The Gut Check No.498: 12 QB Candidates in Danger of Getting Tannehilled

Matt Waldman profiles 12 offenses where a quarterback change could take place midseason and how to prepare for the possibility as a fantasy player. 

Getting "Tannehilled" Has A Ripple Effect on Several Fantasy outcomes

Tannehilled /Tann e hild/ Verb [Informal] A quarterback who loses his job to a reserve and never gets it back.

Did Ryan Tannehill perform well enough last year that we can label future NFL quarterbacks losing their jobs as getting "Tannehilled?" Yes, yes we can, and the risk of getting Tannehilled has implications not only for the surrounding offensive talent but also for fantasy drafts well before the midseason switch takes place.

Even if Tannehill didn't deserve all of the credit for the Titans' offensive resurgence, this temporary anthimeria* using Tannehill's name is warranted.

*Note: Anthimeria is when a culture uses a word in a form that's not the original part of its grammatical structure. It usually happens when we give a noun the properties of a verb. The most common form of anthimeria to Footballguys readers is "Blooming" a player—when Bloom gets so excited about a fantasy option that his Yintzer Neurosis kicks in and he believes his enthusiasm contributed to the player's disappointing performance.

Anthimeria is a word I didn't know existed until writing this article. I was wondering if the act of using a noun as a verb such as "Tanehilling a quarterback," actually had a name.

Anthimeria, a word that if you use it in public, you're almost guaranteeing that others will find you pompous, insecure, and dull. Kind of like a cancer researcher I know who has a thing for dung beetles. It turns into an impromptu lecture about the insect's daily habits every time he's allowed outside the house or the lab.

Yes, someone like this exists and if it were up to me, no one would ever tell him that social distancing is ending in his state.

Tannehill was the fourth-most productive fantasy quarterback after Week 6 in 2019—averaging more than a point per week than the red-hot Dak Prescott. Of the top 12 producers during this span, only Drew Brees (25) and Lamar Jackson (25) had more touchdowns than Tannehill (22), and Tannehill's 69.6 percent completion rate was second only to Brees (74.5) during this stretch.

When a quarterback takes a teammate's job midseason, it often lifts the team in a tangible way.

Derrick Henry, the No.11 fantasy runner through the first six games under Mariota, earned 113 attempts, 415 yards (3.7 yards per carry), 4 rushing touchdowns, 6 receptions, 102 receiving yards, and a receiving score.

After Tannehill took over, Henry earned 190 attempts, 1,124 yards (5.9 yards per carry), 12 rushing touchdowns, 12 receptions, 104 receiving yards, and a receiving score. The next-best yardage performance during that stretch was Ezekiel Elliott's 866 rushing yards and only Christian McCaffrey (1,469) bested Henry (1,228) in yards from scrimmage.

During Mariota's reign of fantasy terror, there wasn't a Titans wide receiver or tight end with top-40 fantasy value. A.J. Brown's 14 catches for 273 yards and 2 scores put him 43rd on the list through Week 6. From Week 7 on, Brown's production jumped 40 spots to No.3 overall with 38 catches, 778 yards, and 6 scores.

Tight end Delanie Walker, Mariota's security blanket, was the No.12 fantasy producer at the position after Week 6. Walker suffered a season-ending injury a week later, but Jonnu Smith picked up the slack and became the No.12 fantasy producer at the position from Week 7 until the end of the season.

Despite strong performances down the stretch from Walker and Brown in the passing game, it seems notable that Tannehill's passing excellence during this span didn't produce more weekly fantasy values on the offensive roster.

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