So what do you do with the possibility of Michael Vick coming back this season? Do you pick him with a late round flyer? Or do you leave him for someone else to worry about? Let's take a look at how valuable he would be to your team this season.
In 2006 he was a fantasy stud in standard scoring leagues. Proof is in the stats. Sure he only passed for 2,400 yards and put up only 20 TD's, but his value was in his legs. He ran for just over 1,000 yards, which in standard scoring added 100 points to his season total (that's an extra 6+ points per week!). That rushing total is equal to another 2,000 yards passing which would put him near the top of the league in passing yards. He also chipped in with only 2 TD's on the ground, but he went from a bottom 1/3 in the league passer to a top 10 fantasy QB because of his rushing stats. The total that year was 314 points or an average of almost 20 points a week to your fantasy team, great stuff!
'06 was his best year since his sophomore season 5 years earlier where he put up 336 points, but other then those two years, he never got above 280 for the season. His typical season would have put him just outside the top 10 quarterbacks on average per year. That being said, in his prime he was a fringe starter in a standard scoring league with 10 teams. If it was a larger league, chances are he was starting on a week in and out basis for someone.
It's good to see he was a productive player in the past - now let's see what he can do for you today, 3 years after the last season he played.
First of all, as of this date he isn't on any team yet. So let's say he signs with one of the teams that are rumored, a playoff team from last year. He will no doubt be backing up an average to stud QB. So the chances of him getting playing time at QB are dependent on the first stringer getting hurt, which is pretty low. What that team could do is use Vick as some type of hback where they line up in the back field or just off of the tight end and either become a running back or receiver, but if that happens and you drafted him, you better hope you have a flex position that includes a QB, because otherwise he won't even be as valuable as a low end starting QB like Jake Delhomme.
The other option that might happen is that he could sign with a bad team and possibly start by week 6....yeah week 6. So he'll sit for the first 5 games, at least, that is if Roger Goodell decides not to do anything else to him. So best case scenario is he signs with a bad team that needs him at QB right away. That bad team might not have the weapons or the offensive line around him to make Vick as valuable as he was just 3 short years ago. Vick didn't have a high end receiver, but he did have Warrick Dunn who himself still gained over 1,000 yards with Vick at QB showing you just how good the ground game was in Atlanta. That probably won't be the case if he's on a bad team and starting.
There are other things that you need to look at as well if you are thinking about drafting Vick this season. He won't have been practicing with that team's first team all that time that he is suspended, so he won't be in sync with anyone on the offense. If he doesn't play until week 6 and the team's bye is in weeks 6-10, he probably won't play in more than 7 or 8 regular season games. That's just over half of the fantasy season. Who do you have playing at QB prior to week 6? Is your QB so bad that you will need half a season from Vick to make up for the bad QB?
I know many fantasy pundits say that you should draft the first 5 rounds on talent and then the rest of the draft on potential. And for the most part I agree with that, but not in this case. There are just too many "IF" factors for me to waste a pick on Vick. Plus I never keep more then 2 QB's on my team - there are too many WR's and RB's each year that break out and I'd rather keep a roster spot for this year's Chris Johnson or Roddy White then a guy who hasn't played for 3 years and isn't even on a team.
Just to prove my point, let's go back to Mr. Delhomme. Many prerankings, including the Nerd, have him outside of the top 20, meaning in a standard scoring 10 team league, he is at best a 3rd string option on your team. On average last year, this third string optioned scored just below 15 points a game in that standard scoring system. Now Vick, if he is a QB, would need to score 15 points or better for 7 or 8 weeks just to make his pick a viable option. Include the weeks he is missing because of suspension and he'd need to give you at least 25 points a week to even make up the difference that a 3rd string QB would give you for a whole season. To put that in perspective he'd have to average about 200 yards a week passing and 100 yards a week rushing as well as score 2 TD's in the air to be as productive of a pick as an average 3rd stringer would be. And that's only if he is a QB. If he's an hback he'll have to rush for 150 and score twice to put up that same production.
When you break it down, Michael Vick is at best, assuming he gets signed by an NFL team not a CFL team, a 3rd string QB on your team. I don't carry 3 quarterbacks for the reasons I stated above. There are just too many explosive type end of the draft players that could creep up and score big this year to take a flyer on Vick for my liking.
But hey, that's just me....
** Editor's Note: This is a post from Andrew Deehr, a guest Blogger for FantasyFootballNerd.com. Thanks Andrew!
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