One of the splashiest signings of the first day of NFL free agency was Mike Wallace joining the Miami Dolphins. With so much time before Week 1, the Dolphins and Steelers rosters have a ways to go before rounding into their final form, but there were definitely several players whose fantasy football stock will be affected by the move. Here’s a quick rundown of the main players affected by “60 Minutes” taking his talents to South Beach.
Duh. the obvious one.
Wallace could be in for a decrease in production, but the only thing we can say for certain at this point is that his risk-factor just went way, way up. Ryan Tannehill showed some signs of progression in his rookie year and could be the real deal, but Big Ben is the far more proven QB to have throwing Wallace the ball.
The Dolphins appear to be building a more pass-heavy offense for Tannehill under offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. IF they do, and IF Tannehill is ready, and IF Wallace fits in quickly, and IF the Dolphins get into shootouts, then Wallace could surpass last season’s numbers to be sure. Wallace has the talent to be a WR1 in fantasy football without question, but the move to Miami raises his risk and drops his value in my opinion. I probably would have him ranked outside the top ten as of right now, but there’s a long offseason and plenty of moves still to be made that could change that.
The most intriguing part of the move is that the Dolphins seem to think that Tannehill is ready to carry their offense with a pass-heavy look and a full stable of quality wide receivers. The receiving corps is solid now with options at TE and the top three WR spots.
While RG3, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson got all the hype in their rookie season, don’t sleep too much on Tannehill to have a solid second year in the league with the weapons he now has assembled in Miami. He’s not a top 12 QB still, but I think in the right starts or in a two QB league he has some serious sleeper potential.
Big Ben loses a deep threat and one of his favorite targets as Wallace flies south, but it shouldn’t change his overall stock too much since there’s plenty of options in the Pittsburgh passing game. I actually like Ben as one of the better non-elite options at QB based on his play prior to his shoulder/rib injury that hampered him down the stretch. If you can’t get Brady, Brees, Rodgers, or either Manning, Ben is one of the next options to look at and is a great option as a second in 2 QB leagues even with Wallace not in town.
Brown may actually be the biggest winner in the whole move. When he’s been on the field for the Steelers, he’s been a dynamic option in the passing game although an ankle injury cost him three games this past season. He finished strong with a receiving touchdown in each of his last four games and could be a great pickup if he’s the new number one target for Big Ben. He already averaged over eight targets a game and could easily breakout as a WR1 in fantasy football if he gets more looks with Wallace no longer an option.
Earlier this offseason, the Dolphins signed Hartline to a five-year extension. Now it’s clear he’ll be their number two receiver which is a role he fits better than trying to be the true #1. At the end of drafts, he won’t be a bad pick, but he’s likely to be overvalued by many since he needed tons of targets to get the numbers he finished with last year and he’s likely to see dramatically less this season.
Bess is apparently not in the Dolphins plans whether due to friction over his late-season back injury as some have reported or whether Miami just wanted to upgrade we may never know. Bess will probably be back as a slot/WR3 on the Dolphins but will most likely not get enough looks to merit fantasy football consideration.