He’s one of the greatest video game characters of all time.
No, seriously. Look at Michael Vick in the Madden franchise and tell me there’s another player who drastically changed the way the opposition played defense. Heck, Vick even changed the way the developers looked at the game. His speed was unmatched, his throw power among the best.
Sadly, it isn’t 2004 anymore.
Nope, it’s 2014 and Vick is now wearing a new shade of green. After a rejuvenation process with the Philadelphia Eagles, Vick agreed to a deal with the New York Jets. He’ll likely enter camp involved an a competition for the starting quarterback job with sophomore, Geno Smith. Fantasy football fans everywhere are praying that it’s Vick, not Smith, under center to start the season.
Even if it is for the Jets.
Vick continues to serve as one of the more intriguing fantasy storylines in football. At age 33, there is clearly some reasons for concern, and, of course, the guy just can’t stay healthy. He’s missed a total of 15 games over the past two seasons combined, and hasn’t suited up for a full season since 2006. He’s been a pain in the neck for fantasy owners for a few years in a row now.
Or has he?
In drafts last year, Vick wasn’t being selected as a top tier option. Instead, fantasy owners used a 9th or 10th round pick on him, making him the 15th signal caller off the board. With that price tag, is there really any risk? I mean, you are either drafting Vick as a backup, or using him as one of two streaming options, in which case, you replace him on the waiver wire if (when) he does get hurt. Now, it’s obvious that going from Philadelphia to New York isn’t the best for his fantasy value, seeing how one offense resembles fantasy gold, while the other is, well, fantasy rust? But, Vick does have one thing that can catapult his fantasy value.
A chance to start.
If he stayed in Philly, there was zero chance he would play for the Eagles, seeing how Nick Foles emerged last year. But, with the Jets, I’d put my money on him to enter the season atop the depth chart. Sure, the Jets don’t have anywhere near the offensive firepower the Eagles possess. But they did bring in Eric Decker, a very capable wideout. And think about this. Before getting hurt during Week 5 last year, Vick was the third-highest scoring quarterback in fantasy, behind only Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. Whether you like him or not, he still has the upside of many quarterbacks out there. In New York, he’ll reunite with former offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg. Under Mornhinweg in 2011, Vick posted a nice line of 3,303 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, a 59.8 completion percentage (2nd-highest of career) and rushed for 589 yards and a score. The chemistry certainly can’t hurt.
Again, the quarterback position is super deep in fantasy this year, making Vick nothing more than a late round flier. But can you find another flier with his upside? There isn’t risk with Vick anymore, and I wish people would realize it. It’s not like you are using a 5th round pick on the guy as your starting fantasy quarterback. If you plan on waiting at the position and streaming a pair of guys, Vick could be interesting, especially if the Jets make some serious noise and acquire Vick’s former teammate, DeSean Jackson. Taking a shot on Vick in fantasy is like Adam Dunn at the plate; swing for the fences with a very realistic possibility of whiffing. And if that does happen, what’s the big deal?
Quarterback is crazy deep, remember?
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.