The last few weeks, the Tim Tebow phenomenon has reached unprecedented levels as he has led the Denver Broncos from the brink of the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes to within a game of first place in the AFC West. Whether he is completing less than 50 percent of his passes in beating the Raiders, or completing only two of eight passes in beating the Chiefs, there is something about Tim Tebow but we can't quite figure it out. It drives stat-heads and most people that are not Broncos or Gators fans absolutely crazy.
Amidst all the insanity there is more angle to pursue in the "Tebow Rules All" debate: fantasy football. As he somehow "leads" his Broncos to real world victories, he is developing into a truly impressive fantasy football option at the quarterback position. Dating back to his first start of 2011 against the Miami Dolphins four weeks ago, Tebow has averaged the fourth most points per game using basic 4-pt passing TD, six-point rushing TD rules. Here is a breakdown of each performance with his rank among QBs each week in parentheses:
Week 7: 22.34 points (No. 5)
Week 8: 14.18 points (No. 10)
Week 9: 24.76 points (No. 3)
Week 10: 17.06 points (No. 11)
He hasn't been perfect, but when you are consistently in the top third of quarterbacks, you deserve to be starting most weeks. The reason for that is the value of the scrambling quarterback in most fantasy football leagues. Traditional leagues generally award four points for passing touchdowns and one point for every 25 passing yards. On the other hand, they award six points for rushing touchdowns and one point for ten rushing yards. The math is pretty simple.
Now that the Broncos are going to almost entirely an option offense with Tebow, it is tough to tell the long-term consequences for fantasy owners. He put together a strong performance that benefited greatly from his 56-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker against the Chiefs in Week 10. Are we likely to see more 2-of-8 performances, or will he open up the passing game more when people sell out for the option?
Tebow faces off against the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football this week and the Jets bring a strong defense to the table, but as others have seen, Tim Tebow is not an ordinary opponent. The Jets likely can contain his passing attack, but when he starts scrambling it becomes a madhouse. The folks at numberFire.com project Tebow to score 14.81 points, rankings 11th among QB projections.
Normally for a young QB with questionable throwing skills, we would say bench him against a great Jets defense. But Tim Tebow is no normal young QB. Somehow Tim Tebow has become a must-start quarterback in fantasy football. He may have abysmal passing skills and the Broncos switch to a read-option offense may be driving people crazy, but as long as he is scoring points, does it really matter how it's happening?
It is hard to predict what kind of production we can expect from Tebow moving forward but given that he has somehow made something out of nothing the last month, do you really want to be the one sitting him as he continues to blow up? Barring your roster including one of the premium QBs (Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Newton), it's all Tebow, all the time.