Solid play from Miami Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano may help the Dolphins win, but he's not going to help your fantasy team win.
The Miami Dolphins are not well respected among the media this year, which of course means they are not going to be a popular target in fantasy football drafts. But, that doesn't mean there are not studs on the team. But for every stud, there's a corresponding dud this season. Let's take a look at some of those players for 2012.
Stud: Reggie Bush - Bush is probably the easiest Dolphins player to declare a stud. Last season was his only season rushing for over 1,000 yards in his career, and he has even loftier expectations this year - the NFL rushing title. I don't see that happening, but Bush should be a dangerous weapon in the Dolphins offense. His carries may go down, especially if Daniel Thomas or Lamar Miller is able to step up, but overall, his touches should increase as he becomes a bigger target in the passing game.
Dud: Anthony Fasano - The Dolphins starting tight end really won't be a fantasy factor this year. He's a solid target in the passing game, but he's never going to be the dynamic, seam stretching tight end that is becoming the norm around the league. If you need a backup just in case, or a bye week fill-in, he could fit that role - but don't expect a lot from Fasano.
Stud: Davone Bess - Slot wide receiver Bess has quietly developed into one of the top slot guys in the league. Fantasy football owners will probably not target Bess anywhere near the first half of the draft, but that should just make him a better sleeper pick. With the Dolphins new offense, the quarterbacks are going to be looking for the sure completion, and that defines Bess. He should be a solid number 3 wide receiver or flex player in most leagues, and have even higher value in a PPR league.
Dud: Clyde Gates - Gates has all sorts of chances to make a difference on an NFL field. He has the speed to get deep whenever he wants, and should be a factor in the passing game. But, he's not. He has not proven, in practice or game play, to be able to be the weapon the Dolphins want. He is vanishing down the Dolphins' depth chart right now, and may sneak onto the roster in some sort of special teams role, but stay away from him as a wide receiver.
Stud: Dolphins defense - Last year's slow start and a 6-10 final record should scare people away from the Dolphins defense, letting you swoop in and grab what should be a top team defense in the league. Miami's defense was a scary one near the end of last year. If they can carry that momentum into this year, and incorporate new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle's upgrades, the Miami defense will probably carry the team, and help out your fantasy squad.
Dud: Daniel Thomas - In his rookie season, Thomas started off strong, only to be derailed by injury. Now, coming back in his sophomore season, he should see his role increase. However, the Dolphins are transitioning to a more pass happy offense, and Reggie Bush proved last year he can carry a full load. Add in rookie Lamar Miller breathing down his neck, and Thomas becomes a fantasy no-no.
Sleeper 1: Dolphins quarterback - Go ahead and take a flyer on the Dolphins quarterback late in the draft. David Garrard, Matt Moore, and Ryan Tannehill may be battling to nab the starting position, but that's the starting position in an offense designed to make a quarterback succeed. Whomever comes out as the starter should be able to put up decent numbers, give you some depth at the quarterback position, and possibly turn into something special this year.
Sleeper 2: Michael Egnew/Charles Clay - The tight ends behind Anthony Fasano are not going to be household names in fantasy football drafts. However, with the Green Bay Packers' history of tight end use, and former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin becoming the Miami head coach, the use of the tight end should increase in Miami. Both Egnew and Clay can stretch the seam (unlike Fasano), and should be favorite targets of the quarterbacks.
Give us your thoughts on the Dolphins in fantasy football below. And watch for the announcement of the Phinsider Official Yahoo! Fantasy Football league members later today.