Besides adding a veteran quarterback to compete with Chad Henne, signing a starting caliber running back is the next virtual lock for the Dolphins this offseason. We may obviously be talking about something that won’t materialize itself until September or October with the way the lockout is playing out, but rest assured, rookie Daniel Thomas will have a capable compliment to share the workload with whenever the Dolphins take the field.
Who that compliment will be is where the debate begins. Most fans and even the Miami media agree on which back is at the top of their wish list. That back is former Carolina Panther DeAngelo Williams. I agree with the notion that Williams should be the Dolphins’ number one priority at the running back position when the lockout is finally over. He’s easily a top five back when healthy, and he’s the electrifying runner this offense is craving.
But there’s no guarantee the price will be right. I don’t think the Dolphins should make Williams the highest paid running back in the league by any means, considering he’s already 28. That may sound young to most fans, but 30 is nearly the new 40 in running back years. Backs usually hit a steep decline when they turn 30 or soon after.
Even if the price is right for Jeff Ireland, DeAngelo could always return to Carolina where he could be optimistic about the addition of Cam Newton, as he’s went on record saying how teams address their quarterback situation will be a huge factor in his decision.
Where would the Dolphins then turn? Like we speculated on Tuesday, they could always welcome back Ronnie Brown. But being that Ronnie is on the verge of turning 30 in December, has a long history of injuries, and is an identical runner to Daniel Thomas in many aspects, there surely has to be better options on the market.
Another back that could be on the Dolphins’ radar is Darren Sproles. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sproles as a versatile third-down back and special-teams ace, but he wouldn’t provide Miami with a great one-two punch. His career high in rushing yards in a season is only 343.
He has been right around 500 yards receiving the past two seasons, though, which would make him a perfect fit as a third-down back if the Dolphins were to sign an early-down compliment to Thomas or bring back Ronnie. But with Thomas being fairly unproven, I just feel that the Dolphins would be better suited to acquire someone that is capable of carrying the rock 15-20 times a game.
Enter my plan B for the Dolphins if signing DeAngelo Williams isn’t in the cards, Ahmad Bradshaw. The Giants reportedly have made resigning him a priority this offseason and Bradshaw would love to return to New York. But his counterpart Brandon Jacobs is scheduled to make $9.55 million in base salary in 2011, and if he isn’t cut, the Giants may not be able to afford to keep both.
Fantasy football! The Wikipedia definition of fantasy football is as follow, “Fantasy football is an interactive, virtual competition in which people manage professional football players versus one another. Fantasy football allows people to act as general managers of a pseudo-football team.” My definition is slightly different. The Daniel Eliesen definition of fantasy football is very simply, “Fantasy football is the thing that consumes 24 hours a day, for 7 days a week of my life.” That being said it’s time for my summer 2011 fantasy football preview. Some might say it’s way too early to be writing this blog but I want to have it as a reference in August when the free agency and trade period of the off season was practically over, and depth charts have begun to be formed. Due to the fact it is a tad bit early to project how things will change this off season, I will only make a mock draft of the first round of a 12 team PPR and Non PPR league.
Before I start out my mock draft, I wanted to give a shout out to @yahoonoise Brad Evans of yahoo sports who is basically my go to for all fantasy football news. In terms of fantasy football, he is your guy. (Well in less you like my advice betterJ)
Before you analyze and look over my picks, you should take into account my thought process of most of my selections. In fantasy football the key thing to look for in WR’s and RB’s is drafting players who get Rushes (rushing attempts) and Targets (how many times the player is thrown too). When I draft a player I want to make sure that he is seeing the ball on almost every play. The more times the ball is in my player’s hand the more opportunity there is for him to put up the big points.
So without further a due
Round 1 – Non PPR League
1) Johnson, Chris
- Coming off a good but not great year, I still have CJ coming off the board first because the Titans offense runs through this guy. With a new rookie QB you know he is going to get the ball. CJ is one of a select few in the NFL that has the ability to make a 2 yard run into a 90 yard burst to the end zone.
2) Peterson, Adrian
- Another murky situation at the QB position makes Peterson role with the Vikings even larger. While the Vikings might struggle this year, I think Peterson will have an outstanding year.
3) Charles, Jamaal
- Charles showed last year that he is the real deal. Despite sharing the back field with Thomas Jones he was still able to find his way to Hawaii. I expect more rushes this year and even better numbers.
