Fantasy Football Face-Off: Brandon Weeden Vs. Ryan Tannehill
Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck have certainly gotten a lot of attention as the top two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, and to this point rightfully so with how they have performed for the most part. Both guys were certainly drafted in all fantasy leagues, and have been startable most weeks.
But we shouldn’t overlook a few other rookie quarterbacks who have also become worthy of a roster spot in fantasy leagues, most notably Brandon Weeden, Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson. All three have started every game for their team to this point and have had some productive games, along with the expected inconsistency rookie signal callers have.
Since Weeden and Tannehill are the most likely of the three to maintain fantasy relevance on a weekly basis, I will take a look at each guy’s schedule over the rest of the season starting in Week 7. I will then make my choice when looking at the broader picture of good matchups, bad matchups, etc.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins-Upcoming Schedule
Week 7- Bye
Week 8- @ New York Jets
Week 9- @ Indianapolis Colts
Week 10- vs. Tennessee Titans
Week 11- @ Buffalo Bills
Week 12- vs. Seattle Seahawks
Week 13- vs. New England Patriots
Week 14- @ San Francisco 49ers
Week 15- vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 16- vs. Buffalo Bills
Week 17- @ New England Patriots
Good Matchups: New England (2); Buffalo (2); Tennessee; Jacksonville; Indianapolis
Tough Matchups- New York Jets; San Francisco; Seattle
Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns- Upcoming Schedule
Week 7- @ Indianapolis Colts
Week 8- vs. San Diego Chargers
Week 9- vs. Baltimore Ravens
Week 10- Bye
Week 11- @ Dallas Cowboys
Week 12- vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 13- @ Oakland Raiders
Week 14- vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Week 15- vs. Washington Redskins
Week 16- @ Denver Broncos
Week 17- @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Good Matchups: Washington; Oakland; Kansas City; Indianapolis; Baltimore
Tough Matchups: Pittsburgh (2); Dallas; Denver
Tannehill has five games remaining against the three worst teams (Buffalo, Tennessee, New England) in the league in terms of fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks (ESPN scoring), with two more games against teams that rank in the bottom half of the league (Indianapolis, Jacksonville) against the position entering Week 7. Of particular note would be his late season schedule, with two games against the Patriots along with games against Buffalo and Jacksonville from Week 13-Week 17. That is obviously a critical time for fantasy owners, so owners that can use a quarterback in a flex spot may find Tannehill usable those weeks.
Weeden has a few of very nice matchups against the Redskins, Raiders and Chiefs, who all finished Week 6 in the bottom 10 of the league against quarterbacks. He threw for 320 yards against the Ravens in Week 4, and they will now be without top cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee) for the rest of the season. Weeden has the makings of a solid bye week fill-in against the Colts in Week 7, who themselves are in the bottom half of the league against quarterbacks (16.0 fantasy points per game, ESPN scoring) despite allowing just 105 passing yards against the New York Jets in Week 6.
Weeden and Tannehill are not likely to become every week fantasy starters, and both guys have a few challenging matchups left on the schedule. However, both are worth having as a QB2 in 12 and 14-teams leagues right now, and owners that find themselves with a tough bye week coming up can consider using them in a favorable matchup.
This choice comes down to timing for me and perhaps league schedule as well. Weeden’s Week 16 and Week 17 matchups look difficult against the Broncos and Steelers respectively, while Tannehill faces much easier matchups against the Bills and Patriots those weeks. Weeden does have two favorable matchups in Week 14 and Week 15 against the Chiefs and Redskins, while Tannehill gets a tough matchup against 49ers in Week 14 in a critical week for fantasy owners.
Due to better upside potential with slightly better matchups on the slate, I choose Tannehill here. If your league does not use Week 17 the difference between he and Weeden is minimized some, but the Dolphins’ rookie signal-caller also looks likely to be throwing the ball more with Miami struggling to get their running game on track over the last few weeks.