Over/Under: Ryan Tannehill


Welcome to another installment of “Over/Under” where I highlight a player, determine some projections based on past tendencies, then state whether I think they will go “over or under” those projections. The criteria will be different for each player based on position and situation.

This week’s debate will focus on Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins. We will put his line at 3,700 passing yards and 20 touchdowns.

The 2012 rookie quarterback draft class of Tannehill, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson has been touted by some as better than the legendary 1983 quarterback class which produced Hall of Famers Dan Marino, John Elway and Jim Kelly. It’s way too early for statements like that, but this group has a chance.

Lost in the shuffle of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson’s incredible rookie campaigns was Ryan Tannehill. He didn’t take the league by storm or provide SportsCenter Top 10 plays week in and week out. Really, if it weren’t for his smoking hot wife, Lauren, you might not have heard Tannehill being mentioned by the talking heads of the sports world at all. By the way, his wife IS gorgeous.

Tannehill was the rawest of all the rookie signal callers in 2012. He spent four years at Texas A&M – two and a half as a wide receiver and one and a half as the Aggies’ starting quarterback. As a true freshman, he caught 55 balls for 844 yards and five touchdowns. As a sophomore, he caught 46 passes for 609 yards and four scores. Halfway through his junior year he took over as the starting quarterback and led the Aggies to wins over Texas Tech, #11 Oklahoma, #9 Nebraska, and Texas. He entered his senior season as the unquestioned starter for Coach Mike Sherman, finishing the season with 3,744 yards, 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. You can see his career college stats below:


When the Dolphins selected Tannehill eighth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, they reunited him with his college Head Coach, Mike Sherman, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Dolphins. Tannehill was expected to sit a year behind veterans David Garrard and Matt Moore but Garrard underwent knee surgery and Matt Moore face planted in the preseason. It was then Coach Joe Philbin made the decision if the Dolphins were going to stink in 2012, they were going to do it while getting him NFL experience – he started all 16 games as a rookie. Let’s look at the statistics of the rookie quarterback class who started from day one.


As you can see, he couldn’t hold a candle to what the record setting trio of Luck, RG3, and Wilson achieved, but it’s not fair to call Tannehill a failure for not matching their ridiculous numbers. It was often joked that Tannehill was both the Dolphins’ best quarterback and receiver. Honestly, that may have been right. The Dolphins lacked elite playmakers for him. His top receiving options were Brian Hartline, Davonne Bess and Armon Binns at wide receiver, Anthony Fasano at tight end and Reggie Bush at running back. He simply didn’t have an Alfred Morris or Pierre Garcon. There weren’t any play making veterans like Reggie Wayne to pair with rookies like T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, either. He didn’t have the luxury of turning around and handing it to a menacing power back like Trent Richardson or Marshawn Lynch. The cupboard was bare in Miami and Tannehill had to take his lumps.

Regardless, his rookie season showed flashes of what he is capable of doing. In week four against the Arizona Cardinals, Tannehill went 26-for-41 for 431 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He and Brian Hartline were practically unstoppable that day, hooking up 12 times for a mind boggling 253 yards and the one touchdown. The Dolphins lost the game, by the way. It would be only one of three times all year Hartline would eclipse the 100 yard receiving mark in a game. Tannehill continued his up and down rookie campaign for the rest of the season, finishing with the stats you see above.

It didn’t take GM Jeff Ireland long to publicly state his intentions to bring in reinforcements for his young signal caller. As soon as free agency opened up they went hard after the marquee wide receivers, eventually landing former Steeler Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson, formerly of the Rams. They also brought in long time New York Jet Dustin Keller at tight end to replace the plodding Fasano. Now armed with legit pass catching weapons to add to Hartline, Tannehill is poised to take a step forward in year two. Helping his cause is their commitment to the running game. Gone, is Reggie Bush. He is replaced with second year man Lamar Miller and rookie Mike Gillislee, two players with speed and quickness. Coach Joe Philbin was the offensive architect for the Packers offense and you can see his fingerprints all over this one. Look for this team to continue maximizing its strengths. Tannehill has one of the better deep balls in the league and Wallace might be the best deep ball receiver in the NFL. This pairing is perfect as long as Tannehill has time to throw deep.

