By Matthew Walters
Ryan Tannehill is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in dynasty Superflex right now. He is the 22nd quarterback off the board, according to the myfantasyleague.com average draft position data. Why do the Titans believe enough in Ryan Tannehill to extend his contract through 2024, and yet the fantasy community thinks he is in the bottom third of NFL quarterbacks?
Well, it seems to be the Adam Gase effect. Most in the fantasy community agree that Adam Gase is a blackhole where fantasy relevance goes to die in the NFL. It cannot be just a coincidence that Tannehill’s worst fantasy seasons of his career apart from his rookie season are the two seasons he played under Adam Gase in 2016 and 2018. Just look at Kenyan Drake’s resurgence under a different coach in Arizona. Luckily for Tannehill, he was able to prove himself to the Titans last year and is under a new coach that should continue to put him in a position to succeed.
To be fair to Tannehill, the ten games he started in 2019 will be his “season”. This removes his week one game in which all he did was kneel twice and his week that he did not start but came in later in the game to replace Marcus Mariota. Looking at those ten games, Ryan Tannehill scored 220 total fantasy points, averaging 22 points per game. There is only one QB with more fantasy points per game in 2019, and that was Lamar Jackson. Tannehill completed 70 percent of his passes in 2019 to go along with 2742 yards and 22 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. Tannehill had a QB Rating of 117 for 2019.
The Titans should continue to bolster a strong defense and excellent run game coming into the 2020 season with Derrick Henry as their lead back. With Henry on the field, teams must defend the run, which leaves passing lanes wide open for Tannehill. Tannehill has AJ Brown returning, who was a stud during his rookie campaign. The Titans added Darrynton Evans in the draft, an explosive receiving back out of Appalachian State. With these weapons, Tannehill should be in for another great season in 2020. There is the looming possibility of Henry leaving in free agency at the end of the season.
If Henry ends up leaving, it could justify in many fantasy players’ minds that they should not be drafting Tannehill as he may not be as good following Henry’s departure. The Titans do not see it that way, though. Just look at where the money is. The Titans gave Tannehill a four-year contract with 91 million guaranteed while only giving Henry a franchise tag deal worth about 10 million guaranteed. The Titans have bought into Tannehill quite literally. They believe he is the quarterback that will lead them to a Superbowl with their defense and strong running game around him. In 2019, the Titans almost did just that with a playoff run nobody saw coming.
Tannehill will probably not be a top 5 quarterback during the 2020 season or even the next three seasons. He had a great stretch during the 2019 season, which will be hard to repeat. Is it crazy to think that he ends up a top 10 to 15 quarterback in the coming seasons? With his ADP at 22, even finishing QB15 would be a great return on value. The Titans do not have a potential out with Tannehill’s contract until 2023. You are getting three years of a starting quarterback that has shown he has top 5 QB upside. The Titans are all in with Tannehill, and the fantasy community should be as well. A fantasy player will be spending a ton less with their draft pick than the Titans are spending on Tannehill. When in doubt, follow the money.
Matthew Walters – Dynasty/Redraft
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