He either had great games or caused you to pull your hair out in 2013, but wide receiver Mike Wallace is set to return as a top-20 wide receiver in 2014.
Between the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Wallace was a dominant force with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In those two seasons, the speedy receiver totaled 2,450 receiving yards and hauled in 18 touchdowns. After that, Wallace had a mediocre fantasy season with the Steelers in 2012 with 838 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He wasn’t the threat that fantasy football players were accustomed to, but finding a new home with the Miami Dolphins for the 2013 season seemed to be an intriguing option.
Of quarterback Ryan Tannehill‘s 588 passing attempts last season, Wallace accounted for 142 targets, which means 24 percent of the passing attempts from Tannehill went to Wallace. Even though he was the highest-targeted player on the team, he finished second on the team behind Brian Hartline in receptions. He also finished with five touchdown catches, which once again put him in second place behind tight end Charles Clay and his six touchdown catches.
Wallace complained about his lack of involvement, and after vocalizing his frustration, he would normally find himself more involved in the offense and produce a big day. Unfortunately for his owners, his productive days were far and few between. The 27-year-old receiver scored 10 or more fantasy points in five games, but he also had eight games with four or fewer points.
With that kind of inconsistency and without providing a strong fantasy season since 2011, what is there to like about Wallace? For starters, Wallace his reportedly lined up out of the backfield, the slot and outside during OTAs. Defenses will have a hard time containing him when he is lining up at different areas of the field, and this is still the same guy who ran a 4.33 at the combine.
Secondly, Tannehill has new protection, which will allow him to actually be able to complete plays and finish his throws. He will be able to get the ball out of his hands without having to worry about being sacked all the time, and his passing production should see a huge upgrade this season. If new addition Knowshon Moreno can become a threat for the Dolphins, then the offense will be hard to contain.
Fantasy football players haven’t seen a dominant performance from Wallace in a few years, but 2014 could be the year he returns as a top option for your team.