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Defensive Notes

Miami Dolphins

Ramsey could help defense return to form

The Miami Dolphins defense was a disappointment in both NFL terms and in fantasy leagues a year ago. It brought in a new defense coordinator in Vic Fangio, and it also added some news players. Most notably, Jalen Ramsey.

Previously the Dolphins had parted ways with injury-wrecked (by his own account) Byron Jones, so they needed a quality cornerback to pair with Xavien Howard. They have one in Ramsey.

For the Rams, this was about dumping salary, paying the price for some decisions made while chasing a Lombardi trophy (successfully). They also dumped Bobby Wagner and Leonard Floyd. It's a defense that is going to be mostly young and probably struggle this year. Miami, meanwhile, should be improved.

Ramsey has long been one of the league's very best cornerbacks, a 3-time All-Pro and 6-time pro bowler. For most of those years he's been part of one of the NFL's best pass defenses. And for most of those seasons, Miami has had a lesser group.

Table shows the defensive rankings against the pass of the seven teams Ramsey has played for (Jacksonville from 2016-2018, the Rams since), as well as Miami's ranking against the pass in those same seasons. Ramsey has been part of a top-12 pass defense five times; top-3 in four of those years. Miami has ranked higher than 16th just once in those seasons.

RANKINGS VS THE PASS, 2016-2022
YearRamsey DsDolphins
20163rd16th
20171st13th
20182nd20th
201912th24th
20202nd27th
202122nd16th
202221st28th

As for the area fantasy teams care more about from their defensive secondaries (interceptions), perhaps Ramsey will also help in that regard. Three times in his career he's had 4 interceptions, including in each of the last two seasons. His defenses have ranked in the top 12 in interceptions five times in seven years. The Dolphins have ranked in the top 12 four times themselves in that span, including No. 1 in 2020, but come off a down year -- just 29th in interceptions last season.

TEAM INTERCEPTIONS (RK), 2016-2022
YearRamsey DsDolphins
201632nd9th
20172nd28th
201823rd2nd
201912th12th
202012th1st
20213rd14th
20227th29th

Ramsey looks like a worthwhile addition at a need area for Miami. The Dolphins had a lesser defense in key fantasy areas a year ago; average in sacks but next to last in takeaways. They should be better this season.

--Andy Richardson

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