The off-field drama in Miami last year obscured the progress quarterback Ryan Tannehill made in his second season. Despite being sacked a league-high 58 times, he threw for close to 4,000 yards (3,913) and 24 touchdowns while completing just over 60 percent of his passes. 17 interceptions created a dismal touchdown-to-interception ratio, but 10 of those came in just four games and Tannehill added to his fantasy value with 238 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Tannehill will have a new offensive coordinator this year, with Bill Lazor coming over after serving as the quarterbacks’ coach for the Philadelphia Eagles last season. A more balanced (and faster-paced) offense is on the horizon in Miami, and there’s some indication Tannehill’s running ability will be a prominent part of things.
Lazor helped Nick Foles have a breakout season in 2013, including 221 rushing yards and three touchdowns despite his not being known as a mobile quarterback. Tannehill is clearly a better athlete than Foles, and through two preseason games he has shown improved efficiency as a passer (15-for-20 for 172 yards).
I’m not ready to call Tannehill a rock-solid fantasy starter yet, but I think he has a lot more upside as a QB2 than other similarly ranked signal callers. Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Alex Smith and Josh McCown all have average draft positions within 10 picks of Tannehill right now, per Fantasy Football Calculator.com, and Carson Palmer and Sam Bradford are just outside of that criteria on either end. All things being equal I’d take Tannehill over any of the aforementioned quarterbacks, with Palmer the lone possible exception, and I’m willing to bet the Dolphins’ signal caller will remain under-appreciated and undervalued in most fantasy drafts.