WR Mike Wallace, Free agent
HT: 6-1, WT: 199, Born: 8-1-1986, College: Ole Miss, Drafted: Round 3
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: E Sanders (71), M Colston (72), Mike Wallace (73), C Kaepernick (74), S Ridley (75)
Position: E Sanders (71-WR27), M Colston (72-WR28), Mike Wallace (73 - WR29), K Wright (77-WR30), G Tate (81-WR31)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: E Sanders (70), M Colston (71), Mike Wallace (72), P Thomas (73), C Newton (74)
Position: E Sanders (70-WR28), M Colston (71-WR29), Mike Wallace (72 - WR30), G Tate (77-WR31), B Cooks (79-WR32)
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It took most of the season for Mike Wallace to live up to his contract, and even then he could be wildly inconsistent in both execution and effort. Some of the execution was on his quarterback, the equally inconsistent Ryan Tannehill, but some of it was Wallace. He was also an odd fit in Mike Sherman's offensive scheme an didn't do well stuck in one place on the field. New offensive coordinator Bill Lazor moves his guys all over the place which should allow him to matchup Wallace more advantageously. Ultimately Wallace isn't worth the money they paid him, but is a far better receiver than he looked like last year. While we expect him to be more consistent, we don't expect an explosion in production. Tannehill's success ties into Wallace's an it's a shaky slope. Still, we see Wallace as a WR3 with the potential to outproduce his drafting spot.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Jeff Ireland overpaid for Mike Wallace. The stats that “60 Minutes” will put up over his career in Miami will very likely not be worth the $30 million guaranteed and $60 million overall. However, Wallace’s value will resonate in other ways. The Browns were able to use single-coverage on Wallace yesterday because Joe Haden is one of the premier cover-corners in the NFL. Other teams will have to use multiple defensive backs to shadow the speedster. Dustin Keller would have been primed for a big year had he stayed healthy. Now, Charles Clay and Brandon Gibson could see a very soft middle of the field. Brian Hartline will no longer see the opponent’s best cornerback. The effect Wallace has was clear in Week 1. Additionally, Joe Haden has always dominated him. Similar to Champ Bailey with Vincent Jackson, some corners can just eat up even the best wide receivers. Wallace will catch his share of passes, but as was the case in Pittsburgh, he will be dependent on the big play to boost his fantasy value. A larger problem will persist, though, if he continues to complain about his role. The team won the game, but he is whining about not getting the ball enough. That story sounds familiar and it never ends well. Wallace and Tannehill eventually should get on the same page, but it will take some time.
Week 2 - After being shut down by Joe Haden again in Week 1, and a week of he said, she said, they said about his relationship with Ryan Tannehill, Wallace and his quarterback were on the same page early and often against the Colts. “60 Minutes” and Tannehill connected on all three targets on the first drive, hitting two comeback routes, before catching a wide receiver screen at the 20 and taking it to the house to open the scoring. He displayed his trademark straight-line speed as he picked up a few well-timed blocks to weave his way into the end zone. Tannehill continued to find his new toy on an array of routes throughout the game, including some crossing routes, which was never a staple of Wallace’s game in his time in Pittsburgh. He also beat Greg Toler on a deep route for a 34-yard gain, which included a Toler holding penalty. The Dolphins’ game plan clearly included getting Mike Wallace involved early and often, so the 9 catches were a career high for him. While he may not match his 9-catch day again, Tannehill looks as confident as ever, so the big days will continue to be there.
Week 3 - After his breakout performance last week against Indianapolis, Mike Wallace crashed back down to Earth. To be fair, Asante Samuel shadowed him for all afternoon, catching one of his passes against the ball-hawking corner. His other catch came when he lined up in the slot, which is something I’d expect to see the Dolphins do more of when Wallace is matched up with elite corners. It’s not as if Wallace wasn’t getting open. Tannehill missed him on a few throws, and didn’t see him open on a few others. It’s Mike Wallace we’re talking about; this is just the natural order of the universe here. He’s always going to be a hit or miss player, especially with Tannehill looking comfortable enough to spread around targets to the likes of Brandon Gibson and Rishard Matthews. Additionally, without the deep ball, the 4 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown lines will be few and far between.
