Fantasy Football: Montee Ball, Mike Wallace, Ryan Tannehill

      June 2, 2014 @ 12:09:36 PDT


RB Montee Ball, Denver Broncos
Ball will roll off boards early

Adding more kindling to the Montee Ball bonfire:

[] As a rookie last year, Ball realized in training camp that he could handle the physical nature of the NFL. The mental challenge jarred him, though, and the light bulb did not stop flickering until Week 12 of the season. He began anticipating Peyton Manning's audibles, a necessary skill to not only exploit off-balance defensive fronts but pick up blitzes.

As we saw with Knowshon Moreno last year, learning how to protect No. 18 will keep you on the field. It's even more important as Manning adds another year to his frame. For his opportunity to become the latest breakthrough carrier to line up behind the Hall of Famer, Ball is going to cost a late-first-round pick, at minimum. It easily could pay off, but there's plenty of risk with his limited sample size. Either way, I'm hardly scratching his name off my list for that listing; he's definitely in play.

If you haven't already bought into the rebound potential of Mike Wallace and the breakthrough potential of Ryan Tannehill in Bill Lazor's offense, you're ignoring the Miami Dolphins entirely. (I'm buying in for a second straight year on the Miami version of Wallace, who's among the speediest catchers in the league, should take on the sort of Riley Cooper role in a vertical peppering of defenses, which happens to be Wallace's strength:

It will be interesting to see how Wallace is used in Miami's new offense under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. One immediate change that was noticeable this week was Wallace being moved around to different spots in an effort to get him open and to be less predictable.

Lazor was in part responsible for Nick Foles' rapid transformation; Chip Kelly's design, which is taking its talents to South Beach via Lazor, does that for QBs. Tannehill is a fine backup with a short distance to his QB1 ceiling in fantasy football games.

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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