The Miami Dolphins needed to replace Jarvis Landry’s short-area role with someone of a similar nature, and it looked within the division to add a rival receiver.
During his nine pro seasons, former St. Louis Rams and New England Patriots wideout Danny Amendola has managed to finish just two 16-game schedules. He plays all over the field and can be dangerous from the slot, where 42 percent of his snaps came a year ago. In 2017, Miami utilized Landry 47 percent of the time in the slot, making this a natural way to replace him.
While Amendola isn’t Landry in an athletic sense, the sure-handed veteran can help give Ryan Tannehill a safety blanket and convert in key situations. Last year, Amendola caught 70.9 percent of the catchable passes thrown his way, ranking as the 10th most efficient rate. Landry ranked 14th.
Turning 33 years old this year, the oft-injured Amendola actually has a hint of upside in fantasy. He’ll play in a city with generally friendly weather, and the Miami defense could force an offensive imbalance in favor of the aerial game.
Competition for touches will come from DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills, both of whom tend to be downfield weapons rather than intermediate targets. The projected reserves with a chance to steal a few looks include a jitterbug in Jakeem Grant and former Chiefs receiver Albert Wilson, another slot-type build. Leonte Carroo may be the most intriguing option waiting in the wings, though he doesn’t expect to be a direct threat to Amendola’s involvement.
Fantasy football expectations
In the twilight of his career, on his third team, is Amendola finally poised for a breakout year? The data, along with a little helping hand from Lady Luck, suggest he could emerge after all of these years.
Landry was targeted 161 times last season, which was 10.1 per game, or the third highest figure in the league. It doesn’t take a mathematician to realize there is a sizable void to fill. Twenty-three looks came in the red zone, amounting to 32.4 percent of the offense’s share (No. 5 in NFL). Only nine of them came in the end zone itself, placing Landry 31st in the NFL in leading his team’s target share.
Amendola will be given the first crack absorbing the majority of those lost looks. There is no one on earth who believes he’ll see that many targets, of course, yet he could approach 110 or so. Amendola’s 86 looks last year led to 61 receptions.
It isn’t out of the realm of reality to expect 70-80 receptions for roughly 800 yards and 3-5 scores from the seasoned vet, provided he can actually stay on the field the entire year. His explosion (26-348-2) in the 2017 playoffs illustrate what he is capable of doing for fantasy gamers.
Aside from injuries, the drop-off from Tom Brady to Tannehill is clearly a warranted concern. Amendola should go from relative fantasy lineup obscurity to a prominent role and a weekly lineup decision. His ADP puts a market value of the 13th round on Amendola’s services, and gamers — particularly those in point-rewarding setups – should be ready to pounce.