Week 4 - Mike Wallace returned home to New Orleans, but it wasn’t the homecoming he was looking for. He reeled in just 3 of his 7 targets and looked out of sorts with Ryan Tannehill all night. He was involved early, catching a pass on the first drive and converting it into a first down. On the Dolphins’ third drive of the game, Tannehill took a deep shot to his $60 million receiver. It was a well-thrown ball down the right sideline, and Wallace had to slow down a hair, which allowed Keenan Lewis to recover in coverage. However, the ball fell right through Wallace’s hands incomplete. It’s a play that he gets paid to make, and he didn’t make it. The rest of the game was just as poor for “60 Minutes.” On multiple in-breaking routes he first slowed down, leading to Tannehill overthrowing the pass. Then, he sped up, which led to Tannehill throwing behind him. On, Tannehill’s second interception, Wallace takes some responsibility. It was another throw that was off-line, but it’s fair to question if Wallace was actually running crisp routes in the fourth quarter of a 38-17 game. The ball glanced off his hands, tipped by a Saints defender and picked off by Chris Carr. There will be better days for Wallace, but his game is as inconsistent as ever.
Week 5 - Wallace saw a regular season career high in targets on Sunday against the Ravens, but hauled in less than half of the 16 throws Ryan Tannehill sent his way. “60 Minutes” left yards and probably at least one touchdown on the field though, as he dropped three balls, including one inside the 5-yard-line. The Dolphins had to settle for a field goal on that drive, which obviously came back to haunt them. Tannehill looked Wallace’s way early and often, which is a great sign, but the chemistry is still not quite down yet. There were instances when Wallace sat down on a route, while Tannehill expected him to keep going, and visa versa. They luckily have the bye to work out any of their “issues.” It should be noted, though, Wallace was going up against Lardarius Webb, and yet, Tannehill still called his number 16 times, including on some deep shots. While Webb defended them well, the first shot they took connected, with Wallace adjusting to an underthrown ball and making an over-the-shoulder catch. Although he put up numbers this week on pure volume, and even though his quarterback is getting sacked at a high rate, it looks like Wallace is starting to come around in the Miami offense. Of course, there will still be weeks when Tannehill looks to his other targets, keeping Wallace in boom-or-bust territory, but maybe, we see more booms than busts going forward.
Week 7 - With another 10 targets, Mike Wallace continues to be one of Ryan Tannehill’s favored targets so far this season. However, he’ll likely draw some criticism for securing just 50% of those targets. There were a few targets that were slightly off, but certainly catchable for Wallace. Securing them would likely have pushed him over 100 yards for the day, but more importantly, would have kept drives going. The good news is that the pair hit on another deep ball, this time into double coverage. Tannehill picked on the recently returning Stephon Gilmore and Jairus Byrd for sideline throw. Byrd was late coming over to support Gilmore, and Wallace is always going to win a straight line speed battle, especially with Gilmore sporting a cast and club on his fractured wrist. The issue for Wallace is that Tannehill does not really look his way in the red zone, and unless that changes, he’ll be more of a boom or bust option. Additionally, Tannehill can always look to someone else if Wallace isn’t getting open.
Week 8 - It was another disappointing fantasy effort for Mike Wallace on Sunday against the Patriots. With Aqib Talib out for a second consecutive week, there was hope for Wallace fans, as some combination of Kyle Arrington, Logan Ryan, and Marquice Cole would be covering him. Those three rotated in coverage on Wallace all day, but he had little luck yet again. With Alfonzo Dennard blanketing Brian Hartline, the Pats were able to shade Devin McCourty to Wallace whenever they wanted to. This played a huge role in Tannehill’s first INT, but Wallace was not without his own blame in this one. He was targeted in the end zone before Brandon Gibson’s TD, but wasn’t physical enough with Arrington to win and secure the catch. But, his biggest letdown was a drop he had near the end zone in the third quarter. With the Dolphins up 17-3 and looking for more, Wallace dropped a pass at the 3-yard line on a second down play. At the worst, Miami has first and goal inside the 5; and at best, Wallace scores, putting the Fins up 24-3. Instead, Tannehill was sacked on the next play and Caleb Sturgis missed the subsequent field goal, swinging the game. Wallace has been disappointing so far, but still flashed his game breaking speed on a 25-yard screen on a 3rd and 23. For optimists, his 10 targets still led the team, so the Dolphins are still trying to get him the ball.
