Brian Hartline: Dolphins WR Gaining Fantasy Value as QB Ryan Tannehill Matures

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 30:  Wide receiver Brian Hartline #82 of the Miami Dolphins catches a 57 yard reception past cornerback William Gay #22 of the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline exploded for a 12-catch, 253-yard performance against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4, due in large part to Ryan Tannehill's 431-yard performance through the air.

This head-turning performance shouldn't just catch the attention of opposing NFL teams; it should also have every fantasy football owner paying renewed attention to the Dolphins target.

He's Tannehill's favorite receiver, and the rookie signal-caller is feeling much more at home.

According to ESPN, Hartline is owned in 26.7 percent of standard-scoring leagues. He has 27 catches, 455 yards and one touchdown on the season, with two huge performances under his belt through four games.

Hartline is mostly a possession target, but look at this:

He can get down the field, and he will do more of that as Tannehill gets more comfortable with the Dolphins' system.

Hartline's career highs came in 2010 with Chad Henne behind center. He hauled in 43 passes for 615 yards and a touchdown, but his role has changed. He's Tannehill's safety valve because of his sure hands, precise route-running ability and advanced feel for the position.

There's a good chance that Hartline is available in your league, but games like this often land a player on a team quickly. Pick him up before someone else does, and watch him blossom as Tannehill matures behind center.

Hartline isn't a sexy pickup, relying more on receptions to earn his points. However, in a PPR (Points Per Reception) league, that could prove valuable.

Scouring the waiver wire for capable wide receivers at this point is often futile. Your best bet is to find a top target on a previously unproductive team, and Hartline fits that description.

Tannehill looked outstanding, for the most part, against Arizona's elite defense. If he could withstand the pressure against them, he should have no problem against the Cincinnati Bengals and St. Louis Rams' so-so pass defenses.

Pick up Hartline, stash him and break him out in favorable matchups. He's gaining value as each Sunday passes, and you can bet someone will pick him up after his breakthrough performance on Sunday.