Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 6/30/14

A few weeks ago, Verizon Wireless contacted MSF with an amazing opportunity.  If I agreed to try out one of their phones (equipped with NFL Mobile) and one of their tablets, and blog about my experiences, they would give me the phone, give me the tablet, and fly me to Chicago to stay in the Hard Rock Hotel and attend the Packers/Bears game.  

If you are thinking, “No way…that’s too good to be true”… you aren’t alone.  Unbelievably though, there were no “catches,” and the experience has been amazing. Over the course of this season, I’ll be updating you on my experience with Verizon’s products – the good and/or the bad, as my opinions are my own and beholden to no one – but so far so good.

There seem to be several constants in American sports:

  • Always cheer for the “underdog.”
  • Always cheer for the “good guy.”
  • And, oddly enough, always cheer for the “unorthodox guy.”

Unless, of course, that guy happens to be Tim Tebow.

It’s the strangest thing.  For some reason, we always enjoy cheering for the guy that’s not supposed to be able to get it done.

Not only was Charles Barkley a 6’4″ Power Forward, but let’s be honest, he was kind of a jerk when he played as well.  It didn’t matter – we loved cheering for him.  There’s no way a guy that size should have ever been able to rebound like he did.  But he could.  And we cheered for him to do it again and again.

Spud Webb and Nate Robinson.  Cocky little guys in real life.  But put them in a dunk contest, where they are different from everyone else, and all of the sudden, they are our favorites.

The list goes on and on.

This works in real life as well.  When the short guy with glasses ends up dating the hot chick, we silently give a little fist pump inside.   We have always gravitated toward the guy that looked different.  We have always cheered for him to conquer all the odds and buck the rest of the crowd.

Why?  Because it makes us feel that if THEY can do it…WE can do anything.

Strangely enough, though, countless journalists and talking heads seem to be actively rooting against Tim Tebow.  He has a loopy throwing motion…he LOOKS like a tight end…he’s not accurate enough…and so on and so on.

Is it because he’s a bad person?  Is he cocky?  Does everybody hate the Broncos?

I really have no idea, except that obviously it’s not because he’s a bad person, and I don’t care to figure it out.

All I know is this: when Tebow is in the game, his team responds.  To be honest, he reminds me a lot of Steve McNair.  McNair was another guy who didn’t necessarily LOOK like a QB.  Defenders would bounce off him when trying to wrap him up for a sack.  He would run around a little bit and extend plays.  He wasn’t always incredibly accurate – especially early on in his career (he never completed 60% of his passes until Year 6).  It didn’t matter.  His team made the Super Bowl in Year 5.  He was a league MVP.  He won games, and he actually ended up having some pretty good stats when it was all said and done as well…even though it never looked conventional.

On Sunday, since I don’t have DirecTV, I was stuck with the Pats/Jets game all afternoon.  Of course, being the savvy fan that I am, I was following twitter and my fantasy team on my new Droid Bionic.  As soon as Tebow entered the game, Twitter just exploded.  Instantly, I turned on NFL Mobile and started watching the Red Zone Channel.  (I can’t adequately describe how awesome this service through Verizon is…no matter where you are, you can watch the Red Zone channel on your phone…simply fantastic.)

Did Tebow throw a few bad passes?  Of course he did.  What QB on earth could come into a game cold and play perfectly from step one?

But he also made plays.  He brought energy to the rest of his team.  For the first time all year, his wide receivers started giving that little extra on their routes.  They began selling out to make ridiculous catches.  His offensive line began blocking with renewed vigor.

More importantly, they began scoring points, and they nearly came back for the win against a VERY good Chargers’ team.

So how does this apply to fantasy rankings?

Because Tim Tebow will absolutely make his presence known in fantasy this season.

Now don’t freak out…I’m not going to suggest that you drop your starter in favor of the young lefty from Florida.  But he absolutely could be a valuable backup.

Currently, I have him ranked as my #20 fantasy QB.  That means that from this point forward, I think he will have the 20th best stats of any QB in the league.  If you are in a deeper league (12 or 14 teams), Tebow could be a valuable pickup as a backup QB.

Just look at Cam Newton.  Supposedly, he’s too young.  He’s not super accurate.  He doesn’t really have a whole lot of weapons around him.

It doesn’t matter.  Newton just makes plays…and his teammates respond.

You can see it every time Steve Smith goes up for the ball and gives that little extra effort that we haven’t seen out of him in three years.  You can see it the way his offensive line has a renewed confidence because they know that they don’t have to play perfect, mistake-free football.  More importantly for you, bad looking throws don’t show up on fantasy numbers.  But TDs and yards do.

It’s been five weeks, and Cam Newton has yet to look pretty or orthodox.  And yet he’s been the 2nd best QB in fantasy.

Look, I’m not saying that Tebow is going to be as successful as Newton.  I’m not even necessarily saying that Newton will CONTINUE to be this hot for the rest of the year.  All I’m saying is that Timmy is worth a look if you need a backup.

He’s going to run around and score some TDs with his legs (he already has 7 rushing TDs in only 12 career games…many of which he only played part time).  Since the start of the 2010 season, only one QB in the league has more games with both a rushing and passing TD than him.

Think about that.

In only 12 games, 3 of which he was a starter, Tebow has both rushed and passed for a TD in FIVE of them.  That’s more than Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and even Cam Newton.  He’s going to lead his team on a lot of scoring drives.  He may not throw for 400 yards.  He may throw a few interceptions.  But in weeks 15 and 16…aka the fantasy playoffs, he will be playing against New England’s soft defense and Buffalo’s in back-to-back weeks.

