Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
      
Fantasy Football Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2012 Draft Prep: Vindication coming for Vick

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Last year, Fantasy owners were all in on Michael Vick.

It proved to be a costly decision as Vick was one of the biggest disappointments in Fantasy in 2011. He let a lot of people down and cost many owners a shot at the playoffs.

More positive Vick vibes ...
In 2010 Michael Vick averaged the second most points per game (30.45) in Fantasy Football history and I made my debut at CBS explaining why he was undraftable given his first round price tag in 2011. I'm back in 2012 to tell you that the pendulum has swung the other way and Vick is looking like one of the great Draft Day values.

Vick still finished as the 12th ranked quarterback last year despite missing three games, scoring only one rushing touchdown and dealing with down seasons for both Jeremy Maclin (illness and injury) and DeSean Jackson (attitude). Vick still averaged 21 points per game in 2011 and I know he has a ton of upside on those numbers. As I explained last year, there was no way that Vick would match the career highs he set in 2010 in completion percentage (62.6), yards per attempt (8.1) and rushing touchdowns (nine). In 2011, those numbers fell to 59.8 percent, 7.8 yards per attempt and only one rushing touchdown. What I like about those numbers is that Vick bested his career averages in both completion percentage and yards per attempt last year and they represented the second best totals of his career. Vick averages around five rushing touchdowns per season and I do expect to see his scores come up from one and land right around 4-6 scores, which is significant for his weekly production.

For Vick to still produce that efficiently in the worst years for both Maclin and Jackson as starters is extremely impressive to me and shows that Vick has really grown as a quarterback. I am concerned however that his rushes per game fell by 33 percent (although that could help to keep him healthy) and his ability to score up close completely fell off the map. After scoring a quarterback best nine rushing touchdowns in the red zone in 2010 on 21 carries, Vick took only 11 carries last year and scored the one touchdown. Both Vick and the Eagles wanted to limit his wear and tear in scoring situations, which is why we saw Vick score eight fewer times from inside the 20 last year while running back LeSean McCoy saw his red zone rushing scores jump from four in 2010 to 14 last year.

In 2011, Vick had an 18.7 percent red zone scoring rate, worst among the 15 busiest quarterbacks and his struggles inside the five-yard line were legendary. His 23.1 percent goal line scoring rate bested only Curtis Painter, Blaine Gabbert and Joe Flacco among the 28 quarterbacks with at least 10 goal line chances. He will improve on those metrics and was at 23.8 and 42 percent respectively in 2010 so look for Vick to average out those numbers for 2012, which gives him some nice upside.

With a healthy Maclin, a happy Jackson, McCoy out of the backfield and his rediscovery of tight end Brent Celek, Vick will pilot one of the most explosive and dynamic offenses in the entire NFL. How many games he will play remains the big question for Vick, who has missed seven games over the last two years. At 32 years of age, Vick is no spring chicken, but his Fantasy upside is as big as any quarterback's in the league and with a proper ADP in the late fourth round, he is absolutely a worthwhile gamble on Draft Day.

Unlike with the top quarterbacks, I would definitely recommend snagging a good backup (I think Robert Griffin III is the perfect compliment) with Vick because chances are you will need him for at least a few games. -- Nathan Zegura, Senior Fantasy Writer

To recap, Vick was drafted on average at No. 7 overall as the No. 2 quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers. He finished as the No. 11 quarterback in standard leagues, 217 points behind Rodgers and just three points ahead of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who went undrafted in most formats.

But this year, Vick will rebound and prove to be tremendous value. The prediction here is Vick will finish as a Top 5 Fantasy quarterback.

Heading into training camp, Vick is being drafted on average as the No. 6 quarterback in Round 4. He is being selected after Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton.

That's totally understandable given the way all five of those quarterbacks played last year since they were Top 5 in Fantasy points. All have a positive outlook this season, and each one should do well. Just don't be surprised if Vick supplants one of them as a Top 5 quarterback with Brees, Stafford and Newton the likely candidates to slip.

Brees could suffer with Sean Payton suspended, Stafford could see a decline in production with an improved running game and Newton could endure a sophomore slump. But this isn't about one of those quarterbacks dropping out of the Top 5 -- it's about Vick bouncing back.

Now, why should Fantasy owners trust Vick this year? Has he done enough to earn back your trust after what we saw last season? Does he deserve consideration as a Top 5 Fantasy passer?

We know injuries will always be a risk with him based on his smallish frame (6-foot, 215 pounds) and running style. He has played 16 games once and 15 games three other times since coming into the NFL in 2001, and he's missed at least seven full games with the Eagles as their starter the past two seasons. Last year, Vick missed three games with broken ribs.

But you have to look at what Vick is capable of when healthy, which is why he is worth drafting as your starting quarterback. The potential is there for him to be the No. 1 Fantasy passer if he can play close to a full season. Vick averaged 19.8 Fantasy points a game last year in standard leagues, which includes three games where he was in single digits. One of those games was in Week 10 against Arizona when he first broke his ribs, and DeSean Jackson was benched for that outing due to disciplinary reasons.

A better example of what Vick is capable of is looking at his final three games of the season against the Jets, Cowboys and Redskins when he was healthy with Jackson active. Vick averaged 24.7 Fantasy points over that span, which would have given him 394.6 points over 16 games and put him at No. 5 overall among quarterbacks, just ahead of Newton (394.0).

It is obviously difficult to count on Vick for a full season even though he's saying all the right things about staying healthy. He recently said his motto is to "get the next yard on the next play" so he can avoid needless hits, but instincts will likely take over in a game. Still, it's nice to envision what Vick could do if he stays on the field all year.

