is a fair option as a No. 2 fantasy wideout. TE Dustin Keller and WR Brian Hartline are okay, but likely only of value in deep leagues or as injury fill-ins.

The running game is no more secure, with second-year RB Lamar Miller holding an edge over third-year back Daniel Thomas, but Miller's coming off a rookie season in which he had 250 rushing yards (113 yards in the first two weeks) on 51 carries, not exactly a sure thing as a full-time starter for 2013.

Pass rusher Cameron Wake is a standout at defensive end and safety Reshad Jones was productive enough (95 total tackles, one sack, four interceptions) last season to warrant consideration. (-Scott Cullen)

WK AGAINST DATE WK AGAINST DATE
1 @ Sun, Sep. 8, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 10 @ Mon, Nov 11, 8:30pm et/5:30pm pt
2 @ Sun, Sep. 15, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 11 vs Sun, Nov 17, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
3 vs Sun, Sep. 22, 4:05pm et/1:05pm pt 12 vs Sun, Nov 24, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
4 @ Mon, Sep. 30, 8:30pm et/5:30pm pt 13 @ Sun, Dec 1, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
5 vs Sun, Oct. 6, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 14 @ Sun, Dec 8,1:00pm et/10:00am pt
6   BYE WEEK 15 vs Sun, Dec 15, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
7 vs Sun, Oct. 20, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 16 @ Sun, Dec 22, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
8 @ Sun, Oct. 27, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 17 vs Sun, Dec 29, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
9 vs Thu, Oct. 31, 8:25pm et/5:25pm pt      

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