And if you are counting on Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or Drew Brees, they could be resting depending on how the standings shake out. At that point you’ll wish you had taken a chance on the young lefty that has led his team to a little bit of a resurgence in 2011.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Now onto the player rankings for Week 6.

Fantasy Football Player Rankings Rankings for Rest of Season

Note: Remember that these rankings for how many points these players will score from here on out in the season, not how many points they’ll finish with overall and not specific to Week Six (those come on Thursday, via PlayThisGuy, and will be added at the bottom of this post.)

QB RB  WR TE Tom Brady, NE 1 Adrian Peterson, MIN 1 Calvin Johnson, DET 1 Aaron Hernandez, NE Matthew Stafford, DET 2 Ray Rice, BAL 2 Wes Welker, NE 2 Jimmy Graham, NO Drew Brees, NO 3 LeSean McCoy, PHI 3 Mike Wallace, PIT 3 Rob Gronkowski, NE Aaron Rodgers, GB 4 Darren McFadden, OAK 4 Andre Johnson, HOU 4 Jermichael Finley, GB Philip Rivers, SD 5 Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC 5 Miles Austin, DAL 5 Jason Witten, DAL Cam Newton, CAR 6 Fred Jackson, BUF 6 Greg Jennings, GB 6 Tony Gonzalez, ATL Tony Romo, DAL 7 Arian Foster, HOU 7 Vincent Jackson, SD 7 Greg Olsen, CAR Michael Vick, PHI 8 Michael Turner, ATL 8 Hakeem Nicks, NYG 8 Vernon Davis, SF Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 9 Matt Forte, CHI 9 Larry Fitzgerald, ARI 9 Jermaine Gresham, CIN Jay Cutler, CHI 10 Jahvid Best, DET 10 Steve Johnson, BUF 10 Fred Davis, WAS Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF 11 Ryan Mathews, SD 11 Steve Smith, CAR 11 Dustin Keller, NYJ Matt Hasselbeck, TEN* 12 Steven Jackson, STL 12 Reggie Wayne, IND 12 Antonio Gates, SD Joe Flacco, BAL 13 LeGarrette Blount, TB 13 Nate Washington, TEN 13 Tony Scheffler, DET Eli Manning, NYG 14 Chris Johnson, TEN 14 Devery Henderson, NO 14 Scott Chandler, BUF Mark Sanchez, NYJ 15 Darren Sproles, NO 15 Brandon Marshall, MIA 15 Owen Daniels, HOU Matt Schaub, HOU 16 Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG 16 Dez Bryant, DAL 16 Ed Dixon, BAL Matt Ryan, ATL 17 Peyton Hillis, CLE 17 A.J. Green, CIN 17 Kellen Winslow, TB Josh Freeman, TB 18 Beanie Wells, ARI 18 Dwayne Bowe, KC 18 Dallas Clark, IND Curtis Painter, IND 19 DeAngelo Williams, CAR 19 Pierre Garcon, IND 19 Brent Celek, PHI Tim Tebow, DEN 20 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, NE 20 Roddy White, ATL 20 Jeff King, ARI 21 Shonn Greene, NYJ 21 DeSean Jackson, PHI 22 Cedric Benson, CIN 22 Jeremy Maclin, PHI 23 Willis McGahee, DEN 23 Anquan Boldin, BAL 24 Frank Gore, SF 24 Eric Decker, DEN 25 Joseph Addai, IND 25 Denarius Moore, OAK 26 Tim Hightower, WAS 26 Robert Meachem, NO 27 Felix Jones, DAL 27 David Nelson, BUF 28 Mike Tolbert, SD 28 Jordy Nelson, GB 29 Brandon Jacobs, NYG 29 Santana Moss, WAS 30 Thomas Jones, KC 30 Nate Burleson, DET 31 LaDainian Tomlinson, NYJ 31 Marques Colston, NO 32 Michael Bush, OAK 32 Plaxico Burress, NYJ 33 Daniel Thomas, MIA 33 Percy Harvin, MIN 34 Rashard Mendenhall, PIT 34 Malcom Floyd, SD 35 Jonathan Stewart, CAR 35 Jabar Gaffney, WAS 36 Kendall Hunter, SF 36 Davone Bess, MIA 37 Pierre Thomas, NO 37 Mike Williams, TB 38 Mark Ingram, NO 38 Mario Manningham, NYG 39 Ben Tate, HOU 39 Mohammad Massaquoi, CLE 40 Roy Helu, WAS 40 Julio Jones, ATL 41 Danny Woodhead, NE 41 Brandon Lloyd, DEN 42 C.J. Spiller, BUF 42 Santonio Holmes, NYJ 43 Earnest Graham, TB 43 Lance Moore, NO 44 Marshawn Lynch, SEA 44 Johnny Knox, CHI 45 Javon Ringer, TEN 45 Devin Hester, CHI 46 Dexter McCluster, KC 46 Mike Thomas, JAC 47 Reggie Bush, MIA 47 Sidney Rice, SEA 48 James Starks, GB 48 Danario Alexander, STL 49 Marcel Reece, OAK 49 Donald Jones, BUF 50 Jerome Harrison, DET 50 Jerome Simpson, CIN

 **********

Fantasy Football Week 6 Rankings

Coming Thursday…

Jon Washburn @The_Dr_Twitch
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