2013 Fantasy Football Value Pick: Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins

By Jim Heath
Mike Wallace
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins landed arguably the catch of the offseason, signing former Pittsburg Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace. Since signing, Wallace has been one of the more polarizing figures in fantasy football.

Depending on the opinion (and fantasy  writers tend to be opinionated), you either hear of Wallace the breakout candidate or Wallace the bust. Of course, it is my contention that anytime anyone that writes about wide receivers in the NFL that are on the fence between two opinions, they generally lean towards the negative.

Which makes sense, and it can hardly be disputed because wide receivers have a tendency to bring it on themselves. Is there another position in football with a cast of characters more closely resembling divas than the wide receiver position?

Of course, Wallace is no exception to the diva persona. That said, let’s throw stereotypes out momentarily for a straight up assessment of Wallace. I know you would kick yourself in the hind side repeatedly if you missed a sure thing simply because of said player’s reputation (like many did with Randy Moss and the New England Patriots in 2007).

Here’s the thing, I have this gut feeling about Ryan Tannehill this season. He should be a permanent resident on every quarterback sleeper list this season because I see a slim to none chance of him disappointing. In 2012, Tannehill threw for more yards than Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and even Ben Roethlisberger as a member of a Dolphins offense that was left for dead when last year started.

I see 4,000 as a realistic number for Tannehill in 2013. Admittedly, that isn’t exactly a bold statement with the understanding 4,000 yards no longer assures you a spot in the top-10 of NFL quarterback passing yards. However, the point is that someone has to catch those Tannehill passes.

Wallace is in line to be that guy for Miami. In fact, the Dolphins organization, Tannehill and those who religiously follow both have about 60 million reasons to expect nothing but excellence from Wallace. He is more than capable. In the last three years with the Steelers, he caught 26 touchdowns while racking up over 3,200 yards receiving — more than respectable stats.

He is a top-10 talent that is currently being drafted in most fantasy football mock drafts as 20th-plus wide receiver. What does that mean to you? I have two words: value pick.

When it’s all said and done, isn’t value the one thing we scratch and claw for during our league drafts? Wallace is a poster child for that guy.

Oftentimes, fantasy owners and managers are doomed from the get-go because they let bias, pride, or some deeply rooted sense of wanting to like every player they draft. They allow talent to slip just cause they don’t like that guy. Sounds ridiculous, but right now you can easily name at least one member of your league with this mentality — potentially yourself.

Let’s be honest folks, we don’t draft fantasy players with the hope of making friends. As coach Herman Edwards would say, “we draft to win the game!” Don’t overlook Wallace on draft day, you’ll regret it if you do.

Jim Heath is a Fantasy Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jim_heath, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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