Writing an article breaking down Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill isn’t for those with thin skin, but there may be a silver lining in having the article focus on his outlook in fantasy football in 2017.
One of the more polarizing figures in the NFL in the modern age of social media, Tannehill haters and supporters alike will flock to articles about him to be the first to either praise your work and tell you how much they agree, or — more often than not — jump all over you to tell you exactly how wrong you are about the sixth-year signal caller in Miami.
With that being said, this is what I signed up for and I tend to not play favoritism when it comes to judging fantasy football – because there’s money involved, duh – so here is your 2017 fantasy football outlook for Lauren’s husband.
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Tannehill finished last season as the 27th-highest scoring quarterback in fantasy football after missing the final three weeks of the season. If you give Tannehill his average fantasy points per game for the three games he missed he would have been bumped up to number 21, which still isn’t what you’re looking for out of your fantasy quarterback.
In regards to fantasy football, another piece that must be factored into last season was the emergence of running back Jay Ajayi. After his well-documented start to the 2016 season, Ajayi finally broke out week six against the Pittsburgh Steelers en route to finishing as the 11th-highest scoring fantasy running back.
In a game where touches and opportunities are at a premium, the Dolphins made Ajayi more of a factor than they’ve ever made a Dolphins running back during the Tannehill-era and that is expected to happen once again in 2017, likely impacting Tannehill’s fantasy production.
Currently the 23rd-consensus ranked quarterback heading into 2017, Tannehill’s average draft position is the middle of the 14th round as a low-end QB2.
Tannehill should be a happy man – outside of having the stereotypical quarterback wife – as the Dolphins were able to re-sign wide receiver Kenny Stills while he still has the comfort of his security blanket in Jarvis Landry and the big-play potential of DeVante Parker.
Along with playing another season with his familiar core of receivers, the front office also brought in Julius Thomas who brings unique playmaking ability to the table when healthy.
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With the offensive weapons Tannehill is surrounded by – arguably the most talent he’s been around throughout his time in the NFL – Tannehill’s production in fantasy football should take a step forward in 2017. There is also something to be said for being in his second year in head coach Adam Gase’s offense, which has proven to be quarterback friendly in the past.
However, there are always two sides to a story; so while there seems to be potential for Tannehill to contribute to your fantasy team in 2017, there is also plenty of reason to continue pumping the breaks and keep him locked into a backup role.
In his five seasons in the NFL, Tannehill has finished as a QB1 just one time – in 2014 – and has finished outside the top-20 at the position twice.
There is also no doubt that Miami is going to feature Ajayi once again in 2017, and if the team is able to get out to early leads in games, Ajayi is a safe bet to be near the league leaders in terms of carries per game.
With the amount of playmakers Miami has, matched with Gase’s apparent intentions of spreading around touches, Tannehill should suffice as your fantasy team’s QB2. Counting on Tannehill as your fantasy team’s starter in 2017 is too risky as there are plenty of options to choose from that should outperform Tannehill, even if it’s your strategy to stockpile running backs and receivers and wait until the later rounds for your quarterback.
For 2017, I predict Tannehill to throw for 4,150 yards and 28 touchdowns, as he’s currently my 19th-ranked fantasy quarterback.