4) Foster, Arian
- Last year Foster was the unquestionable top player in fantasy football, no long under the radar there will be questions whether he can repeat his brilliance of a year ago.
5) Rodgers, Aaron
- Not much I need to say to defend this guy, top fantasy QB two years in a row and was the top NFL QB last year taking his team to the big dance and winning it all.
6) Jones-Drew, Maurice
- MOJO’s wheels have slowed down a bit this past year with a little bit of an off year but like Peterson and Johnson he will remain the focal point of this offense and should get a bulk load of carries which should equal to fantasy football points
7) Rice, Ray
- Ray Ray is a talented scat back running back that gave many fantasy owners headaches last year with his up and down play but hopefully he can come back with a strong year like the one he had 2 years ago.
8) Vick, Michael
- Vick’s value in fantasy is so high due to the fact that not only does he produce points through all the passing statistic but his legs will help your fantasy squad as well.
9) Johnson, Andre
- As long as Andre the Giant is healthy he is by far the most consistent fantasy WR in the league and has been for the past 3 – 4 years.
10) Turner, Michael
- Turner the burner has increased value in NON PPR leagues because he doesn’t really catch the ball all that much but the guy has a knack for finding the end zone so still has major fantasy value.
11) Gore, Frank
- This one is tough, Gore when healthy is a top 5 fantasy back year in and year out BUT the dude is never healthy, some people might not even gamble on Gore in the first round due to his previous injuries but if he manages to stay on the field you will certainly be rewarded.
12) McCoy, LeSean
- McCoy has more value in a PPR league but still managed to put up big points last year regardless of the scoring system.
Round 1 –PPR League
- Johnson, Chris
- Foster, Arian
- Peterson, Adrian
- Charles, Jamaal
- Rodgers, Aaron
- Rice, Ray
- Jones-Drew, Maurice
- Vick, Michael
- Johnson, Andre
- McCoy, LeSean
- Gore, Frank
- White, Roddy
You will notice I made a couple of changes in the PPR draft. Foster last year nabbed a bunch of passes through the air and his value only increases in PPR leagues. Roddy White replace his fellow Falcon Michael Turner in the first round due to Turners lack of pass catching skills and White’s incredible consistency.
I am a fantasy football junky, so for me its fun to make these projections even as early as in May but surely my board will look a little different after off season is over, and free agents are signed and players are traded. I look forward to hearing what you guys think of how my mock draft lines up now, so let me know what you think about this year’s fantasy football season and where you think players will be drafted.
I know I’m showing up a little late to the party here, as Ronnie Brown opened up about his willingness to return to Miami on Sunday to the Miami Herald, but I wanted to give our new blogger Daniel Eliesen center stage yesterday with his first post for Phins Phocus. And by all means, if you haven’t read his Top 25 active player rankings yet, be sure to give it a look.
As for the state of the Dolphins’ running back position, we’ve speculated all offseason about guys like DeAngelo Williams and Darren Sproles. But what do the Dolphins do if they can’t reel in a high-profile back like DeAngelo Williams in free agency or become unwilling to get into a bidding war for his services? Should this front office entertain the possibility of resigning Ronnie or is it just time for this franchise to move on from its 2nd overall pick in 2005?
Brown has been spectacular in spurts. Despite 2007 being the worst season in Miami Dolphins history, you could have made the case that Ronnie was the best back in football that year before he went down with a torn ACL in Week 7, as he was leading the entire league in yards from scrimmage at the time of the injury. And of course, being the catalyst for the formation that took the league by storm the following year will ensure he will likely always be looked at under a positive light in Miami despite being somewhat of a disappointment in reality considering he was taken 2nd overall.
Yes, you probably have to consider Ronnie’s career with the Dolphins, if it is indeed over, a disappointment. It’s not what Ronnie has done on the field that falls short of what expectations should be for someone who is drafted that high, it’s that he’s had four seasons cut short by injury. He was, however, able to play a full 16 game season in 2010, which was the second time he’s accomplished that feat in six years.
But forget all of that. Let’s not worry about what Ronnie has or hasn’t done in the past. Is he a good fit for this football team today?
