2013 Fantasy Football Darkhorse: Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill
You all probably know his name, but according to the major sites, none of you are rostering this second year Miami Dolphin (7.7% owned in ESPN leagues and 16% owned in Yahoo!). Why is this?
Ryan Tannehill put up very solid statistics against a sneaky good Cleveland Browns defense, completing 24 of 38 tosses for 272 yards, one touchdown, and one interception on a day where his top receiver couldn’t find breathing room and the run game was beyond pathetic (23 carries for 20 yards, including a nice 10 carry 3 yard gem from Lamar Miller). It’s not insane to think that this performance (roughly 13 points in most Fantasy formats) is his absolute floor, and with almost half of his remaining schedule coming against the “offense only” NFC South, the New England Patriots twice, or the Indianapolis Colts, the odds seem to be in Tannehill’s favor going forward.
Mike Wallace might not be a great No. 1 wide receiver, but one catch for 15 yards? Joe Haden locked him up pretty good, but most teams lack an elite corner that can completely take away a team’s number one option. That being said, I thought Tannehill showed great maturity in taking what the defense gave him and maximizing his positive plays by checking down to Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson (16 catches on 25 targets for 191 yards and a touchdown).
The running game will improve as the season progresses, thus opening things up for Tannehill and the passing game. The talent of Miller is real, but so is the adjustment period from college to the pros. Look for the Dolphins to stick with their rookie (Daniel Thomas isn’t exactly a proven commodity that is a major threat of taking his workload) and gradually increase his role. Once the Dolphins have even the threat of a run game, the speed of Wallace and patience of Tannehill should begin to flourish, potentially vaulting him into the top 15 at his position.
There may be a media circus around the current Texas A&M quarterback, but the Fantasy community needs to focus more on the University’s alum that can help their Fantasy squad in a big way this year. He is certainly an improvement over your current backup quarterback, and should he get hot, he could work his way into your starting lineup now and again. Owners of mobile quarterbacks should be the first to jump on board, as Tannehill is a dependable option that can carry your Fantasy team should your starter (and the top ten is full of “at risk” quarterbacks) go down for an extended period of time.
Other Fantasy questions? Sit em’ Start em’? Tweet me @unSOPable23 throughout the week and I’ll make sure to give you my two cents in 140 characters or less.