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Fantasy Football 2012: The Cure for Your Tim Tebow Obsession

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So you’re infatuated with Tim Tebow, eh? Can’t get enough of his last-minute, game-winning drives, followed by his (gasp!) world-famous thinking-man’s pose? Sure, he’s a snappy dresser — we give you that — and his determination and work ethic are admirable qualities. But as a fantasy passer, Tebow doesn’t live up to his billing — not as a franchise quarterback, not even as a reliable No. 2.

We’re not hatin’ on the man; we just know a fantasy dud when we see one.

Here’s the thing: There’s hype and there’s substance. No matter how many headlines Rex Ryan’s newest toy generates, the numbers just aren’t there. Go ahead, look. Not convinced? Look again. He averaged 144 passing yards in 12 regular-season games for Denver last year. Give him a full 16-game schedule under center in New York — heck, give him 18 games — and they still won’t be there.

Tebow is unlike any pro football phenomenon fans have ever witnessed, and yet he is similar to so many failed fantasy prospects to come before him. Fantasy owners want to believe that what they see is somehow different from what the raw numbers suggest. They crave the success and turn a blind eye to the evidence. In the end, all that’s left is disappointment.

(Voices of dissent begin to grumble) “But Tebow gives my team rushing yards and touchdowns other quarterbacks do not provide.” Not enough, we’re afraid. To prove this, let’s convert his 660 rushing yards last season (second-most among quarterbacks) and six rushing scores to passing totals (1,650 and nine, in traditional leagues). The additional numbers would give Tebow 2011 season-ending totals of 3,379 passing yards and 21 touchdown passes. Is this what you expect from your starting fantasy quarterback?

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At best, he’s a fantasy backup, and his current role as Mark Sanchez’s understudy only further complicates matters. But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume Tebow nudges Sanchez from the lineup early in the season, as many predict will happen. Even then, Tebow is not a viable fantasy backup. Ask yourself: Does the Jets offense really provide Tebow with more fantasy firepower than what he had to work with in Denver? Will New York’s media tolerate a 46.5 completion percentage? New York was a team struggling to hold it together last year, and if anything, a quarterback controversy or poor passing numbers will only create locker room drama and tabloid fodder. As former Denver teammate Demaryius Thomas described the experience to a radio station this offseason: “If it wasn’t for the (Broncos) defense, most of the time there wouldn’t be no supposed ‘Tim Tebow Time.’”

Last year, Tebow was neither consistent nor prolific (only two regular-season games with 200 or more yards passing!) — the two qualities you should seek from a backup quarterback. And heaven forbid your starter should suffer a season-ending injury, thus thrusting Tebow into your lineup full time... well, let’s just say adieu to your fantasy postseason hopes.

Nope, Tebow is for dreamers. For New York, Tebow can be an effective situational player at best (no fantasy market for that) and a distraction at worst. For fantasy owners, he should be someone else’s problem.

— By Mike Beacom, originally published in the 2012 Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Football preview magazine

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