It’s my opinion we haven’t seen Tannehill’s best football yet. With a year under his belt in Philbin’s system and with a familiar voice coaching him along the way in Mike Sherman, he will continue progressing with his retooled offense. Having said that, I am going to take the slight over on both.

I think Tannehill can put up similar numbers to what we’ve seen from Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco over the last couple years – somewhere in the useable QB2 range. I don’t think he’ll be a 4,000 yard passer this season, but he should end up near the 3,700 yard mark – that’s only another 406 yards with the upgraded cast. The touchdowns are going to be more difficult, but in a passing league it seems like everyone throws 20 touchdowns these days. In fact, no fewer than twenty quarterbacks threw 20 touchdowns in 2012.

He’s a good dynasty investment with a ton of untapped potential. The unfortunate part is according to Ryan McDowell’s latest ADP data from June, Tannehill’s average draft position has climbed all the way up to the QB13, ahead of guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, and Andy Dalton. So, the cat’s out of the bag. If you want him, you’re going to have to pay a premium price.

How do you think Ryan Tannehill will do in 2013? Do you think he’ll be “Over or Under” 3,700 passing yards and 20 touchdowns? Let me know in the comments below!

Eric Olinger

Eric Olinger

Senior Writer at Dynasty League Football
A 12 year old trapped in a man's body, Eric has been playing IDP dynasty leagues for almost 20 years. He enjoys Star Wars, Batman, red meat and an ice cold Diet Coke, sometimes all at once. He hopes to one day own his own Batmobile but his wife is a relentless dream crusher so the odds are slim.

Eric is on Twitter @OlingerIDP.
Eric Olinger

Latest posts by Eric Olinger (see all)



  1. Preston

    June 26, 2013 at 5:45 am

    I think it is going to be close, but I expect he will surpass both of these. As you mentioned, only needs 406 more passing yards, and he might get that in 8 deep balls to Wallace alone! TDs are going to be a bit more difficult as it looks like Miami will be fairly committed to the running game (bringing in a FB this week), but even with that, I think he passes 20. Keller is a forgotten man, he should help in the red zone. Add a few deep Wallace TDs, and I think he makes it over.

    • ChiefsHonk

      June 26, 2013 at 8:38 am

      Hartline had like what 1 TD last year. Davone Bess had like 1 TD. I mean they upgraded at WR in a big way and also at TE. Fasano was a decent all around TE but Keller is a 1st round NFL draft talent let’s not forget. I think this is an easy over as well.

  2. Mark

    June 26, 2013 at 5:51 am

    To me this is an easy over on yardage and as a result should go over on td’s too. Preston is right on with Keller and the fact that they want to commit to the run game.

  3. Greg

    June 26, 2013 at 6:01 am

    I see him going over on Touchdowns, but under on yardage. Mike Wallace is going to have close to double digit touchdowns regardless of what happens with the rest of the team. I am just not drinking the kool-aid on the dolphins this year.

  4. verb

    June 26, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I’m going over on both. I say 4,000 and around 25. I’m still not sure that makes him a fantasy starter but he will certainly be a solid bye week fill in.

    • Eric Olinger

      June 26, 2013 at 7:39 am

      I agree, he’ll be a match up player this year but has the potential to continue growing. I hope people drafting him as high as they are will be patient (patient fantasy owners, an oxymoron) because expecting 4000 yards and 25 TDs are lofty expectations for the sophomore.

  5. SJ

    June 26, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Under across the board.

    Not a believer in his talent, and I know there are a lot of other doubters out there. Also far from convinced that Ireland knows what he’s doing, and his spending spree on the likes of Keller, Hartline, Gibson and possibly Leach doenst sway me into believing those players will greatly improve on Tannehills fantasy numbers. To me, theyre either role players or borderline NFL starters, and I can easily throw out that bullet point when used as a presumed positive.

