Fantasy Football 2013: Michael Vick Still Has Upside

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

 

He’ll be 33-years old in six days. He’s coming off a multitude of injuries. He isn’t even a lock to be his team’s starting quarterback come Week 1.

So, what the heck am I thinking putting Michael Vick in the same sentence as the word “upside”?

Basically, it comes down to the offense. New head coach Chip Kelly wants to implement a fast, short-passing style of offense which could see a lot of read-option. While Nick Foles is still very much in the mix, it would obviously make the most sense to have Vick under center in this style of offense. There is a chance that Vick could return to posting some top tier fantasy rushing numbers in 2013. Despite only playing 10 games a season ago, Vick still finished fifth among quarterbacks with 332 rushing yards. And if you take a look back at Kelly’s quarterbacks in Oregon, the starters were heavily involved in running the ball, as well as passing.

Year

Player

Yardage

Avg

TD

2009 Jeremiah Masoli 668 5.5 13
2010 Darron Thomas 486 5.2 5
2011 Darron Thomas 206 3.7 3
2012 Marcus Mariota 752 7.1 5

 

I think it’s pretty safe to say that Vick is (and has been) a more successful quarterback than any of those guys. Let’s not forget, we are only a few years removed from a spectacular fantasy season from Vick, which led to him being drafted extremely high in 2011. Vick rushed for 676 yards and a career high nine touchdowns, while also throwing for 3,018 yards and 21 scores. Needless to say, he was the top-scoring fantasy signal caller that season. He still has the athleticism and skills to be a very viable fantasy quarterback, at least in my opinion. And while I absolutely despise DeSean Jackson, there is no denying that the dude is as talented as they come. He could excel in this offense, catching short passes and providing yardage after the catch, which, in return, helps Vick’s fantasy prospects. Also, Jeremy Maclin is quite the burner himself, and is an all around better wide receiver than Jackson.

Look, if I were to say there is no risk with drafting Vick, I’d be lying to myself. In my eyes, he may be the biggest high risk/high reward in fantasy this season. I mean, the guy hasn’t played a full 16 games since 2006, and has missed at least three games in every season with the Eagles. However, I will say that his injuries in Philadelphia were not entirely his fault. The offensive line play was absolutely atrocious, allowing Vick to take shot after shot much too often. Like I said, Vick only played 10 games last season, and was sacked a whopping 28 times. To put that into perspective, that was more than guys who played a full 16 games such as Peyton ManningJosh Freeman and Eli Manning. However, it appears that the Eagles line should be at least a bit better. They selected Lane Johnson with the fourth overall draft pick this April. He has the athleticism to get out in front of screens, which could bode very well for this Eagles offense. They will also get Jason Peters back, one of the better offensive tackles in football.

Quarterback is historically deep this season, so odds are, you won’t even be drafting Vick unless you are in a two quarterback league. However, if you decide to just stock up on receivers and backs, only to take a shot on two upside guys like Vick and someone like Sam Bradford, it could work out for you. I’m not sold that Vick’s time is over and if everything goes right around him, I strongly believe he is good and athletic enough to sneak into the top-10 among quarterbacks.

There’s still hope…

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.


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