- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
One of the fallacies of the Greg Camarillo trade to the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday is that the Miami Dolphins will miss him, and that there's a need to tweak the projections for Brandon Marshall and others. I'm not thinking that way.
Marshall is obviously the lead wide receiver on the Dolphins, and one of the top fantasy options, but Camarillo's slot role had pretty much been usurped by Davone Bess anyway. As AFC East blogger Tim Graham notes, the Dolphins have receiver depth to spare, so acquiring defensive back Benny Sapp from the Vikings in the deal makes sense. I can't say Bess is really more valuable for fantasy purposes today than he was yesterday, despite Camarillo's subtraction.
We project Bess for a rather large decline in catches and yards, which makes sense since Marshall is likely to play such a prominent role and basically hog most of the attention. Frankly, I'm a little skeptical quarterback Chad Henne will benefit at the same rate by having a potential 100-catch option. I rank him as a reliable backup, 17th at quarterback, much like I do Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons. Ryan has Roddy White, Henne has Marshall, and the wide receivers can still put up monster numbers even if the quarterbacks do not and the team's running backs thrive. Like the Falcons, there really aren't other wide receivers on Miami likely to make a big impact in fantasy. I'd rather draft Bess than presumptive starter Brian Hartline, but neither make my top 70 at wide receiver; I expect Bess to catch more passes, with neither scoring more than four or five times.
Really, the Dolphins still have a glut of wide receivers, though this should ensure that Patrick Turner makes the squad. Turner, a third-round pick out of USC in 2009, did nothing as a rookie last season but brings an interesting 6-foot-5 frame to the table. He's clearly fourth on the depth chart, at best. Keep an eye on him if one of the top guys gets hurt.
As for Camarillo, when people used to ask me which wide receivers, other than the really big names, benefit in a point-per-reception scoring system, I used to say Wes Welker, Derrick Mason and Camarillo, among others. New York Giants star Steve Smith belongs in that group now. While Welker, Mason and Smith are very much on fantasy radar screens, I haven't seen Camarillo selected in many drafts. This trade shouldn't really change that, unless Percy Harvin's migraines become a bigger problem.
Camarillo is a possession receiver with 105 catches the past two seasons, but that was in a clear-cut running offense in which he was basically the top receiving option. That's not a good role for him. Camarillo won't score much nor pile on the yards, even with the upgrade from what the Dolphins used at quarterback the past two seasons to gunslinger Brett Favre. As I wrote Tuesday, Bernard Berrian should replace the Sidney Rice role and thrive, and Harvin can only improve if healthy. Camarillo should be relevant for deep leagues as the No. 3 wide receiver over Javon Walker and Greg Lewis, but don't expect better numbers than what he put up the past two seasons. Camarillo ranked tied for 76th in standard scoring among wide receivers last season and was 55th in 2008. Even in a more dynamic passing offense, I see no reason to rank Camarillo as draftable in standard leagues.
Eric Karabell discusses Greg Camarillo's trade to the Minnesota Vikings from a fantasy perspective, looking at his new situation and the one he leaves behind in Miami.