In recent days, and even weeks the news on the NFL and the Dolphins has been more dry then the prohibition. Given the lack of breaking headlines and entertaining news I have decided to compile a list of the 25 best currently active NFL players. There are a lot of lists going around of the top NFL players
but I wanted to make mine a little different. The way my top 25 list works is as follows; I wanted to choose the top 25 current players on a one year basis. If you still don’t follow me, for those of you football fans outs there I’m going to be selecting the top 25 players I would draft in a fantasy draft in Madden 2011 if I could only play one year. I am not looking at which players will have a brighter future, or which player will be better for the next 5 years, or which player has been the best throughout his career but I am taking the top 25 players I would take for the 2011-2012 season (if it were to happen).
If you don’t like this list because it’s too specific for you, well, move on but chances are you’re sitting at your desk at work or your house on your laptop and have nothing better to do then either fantasize about Gisele Bündchen or go see Thor for a second time. So sit back, maybe go grab a beer, enjoy and let me know what you think about my top 25 list.
Number 1: Peyton Manning QB, Colts
Ok, so let the debating start, but I warn you I’m a Master Debater. A lot of people will want me to put Brady > Manning but I am taking Manning here and not Brady. My reasoning for putting Peyton number one is that I can’t draft Belichick with Brady. I think Manning without an elite coach is better than Brady without an elite coach. You need less to build around Peyton then you do for Tom Terrific. As Gruden calls him Manning is simply, " The Sheriff".
Number 2: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Not a tough one here, if you don’t have Brady #1 then you have no choice to put him at number 2. He has the hair, the wife, the money, he really has it all and I HATE HIM FOR IT.
Number 3: Big Ben Roethlisberger QB, Steelers
This might be the biggest shocker on my list. Most people will say this is way too high for Big Ben but, all he does is WIN WIN WIN no matter what. A wise man once said “You Play to Win the Game” . Well that’s exactly what Big Ben is a winner. 2 Super Bowl Rings and 3 appearances. The guy makes the clutch plays when it matters the most.
Number 4: Drew Brees, QB, Saints
By now you probably realized I see value at the QB position. Brees is a little lightning bolt of energy and proved he has the skills to win a championship. Brees is an elite passer and one of the league’s toughest guys.
Number 5: Troy Polamalu, S, Steelers
Most of you are probably thinking Troy?? The actor?? The guy in all the head and shoulder commercials?? Yes that Troy, believe it or not when he isn’t busy shooting commercials he actually takes complete control of the football field. He is the ultimate solider and an absolute game changer when healthy. He simply is the most dominate defense force in the league.
Number 6: Andre Johnson, WR, Texans
This guy is a mismatch with any DB on the field. He has the size and speed that helps him dominate games. Johnson is a true football player and unlike most skilled WR’s doesn’t really possess that diva factor.
Number 7: Darrelle Revis, CB, JETS
He is a JET so I don’t want to say too many nice things about him but the fact is he is the best cornerback in the game and can shutdown any WR in the league and has proven it several times.
Number 8: Joe Thomas, OT, Browns
This pick might be another shocker but if you have watched Sandra Bullock’s tear jerker, The Blind Side you know the importance of being able to protect the QB. Most people around the league view Thomas as the ultimate BFF and top security guard to any QB in the league.
Number 9: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
The young gun slinger has been a sheer delight to watch ever since he stepped on the field. Displaying an unbelievable amount of class on and off the field, he absolutely went crazy on opposing defenses this past playoffs and proved he is one of the elite QB’s in the league.
Number 10: Patrick Willis, MLB, 49ers
This one I wrestled in my mind quite a bit. While I think there is no doubt Willis is one of the top players on D in the NFL, his 49ers defense struggled mightily last year. Granted I don’t watch every 49ers game, and its rough to blame a whole team’s defense performance on one player bottom line is that Willis led defense was not an elite group last year.
Number 11: Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
A true bulldozer. A running back that is able to combine insane strength with lightning fast speed. Peterson is the best overall running back in the NFL and is a top offensive player in the league.
Number 12: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
Another WR in the top 15?? Absolutely!! Watch the 2009 playoffs and you won’t question me putting Fitz’s this high.
Number 13: Chris Johnson, RB, Titans
Some people don’t see value in running backs anymore in the NFL but Chris Johnson might be an exception to that. Johnson is the start and finish of the Titans offense. Over 2000 yards 2 years ago, this back is the fastest running back the NFL has seen in a long time.
Number 14: James Harrison, OLB, Steelers
I had no choice but to put Harrison in my top 15 because if this list ever goes viral I don’t want him coming after me. Harrison is without a doubt the scariest most intimidating player in the entire league. Some might even find him scarier than even Marilyn Manson.
