Fantasy Football 2013: Target Ryan Tannehill As Bye Week Replacement

By Adam Pfeifer
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports


It continues to happen.

Each season, the NFL sees a young, talented breed of quarterbacks that hit the scene and almost immediately impress. Last year, we obviously saw the stellar play of guys like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, and so far this year, rookies like Geno Smith and EJ Manuel have been impressing. And I’ll say it again, with all of these guys hitting the scene, it continues to happen.

Sophomore signal caller Ryan Tannehill continues to be overlooked.

It’s definitely understandable, however. He clearly isn’t as dominant as the likes of Luck and RG3, but Tannehill is a darn good quarterback if you ask me, and while he doesn’t have the fantasy appeal as some of these other guys, he will still be a serviceable option for those who are suffering the bye week blues. The byes have been coming in hot, and they are only going to get worse. Tannehill will get to rest for Week 6, but when some of the big name quarterbacks have the weekend off, Tannehill needs to be targeted as a viable fill-in. Let’s look at some of his matchups down the road, and who you could potentially be replacing him for.



Tannehill Matchup


7 NO, OAK Buffalo 21.08 (14th)
8 BAL, CHI, HOU, IND, TEN, SD New England 14.81 (24th)
9 ARI, DEN, DET, JAX, NYG, SF Cincinnati 18.39 (19th)
11 DAL, STL San Diego 30.57 (1st)


Keep in mind that you should never be expecting a monster, 30-point fantasy outing from a bye week quarterback. It’s about finding a balance of safety and upside in a matchup that you like. Anywhere between 17-20 points is serviceable, but Tannehill has the upside to eclipse those fantasy numbers, especially when you look at what the offense is doing. According to Pro Football Focus, the Dolphins are throwing the football 70 percent of the time, which is good for 5th-most in football. That’s 13 points higher than their passing percentage from a season ago. Combine that with the fact that Miami continues to avoid feeding the rock to their talented young running back Lamar Miller, and Tannehill has the volume appeal that makes me want to plug him into my lineup over a handful of other guys. And if Tannehill continues to build an even better rapport with free agent acquisition Mike Wallace, the sky is the limit for his fantasy production. He and tight end Charles Clay have already developed quite the chemistry, and there are pieces on this offense that can make plays.

There is a concern with Tannehill, however. Through five weeks, he has been sacked a whopping 24 times, which is the most of any quarterback. He is currently on pace to be sacked 77 times, which would be the most in the history of football. We knew that the departure of Jake Long would hurt this offensive line, but did anyone expect them to be this bad? Last Monday night, Tannehill had one of the worst games of his career against the Saints, throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble as well. A large part of that had to have been due to the constant pressure he was facing all night long. According to Pro Football Focus, out of Tannehill’s 41 drop backs, he was pressured 15 times, sacked four times and was 6/8 for 78 yards and two interceptions when pressured. If he has a clean pocket to work with, he is basically a completely different quarterback. On the season, he has been pressured on 71 of 210 drop backs, and is 21-of-44 for 372 yards, zero touchdowns, three interceptions, and, of course, those 24 sacks. Luckily, only one of the above matchups ranks inside the top-10 in sacks on the season (Buffalo with 18), so as long as he can stay upright, he should be fine.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.


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