2015 Fantasy Football: The Rise of QB Ryan Tannehill

After looking at the available quarterbacks for the 2015 Fantasy Football season, Ryan Tannehill was high on my list as an extreme value pick. Now that he has Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills and Jordan Cameron to throw the ball to, the secret is out.

The Rise of Quarterback Ryan Tannehill

Under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor (former Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback coach), Tannehill saw drastic improvement. Even though his pass attempts only increased by two from the 2013-2014 seasons, the 27-year old quarterback increased his completion percentage by 6%, and finished 2014 with the fifth-best competition percentage in the NFL. When you take into consideration that Tannehill did this with Mike Wallace (whose motivation and skill set has been questioned) and rookie Jarvis Landry, his third season as the Dolphins’ starting quarterback is actually pretty impressive.

Financially, the Dolphins are almost forced to keep Wallace, but with his new targets and the progression of Landry, 2015 should place Tannehill in early top-five consideration, and definitely within the top 10. Not only did Tannehill increase his touchdown totals while accumulating the lowest interception total in his career, he also rushed for 311 yards, which is a 76% increase from the year before. While he isn’t going to post rushing totals like Cam Newton, Tannehill’s 311 rushing yards provided Fantasy Football owners in standard scoring leagues with 31.1 points in 2014.

He was still the third-most sacked quarterback in the league (46 sacks) last season, but that is an improvement over being the most-sacked quarterback (58 sacks) in 2013. With a healthy Mike Pouncey and Brandon Albert back in the lineup, Tannehill should have even more time to find his offensive weapons.

Ryan Tannehill’s 2014 Fantasy Football Season

As you can see at the beginning of 2014, Tannehill got off to a slow start.

Ryan Tannehill ESPN Fantasy Football

After the bye in Week 5, however, the young quarterback really started to find a rhythm, and put together a series of strong performances.

Ryan Tannehill ESPN Fantasy Football

He squeaked just behind Tom Brady as the ninth-highest scoring quarterback, and I put him on my radar as a solid quarterback candidate for my 2015 Fantasy Football team.

Ryan Tannehill’s 2015 Fantasy Football ADP

To help mark Tannehill as a value, I think most people have expected too much out of him in the last three years, and people still don’t respect the AFC East. Most fans don’t realize that the AFC East is quickly becoming a division of rising teams, however, and the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins are going to cause some serious headaches for its opponents in 2015.

Currently, Tannehill is a late ninth-round pick, which is a great spot to land him.

QB Ryan Tannehill ADP

The only thing that concerns me with the Dolphins’ offense is the rushing attack, but Miller proved to be a solid producer under Lazor’s system, as the 23-year old back was held to under 20 carries every game. Miller will need to be paired with a workhorse to keep him healthy and productive, and second-year back Damien Williams is an interesting option. He was a top performer for the 40-yard dash in the 2014 NFL Combine, and Williams is viewed as a back who can do a little bit of everything.

Granted, Tannehill isn’t going to surpass Andrew Luck or Aaron Rodgers in terms of Fantasy Football points at the conclusion of 2015, but you also won’t have to pay a huge price for quarterback who could become a top-5 option. He only missed finishing 2014 as the seventh-highest scoring quarterback by three points, so there isn’t any reason to believe he couldn’t replicate his 2014 performance at the very least.

Ryan Tannehill as a Top-Five Quarterback

When predicting Tannehill’s potential success, you also need to review his competition at the quarterback position.

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

He will probably want to play until he is 100, but the wheels have to fall off at some point. Whether it was injury or age, Manning was definitely hindered by something towards the end of the 2014 season, and he could be one big hit away from retiring. Manning is always a candidate to finish in the top five, but this could be the year he finally slows down.

Drew Bress, New Orleans Saints

Without Jimmy Graham or Kenny Stills, how will Brees perform in 2015? He is currently left with aging receiver Marques Colston and youngster Brandin Cooks as his major weapons, and there are also unfounded rumors that the Saints may consider trading Brees to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. While that does seem crazy, trading Graham to the Seattle Seahawks also came out of nowhere. As a 36-year old quarterback with few weapons, Brees currently is out of contention for a top-five finish in my book.

Big Ben Roethlisberger finished as a top-five quarterback in 2014, but 26.7% of his Fantasy Football points were accumulated from two games. If you remove the two games he scored 44 and 35 points, Roethlisberger averaged 15.42 points per game, which multipled over 16 games, totals 246.72 Fantasy Football points. If that were his total, Big Ben would have finished as the 14th-highest scoring quarterback, three points behind Joe Flacco.

I don’t see any reason why Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson won’t remain in the top-five Fantasy Football quarterbacks for 2015, but I think the fourth and fifth-highest scoring quarterback spot is currently wide open.

My hopes are that Tannehill is under appreciated like Luck was in 2014, and I can own a top-five quarterback in the ninth round.

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  1. The Fantasy Championship 2015 Draft Review | Your Fantasy Football Coach

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