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Fantasy outlook: RB Daniel Thomas

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Posted April 29, 2011 @ 11:12 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

The Dolphins traded three picks to move up and take Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas, who could be the team's starting running back in 2011.

Few expect either Ricky Williams or Ronnie Brown to return. The only backs under contract on the team's roster are Kory Sheets, a restricted free agent, and Lex Hilliard. To give up three picks to get Thomas, the Dolphins expect him to play.

And even if Brown or Williams stay, the Dolphins have proven they can be successful with a split backfield, and head coach Tony Sparano maintained the team will continue running the football, preferably with two backs.

Thomas will have the luxury of running behind an improved offensive line. Miami has arguably the best tackle in the league (Jake Long) and a veteran in Vernon Carey. The interior of the line struggled last season, but with 15th overall pick Mike Pouncey and Nate Garner returning from injury, it should be improved, and that's without even mentioning Richie Incognito.

Keep a close eye on what happens to Brown and Williams in free agency, but you can bet that Thomas will get the rock, both as a running back and receiver. He also has some experience in the "Wildcat," in case the team decides to keep using it. Thomas could be quite the sleeper pick in fantasy and you can feel safe taking him as your No. 3 back.

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