Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is questionable for Sunday's surprisingly playoff pertinent matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. But with sources speculating that he's likely to go, let's take a shot at projecting his fantasy numbers for Week 9.
An AP report (h/t ESPN) noted that head coach Joe Philbin gave no timetable for when he would make a decision on playing his highly touted rookie signal-caller, and that Tannehill was limited in practice for the third consecutive day on Friday.
Who will win Sunday's battle between two surprising 4-3 AFC teams?
Tannehill has been wearing a brace to deal with an apparent left leg/knee issue, which has allowed him to practice enough and move to the point where he should be able to go in Lucas Oil Stadium. That said, the ailment is likely to limit Tannehill's exceptional mobility. Thus, it could cause him to compensate with his strong arm to put the ball on target and lead to wild throws—even turnovers.
If the No. 8 overall pick has proven anything, though, it's that he can be smart with the football.
After a three-interception performance in his NFL debut, Tannehill has since thrown that many over the course of five-plus games. He was knocked out very early on last week, but that kept alive his streak of zero interceptions in the month of October.
Palm Beach Post reporter Ben Volin highlighted why this matchup between Tannehill and No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck is so intriguing:
Luck has been good as advertised, but not consistent. Tannehill has surprised everyone with consistently good play bitly.com/TmZmb2— Ben Volin (@BenVolinPBP) November 3, 2012
An underrated Colts secondary will be without newly acquired starting cornerback Vontae Davis this week, which will leave the back end a little more susceptible. The problem for Tannehilll is that he doesn't have any consistently reliable receivers around him save for Davone Bess.
The overall upside Tannehill has is outstanding, but this week isn't playing into his favor from a fantasy standpoint.
The Dolphins' game plan will likely be centered around Reggie Bush and the rushing attack, since the Colts don't match up well on the front seven.
However, Miami's pass defense is liable to let up a huge game to Luck and co. through the air. It's actually not a stretch to imagine Luck having his best game as a pro based on the lackluster Dolphins defensive backfield that allows 281 yards passing per contest.
If the Colts cram the box, there's no guarantee that Tannehill will quite be himself and be able to make the throws required to post a monster fantasy day.
With his arm talent and tendency to hit Brian Hartline on some big gains, though, look for a Tannehill to gut out a decent outing and even use his feet more in the face of the Colts' fierce pass rush.
Projected numbers: 16-of-28, 230 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 20 yards rushing, TD