Advertising has an odd power over us. You don’t realize it when you drive past a billboard every day, but you are taking in the message. And in the back of your mind, you are converted into believing that you actually need what is being shown to you. This explains why so many naïve 21-year-olds flock to Miller Lite, looking past the obvious signs that it tastes like cat piss. And why John Fox has named Tim Tebow his Week 7 starter, looking past the obvious signs that… you can make the connection.
But, I can’t blame the guy. It is obviously the move that fans want. The team is in the garbage either way. Tebow is the only quarterback on the Broncos’ roster that will be in Denver next season. And at some point they will need to justify their irrational decision to take him in the first round.
I say let the Broncos do as they please. Let Tebow start, keep the fans from rioting. But do not let this translate over to you fantasy football team. Let someone else make the mistake. Because nobody wants to be the Denver Broncos of their fantasy league.1) Tebow is Not Yet NFL Quarterback Material
I understand the draw to have him as your quarterback. Players get more points for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns than they do for passing yards and touchdowns. Tebow is a very viable option to run the ball at least 10 times per game, and will likely get all of the red zone touches for the team. This is great news for fantasy owners. But here is the kicker, Tebow will have to find a way to get his team to the red zone.
More often than not, the NFL is not a mirror image of fantasy football. Look at all of the 1-4 and 0-5 teams in the NFL and look at your roster, I think you'll be surprised to see how many players from those teams you own. But in some cases, you have to look at the NFL and act like a real coach to make predictions.
This preseason, against 2nd and 3rd string defenses, Tebow was 20 for 31 with seven sacks and only one total touchdown. This performance was good enough for him to land at number three on the depth chart behind Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn.
It was deemed by the coaches and the media that he is not at all a starting quarterback in this league. When playing against first string defenses who will have a game plan for him, he stands no chance.
If Tebow can not drive his team down the field, then his chances of scoring are greatly reduced.
2) Suspect Performance in Week 5
People are adding Tebow like crazy right now based on his Week 5 performance, which honestly wasn’t that stellar. Tebow went 4 for 10, accumulating 79 passing yards. The pass that scored was a 28-yard routine screen and the credit should go to Moreno for finding the end zone. Another one of the passes was completed thanks to a circus catch on the sideline by his receiver.
While Tebow did run for a touchdown, it does not necessarily mean that he is destined to be your starting fantasy quarterback. San Diego had set up a game plan to face the very different style of Kyle Orton. You might be saying that this is an insignificant fact and that the defensive plan has little to do with it. I rebut that argument by saying "I don't see you going out and picking up Charlie Whitehurst, who went 11 for 19 with 150 yards and a score against the Giants. The switch from one quarterback to their backup might seem minor, but if their styles are very different, it will throw off the defense.
3) Look at the Statistics
I will admit that I have a personal aversion to Tim Tebow. And I have commented on how you should never let taste, good or bad, get in the way of your fantasy team. But, to be honest, unlike every other fantasy advisor out there, I just do not see Tebow landing in the top third of quarterbacks.
In the three games he started last season, he completed 50% of his passes. He averaged 217 yards per game. Threw five touchdowns and three interceptions. Was sacked six times and ran for three touchdowns. Also take into account that one of his three games was against the Houston Texans, the worst pass defending team in the league.
The 50% completion percentage would have put him lower than 30th in the league, below Jimmy Clausen and Derek Anderson. 217 yards per game was good enough for 21st, but compare that to Kyle Orton's 281 yards per game with the same team. His touchdowns and interception numbers would look average as well. Two sacks a game would leave him in the top 10 in that category. Three rushing scores in three games definitely looks nice though, so I’ll give him that.
When all is said and done, what it really comes down to is predictions.
Against first-string defense that have a plan in place to stop him, Tebow should expect fewer than 200 passing yards per game, throw in one touchdown, two sacks and one interception to keep things interesting. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he makes 50 rushing yards per game as well and rushes for 5 more touchdowns.
This prediction will have him with scoring roughly 11-14 fantasy points per game. Which would put him somewhere in the middle of the pack. On the games with a rushing touchdown, he'll have close to or over 20 and likely get in to the top 5. When all is said and done, he will land between 10th and 15th best quarterback in the league.
Last week we talked about stealing players, and with upside like Tebow's, I am all for stealing him if you have the bench spot, but he wouldn't make my starting roster if I already have one of the top 10 quarterbacks. If you are hurting at quarterback and still nursing Kevin Kolb or Sam Bradford, go ahead and make him your starter. If you are in a deep league and need a bye week filler, then pull the trigger. Feel free to play a little defense and try to pick him up to keep him away from your opponents.
I will be avoiding the hype and keeping him out of my roster. He has great upside, no doubt, if you have an open bench spot, but I feel that it is far more likely for him to be a dud than a fantasy savior. If Tim Tebow emerges as a legitimate, week-to-week starter in fantasy football this year I will personally write him an apology letter volunteering my services on his next mission trip to baptize pygmies or teach underprivileged Hondurans how to read Scripture from Through My Eyes.