Ryan Tannehill is an unusual quarterback – shockingly good last year. But in the drafts I’ve seen, it’s been a buyer’s market for him. If you want to pick him up late as a second quarterback, he’ll be there for you.
In all of the drafts I’ve seen, Tannehill has been sitting there available long after most teams have selected two quarterbacks.
That’s easy to understand, with Tennessee having a run-oriented system. If you select Tannehill, there’s always that fear they’ll pound the rock with Derrick Henry, with Tannehill passing for about 200 yards.
That said, he got remarkably hot last year. In his 10 regular-season starts, he averaged 260 passing yards, with 22 TD passes and 4 more scores on runs. In standard fantasy formats, he put up the 3rd-best per-game numbers in the league, and one of the two guys coming in ahead of him isn’t a starter right now. Lamar Jackson ranked No. 1, Jameis Winston (now a backup) was No. 2, but Tannehill outperformed everyone else – including Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott.
Hitting on lots of long balls off play action, Tannehill averaged a blistering 9.6 yards per pass attempt last year. That’s the 3rd-best mark of any quarterback in the last 20 years.
Just for the heck of it, we can look at how others quarterbacks have been able to follow up such season. That is, does this kind of efficiency tend to be repeated? Or is it more a case of quarterbacks happening to get hot (with the production then disappearing)?
In the last 20 years, 24 quarterbacks have attempted at least 200 passes and averaged over 8.50 yards per attempt. Two those (including Matthew Stafford) came from last year, and Tony Romo broke his back before the season of the 2015 season. Of the other 21 quarterbacks, 15 played well enough the following year to at least again rank in the top 10 in average yards per pass attempt.
With where Tannehill is being selected, I like the idea of either picking him up late as a second quarterback (in a 12-team league) or choosing him as a third option who can be evaluated in September to see where that offense is at.
|QUARTERBACKS AVERAGING 8.5 YARDS PER ATTEMPT|
|Year||(with 200 attempts)||Avg||Next||Rk|
|2000||Kurt Warner, St.L.||9.88||8.85||1|
|2018||Ryan Fitzpatrick, T.B.||9.62||7.03||18|
|2019||Ryan Tannehill, Ten.||9.59||?||?|
|2016||Matt Ryan, Atl.||9.26||7.74||9|
|2011||Aaron Rodgers, G.B.||9.25||7.78||7|
|2004||Peyton Manning, Ind.||9.17||8.27||2|
|2013||Nick Foles, Phil.||9.12||6.95||30|
|2005||Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.||8.90||7.49||7|
|2004||Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.||8.88||8.90||1|
|2001||Kurt Warner, St.L.||8.85||6.50||24|
|2018||Patrick Mahomes, K.C.||8.79||8.33||4|
|2009||Philip Rivers, S.D.||8.75||8.71||1|
|2013||Aaron Rodgers, G.B.||8.74||8.43||2|
|2010||Philip Rivers, S.D.||8.71||7.95||9|
|2015||Carson Palmer, Ariz.||8.70||7.09||19|
|2006||Tony Romo, Dall.||8.61||8.10||2|
|2004||Daunte Culpepper, Min.||8.61||7.24||11|
|2000||Trent Green, St.L.||8.60||7.23||7|
|2019||• Matthew Stafford, Det.||8.59||?||?|
|2011||Tom Brady, N.E.||8.57||7.58||10|
|2009||Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.||8.55||8.23||3|
|2009||Drew Brees, N.O.||8.54||7.02||18|
|2002||Marc Bulger, St.L.||8.53||7.23||6|
|2014||Tony Romo, Dall.||8.52||--||--|