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Mark Sanchez is the New York Jets starting quarterback, but his backup Tim Tebow offers much more fantasy football intrigue.
The problem with Sanchez from a fantasy football perspective is that he is just an average quarterback in an extremely deep year for the position. You can argue that "average" label. ESPN probably would, as the "World Wide Leader in Sports" ranks Sanchez well below average at No. 28 among quarterbacks.
Youngsters like Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton carved out their place in the position's top 10 last year. This bumps former studs like Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Schaub to the edge of even holding down regular starting roles for fantasy football teams this fall.
We've seen Sanchez play for three years now. We know what he brings to the table. At best. he is a reliable backup for your fantasy team, and that's without any competition from his real-life backup. Losing red-zone touches to Tebow could sink his value even lower.
Sanchez finished as the No. 10 scoring QB in 2011. Take away his six rushing touchdowns, however, and he slips to 16th. Tebow could do that and more. You will be able to find quarterbacks at least as good as Sanchez on the waiver wire all season long.
Tebow, however, brings so much unknown. For now, Rex Ryan casts him in a role similar to the one held by Brad Smith. That may not excite you from a fantasy football perspective, but consider that as Tebow's downside. The possibility of expanding the role is what you're really after here.
You won't have to spend a high draft pick on Tebow. He may not be drafted at all. Don't worry about his downside. The only reason to spend a late pick here is his upside, which is considerably higher than that of Sanchez.
Say what you want about Tebow's mechanics. He has always shown a special prowess at the goal line. That will translate into sustainable fantasy value, even with limited touches.
Tebow's different roles with the Jets could earn him fantasy position eligibility just about anywhere. If he ever does surpass Sanchez as the starting QB and you can still play him somewhere else, that alone is worth a lottery ticket play at the end of your draft.