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Fantasy Football 2013: Don’t Give Up On Michael Vick

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Philadelphia Eagles announced today that Michael Vick will be the team’s starting quarterback for the 2013 season. In other news, the sky is blue, cupcakes are delicious and Mark Sanchez is god awful at throwing a football. I mean, come on. Nothing against Nick Foles, but did you really think new head coach Chip Kelly was going to pass up the chance to have a mobile signal caller like Vick run his high-octane offense?

It’s really no surprise that Vick won the starting job. He fits the offense much better, and has looked terrific in the preseason thus far, only throwing two incomplete passes. Of course, many people who play fantasy football aren’t even the slightest bit intrigued by this news. They have given up on Vick as a viable fantasy quarterback, especially after having been burned in the past. I’m here, as always, to defend the 33-year old quarterback, however.

Vick Fits The Bill

Despite what some critics believe, Vick is actually a very ideal fit for the style of offense that Kelly want to run. The offense will be run-heavy and fast paced, which could very well allow Vick to return to his magical fantasy rushing numbers. Vick may have been frustrating to own last season, but when he was healthy, he was actually pretty solid. During the two-minute offense, which is very similar to Kelly’s expected offense, Vick posted a quarterback rating of 98. He will be asked to make quick decisions, move fast, but think even faster. The fact that he was solid during a very similar situation last season is encouraging, at least to me. Also, it’s no secret that the Eagles offensive line was less than stellar. Having said that, Vick was under a ton of pressure in 2012. However, according to the outstanding numbers from Pro Football Focus, Vick posted a passer rating of 91.0 when holding the ball for longer than 2.5 seconds. However, when he held the ball longer than that time, his passer rating was worse.

Also, while Kelly once stated that being a mobile quarterback has no impact on who will start, if you look back at his past offenses at Oregon, a handful of athletic quarterbacks posted some serious rushing totals. Vick, despite being 33-years of age, still has the athleticism and skills to do the same. I mean, we are talking about one of the deadliest running quarterbacks to ever grace a football field, having rushed for a ridiculous 5,551 yards in his career. Take a look at some of Kelly’s signal callers during his time at Oregon. They were very busy with the football under their arms.

Year

Player

Rushes

Yards

TDs

2007 Dennis Dixon 105 583 9
2008 Jeremiah Masoli 127 718 10
2009 Jeremiah Masoli 121 668 13
2010 Darron Thomas 93 486 5
2011 Darron Thomas 56 206 3
2012 Marcus Mariota 106 752 5

 

Clearly, these guys are all very athletic, but none of them have the pedigree that Vick does. I’m excited to see how he performs, just as long as he is healthy.

The Risk Is Overrated

A year or two ago, Vick could be classified as a risky pick because at the time, quarterback wasn’t nearly as deep as it is now, and he would have most likely ended up being your starting signal caller if you drafted him. However, fast forward to 2013, and even as much as I believe in him, there is no chance I am investing a draft pick in Vick to be my starter. Still, that doesn’t mean he is a risky pick if you are looking for either a backup or are in a two-quarterback league. According to Fantasy Calculator, Vick is currently being drafted as the 14th signal caller off of the board (9.12 ADP). Unless you are 100 percent confident in Vick as a number one, there is no risk in drafting him as a number two. Because even if he does go down with an injury again, there will be plenty of replacement options on the waiver wire because the position is so deep. However, having said that, the Eagles offensive line should be much better, which in return, should keep Vick upright.

In all seriousness, if Vick somehow manages to play all 16 games for the Eagles, I find it hard to believe he won’t finish the season as a top-15 fantasy option. Kelly’s offense will allow him to post strong rushing numbers, the presence of LeSean McCoy in the backfield will only help, and after seeing him in person, his arm still looks as strong as ever. Give him a chance this year, just not as your starter.

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

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.