Week 9 - Wallace once again paced the Dolphins with 8 targets on Thursday night. Wallace looked as good as he has all season, despite picking up nearly half of his yards on one play. He could’ve had a much bigger day, and may have been the hero of the night for Miami had he corralled the deep ball in overtime. But, he was tripped up by Terance Newman and missed out on a possible 160+ yard receiving day. However, Wallace was running precise routes and Tannehill was finding him. They were just displaying better chemistry than they had all season. So, there seems to be some hope for Mike Wallace owners going forward. If Tannehill can get the protection he received last night, there will be some opportunities for deep shots to his big play threat. They’ve hit on two of them in last two games. If they can hit one 30 to 40 yard shot per game, Wallace can make a good fantasy day in one play. While it’s always a risk to depend on Wallace, it looks like the second half of his season will be a lot more consistent and fruitful for fantasy owners.
Week 10 - It was another dud of an effort for Mike Wallace, as the $60 million man failed to make the most of his few opportunities. After being targeted three times in the first half, Wallace dropped a pass on the opening drive of the second half, and only saw two targets from Ryan Tannehill again. He was open deep, but his quarterback missed him. A wide receiver screen, which has been one of the few plays working for Wallace this season, was blown up. On a simple curl route, he just dropped a pass. Drawing Darrelle Revis’ coverage all night, Wallace found rough sledding trying to separate from a finally healthy Revis. At times, Wallace didn’t look like he even wanted to be out there, loafing it on a few run block assignments. With Rishard Matthews going off for a huge stat line, odds are pretty good that this will be Wallace’s worst game of the season. However, due to their poor protection, Miami has zero downfield passing threat. On top of that, Tannehill has a budding chemistry with new slot man Rishard Matthews, and Brian Hartline is not going anywhere. Wallace is really nothing more than a boom-or-bust WR3 at this point.
Week 11 - Mike Wallace’s owners have to be clawing their eyes out after another sub-par performance from Miami’s $60 million man. Of course, just like last Monday night, Wallace cannot be held accountable for another dud. Wallace has always been able to make a fantasy day on one play, which he did so often in Pittsburgh, but the big plays aren’t flowing like they did in the Steel City. When plays broke down, Ben Roethlisberger always seemed able to find Wallace streaking down the sideline. This season, even when “60 Minutes” beats his man, Tannehill can’t throw an accurate ball. And when his quarterback delivers an on-time pass, Wallace suffers a bout of the drops. Moreover, Wallace can’t be counted on to soak up targets. There have been and will be more games where Wallace is the fourth most targeted player on the team. It’s been a lost year for the deep threat, but on the plus side, Wallace is sure to be a bargain in next year’s drafts.
Week 12 - Mike Wallace finally a game that was reminiscent of his days in Pittsburgh. A little more than a quarter into the game, Wallace caught two 50+ yard passes, had over 100 yards, and caught a touchdown, rewarding any fantasy owners who had actually stayed with him through his weeks of under producing. On his touchdown, Wallace showed good concentration to stay with the ball, as Captain Munnerlyn was badgering him throughout the catch. On his other big play, Wallace adjusted and came back to an underthrown deep ball by his quarterback. Additionally, he picked up a leg injury on the play, missed some snaps sporadically throughout the rest of the game, but looked like he came through the game okay. The two near-misses he had in the second half will be talked about for a while. In the third quarter, Wallace burned Munnerlyn again, but this time, Tannehill overthrew him. Then, with less than 30 seconds left, Tannehill and Wallace just missed again. Wallace dropped the ball, but if the pass was out in front of him he very well may have hauled it in. Although it’s taken nearly three-quarters of the season, Tannehill and Wallace may finally be close to the same page. Fantasy owners may want to wait and see Wallace prove it with another big game, but most owners won’t have a choice with playoff spots on the line next week.
Week 13 - Mike Wallace turned in his second straight quality performance of the 2013 season on Sunday. He was very efficient with his targets as well, hauling in 7 of 9 passes that came his way. Wallace did all of his damage in the short and intermediate game, relying on his after the catch quicks to get him some yards after the catch. With Ed Reed providing safety help over the top, Wallace would run open, but it simply did not make sense for Tannehill to force the ball to him. His touchdown a nice run after the catch, leaping to corral a high throw from Tannehill, but turning upfield and slipping a tackle from Dee Milliner before getting into the end zone. While his effort has to be questioned on the popup interception that Tannehill threw – Wallace didn’t even try and interfere with Cromartie – that was really the only blemish for Wallace on the day. With a Week 15 matchup with Aqib Talib looming, “60 Minutes” has several cake matchups with Pittsburgh’s burnable secondary (in a revenge game, no less) and against another struggling secondary in Buffalo. Fantasy owners who made the playoffs with Mike Wallace on their roster may finally be able to trust him in their starting lineup as the playoffs hit. As always, there’s still risk here.
