Ryan Tannehill Injury: QB's Situation Gives Dolphins RBs Increased Fantasy Value

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIOctober 29, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 28:   Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins falls after he is sacked by  Calvin Pace #97 of the New York Jets on October 28, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill injured his leg in his team’s game against the New York Jets, and regardless of his ability to play next week against the Indianapolis Colts, the Miami running backs are must-start players going forward.

The Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero reported the nature of Tannehill’s injury and that the rookie would have an MRI on Monday.

Ryan Tannehill says he has a hyperextended left knee and deep thighbruise. MRI tomorrow.

— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) October 28, 2012

Tannehill and the Dolphins have enjoyed a surprising amount of success this season and are in the midst of a three-game winning streak. 

The victories often have little to do with the passing game, and Miami ranks 23rd in the NFL in passing yards per game. The Dolphins also place 27th in passing attempts and the team’s total of five touchdowns through the air this season is tied with the Carolina Panthers for the lowest total in the league. 

Miami has fought its way to a 4-3 record through old-school football. Despite head coach Joe Philbin’s pedigree as one of the architects of the Green Bay Packers’ high-octane passing attack, his team runs the ball effectively and plays excellent defense.

Through the first seven games, the Dolphins rank 11th in rushing yards per game, eighth in attempts and their mark of 10 touchdowns on the ground is tied for fourth across the NFL.  

Reggie Bush has led the way in the backfield, carrying the ball 112 times for 493 yards and three touchdowns. Daniel Thomas’ power provides an excellent complement to Bush’s speed and he has gained 155 yards on 51 carries while also reaching the end zone three times.

Defensively, the Dolphins rank third in rushing yards allowed per game and have allowed just 36 points in their last three games. The offense’s focus is more on avoiding mistakes, rather than making big plays. 

If Tannehill is able to play this weekend, he will likely still be feeling the effects of the injury, and the Dolphins will rely even more heavily on the run. If Matt Moore is called on to be under center against the Colts, Miami will still place an increased emphasis on the rushing attack in order to keep pressure off of its backup quarterback.

Bush and Thomas will also benefit from a soft Indianapolis run defense that has allowed the 27th most yards per game this season. 

With an uncertain situation at quarterback, the Dolphins running backs will see an increased workload against a subpar defense. This gives both Bush and Thomas excellent fantasy value this week, and both players should be in starting lineups on Sunday.