Fantasy Reaction: Mike Wallace Signs With Miami
Now that Mike Wallace – the biggest wide receiver free agent this year – has signed with Miami, big things are expected of not only Wallace but his second-year quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. First, let’s look at Mike Wallace.
During 2012 in Todd Haley’s offense, Wallace took a step back from the year before. Despite three more targets this past year, Wallace’s 2012 receiving yard total was 355 shy of his 2011 total. In 2012, he had a healthy 14.4 average depth of target (aDOT), but he had six drops on 70 catchable targets. Even though his receiving yards and touchdowns were down, Wallace still had 2.81 fantasy points per catchable target, which ranked 29th among wide receivers.
Joe Philbin, the head coach of the Dolphins and former offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers, knows a little something about “going deep,” which is where Wallace is expected to flourish. On passes of 20 yards or more, Wallace caught six and took four in for touchdowns. However, he dropped two. Nearly 27 percent of Wallace’s targets were at least 20 yards in the air. Overall, Wallace tied Cleveland’s Josh Gordon for the league’s highest percentage of deep passes taken in for touchdowns at 50 percent.
Since Mike Wallace is a wide receiver and cannot throw to himself – sorry, Larry Fitzgerald! – he will have to rely on Tannehill to get him the ball. With Brian Hartline as his top receiver, Tannehill put up respectable numbers for a rookie. While Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, and Robert Griffin III received all the publicity, Tannehill had a deep accuracy of 43.1 percent on 51 passes of 20 yards or more. Three of those passes went for touchdowns and one was intercepted.
Robert Griffin III was widely praised for his accuracy under pressure, and rightly so. His 75.0 percent accuracy was tops in the league. What you probably did not hear about was Tannehill was right behind him at 72.9 percent. Tannehill was also second in play-action quarterback rating at 121.2, right behind Matt Ryan, who had two guys you may have heard of: Julio Jones and Roddy White.
Mike Wallace will give Ryan Tannehill a much-needed boost to his passing game. Targeting both Wallace and Tannehill could pay dividends come draft day in August.