Late in June, NFL teams are simply hoping the 24-hour news cycle does not include a chunk of time related to one of their players doing something stupid. The media covering those players are simply looking for everything and anything about which to write. Some players, whether it is for breakthrough performances last year, superb careers, or rookie projection, will still end up in the news cycle, even if it is to retell a story that may have already been told, or if it's using up notes from back in the spring to make a story now.
Those players are usually worthy of the hype - but not always. Sometimes, those players simply take a nose dive once the season rolls around, and we all wonder why they received the coverage in the first place.
And some of us wonder why we drafted them to our fantasy football team.
Michael Fabiano, NFL Media fantasy editor, recently published a story looking at 12 players from around the league who have been trending in the news as of late, and assigned them a score on how likely they will be to perform up to fantasy expectations next year. Included on that list were two Miami Dolphins players, wide receiver Mike Wallace and running back Knowshon Moreno.
A high score (up to ten) represents a player who is "trending up" and should be a fantasy star in 2014, while a low score (one) represents someone from whom you need to run, and run far. For the Dolphins' players, it's a little above average for one, and a panic situation for the other.
Of Wallace, Fabiano writes:
Wallace was projected to disappoint last season and, well, he did. After ranking in the top 10 among wideouts in two of the previous three years, he finished a mere 25th in his first season with the Dolphins. Things are looking up, though, as the system of new OC Bill Lazor fits Wallace's strengths much better than the previous regime. Ryan Tannehill has two NFL seasons under his belt, so Wallace could turn into one of fantasy's best bounce-back players.
The wide out was given a rating of six, and should be a player when it comes to fantasy football this year. With the early reports of exactly how active the Dolphins' passing game has been in Organized Team Activities and minicamp, Wallace should be exactly what Fabiano writes, a "bounce-back" player.
On the other hand, Moreno is beginning to look like a non-factor in the Miami offense. Recent reports indicate it's a knee issue for Moreno, who is expected to have surgery this week, with an expected four to five weeks of recovery, but that does not help Moreno's fantasy stock at this point. Fabiano writes;
Moreno was the fifth-best back in fantasy last season, putting up career-highs across the board. Of course, that was in Denver. Now in Miami, his value has taken a tumble. Moreno showed up to OTAs overweight and out of shape, and now there's talk that he could require an arthroscopic procedure on his knee. Remember how much I liked Lamar Miller heading into 2013? Well, I might have been one year ahead of the game.
If things continue to progress as they have so far, Moreno's one rating could be warranted, as could the expectations surround Miller as a fantasy player this year.
Any other Dolphins who you would rate as a must take in your fantasy draft this year? Anyone you would not take even if they were the last person on the draft board?