Free agent Ricky Williams believes the Dolphins will move on from him and Ronnie Brown mostly because there is a new offensive coordinator in place in South Beach. With Brown and Williams on the roster, you could argue that the Miami Dolphins have bigger holes to fill than at running back, like quarterback and center to name just two. However Brown either underachieves or gets hurt and sometimes both, while Williams is a free agent whom the Dolphins aren’t likely to re-sign. Last season Miami’s running game ranked No. 21 and the team’s weak 3.7 yards per carry average put them at No. 30 in the league. If the Dolphins are forced to roll with Chad Henne under center for another season, then an improved running game would mitigate that risk.
Miami surrendered picks Nos. 79, 146, and 217 to grab their next feature back, Daniel Thomas, a 230-pound downhill hammer with quick feet and underrated receiving skills. After throwing up 1,622 total yards and 11 TDs as a junior, Thomas improved to 1,856 yards and 19 TDs in 2010. With three-down ability and little competition for carries, Thomas should be the first rookie off the board in redraft leagues.
The Palm Beach Post confirms that Thomas is likely to be the Dolphins’ “featured running back” as a rookie. Miami GM Jeff Ireland plans to add to his backfield in free agency, but Thomas was a workhorse in college and has the look of a bell cow in Miami. The Dolphins are expected to pursue a speedy, change-of-pace complement such as Darren Sproles when transactions are allowed. But no smallish back is going to pose a serious early-down threat to the 6-foot, 230-pound Thomas.
Lets not forget the addition of BEAST Center, Mike Pouncey on Miami this year. Said Pouncey, “Aw, man, I love run blocking. I love being down there and being physical with the guys. I think I’m a better run blocker than pass blocker.”
With Miami showing a soft RB Defense opponent schedule in early analysis, it is likely you will be hearing about Thomas in AUG as a mid round flyer with great upside to produce.
Except for one week (W3), Thomas will have the leagues easiest first half RB schedule to get his legs under him and could be a real sleeper for your fantasy draft: