Friday, August 14, 2009

How does Vick fit into the fantasy world?

Michael Vick continues to grab all the headlines and will be perhaps the biggest story in the NFL as the season opens. But that doesn't mean he should command too much attention from fantasy players.

Vick's signing with the Eagles is the kind of storyline fans and pundits will be talking about for weeks and months, but for fantasy purposes it's just another transaction. No need to go making a major overhaul to your pre-draft rankings. Sure, Vick's an intriguing late-round sleeper because Philly figures to use him in the wildly popular "Wildcat" role that often results in big plays. He gives the Eagles another skilled player who can certainly be an effective runner/passer/receiver in their West Coast offense. But honestly, how many touches can he get in an offense that also includes Pro Bowl performers like Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook and young playmakers DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin?

The idea behind the Wildcat is to utilize the elements of surprise and unpredictability, so how consistently would Vick be used anyway? At least other presumed Wildcat players around the league - Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams in Miami, Percy Harvin in Minnesota - will be taking more snaps at their regular positions throughout the game, whereas Vick would only be stepping onto the field at a few strategic points when the Eagles use the package.

Make no mistake, McNabb is the starting QB. This won't be an even timeshare. Of course, taking into account McNabb's history, there is a decent chance of him getting injured at some point and Vick perhaps taking over, but that's not something you can bank on. And even then, the Eagles do have a supposed QB of the future, Kevin Kolb (although he's hurt right now). And assuming Vick is listed on Philly's roster as a QB and is eligible at that position in fantasy leagues, it's hard to justify taking him as your No. 2 fantasy QB when you could instead own another starter in the league - say, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, Matt Hasselbeck, etc. - who will see the field far more often and produce many more points on a more consistent basis.

If your league allows three QBs, by all means, take Vick. If your league allows really deep rosters with open bench spots from any position, Vick's your guy. If the Eagles for some reason use Vick exclusively as a RB/WR, snatch him up. The potential is there for some cheap fantasy points. But good luck predicting when they might come.

The true concern for fantasy purposes should rest with anyone who owns an Eagles skill player. Every time Vick touches the ball he'll be taking away potential points from Westbrook, Jackson and co. And more alarmingly, how will the signing affect McNabb's psyche? You could look at it as yet another slap in the face for a franchise QB who's been maligned by his team's fans for years, witnessed the franchise draft a potential replacement (Kolb) and who was benched by his coach last year for poor play. Now McNabb's got to deal with the circus that follows such a publicized move, and the guy may have to take a backseat to Vick at key points in the game and give up snaps. There's potential here for bad blood and fan backlash if the Eagles, clearly in a win-now-at-all-costs mode, aren't winning. And instability is never a good thing for fantasy production. Maybe it's no big deal, but it's something to think about

1 comment:

Edward said...

The guy shouldn't even be in football anymore. So he's talented, big deal. So were all the guys who played during the football strike many years ago. Vick was guilty of killing dogs. The guy needs to be punished. Getting signed on to Philly, isn't punishment.