Miami Dolphins’ Ryan Tannehill is the forgotten quarterback of the storied 2012 NFL draft class. Tannehill was welcomed to the league with far less fanfare than that of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Rightfully so, he finished far lower than Luck, RGIII and third round draftee Russell Wilson in touchdowns and fantasy points a season ago.
That, however, is no reason to look past Tannehill during fantasy football drafts this season.
By no means am I declaring Tannehill worthy of a QB1 spot just yet. And in no properly drafted league would you have to spend a QB1 type pick to nab Tannehill. He can be drafted in much later rounds as your back-up option.
What Tannehill can be for you is a value QB2 pick this year. It must also be noted that the value of a trustworthy QB2 in today’s pass first league is exponentially more important than has been the case in the past.
The evolution of the passing game’s significance on the chances of your survival in all league formats has actually doubled in only two years. The trends backed by statistical data (something you should always account for prior to annual drafts) proves this phenomenon. In 2010, a QB that passed for over 4,000 yards in a season would be in the top five at season’s end. In 2012, 4,000 yards didn’t secure a top 10 position for QBs. Factor in that growth rate on this season and the bottom line is – you better have a couple guys that can sling the rock.
Last season, Detroit Lions QB Matt Stafford was a top five tier QB in most fantasy drafts. If you took Stafford without the assistance of a reliable number two QB last season, you spent the year looking up in the standings at the rest of your league. However, if you took Stafford one and say, Luck as your QB2 last year, the sting of Stafford’s bust season wasn’t as difficult a pill to swallow.
Tannehill can fill that potential void on your team this season. Draft him late as an insurance policy with the knowledge you may have drafted a QB with fantasy football starter potential. If your QB1 lives up to expectations and has an injury free season, outstanding, you have potential trade bait for a missing team component come playoff times.
And Tannehill is a very low risk high reward draft choice. In 2012, with fewer weapons, Tannehill quietly threw for more yards than RGIII and Wilson. Weapons are no longer a concern for the Dolphin quarterback. Available to Tannehill are Dustin Keller a reliable security valve, Brandon Gibson who showed flash last year with the St. Louis Rams, and of course the free agent catch of the offseason, Mike Wallace.
In most re-draft formats last year, RGIII, Luck and Wilson were not drafted as the first QB. However, all three were starting for the teams that drafted them, or they proved to be juicy trade bait come playoff season. Tannehill easily has that potential value for your team if you draft him in 2013.