Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by TJ Calkins. Follow him on Twitter @tjcalkins. He was #2 in MFL best ball ROI in 2015. … And is the commissioner of the prestigious Elite Lemonade League.
Of all the inequities at the quarterback position this year, perhaps the most puzzling is the community’s avoidance of Ryan Tannehill and his new coach, Adam Gase. This is a marriage primed for monumental fantasy success and value, yet Tannehill is being drafted as only the QB21 (99 ADP) in 2QB leagues. The track records of both Tannehill and Gase point to QB1 output for this and future seasons. We’ll explore the separate paths of each and how their convergence makes Tanny the top value buy of 2016.
Ryan Tannehill is Already Proven
Tannehill has shown himself to be a viable fantasy quarterback, even while suffering the utter incompetence of the Joe Philbin coaching era. Tannehill has never missed a game, never finished lower than QB17, never thrown for fewer than 3,913 yards, and never thrown for fewer than 24 touchdowns in any of his past three seasons.
Since 2013, Tannehill has never finished outside the top-11 in yardage nor outside the top-15 in touchdown passes either. Tannehill’s passing stats are quite a feat considering Jarvis Landry’s 1,157 receiving yards in 2015 are the highest output from a single pass-catcher during Tannehill’s career. Additionally, Mike Wallace’s 10 TDs in 2014 are the only time any single player has mustered more than six touchdown receptions in Tannehill’s career. What does that mean? With DeVante Parker entering his second season and the additions of both Arian Foster and Leonte Carroo, the Dolphins signal caller will be playing with the best pass catching corps of his career by far. There’s also the added bonus of Tannehill playing under new coach, Adam Gase, who has a proven track record of scoring through the air.
Introducing Adam Gase
During his career, Tannehill has never finished with a higher rank in touchdown passes than he has in yardage. Enter Gase, who has never had a 15- or 16-game starter finish ranked higher in yardage than in touchdown tosses. As an offensive coordinator, Gase’s quarterbacks have finished 1st, 4th, and 19th in yardage, while finishing 1st, 2nd, and 17th in TD passes.
When Gase took over the Denver offense in 2013 from Mike McCoy, there was a statistical surge forward for Peyton Manning. Manning went from 2012’s QB6, scoring 324 fantasy points, to 2013’s QB1, scoring an absurd 432 fantasy points as a declining player. Yes, Peyton Manning was elevated by his scheme and pass catchers. With Manning in an even greater state of physical decline in 2014, Gase was still able to gift wrap QB4 status and another 328 fantasy points for Manning.
Gase also wrung viability from Jay Cutler in 2015 with a wholly untalented wide receiver corps that was missing Kevin White, had lost Brandon Marshall, and was without Alshon Jeffrey for half the season. The passing guru also limited the notoriously interception-prone Cutler to his lowest interception total in any season with more than ten games played. Gase’s ability to minimize quarterback mistakes will also benefit Tannehill, who has thrown the 8th-, 13th-, and 12th-most most interceptions between 2013 to 2015, respectively. While those numbers certainly could be worse, there’s also plenty of room for improvement.
Ryan Tannehill Has QB1 Potential
Tannehill produced one top-8 fantasy season in Joe Philbin’s inept system. Philbin culd only muster an offensive line coaching job after his unceremonious and overdue axing by the Dolphins. As an offensive coordinator, Gase has coached finishes of QB1, QB4, and QB20. There’s been an influx of pass catching talent in Miami to supplement another year of development for Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker. This adds up to a potential high-end QB1 finish for Ryan Tannehill, who is currently being drafted as a low-end QB2.
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