Could Tim Tebow wind up becoming fantasy football’s most unique stories of 2013?
At the moment, a possible Tebow conversion to tight end is an awkward subject, especially considering Aaron Hernandez was one of his favorite targets during his time at the University of Florida. I would imagine Tebow is currently praying for Mr. Hernandez, and possibly also thanking God for not winding up in the cross hairs as one of Hernandez’s possible targets.
In any event, the company line from Patriots camp remains that Tebow was brought in to compete for the third-string quarterback job and perhaps pitch in with some other roles as needed.
I believe Tebow really needs to be looking at those other roles.
Since January, tight end – and the receiving corps – in general has gone from a position of strength to a glaring need, thanks to the defection of Wes Welker, the continued health woes of Rob Gronkowski, and now the Hernandez’s legal issues – which now make for better discussion on the Nancy Grace show than a sports forum.
With Hernandez’s release from the Patriots organization shortly after his arrest on Wednesday, some of the focus will return to what goes on between the lines. The issue of what to do with Tim Tebow’s career will once again be front and center.
The bottom line is this: heading into his fourth year in the National Football League, Tebow cannot spend more time wasting away having “developmental third-string quarterback” as his job description.
Tebow got his shot with the Denver Broncos two years ago, and had some spotty success including the dramatic overtime playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. But for all of his leadership ability, Tebow does not have the arm to ever become a Colin Kaepernick-like talent. If he did, Tebow would have developed in that fashion already.
However, Tebow remains a tremendous physical specimen, and his talents can no longer be wasted as an inactive third-string quarterback on game day. Meanwhile H-Back, tight end and even an occasional spot as the goal-line quarterback would be much better duties for the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner.
If things were to break right, I would not dismiss the possibility of 50-plus catches along with several touchdowns in a goal-line role.
That could lead to some fascinating possibilities in fantasy football. If you were drafting today, Tebow is definitely worth rostering as a possible tight end, and could be utilized in that position.
But I would also assume Tebow would retain his quarterback-eligibility in fantasy football for 2013 in most formats. In theory, Tebow could be started on a fantasy team at quarterback, and wind up accumulating points for his rushing/receiving exploits.
Would that make Tebow more valuable than a traditional quarterback such as Tony Romo or Jay Cutler? It depends on the scoring format. In most leagues even the lower-tiered QB1’s end up accumulating a decent amount of points, perhaps more reliable than using a possible top-10 tight end who is eligible at the quarterback slot.
The possibility of Tebow at another position does add roster flexibility from a fantasy perspective. The most recent example of multiple-position eligibility was when Joe Webb started a few late-season games at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings in 2010. Webb was drafted as a wide receiver that year, so in many leagues he was eligible as a receiver, and been able to accumulate his points earned at a quarterback for the week.
In theory, a receiver moving to quarterback (like Webb) usually would hold more promise than the other way around.
Going back to Tebow situation, it’s important to remember that the average NFL career runs about four years, a total Tebow is rapidly approaching. If he were to languish around hanging on to the quarterback dream for another two to three years, he would likely find his window of opportunity to excel at another position closed. I don’t think Tebow can afford another year holding a clipboard.
At this point, I believe it is time for Tebow to call an audible on his current career path.