July 21, 2011
Whatever else you think about Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow(notes), hopefully we can all agree that he has a few on-field imperfections. For starters, he's not yet a particularly accurate passer, at least by NFL standards. Tebow completed just 50 percent of his throws last year, with three interceptions in 82 attempts, plus a handful of near-picks. There have of course been persistent questions about his throwing mechanics and his in-game habits. And the dude will occasionally run the wrong play, not that he's ever burned by such mistakes.
Tebow is entering his second pro season in a locked-out environment with a new head coach (run-first John Fox) and a new playbook (probably 300 pages of ball-control), and he's officially still battling for position on the Broncos' depth chart. Opposing coordinators have had a long off-season in which to consider the unique problems he presents. This is certainly not an ideal setup for fantasy or real-life success.
Lloyd could have said, "That's a decision for the coaching staff," but he didn't. He could have said, "I have confidence in Kyle, Tim and Brady Quinn(notes)," but he didn't. (And he would have been totally lying, because only Jeff Samardzija has confidence in Brady Quinn). He could have said, "John Elway, at age 51, is better than all these bums."
So when evaluating Tim for fantasy purposes in 2011, there are plenty of issues to consider. But oddly enough, none of those issues seemed to trouble the Yahoo! analysts when we sat down to rank quarterbacks for the year ahead. We slotted Tebow at No. 15, just behind Jay Cutler(notes), just ahead of Joe Flacco(notes).
Clearly we're all assuming that Tebow will be the Broncos' starter in 2011, and he'll transition well to a run-first offense, being a run-first quarterback. It helps that Fox chose to retain a few key members of Denver's offensive coaching staff. No doubt we were all impressed by Tebow's performance in Weeks 15-17 last season; he was the No. 1 overall scorer during the most important period on the fantasy calendar. It's not difficult to imagine Tebow rushing for, say, 600-plus yards and seven or eight TDs in 2011. If he does that, then he'll be a fantasy asset even if he's a wreck in the passing game.
But is it possible that we've recognized only Tebow's upside in our ranks, ignoring the problems? He's only started three NFL games, after all, and it can be reasonably argued that his receiving corps at Florida in '08 was better than the current group in Denver. This feels like a case where someone needs to write a dissenting opinion, but we were all similarly bullish in our pre-season ranks.
So I'm tossing the issue out to the commenting community: Are we just acting like cultists with Tebow? Surely someone out there is avoiding him in drafts. Let's hear all about it, hater. This is supposed to be a discussion, so please discuss...
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