    Its really all going to on his shoulders to step into fantasy starter low-QB1 territory. I doubt he’ll be able to do that. The Organization is bad, the team is bad, and beyond M.Wallace and to a lesser, unproven extent, Miller – the offense is bad. You can downgrade their line from last season and even their defense is taking a step sideways or backwards. Even if you think that statement’s a mistake, theyre too many question marks for me to get behind him. It’ll be a mediocre season in MIA

    • JH

      June 26, 2013 at 8:21 am


      With all do respect you have no idea what you a talking about when it comes to the Fins.

      First off, Hartline is a definite #2 receiver in this league. The only time he struggled last year was when he was double covered. With the signing of Wallace, the leagues best deep route runner, who has also polished his other routes Hartline will consistently see single coverage against # 2 corners. Look for Hartline to have another 65-75 catch season with around 1,000 yards. Gibson also scored 5 TD’s for the Rams last year and he isn’t expected to be a starter. He was signed for #3 WR money and that’s what he will play in the slot. The signing of Keller will also help in a big way to keep the safties honest in the middle of the field, which will allow Wallace to work deep routes and Hartline to work the sideline.

      Miller should have plenty of room to run in this O. Last year he average right around 5 yards per carry. He is a one cut and go runner, with home run 4.4 speed, who is perfect for this offensive strategy. You don’t think with Wallace, Keller and Hartline keeping the safties honest and with D’s not being able to put 8 men in the box that Miller won’t flourish? I won’t even bring up that the Fins have the easiest schedule vs run defense this year. He will be a top 25 pick in fantasy draft by August/September guaranteed.

      Also, how can you say the D went sideways or took a step back. They released two aging LB’s in Dansby and Burnett for two younger faster LB’s in Ellerbe and Wheeler who are much better at getting to the QB and covering TE’s. They also let Sean Smith go (who led the league in TD and first down reception’s combined) and signed Brent Grimes who by all account has shown a 100% recovery from his Achilles tendon injury from last year. They drafted the #1 defensive player/pass rushing specialist in Dion Jordan to compliment Cameron Wake and an already top 5 front seven. Last they have one of the best up an coming safties in the league in Rashad Jones, who should have made the pro bowl last year.

      Next time you do a write up on an fantasy board do a little research so you don’t look like such an idiot.

      • Eric Olinger

        June 26, 2013 at 8:29 am

        Easy JH. These articles are written to inspire debate. A lot of people share SJ’s opinions and its important to get all angles. Name calling in unnecessary, lets keep it friendly. Believe me, there are plenty of times I’d like to come unhinged during some of these debates.

      • SJ

        June 26, 2013 at 8:44 am

        Im not going to get in a debate on the Miami Dolphins and waste peoples time scrolling past this in the comments section. This is not a Dolphins team capsule forum post. I’ll also deflect your name-calling because its childish to call someone an idiot on a comment post. If you feel like that makes you a better man, whatever I could care less what a stranger thinks

        To the point of my comment regarding Tannehill, to be clear, your opinions are valid to some degree in that they improved on their previous receiver roster by keeping Hartline and adding Wallace. Hartline, Gibson and Keller are role players and will play whatever respective role on offense they have. Its something, but its unlikely they will have a huge impact on pushing Tannehill into QB1 territory. The offensive roster is mediocre comparative to other teams, and I stand by that. Tannehill’s talent is still out for debate as a potential fantasy starting QB.

        I take the under based on that.

        The team made signings, which is better than not doing anything. But like many teams have shown in the past, winning the FA market doenst mean you win in the regular season. The top of the organization is questionable at best, and that falls onto their roster decisions. I’m not a believer in what their doing, but its good to see that others are. Makes things interesting.

      • wepation

        June 26, 2013 at 10:04 am

        As someone who lives in Miami I still surprised head when Fin Fans get so worked up because someone doesn’t like their team. Its an opinion on a fantasy football discussion board. SJ didn’t say anything inflammatory.

        That aside I personally have some doubts about the Dolphin offense. Even though they got Wallace as their #1 they got rid of Bess who has practically been the only consistent receiver they have had for the past several years. You could always expect as least 700 yards and 60+ receptions from him regardless of the QB and coaching staff. All Hartline is going to do now is fill the void that Bess left. Hartline may have had 1083 yards last year but people forget that the years prior to that he was always the #3. Also, Wallace is an amazing talent but last year he didn’t perform as expected and that was with Brown and Sanders at the #2 and #3 to draw attention from him. *Side Note* Am I the only one that finds it ironic people are so excited about Wallace here in Miami when two years ago they had arguable one of the top 5 WR in Brandon Marshall and they got rid of him….

