Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up; it's Tim Tebow time!
After stadium chants and fan funded billboards, the Denver faithful are finally getting their wish; the Tebow era has begun. He will get his first start of the 2011 season against the winless Miami Dolphins. Ironically, the last time Tebow played at Sun Life stadium, he won the BCS National Championship Game with the Florida Gators. This time, he enters as an NFL starter, on a day that is being celebrated as “Gator Day”, honoring the Florida Gators' championship season. It's far from coincidence and I assure you that it will be the most anticipated and dramatic match-up of two last place teams in the history of the NFL.
The question is, can Tebow some how catapult the Broncos out of last place and into a playoff push? The odds are long with games against the Lions, Jets, Patriots, Chargers, Bears and not to mention, the Buffalo Bills (oh my). But there did seem to be a spark when John Fox benched Kyle Orton in favor of
Tebow last Sunday, albeit somewhat prematurely as they were only down 13 points.
Orton has himself to blame with seven interceptions through five games and a 1-4 record. His immobility in the pocket makes it easier for defenses to game plan whereas with Tebow, the playbook is more dynamic. Perhaps the best option for the Broncos is a combination of using Orton as more of a traditional passer and using Tebow as an option play. But I side with the rest of the nation in that I am not a Broncos fan and while I'm interested in what Tebow can do for their franchise, I'm more interested in what he can do for my franchise.
Here are a few things every fantasy GM should know:
Tebow has scored a rushing touchdown in every NFL game he has played except one, for a total of seven. The important thing to remember is that the majority of those TDs came on goal-to-go situations as option plays. In other words, he benefited from the offense moving the ball far enough down the field to put him in a short distance situation. Defenses will be much more prepared from this point forward.
Tebow counted to infinity.... twice.
In three games as a starter, Tebow has completed less than 50% of his passes and has thrown three interceptions. Those are rookie numbers, because that's what he is. Remember that before you drop Eli Manning to pick him up.
Tebow once won a game of “Connect Four” in three moves.
In his best statistical game as a starter, Tebow rushed 13 times for 94 yards, once into the end zone. He also threw for 308 yards and his best career completion percentage of 55.5. It came against the Houston Texans who allowed 375 yards per game in 2010 and were dead last against the pass.
They're making a sequel to the movie “300” starring Tebow. It's called “1”.
If you can make room for him on your roster and have the waiver priority, do it. But don't start him. Even though the Broncos have two weeks to get Tebow prepped, the Dolphins will be prepared and will obviously recognize the gravity of the situation. They will be anxious to silence the hostile crowds in their own stadium and get their first win. Tebow is not the fantasy football equivalent of Chuck Norris. That honor goes to Calvin Johnson.
Up until the last few weeks, Frank Gore has been one of the most disappointing running backs in football. Through the first three games of the season he ran for 148 yards on 59 attempts, a 2.5 average and found the end zone only once. Speculations suggested that Kendall Hunter would get more carries and eventually take over as the starter. Since then, Gore has ran for 252 yards and two touchdowns. Hunter has been relegated to his expected role as a spell back. The question is, which one of these trends is most likely to continue?â€‹
With five games in the books we have a lot more data to justify Gore's lack of production. The first game of the season looked like a dream match-up, but Seattle has proved to be a surprisingly stingy defense. Week 2 looked to be a good play with the Dallas Cowboys visiting, who were banged up defensively and have been known to give up big plays, but despite a touchdown, Gore rushed for only 47 yards on 20 carries. Week 3 looked even more promising against the Cincinnati Bengals; results: 42 yards on 17 carries.
Then came the Philadelphia Eagles. Gore, with a tweaked ankle, punished the Eagles for 127 yards and a score. Same story the following week against the Tampa Buccaneers.
What we know now:
The Bengals, Cowboys and Seahawks round out the top ten list of defenses against the rush, the Cowboys being number one. The Eagles and the Buccaneers are on the bottom of that list. Going forward, Gore has some nice match-ups with some generous defenses, including two against Arizona and two against St. Louis. Throw in the Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh (yes, Pittsburgh), Gore will redeem himself and finish as a top fantasy performer. Keep him in your lineup.
Michael Vick has thrown seven interceptions, been sacked seven times and has rushed for zero touchdowns.
The top four QBs in touchdowns thrown are Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Mathew Stafford and Drew Brees.
Eli Manning is number five.
The top four QBs in passer rating are Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Alex Smith, and Drew Brees.
Eli Manning is number five (tied with Brees).
The top five QBs in yards are Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Phillip Rivers.
Eli Manning is number six.
Everyone on that list has thrown more interceptions than Manning except Rodgers and Brees (Manning and Brees are tied with five).
The moral of the story; Manning is on the “can't bench” list despite being drafted as a QB2 in most leagues.
Calvin Johnson Fun Facts
Johnson is the first receiver in NFL history to record nine touchdowns in the first five games.
Johnson is getting double-covered every down and sometimes triple-covered.
Johnson has 451 yards on 29 receptions.
That's one touchdown for every 50 yards.
Or one touchdown every 3.2 catches.
Johnson is the only thing Chuck Norris would back down from.
Tim Tebow is back.
Mike Vick is far from a dream.
Thank you Megatron.