Number 15: Ray Lewis, MLB, Ravens
Some might think he is too old to be this high but for my money for one year Lewis is the best leader in the NFL. Lewis not only is a tremendous player but also makes players around him better. Remember this list is for JUST the upcoming season. In that case, I wouldn’t want anyone else leading my defense other then Ray Ray.
Number 16: DeMarcus Ware, OLB, Cowboys
When Parcells drafted Ware, he clearly had Lawrence Taylor in mind. While Ware isn’t Taylor, he certainly hasn’t let down. The speed pass rusher had a low profile year while leading the league in sacks this year.
Number 17: Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers
Best active QB without a ring in the NFL but puts all his heart in soul in the game and wants to win as much as anyone in this league. Rivers is an elite passer and a true franchise QB.
Number 18: Nnamdi Asomugha, CB, Free Agent
This man is going to be very rich soon as he is a free agent going into this off season. Nnamdi is probably the only true lockdown shutdown corner in the league aside from Revis. Some might even have him ranked higher than Revis.
Number 19: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Lions
He has only player one year but WOW what a rookie year, it did not take this kid long to prove he is going to be an elite DT in this league. Any time in your first year you can prove to the league you’re going to be a force to be reckon with, you have impressed me.
Number 20: Julius Peppers, DE, Bears
Last year as much as I respected Peppers I don’t think he would have made the top 25 but after watching him take over the Bears D and help bring them to the conference finals there is no doubt that Peppers is the elite DE in the league and can single handedly take over games.
Number 21: Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions
There is a reason this guys nickname is MEGATRON. What a BEAST! He is huge, he is fast he is everything you want in a WR. Despite his QB being often injured Johnson still has no problem taking over games and being the most dominant red zone threat in the NFL.
Number 22: Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers
Gates or Clark?? I went back and forth between these two guys and only wanted to put one in the top 25. I sided with Gates because even though both have elite QB’s I think Clark benefits from Manning more than Gates does from Rivers. Gates also has better size Clark. There is no doubt though that both are elite players in this league.
Number 23: Steve Hutchinson G, Vikings
Another wily old vet, Hutch is one of the best offensive linemen in the league and has been dominating for the past decade.
Number 24: Jared Allen, DE, Vikings
The Rhinestone cowboy Allen is a force on the outside and put the hurt on QBs around the league. Allen is an elite DE that takes over games and prevents opposing QB’s from doing their jobs properly.
Number 25: Jake Long, OT, Dolphins
OK, maybe some Phins bias here BUT you can easily debate that Long is the best tackle or offensive linemen in the league. Long is a big boy who has no problem throwing his body around and doing what is necessary to protect the QB. I am just happy he is a Dolphin!
Notable Snubs: Ed Reed (too injury prone, no guarantee he players a full season at any time in his career), Ryan Clady (Lot of people have Clady as THE elite OT in the league but he has only player one year and missed another due to an injury). Mike Vick (not willing to risk my franchise for his shtick) Charles Woodson (if you have him in your top 25 I wouldn’t argue with you) Chad Henne (HAHAHA couldn’t resist)
Do you agree with my top 25??? Let me know what you think??no comments
Football related news has nearly run dry these days outside of depressing lockout talk. In regards to the Dolphins, though, we’ve been able to keep ourselves busy by discussing which veteran quarterback the front office should sign/trade for whenever the lockout is over.
We’ve identified two groups of veteran quarterbacks the Dolphins could acquire this offseason. The more realistic free agents that won’t require draft pick compensation and the quarterbacks that are more proven but less likely because they will cost the Dolphins a high-round draft choice.
Let’s take a look at some videos of the quarterbacks that could be on the trading block first. Yes, this regime has an exceedingly conservative mindset, but with their job security up in the air, it may be time to go all in for one of these possible solutions.
Carson Palmer:These are Palmer’s 2009 highlights, the most recent season I could find. Many argue that Palmer has never been the same since tearing numerous ligaments in his knee in 2006. But Palmer had one of his best statistical seasons the year after he got hurt, tossing for 4,035 yards and 28 touchdown passes. And in his two most recent seasons (09-10), he averaged 23.5 touchdowns, 16.5 interceptions, and 3,532 yards. Clearly not the type of production Palmer had at the beginning of his career, but it’s still just what the Dolphins are missing at the quarterback position.
After a week and three day hiatus, it’s finally time to continue our Q&A series that puts one of the Dolphins’ draft picks under the microscope by a blogger/writer that followed their entire collegiate career.