He had seven games with at least 23 Fantasy points in 2011. By comparison, Rodgers (14 games with at least 23 points), Brees (12), Brady (10), Newton (nine) and Stafford (nine) all had more, but they all played at least 15 games.

Vick should have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL with Jackson happy now that he got paid, Jeremy Maclin at 100 percent, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy. Vick also has a lot to prove after getting a $100 million contract last year and not living up to it.

The biggest thing for Vick is staying on the field, and none of us can predict that. We can only draft him in the appropriate spot and hope he stays healthy. It's why you should draft a capable No. 2 quarterback; I like pairing Vick with Matt Schaub, Robert Griffin III or Jay Cutler since each could be starting Fantasy options and good replacements should Vick go down.

But we don't want to talk about Vick injuries this year. We want to talk about his success, and hopefully he produces as we expect, which should mean Top 5 production at his position. He should be considered a steal in Round 4, and we expect a big year for Vick in 2012.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

Want an edge in your draft? Download the Fantasy Draft Kit App.

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
49ers not ready to award Steve Johnson No. 3 receiver role
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:31 am ET) The 49ers aren't ready to declare Steve Johnson as the team's No. 3 receiver. In fact, according to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, the team won't "put numbers" on their receivers. Johnson is fight Brandon Lloyd, Quinton Patton, and rookie Bruce Ellington for snaps this preseason.

When asked if Johnson is the third wideout, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said: "It depends. It depends. I think we'll have some flexibility there."

Brent Celek compiles 41 receiving yards vs. Eagles
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:15 am ET) Eagles tight end Brent Celek made his presence felt with only two catches Thursday night against the Steelers in exhibition play.

Celek came down with a 23-yard grab during the second series of the night. On the ensuing drive late in the first quarter, he caught an 18-yard pass from Nick Foles. He played the entire first half with the starters and finished the game with two receptions for 41 yards.

Darren Sproles scores rushing TD Thursday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:10 am ET) Eagles running back Darren Sproles found the end zone during Thursday's exhibition game against the Steelers.

With LeSean McCoy sidelined after the first two series, Sproles tooke over and scored a rushing touchdown from 1-yard out in the second quarter. He played the entire first half with the starters and finished the game with six carries for 33 yards and a touchdown, averaging 5.5 yards per attempt. He was targeted only four times and finished the game with one catch for 4 yards.

Nick Foles not at his best in preseason tuneup
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:04 am ET) Eagles quarterback Nick Foles didn't look impressive Thursday night against the Steelers in exhibition play.

Foles threw a short pass to LeSean McCoy, who turned it into a 22-yard touchdown. He was picked off by Troy Polamalu in the second quarter. He played the first half and compiled 179 yards through the air while completing 19 of 29 passes. He added a touchdown and an interception, registering a 79.5 passer rating.

Foles has passed for 304 pass yards through three preseason games. His next game will likely be the regular season opener against the Jaguars on Sept. 7.

Antonio Brown racks up 59 receiving yards Thursday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/21/2014) Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown bounced back from a slow start in Thursday's exhibition game against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Brown was held without a grab in the first quarter and came down with a 19-yard reception in the second quarter -- his only catch of the half. He bounced back after halftime with a pair of catches. He was targeted five times and finished with three catches for 59 yards, averaging 19.7 yards per grab.

Brown has compiled 173 receiving yards and a touchdown through three preseason games.

Markus Wheaton not on the same page with Ben Roethlisberger Thursday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/21/2014) Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton had a bad drop and endured some communication issues with Ben Roethlisberger Thursday night against the Eagles in preseason action, per the NFL Network. Wheaton finished the first half without a grab and caught passes for 10 and 14 yards in the third quarter. He caught half of his four targets for 24 yards.

"It looked bad. We'll go watch the film, it could be 'this here is wrong, that is wrong,' you fix it and you get rolling," Wheaton said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.


Martavis Bryant scores late-game TD in preseason game
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/21/2014) Steelers rookie receiver Martavis Bryant worked with the second-team offense and came down with a touchdown reception Thursday night against the Eagles.

Bryant caught a 25-yards pass in the fourth quarter. Backup Bruce Grad Gradkowski hooked up with the rookie for a short 3-yard touchdown strike on the ensuing drive. He was targeted four times and finished with two catches for 28 yards.

Heath Miller looks like old self in preseason tuneup
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/21/2014) Steelers tight end Heath Miller looked like his old self during Thursday's preseason game against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Miller played deep into the third quarter with the first-team offense. He came down with a 27-yard touchdown grab late in the third quarter. He finished five catches for 53 yards and a touchdown, averaging 10.6 yards per grab.

Darrius Heyward-Bey makes touchdown grab in exhibition game
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/21/2014) Steelers wide receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey hauled in a touchdown Thursday night against the Eagles in preseason action.

Heyward-Bey worked with the backups and caught a 22-yard pass from Bruce Gradkowski in the fourth quarter. He caught all three of his targets for 54 yards and a touchdown, averaging 18.0 yards per grab.

Heyward-Bey is struggling to find a prominent role with his new club. He finished last season with just 29 catches for 309 yards and one touchdown for Indianapolis.

Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount get extended work with backups
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(8/21/2014) Hours removed from being charged with marijuana possession, Steelers running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount both received extra snaps with the backups deep into Thursday's preseason game against the Eagles in Philadelphia. 

Bell got the start but shared carries and was outplayed by Blount throughout the night. He took nine handoffs for 23 yards, averaging only 2.6 yards per attempt. He caught only one pass for 3 yards while being targeted twice. Blount had seven carries for 32 yards, averaging 4.2 yards per attempt. He caught all three of his targets for 14 yards.

Both players played late into the game as part of a "punishment," according to head coach Mike Tomlin, per the Observer-Reporter.


 
 
 
Rankings