Dolphins Preview Capsule
MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-10)
New faces: S Minkah Fitzpatrick, G Josh Sitton, DE Robert Quinn, WR Danny Amendola, WR Albert Wilson, C Daniel Kilgore, TE Mike Gesicki, RB Frank Gore, RB Kalen Ballage, QB Brock Osweiler, DT Kendall Langford.
Key losses: DT Ndamukong Suh, WR Jarvis Landry, C Mike Pouncey, G Jermon Bushrod, K Cody Parkey, QB Jay Cutler, QB Matt Moore, TE Julius Thomas, LB Lawrence Timmons.
Strengths: With addition of Sitton, OL could be best QB Ryan Tannehill has played behind, which helps chances of keeping him healthy. NFL active rushing leader Gore seems ageless at 35, and he and Kenyan Drake form potentially potent tandem at RB. Quinn and Cameron Wake lead deep group at DE that should be able to generate formidable pass rush.
Weaknesses: Doubts about durability of Tannehill, who returns after being sidelined since December 2016 because of two injuries to left knee. If he goes down again, unappealing options as replacement are Osweiler or David Fales. With Landry gone, there’s no clear No. 1 receiver. Suh’s departure left big hole at DT, and with inexperienced LB corps, run defense is major concern. Ditto CB spot opposite emerging star Xavien Howard. Miami will rely on rookie placekicker.
Fantasy Players To Watch: Gesicki is poor blocker, but Dolphins will try to hide that deficiency because he’s rangy target and much-needed red- zone threat. Wilson played slot with Chiefs but will be used in multiple ways by Dolphins and should help make up for departure of Landry.
Vegas Says: Super Bowl 130-1. Over/under wins 6.5.
Expectations: If coach Adam Gase regains magic touch from surprising 2016 run to playoffs, and if Tannehill, Gore and Amendola stay healthy, and if run defense is improved without Suh, and if first-year starters Fitzpatrick, Gesicki and MLB Raekwon McMillan blossom into stars ... Dolphins could finish above .500. If none of those things happen, debate can begin regarding who they’ll take with first overall pick in 2019 draft.