Like so many fantasy football fans across the country, I let my imagination run wild when I heard that Chip Kelly was coming to the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles. Visions of Michael Vick rolling left and hitting Desean Jackson deep kept playing over and over in my mind.
Before long, though, the talking heads had me convinced that Vick was a goner and that it was going to be a newcomer to man the helm of the Kelly ship. Then finally, my hope was restored with the announcement of Vick’s one year deal to stay in Philadelphia.
After the roller coaster ride has come to a full and complete stop, we are left with the unenviable task of trying to figure out what to do with the Philadelphia Eagles and specifically Vick in 2013. I am going to come right out and say it: I’m all in on Michael Vick.
While Kelly is less about the running quarterback than you may think, Vick is still going to get his chance to shine on the ground. In 2012, Marcus Mariota, Kelly’s quarterback at Oregon, only ran 106 times in 13 games. That’s a tick over eight rushes per game. Compare that with the six rushes per game that Vick posted for the Eagles in 2012 and carry totals really don’t figure to change that much.
What I expect to change is Vick’s yards per carry rate. He only averaged 5.4 yards per carry in 2012 while Oregon as a team rushed for 6.0 yards per carry and Mariota himself posted more than seven yards per carry. The Eagles will be able to run the ball much more efficiently this year and Vick will be a major beneficiary of that.
In addition to Vick’s rushing numbers rebounding, I expect him to post very solid passing numbers as well. Keep in mind that he will have two of the most dynamic receiving option in football at his disposal, Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, and he will be operating a fantastically dynamic offensive system. Everything is there for him.
The last thing to keep in mind about Vick in 2013 is that the Eagles are going to run more plays than any other team in the league. Kelly’s up-tempo offense may not translate word for word to the NFL, but one thing he will not compromise on is tempo. The Eagles are going to be a speedy juggernaut. More plays, pure and simple, means more stats. The more times Vick airs it out, the more chances he has of hitting a home run.
While Vick will be anything but safe going into 2013, I have a renewed sense of optimism that he will once again be a fantasy football stud. I think that putting him inside my top-three would be irresponsible, but anywhere after that, I am okay with him. His upside is sky high and I feel like his floor has raised since last year. I would want a solid backup if Vick were my starter, but I am ready to roll the dice with him in 2013.
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