How will the Miami wide receivers shake out? - Footballguys

The Footballguys staff offers thoughts on the Dolphins wide receiver situation

In the past, one thing was certain in Miami - Jarvis Landry would get nearly 5 million targets. With his departure to Cleveland, a gaping hole exists. Do Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker make huge leaps in 2018? Do free-agent additions Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola pick up the slack? Is there now room for youngsters like Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant?

B.J. VanderWoude: The Dolphins need DeVante Parker to step up and be the No. 1 receiver. He is the only one with the size, ball skills and athleticism to match up against opposing No. 1 cornerbacks. The problem is, after last year, he hasn’t proven he can stay healthy, especially if he is seeing a heavy volume of targets. Regardless, they don’t have much of a choice.

Kenny Stills had his moments last season and should be slotted in the No. 2 receiver role. The Dolphins need his speed on the outside as they are sorely lacking playmakers. Stills is frustrating at times due to his lack of concentration when tracking deep balls, so I wouldn’t rule out Albert Wilson pushing him for playing time. Danny Amendola brings consistency to the slot position, so I expect him to lock down that role for as long as he is healthy.

Akeem Grant made some big plays when he was given playing time last season, but his size (5-foot-7, 169 lbs) has limited his chances. Miami will give him playing time, but they are aware that he got beat up last year after playing on special teams and at wide receiver. Leonte Carroo hasn’t been able to crack the lineup and the Dolphins still sort of view him as a developmental project.

Jason Wood: I generally agree with B.J.'s take. I've seen some optimism about Amendola in other circles, and the puzzles me. Aside from his inability to stay healthy, he's also never been particularly productive. He's barely able to muster 10 yards per career reception, and that was playing for Bill Belichick catching passes from Tom Brady. When is the last time New England let a player go and that player maintained their value? It never happens, much less to a small, oft-injured chain mover.

As BJ noted, the Dolphins fate lies in Devante Parker's hands. He has the talent and skill set to be a No. 1 fantasy receiver, but consistency has been his bugaboo. I wouldn't go out of my way to target Parker in drafts, but I also wouldn't run and hide from him. He's part of a small group of receivers you can draft as a WR3 but realistically could be a top-10 receiver at year end.

Bob Henry: I'm on the same page as B.J. and Jason across the board. Parker has to be the primary receiver, but I'm not sure he'll ever be that guy. I took the hook, line, and sinker last year, but I've shied away from him this year in drafts. That said, I still project him to be a reasonably productive player in the WR3 discussion. The problem with this picture, or maybe the solution, is that Kenny Stills is simply a better receiver than Parker.

After that, Amendola is the most likely to emerge with some value over the season if injuries hit or if he can stay healthy. He hasn't been able to do that consistently. It's not unrealistic to think Amendola could sponge up 50, 60 or more catches on a Miami team that doesn't look very good on paper.

Daniel Simpkins: I'll join B.J., Jason, and Bob on the bandwagon. It’s Parker’s time, and with Jarvis Landry gone, the targets should finally be there to support the numbers we’ve been hoping for. The important thing for me to watch is how Tannehill looks in training camp and in preseason action. He’s been out for a long time and I want to see if all the tools he had pre-injury are still intact.

Chad Parsons: This is the wide receiver depth I am most intrigued by for 2018. Ryan Tannehill returns and Jarvis Landry and Julius Thomas' departures leave 223 targets from last season unaccounted. I am skeptical Kenny Stills' 105 looks last year see much of a boost, leaving the two most logical choices DeVante Parker and Danny Amendola to benefit. Trust me, I am skeptical of what I have seen from Parker on tape. He has flashed at times, but the overriding pattern is not playing physical enough for his size. However, the formula for a breakout season for Parker makes sense with so many targets available and a first-round pick entering Year 4 with a (hopefully) QB2-level quarterback back under center. Parker's ADP is palatable as well where you can generally get him in the WR3/4 range for balanced drafters. Amendola is a receiver I target in the late rounds of any draft. He can seamlessly take 75% of what Landry did in previous years and be a WR3 for the cost of a final-round selection.

Andy Hicks: The Miami Dolphins receiving corp has disaster written all over it. Their most reliable target by far over the last few years in Jarvis Landry wasn’t seen as a good locker room influence and moved onto Cleveland.

That leaves us with a bunch of questions, not least of which is surrounding the ability of quarterback Ryan Tannehill to be fit and productive. Assuming he is, Kenny Stills is the most reliable producer here and most likely to exceed his draft slot. That said he has a limited upside and skill set to break out and replace Landry.

The younger depth options such as Leonte Carroo, Jakeem Grant, and Isaiah Ford face battles to make the final roster. Unless they have made dramatic improvements, can be ignored for now.

The veteran additions in Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola are interesting. Amendola will be 33 this year, and with a career-best fantasy ranking of 46th back in 2010 when with St. Louis, he is unlikely to be worth an investment. Albert Wilson is in the right age group, but Kansas City hardly had a crowded depth chart ahead of him and he struggled to contribute. His size ultimately makes it hard for Wilson to be anything other than an occasional waiver wire tease.

The true WR1 from this group has to be DeVante Parker or no one. There could be a group contribution, with little joy for fantasy owners or Parker finally delivers on his promise. His current ADP doesn’t even place him as a fantasy WR3, so he could provide a huge return on your investment. More than likely we have seen him as he really is. Maybe Adam Gase and the Dolphins front office sees something we don’t and at age 25 if he has matured, then this year could be massive. His price is worth that risk.