Shark Bites

Dolphins OC Clyde Christensen says RB Jay Ajayi is "200%" better as a receiver this year than he was last. We could certainly chalk this up as coach speak, but Ajayi was a plus pass-catcher in college, hauling in 50 balls in his final season at Boise State. He saw just 35 targets with the Fins last year, which ranked just 37th among RBs. Ajayi posted a solid 77.1% catch rate but averaged only 5.6 yards per catch. Any boost in receiving volume and/or efficiency in 2017 will only help his case as a RB1.

The Dolphins spent a 7th-round pick on Virginia Tech WR Isaiah Ford. In just 3 college seasons, Ford racked up school career records in receptions, receiving yards and TD catches. He also led the team in all 3 categories every season. The draft position is disappointing for a guy who left school a year early, and Ford ran his Combine 40 in just 4.61 seconds -- 18th percentile at the position. That stands out further when you bring unspectacular size (6'1, 194). Throw in a loaded Miami WR corps that just brought back Kenny Stills in free agency, and there's not much room for Ford's fantasy profile to blossom.

The Dolphins drafted Ohio State LB Raekwon McMillan in the 2nd round Friday night. McMillan has the size and athleticism to play the middle or outside. He'll likely need to wait for either Kiko Alonso or Lawrence Timmons to move on before he can claim a starting role, though, at least beyond the strong side. McMillan also needs to prove he can stay on the field in passing sub packages, which adds risk to his dynasty outlook.

The Dolphins spent their 1st-round pick on Missouri DE Charles Harris. ESPN's Jon Gruden calls him "a liability" against the run, which figures to work against his immediate playing time. But Harris doesn't look like a strong candidate to start right away anyway. Miami already sports Cameron Wake and Andre Branch at the top 2 DE spots. Harris enhances the rotation, though, and should be in for a starting job soon. He'll make for a strong IDP selection in rookie drafts thanks to the DE designation (rather than OLB).

The league has suspended S T.J. McDonald for the 1st 8 games of 2017 for violating the substance-abuse policy. That'll put a huge dent in the 26-year-old free agent's pursuit for a new team. He's also fine to drop in dynasty fantasy football leagues at this point.

Update: Well, it must not have hurt him too much. McDonald reached a deal with the Dolphins on Friday, according to multiple sources.

The Dolphins have agreed to a 3-year extension with LB Kiko Alonso. The Miami Herald reports that it's a $28.8 million deal, while the Palm Beach Post reports that it includes $18.5 million in guarantees. That's all for a guy the Dolphins could have kept on a 1-year RFA deal. Miami's committed here. And the team clearly likes recent signee Lawrence Timmons as well. We'd bet on both filling 3-down roles, regardless of who settles into the middle and who plays the weak side. Both players carry top-24 IDP potential among LBs.

The Dolphins on Friday agreed to a 2-year, $12 million deal with LB Lawrence Timmons. That's starter money, but it's tough to see just how Miami envisions Timmons fitting. The Dolphins also placed a 1st-round tender on LB Kiko Alonso, which pretty much guarantees he won't get any other offers. Alonso manned the middle for Miami in 2016. Either Timmons or Alonso could shift outside in Miami's 4-3 base defense. We'll wait to learn more before projecting IDP values here.

Adam Schefter reports that S Reshad Jones has agreed to a 5-year extension with the Dolphins. Injury cut his season short last year, but Jones has turned into an IDP stud when healthy. Expect that to continue.

The Dolphins re-signed WR Kenny Stills to a 4-year, $32 million deal. It's not quite as rich as some of the numbers we heard thrown around over the past few weeks, but it's still a nice chunk of change for the 24-year-old. Stills is coming off a strong 2016 campaign that saw him average 17.3 yards per catch and score 9 times on 43 grabs. He still finished just 45th among WRs in PPR point, though. And it's tough to bank on him repeating the yards per catch and TD rate. It'll be tough to like him as more than a WR4 in 2017 fantasy football drafts. Stills' return also makes us wonder just how confident Miami is that WR DeVante Parker will emerge.

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill is ready for the start of the team's offseason program in April, according to the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero. Tannehill avoided surgery on his partially torn ACL and sprained MCL and completed his rehab in early February. He's expected to wear a brace on the left knee this season. Barring any setbacks, though, it won't be a concern for his 2017 fantasy stock.

The Jaguars have traded TE Julius Thomas to the Dolphins in exchange for a 2017 seventh-round pick. This went from Thomas-for-Albert to no trade to Thomas-for-a-pick in the past 12 hours. Thomas disappointed in Jacksonville, missing 11 games and averaging just 35 yards in the other 21 over the past 2 seasons. He, of course, dealt with inconsistent QB play from Blake Bortles. Whether he's getting an upgrade in QB Ryan Tannehill is debatable. Thomas is at least reuniting with Adam Gase, who was Denver's OC when Thomas scored 24 TDs between 2013 and 2014. Turning just 29 in June, there's some bounce-back potential. But fantasy owners shouldn't bet more than a late-round pick on it.

Multiple outlets are reporting that the Jaguars and Dolphins are working to finalize a Julius Thomas for Branden Albert swap. In Miami, Thomas would be reuniting with Adam Gase, who was the Broncos' OC when Thomas tallied 24 TDs across 2013 and 2014. Of course, QB Peyton Manning also had plenty to do with that. Thomas wouldn't enjoy that level of QB play with the Dolphins, and he'd be battling for targets with DeVante Parker and possibly Kenny Stills behind #1 WR Jarvis Landry. The trade would still leave Thomas as just a TE2 flier in 2017 fantasy drafts, but consider a move to Miami a slight upgrade to his fantasy stock. The deal is reportedly contingent on both Thomas and Albert restructuring their contracts and passing physicals. It can't be made official until the start of the new league year on March 9.

Update: Insider Armando Salguero reports that Jacksonville will be sending Miami a 2018 draft pick, not Thomas, in exchange for Albert. Thomas could still find himself on a new team this coming season. He's due to make $6 million in 2017 on his current deal.

A source tells the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero that Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill's knee is "stable." Tannehill escaped with just a sprained ACL and MCL, and this report seems to confirm that he won't need surgery. VP of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum is confident that Tannehill will be ready for the 2017 season. “Ryan’s working really hard," Tannenbaum said. "We’re encouraged by his progress. We’re going to closely monitor it and we’re excited about the future with him.” Tannehill set career bests in completion rate (67.1%) and yards per attempt (7.7) this past year but was sitting just 22nd among QBs in fantasy points through 13 healthy weeks. That was due in large part to a run-heavier Miami offense. Tannehill's 29.9 pass attempts per game were a career low.

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (knee) returned to a limited practice on Friday, per the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson. Tannehill won't play against the Steelers this weekend, but it looks like he'd have a shot to be under center for the Divisional Round if Miami advances.

Dolphins HC Adam Gase confirmed Wednesday that QB Matt Moore is likely to start Sunday's game vs. the Steelers. "Unless something drastically changes" with QB Ryan Tannehill's recovery, Gase added. Tannehill has resumed throwing but is still in an "early stage" of his rehab, Gase said. Perhaps he has a shot to return if the Fins advance, but it'll be Moore in Pittsburgh this weekend. The 32-year-old has fared fine so far, completing 63.2% of his passes with an 8-to-3 TD:INT ratio.

11:34am EST 1/1/17

Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi (shoulder) is active for today’s game against the Patriots. He put in a full practice on Friday, so we’re not expecting that shoulder to be an issue. Ajayi is safe to get into fantasy lineups.

Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi (shoulder) is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game against the Patriots. He put in a full practice on Friday, though, and is fully expected to play. There’s still some risk that a banged-up Ajayi is pulled early if this game gets out of hand. And New England has given up just 3.6 yards per carry to RBs this season. Consider Ajayi a risk/reward RB2 for Week 17.

Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi (shoulder) practiced on Wednesday and appears set to play against the Patriots this weekend. Miami can move up from the 6th to 5th seed with a win and a loss by the Chiefs in San Diego. But we still wouldn't be surprised to see Ajayi's volume scaled back -- especially if the Fins fall behind big.

Dolphins HC Adam Gase said Monday that RB Jay Ajayi got “a little banged up" in Saturday's win over Buffalo. Ajayi seemed to be dealing with a shoulder issue but never left the game for good. Gase also said Monday that he has no plans to rest starters in the finale vs. the Patriots. The Fins could move up to the AFC's #5 seed with a win and a Chiefs loss to the Chargers. But we wouldn't be surprised if Ajayi's workload was scaled back in Week 17. He's carried 71 times over the past 3 games.

There's "reason for optimism" that Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (knee) could return for the playoffs, according to the Miami Herald's Adam Beasley. Tannehill has shed his cast and was walking without crutches on Saturday. Miami needs either a Broncos loss to the Chiefs on Sunday night or a win over the Patriots in Week 17 to clinch a postseason berth. QB Matt Moore will start vs. New England.


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