I had a hard time tracking down someone that covered fourth-round pick Edmond Gates to that extent, as there aren’t exactly blogs that cover D-II football teams like Abilene Christian. But I finally found someone that fit the bill with Joey Richards from Reporter News in Abilene, Texas.
Gates is probably the only selection Dolphins fans can agree on. Not every fan was fond of the front office’s conservative approach with the Pouncey pick and Daniel Thomas fills a need at running back, but lacks the big-play ability many were hoping for. Everyone is excited about the speed Gates will bring to an offense that was boring, predictable, and slow in 2010.
But of the Dolphins’ first three picks, Gates is probably the only player most of us never had the chance to actually watch in college outside of YouTube clips. I think it’s time we all learned a little about the guy who is supposedly going to open up the offense in 2011.
Phins Phocus: When you turn on the highlights, Gates made defenders look like they were standing still at times. Those draw-dropping plays were against D-II competition, however. Do you think that Gates has what it takes to be a playmaker in the NFL?
Answer: I think, in time, he can be a playmaker in the NFL. Maybe not as often as in DII, but he'll still make some big plays. He's still developing, and it'll take time to learn at the NFL level. But he's a fast learner, and I think he'll do fine.
Phins Phocus: Some scouts have suggested that Gates is a bit raw as a route-runner. How do you assess his rout-running ability? Do you predict he will have a steep learning curve trying to become accustomed to a full NFL route tree?
Answer: He will have a lot to learn in the NFL, and I expect the Dolphins will bring him along slowly and give him some simple routes early. Remember, this is a guy who basically never played high school football, since he quit playing the game after his freshman year. But he's a fast learner, and he's eager to succeed in the NFL. I'm sure the Dolphins will find a way to get the ball in his hands.
Ladies and Gentle, Boys and Girls, Children of all Ages …..Phins Phocus would like to proudly announce to you that we have signed on a new blogger to the page. After several hours of negotiation and contract talk, a deal was struck up at midnight to acquire one of the funniest and most entertaining Phins bloggers on the market.
Despite the fact that due to the lockout we really weren’t suppose to talk to free agents we decided to push the limits and got a deal done behind Roger Godell and De Smith’s back. So without further a due I’d like to present to you Daniel Eliesen from Phins Take. Daniel has written this little blurb to introduce himself to the Phins Phocus family.
Hello, Shalom, Salaam, Bienvenue, Aloha, Bienvenido, Benvenuto, Willkommen my name is Daniel Eliesen, I am a Bachelor of Commerce student from Concordia University, hopefully about to start a graduate degree in law from Montreal, Canada. Before I let you know a little bit about who I am, I would like to assure Phins Nation that I live and bleed Aqua and Orange.
My history with the Dolphins dates back since I was in the whom. Being a Canadian some might wonder how I ended up a Phins fan. My father has been a Dolphins fan since 1965 and raised me wisely to be the same. I have only had one team my entire life and that’s the Phins.
My pledge as the new blogger here at Phins Phocus is to both educate and inform the public as well as giving a lighter more comedic take on all football and Dolphins news. I live on the Dolphins fan blogs, local Miami newspapers, and twitter (@ danieleliesen @phinstake ) and do all my necessary research to make sure I give you an educated and well thought out opinion on the Phins.
Q + A with New Dolphins Blogger Daniel Eliesen
Q: Who is your favorite all time Dolphins?
A: Well the obvious answer here is clearly Dan the Man or Zach Thomas. I have to side with Zach because he showed true heart every play day in and day out and is exactly what a model player should be in the NFL. I also had the great pleasure of meeting Zach at Drew Rosenhaus’s Super Bowl party and to no surprise the guy was a class act.
Q: Favorite Under the radar Dolphin?
A: Take into consideration I am only 21 and don’t know as much about the greats. I am going to go with Oronde Gadsden. The dude made some epic catches in his career.
Q: Thoughts on the Dolphins upcoming season?
A: 6-10 :(
Q: Have you ever been to a Dolphins game?
A: Of course, I like to make it to at least 2, 3 games a year. I usually travel down to Buffalo to see the Phins game there, and then catch two home games.
Q: Anything you would like to say to the fans at Phins Phocus
A: I just want to inform them, that I’ll be at their service 24/7, always giving insight and laying out the Dolphins news. I look forward to being part of the team at Phins Phocus.