Week 14 - In his homecoming to Pittsburgh, where he spent the first four seasons of his career, Mike Wallace probably didn’t have the game he wanted. Early on, though, it looked like Wallace was at least going to do some damage in the short passing game, as Tannehill found him twice on Miami’s one touchdown drive of the first half. However, that was the extent of Wallace’s day, as a couple of deep shots fell incomplete for the the pair in the second half and Wallace disappointed owners who had started him after a solid two week run. Instead of drawing right cornerback Ike Taylor’s coverage for most of the day, Wallace saw left cornerback Keenan Lewis, who has been playing a lot better than the aging Taylor. Additionally, with help over the top from Ryan Clark on deep shots, Tannehill was able to pick on Taylor and the rest of the secondary that struggled to keep up with Charles Clay. Wallace likely has a date with Aqib Talib next week, and after Talib was burned by Josh Gordon, there’s hope that Wallace could break free for a big play or two, Talib held him to 3-41 in their last meeting, so fantasy owners who are still in the playoffs will be rolling the dice if they start him.
Week 15 - Mike Wallace continues to string together solid performances after turning in his third startable performance in the last four weeks on Sunday against the Patriots. Wallace tied for the team lead with 9 targets, and was involved throughout most of the afternoon as his connection with Ryan Tannehill looked as legitimate as it had all season. They hit on a few comebacks and shorter routes early on, but the biggest play came in the second quarter. The Dolphins had been blanked to that point and were driving at the end of the half. With Kyle Arrington off to the side getting stretched out, Tannehill decided to work on Marquice Cole. Tannehill delivered a well thrown ball, but Wallace made the play after the catch. He caught the contested pass, and then showed off what he’s capable of doing with the ball in his hands. He just sidestepped Steve Gregory, and was off to the races, scoring easily. Wallace provides the opportunity for a big play every week, and they are starting to come later in the season. Buffalo’s secondary had been very burnable early in the season, but have since become a little better, as Stephon Gilmore and Jairus Byrd have become healthy. The Dolphins will still have opportunities to make some plays downfield.
Week 16 - Wallace saw a team high 11 targets on Sunday, but when the team puts up 103 total yards, there aren’t any real winners in fantasy. Wallace’s quarterback got him involved early, as the Dolphins picked up the majority of their SIX first downs in the first half. Tannehill actually managed to target Wallace downfield on three occasions, but due to the high pressure, he under threw one and overthrew another two while drawing coverage from Leodis McKelvin for most of the day. Wallace was able to get open on shorter routes for most of the day, but the pressure on Ryan Tannehill was too stifling for any consistent hook ups. Sitting at 905 yards entering Week 17, Wallace’s season will likely be looked at as a disappointment after signing his big money contract in March. However, Wallace has certainly provided a sorely lacking field-stretching element to the Dolphins’ offense, opening up Brian Hartline to a solid campaign, as well as helping Charles Clay to a breakout season. As the Miami offensive line is set to improve (they can’t really get much worse), the deep connection between Tannehill and Wallace should also improve. Wallace’s solid run to end the season should continue against an abysmal Jets secondary. With the Dolphins facing a must win, they will stop it nothing to win.
Week 17 - Mike Wallace concluded an up and down 2013 season with another rocky performance against the Jets. There were some good and bad moments for the big free agent signing this season, but he fell short of 1,000 yards by 70 yards after struggling to establish chemistry with Ryan Tannehill from the outset of the season. Although it may go down as a failed season, Wallace did do his job as a deep threat, drawing attention away from the rest of the field and letting Brian Hartline and Charles Clay enjoy good seasons. Against the Jets, he worked on rookie Dee Milliner for much of the day. The rookie has struggled for most of the season, but has been coming on lately, and it showed on Sunday. The only play Wallace got the best of Milliner was on the TD, faking outside, before quickly moving back inside for the easy catch. Milliner was burned by Wallace on another occasion, but Tannehill led Wallace by a hair, and the pass fell incomplete. On another deep ball to the end zone, Milliner recovered nicely to knock the ball out at the last moment. While there could have been a case for pass interference, Milliner timed his play right. With Brian Hartline’s knee injury still unknown, Wallace may be even more important early on in 2014. He’ll return as Tannehill’s de facto #1 target, with expectations slightly ticked up after another offseason to work with his quarterback.