Fantasy Football Week 17 Start 'Em: Michael Vick

By Charles Chan
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’ve probably made it to the championship round of the fantasy football playoffs (or you just really want to win your very last fantasy matchup of the 2012 season).

In this column, I’ll tell you why you should start Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick in Week 17 against the New York Giants.

Vick hasn’t played a down since suffering a major concussion back in Week 10 against the Dallas Cowboys and was a healthy scratch in Week 16. Since then, backup rookie QB Nick Foles has made a strong case for the starting gig in 2013, playing effectively over the last six games. But as of now, Foles is done for the season with a fractured hand and Vick has been named the starter in what appears to be his last game as an Eagle.

Finding the end zone hasn’t been Vick’s problem in 2012 as he’s scored one or more touchdowns in eight of his first nine games. Though, his tendency to turn the ball over has been his biggest setback this season, throwing nine interceptions and losing five fumbles (14 turnovers) through 10 weeks.

Vick blames his struggles over the past two season on offensive line scheme changes, switching from Juan Castillo to Howard Mudd after the 2010 season, and having to learn new protection schemes, verbiage and so forth. But it’s hard to look past the injury-ravaged offensive line and Vick’s poor ball security as the bigger factors for the team’s troubles.

Vick and the Eagles aren’t the only team battling through some adversity. The inconsistent Giants are trying to snap a two-game losing streak with hopes of sneaking into the playoffs with a Wild Card spot, though they’ll need plenty of help from the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Cowboys. That said, Week 17 figures to write a different story for Vick’s down season as he looks to audition for the other 31 NFL teams that he’ll hope to land with in 2013.

In his last meeting with the Giants in Week 4, Vick had one of his best games of the season, completing 19-of-30 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown. He also added 49 yards on the ground and eventually led the Eagles to a 19-17 victory over their division rival opponent.

This time around, Vick will be without his one-trick pony, deep-threat receiver DeSean Jackson (ribs), who was placed on injured reserve back in late November, but figures to have the more complete Jeremy Maclin at his disposal along with RB LeSean McCoy in the lineup. Start Vick as a low-end QB1 with upside in a game where the Eagles have nothing left to play for but pride.

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