        Another thing is that people are downplaying the loss of Bush. The Fins are left with unproven RB to fill that position. Everyone expects Miller to step up but can anyone be sure? I still remember how hyped up people here in MIA were with Daniel Thomas when they first drafted him. At least with Bush you had somewhat of an idea of what he was going to give you since he rushed for 986 yards last year and 1086 the year before that. Bush also just happened to be the Fins 4th best receiver with 35 receptions.

    • Eric Olinger

      June 26, 2013 at 8:24 am

      I can very easily see your point on everything but the defense statement. This defense improved over the offseason with the addition on Ellerbe and Wheeler at LB and drafting Dion Jordan to bookend Cameron Wake. Look for this unit to be even better than last year.

      The jury is definitely out on Tannehill. That’s why we have the over/under. Hearing everyone’s opinions on a given player is a very helpful tool to assess your stance. Sometimes you realize you are in the overwhelming minority on a player and you can recalibrate your thinking. Also, it helps you gage the buzz and level of interest in a player to buy/sell.

      Thanks SJ.

      • SJ

        June 26, 2013 at 8:28 am

        Ellerbe and Wheeler were questionable signings given the value of the players they replaced, and the size of their contracts. Its possible they will have a sidways or backwards effect. No mention of losing talent from the secondary in FA? I think that will have some degree of negativity.

        • Eric Olinger

          June 26, 2013 at 8:33 am

          Ellerbe and Wheeler were going to get paid by someone, their performance last year earned them that. With rookie contracts now controlled, we’re going to see bigger free agency contracts to veterans. That was the point of the CBA, more money to “proven” vets as opposed to “unproven” rookies.

          Grimes and Jones in the secondary should not be viewed as a downgrade. Maybe not a huge upgrade because Grimes is dealing with a healing Achilles and those are scary but pressure from the front seven will help the secondary.

          • SJ

            June 26, 2013 at 8:52 am

            Fair enough. Again, the defense was more of an aside on my point of Tannehill but it should show some impact.

            It it is indeed improved, which is possible, as you mention, I would think that will play only a smallish role on the offensive side. But maybe your right and the defensive side eventually becomes dominant and greatly places the offense in advantageous situations. Or maybe it makes them more of a run-based team and takes away from the passing, playing catchup gameplay. Not sure

          • Eric Olinger

            June 26, 2013 at 9:17 am

            Hopefully, they trust their defense to bail them out on occasion and are more willing to take shots downfield with Wallace and Hartline. Just my two cents on that.

  6. Lotto4Life

    June 26, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I don’t trust his decision making at all. He was terrible in that aspect in college, and I’m not sure he’s either grown out of it or learned from it.

    • Kaleb

      June 26, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      In Tannehill’s defense, he started 20 games at QB in college, and not until his JR year. Decision making will (or should) improve with more experience at the position

      • sixshooter

        July 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm

        Agreed……..I thought Tannehill did a good job last year and has promising feedback from camp this year! Only problem….he is being compared to the Andrew Luck’s, RGIII’s and Russell Wilson’s of last year! Time will tell…….But I have to say…..so far…..so good when it comes to Tannehill!

  7. REBEL

    July 4, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I have consistently targeted both Wheeler and Ellerbe in all my dynasty IDP leagues,2 young guys with vast potential that were flying under the radar until this offseason. Tannehill can only benefit from their addition.

    Tannehill IMO is going to take a huge leap this year. I like his confidence, and the offensive additions the Dolphins have made. I even added Brandon Gibson this year in a salary cap auction league in anticipation of Tannehill’s improvement.

    Dynasty is all about identifying players about to emerge before their value makes them difficult to acquire. If you can hit a 35% success rate in that endeavor, you’re ahead of the game, and Tannehill falls squarely into that category.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top