As I write this, I am also preparing for my first fantasy draft of the season. I have been studying projections and ADPs, creating tiers and notes in the app I use to draft, and going over the different draft scenarios and strategies in my head. And there is one thing I keep coming back to when I start going over the different scenarios for quarterbacks: Ryan Tannehill is going to be a competent QB2 this year.
Before you make the gas face and move on to Googling pictures of Ryan Tannehill’s wife (no judgment here, Google knows):
Or go back to mock drafting or whatever else you do with your life with only a week left until real football, hear me out. Ryan Tannehill is not an elite Quarterback. I am not going to try and convince you that he is or that you should make him your QB1. All I am saying is that, depending on how things fall for you in your draft, you could do worse than waiting for Tannehill in the later rounds. Stats, please!
[graphiq id=”iG5S1iVxoGh” title=”Ryan Tannehill Career Passing Stats” width=”800″ height=”377″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/iG5S1iVxoGh” link=”http://football-players.pointafter.com/l/20248/Ryan-Tannehill” link_text=”Ryan Tannehill Career Passing Stats | PointAfter”]
Pretty much what you might expect, or possibly better than you might expect for a guy who is widely considered to be meh. Right now, his ADP is around 130 overall and in the 21-25 range for QBs, which puts him as either one of the last QB2s taken or undrafted in most leagues. And that is the beauty of drafting Ryan Tannehill—you can wait for him. Of course, you can wait for him for a reason. Most people consider him to be, uh, not good (see “meh,” above).
This year’s Razzball Fantasy Football Projections (which I highly recommend checking out before or during your drafts) have him as the 18th QB (17th now that Tony Romo is on the shelf again), with these projections:
|Pass Yards||Pass TDs||Pass INTs||Rush Atts||Rush Yards||Rush TDs|
That puts him right around Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan territory, and I would bet anything that both Stafford and Ryan get drafted before Tannehill in your league. Plus, you could make the case (in fact, that is what I am doing in this article!) that Ryan Tannehill’s numbers might be a little bit better than this, if all goes well. And you could also argue (here we go again) that Matthew Stafford’s numbers could dip even further now that he will be without Calvin Johnson for a full season.
2016 might be Ryan Tannehill’s final chance to prove that he can be a franchise quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. The current regime has no loyalty to him, and his cap hit doubles next year while his dead cap number is cut in half (read: they can cut or trade him if they don’t think he is their guy for the future). While it is not a contract year in the truest sense, where a player on the verge of free agency balls out for a year just to get paid, it might as well be. He still has plenty of guaranteed money coming his way, but he is going to have to step up his game if he wants to earn the full amount of his $77 Million contract over the next few years, whether it be in Miami or somewhere else.
As far as the projected stats go, I think we could see a bit more from Tannehill. I agree with the passing yards of just over 4,000, but I think he will throw for 30 TDs and rush for a few hundred yards and a few TDs in Adam Gase’s offense. The loss of Lamar Miller in the offseason means that they will likely rely more heavily on Ryan Tannehill and the passing game, even with the addition of Arian Foster.
Adam Gase is hailed as a quarterback guru, and some analysts are pointing to that when predicting an uptick in Tannehill’s numbers this year. But I think there is another reason to be optimistic about him: tempo. In addition to installing his offense in Miami, Gase has also stressed running a more up-tempo style. Regardless of what that means for real life NFL strategy, what it means for fantasy football is more plays. And more plays equals more stats. And more stats equals more points. And more points equals, OK, enough, you get it. It’s a good thing. Anyone who drafted Chip Kelly offensive players in the past knows that an up-tempo offense can do wonderful things for offensive stats (and terrible things for defensive stats, but, you know…)
If Gase can’t get the best out of Tannehill, maybe no one can. But even the Tannehill from years past should put up better numbers this year. So grab yourself a QB1 not named Ryan Tannehill earlier in the draft, draft some WR and RB depth, and know that you can wait to grab Tannehill after the Andy Dalton, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, Marcus Mariota, and Ryan Fitzpatrick run is over. Unless someone else in your league also reads this article and adopts that strategy, then ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
If you want to talk fantasy football or have players you want me to feature, hit me up on Twitter at @mikeMaher or post a comment here. I’ll be doing the handcuff report once the season begins. P.S. You should check out Razzball’s new draft tool: 2016 Fantasy Football War Room.