As August arrives and training camps begin, football fans start the ancient ritual of organizing their fantasy leagues for the upcoming season. We establish new rules or abolish old ones that we believe cost us the championship last year. Screw you fractional point system! But the most important detail that every league goes through is setting the all-important draft date. I have noticed as my league ages (we are in year 13 now) our sweet spot on drafting is late Sunday night as kids and wives are asleep and we receive one great joy before starting another week of work. The great conundrum I face in preparing for a fantasy draft every year is: How do I draft Dolphins onto my team without torpedoing my chances this season?
I’m sure it’s a question many of us have faced, unless your brain can always trump your heart and for those few Dol-fans I applaud you. But for the vast majority of us, supporting the Fins in general every year is an exercise of faith and at times delusion that the great dawn is coming. This heartfelt devotion bleeds over into fantasy land when we are drafting. For example, I chose Devante Parker in Round 8 last year because I believe he’ll be the next O.J. McDuffie. Maybe he will be that someday, but drafting a rookie with a broken foot is the definition of a heart over head fantasy move.
It’s pretty obvious I won’t learn my lesson, and it’s because of those rare weeks when Ryan Tannehill and Rishard Matthews are in my starting lineup scorching the Titans for a big fantasy win alongside a Dolphins win. Those moments feel like I’ve entered a state of pure euphoria.
So because of this, I wanted to put together a short guide for everyone who sometimes lets their Dolphin fandom lead their fantasy drafting to devastating results. RIP House Tannehill (This is based on a 12 team league with a 15-round draft, with no individual defensive players because that’s just dumb.)
There is really only one Dolphin that should be considered being drafted this high and that is the legend Jarvis Landry. He can catch, he can throw, and he can run. Landry will be asked to do all these things again and with a great offensive mind in charge like Adam Gase, we can be sure his production will only go up. I repeat Jarvis Landry is the ONLY Dolphin to be considered in the first five rounds this year. Aiming for a high-level of consistency is key in the early rounds and he’s the only player on the Dolphins that has consistently produced.
Here is where we can be a little risky and let our hearts have a voice in our draft decisions. Ryan Tannehill is a solid BACKUP fantasy quarterback. We are all excited about the potential Tannehill has with Gase at the helm, but we shouldn’t put our whole fantasy teams’ future on the line for potential. Kenny Stills and Devante Parker will both have the opportunity to shine this season, but make sure you have your Week 1 fantasy starters drafted before you take the plunge on either of these guys.
This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for, it’s time to let the Dolphin love fill our hearts and explode into gambling draft decisions. The one sure fire Dolphins pick in these rounds is the Dolphins defense. I don’t believe I have ever picked a defense in the first 10 rounds and I hold to that decision still. But if anyone can snag the Fins D this year in the last five rounds they have made an outstanding move. With the addition of Mario Williams, Kiko Alonso, Byron Maxwell and wildcard Dion Jordan this could be one of the best defenses in the league under the tutelage of Vance Joseph. The Dolphins backfield is a huge question mark going into this season making both Jay Ajayi and Arian Foster a risky draft choice. This is not based on talent which both have in spades, this is based on the proclivity to injury both have displayed recently. If they can stay healthy, both can be solid fantasy players in 2016. I’d put my money on Ajayi if I had to choose one.
Now you can snag Andrew Franks…if anyone EVER picks a kicker before the final round then they’ve probably also chosen Calvin Johnson as their number one receiver and their team is doomed.