You Don’t Have to Like Ryan Tannehill, You Just Have to Draft Him

I don’t think Ryan Tannehill is very good. If my team had to win a playoff game today, there are plenty of QBs I’d rather have. … I would rather run Sal’s boring 2QB star Alex Smith out there before Tanny, as an example.

But the thing about drafting quarterbacks in fantasy football is that you don’t have to like them. The reality is, Tannehill is in a great position to score fantasy points in 2016. Here’s how…

The Gase Effect

In one of the bigger stories of the off-season, Miami hired offensive savant Adam Gase to be their new head coach. Let’s take a look at how his last two quarterbacks have fared with and without his presence. (Note that for fantasy scoring I am using four points per touchdown pass, one point for every 25 yards passing.)

YearTeamQBAYA w/GaseAYA w/o Gase% Inc AYAFPPG w/GaseFPPG w/o Gase% Inc FPPG
2015CHIJay Cutler7.46.612.1%16.416.02.5%
2013-2014DENPeyton Manning8.77.417.6%23.718.329.5%

I took a look at the adjusted yards per attempt and fantasy points per game for both Jay Cutler and Peyton Manning with and without Gase. As you can see, both quarterbacks improved in both AYA and fantasy scoring, though the difference in Manning was much greater than for Cutler in the latter category.

Some of this has to do with Cutler having just had another offensive guru, Marc Trestman, as his head coach prior to Gase. It also has to do with Alshon Jeffery, who missed six games in 2015. If I take just the games Cutler played with Jeffery, we get even better results.

YearTeamQBAYA w/GaseAYA w/o Gase% Inc AYAFPPG w/GaseFPPG w/o Gase% Inc FPPG
2015CHIJay Cutler7.86.618.2%17.416.08.7%
2013-2014DENPeyton Manning8.77.417.6%23.718.329.5%

We have now established for ourselves a nice range of potential outcomes for Tannehill based solely on Gase’s recent history and his career averages of 6.6 and 16.1 in AYA and fantasy points per game, respectively.

SampleExpected AYAExpected FPPG2015 Rank
Average w/Alshon7.819.310
Cutler w/Alshon7.817.522

The average outcomes have Tannehill looking like a low-end QB1 or high-end QB2. If he sees just a modest bump like Cutler, he will probably be a fringe 2QB starter. And if he can see the Manning bump, we could be looking at a top six quarterback. This is obviously a wide range, but I have a feeling he will not fall into the Cutler range of outcomes.

The Weapons

The big reason why I’m expecting Tannehill to see a sizable bump with Gase is all of the weapons in Miami, starting with DeVante Parker.

Though we only got to see a little bit of Parker in 2015, he absolutely lived up to the hype, posting by far the best AYA of any wideout Tannehill has worked with in his career, per the RotoViz AYA App. Now in year two, he should be a major focal point for both Tannehill and this offense.

The Dolphins also drafted Leonte Carroo, who has some awesome comparables in the RotoViz Box Score Scout App.

When Chris Chambers and Eric Decker are your top two comparable players, it’s a good sign for your ability to play in this league. Carroo also looks comparable to Jordan Matthews, Hakeem Nicks, Roddy White, and Parker, which really shows just how special he may be.

And while I think he is overrated in fantasy circles, Jarvis Landry has certainly been Tannehill’s best friend, soaking up a ton of underneath targets as his go-to safety valve. Together, this should be a formidable trio for Gase to coach and Tannehill to utilize.


Tannehill isn’t the sexiest real life quarterback, but it is obvious that he should have plenty of chances at success in 2016. Between a head coach that seemingly always gets the best out of his personnel, and a wide receiver trio loaded with talent, it is hard not to love Tannehill at his cheap prices in 2QB leagues. Going as the QB18 in our 12-team 2QB mocks and QB22 in our 10-team ones, Tannehill is being drafted at his absolute floor. He is certainly someone to target this summer.

Anthony Amico
Anthony Amico is a former high school football coach and a huge stat nerd. He combines his knowledge in both areas to come up with sound reasoning on a variety of fantasy football topics, and loves to approach the game with a contrarian mindset. In addition to contributing to, Anthony is also contributor for both RotoViz and Fantasy Insiders.

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