by Inside the Redzone staff – Bret Larson
This week we finally get to see what all the hype is about. Tim Tebow is set for his first start in 2011. Unless you live in a house with no cable and 7 kids to take care of, you might not have heard about Tebow. But with all the talk about whether he can or he can’t play, the forgotten factor in all of it is: how does this affect the Denver wide receivers? For all you great fantasy minds out there, let’s break down the Denver wide receivers’ projected fantasy value with Tebow at the wheel.
The obvious starting point is Eric Decker, now with Brandon Lloyd shipped off to St. Louis in a trade. Decker has great hands, but can’t stretch the field. He is a possession type receiver – he sort of reminds me of Kevin Walter, but with Tebow’s accuracy problems you can’t count on him. Decker has turned into a great red zone option for Kyle Orton, but we all know Tebow will be a run first guy in that situation.
With Lloyd gone, Demaryius Thomas is expected to eventually take his spot. He is physically gifted, but has only been active in 10 games in nearly a season and a half. He will have his own growing pains to deal with on top of trying to be on the same wavelength with Tebow.
It appears that Eddie Royal will be a Bronco for the remainder of this year (trade deadline late this afternoon). He is a type of guy Tebow needs to lean on. He can rack up yards after the catch and can get freed up in the secondary easily on a Tebow scramble. He is a guy to put on your radar, but until we actually see the game played, I wouldn’t recommend a bench spot for Royal on your fantasy team either.
In 12 career starts, Tebow has a completion percentage of 49%. His mechanics are still a mess and there were rumors that both Brady Quinn and Adam Weber were out performing him in training camp. Who knows if John Fox is just doing this to appease the fan base and it’s actually only a 2 or 3 game tryout. What would be next in that scenario, Brady Quinn to Eric Decker? Ooops, no he’s in Japan, being a cool boyfriend; doesn’t inspire much confidence if you own a Broncos receiver.
There is talent in that unit, for sure. However, I think Tebow will have a tough time getting the ball to his receivers downfield. In fact, I am more inclined to upgrade Knowshon Moreno and rookie tight end, Julius Thomas over the Broncos receivers. Tebow can be exciting to watch, but with his low completion percentage and natural instinct to be a one-trick Wildcat QB, who knows who he will throw the ball to each week. If I had to pick one receiver to start, it would have to be Decker. However, can you rely on any Denver wide receiver to get you consistent fantasy points with Tebow at the wheel? Unless you are a proven psychic and know who will emerge each and every week, I would simply stay away from all the Denver receivers, until Tebow proves he can be a true quarterback in the NFL and beat teams with his arm.