The Michael Vick Experience has taken over Philadelphia, with the prototypical dual-threat quarterback replacing Kevin Kolb as the Eagles' starting signal-caller. But what is Vick's fantasy value?
The guess here is that Vick will be inconsistent at times while operating Andy Reid's timing-based offense, but he'll be a top-10 fantasy quarterback given his ability to scramble and the weapons he has around him. Just look at what Vick accomplished in his six quarters of work this season: 459 passing yards, 140 rushing yards and three passing TDs. And he will just now start to get comfortable under center.
The value of most of the Eagles' main offensive weapons — DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy — should increase with the QB switcheroo. Vick's big arm will make Jackson a lethal downfield threat and Maclin (two TDs in 2010) has clicked with Vick, too. But that hasn't been the case with tight end Brent Celek, who has five catches through two games.
Vick is a must-play this week against the Jaguars, who have the NFL's 29th-ranked pass defense and 20-ranked run defense. Click on your safety belt and enjoy the ride.
Matt Schaub (497 passing yards, three passing TDs), Jahvid Best (78 rushing yards, 154 receiving yards, three total TDs), Andre Johnson (12 catches for 158 yards and one score),
Joe Flacco (four interceptions), Chris Johnson (34 rushing yards, 1 fumble), Lee Evans (zero catches; he played, right?), Dustin Keller (seven catches for 115 yards and a score)
Start 'em or sit 'em:
Joe Flacco, Ravens: Start 'em. Try to forget about last week if you're a Flacco owner and remember that he has a history of bouncing back from bad games with big ones
Ryan Mathews, Chargers: Sit 'em. Even if he plays (see below), the Seahawks have been surprisingly stout against the run in 2010
Tony Romo, Cowboys: Start 'em. Mark it down: The Cowboys may lose Sunday, but Romo will get back on track against the Texans
Steve Smith, Panthers: Sit 'em. Jimmy Clausen's first NFL start + Bengals corners Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall = a disappointing game for the original Steve Smith
Darren McFadden, Raiders: Start 'em. Look for McFadden to produce another strong performance when the Raiders play the Cardinals
Ronnie Brown, Dolphins: Sit 'em. Not to pile on Brown again, but if the Jets can shut down Ray Rice, they can shut down Ronnie Brown
If Vincent Jackson is available in your league, pick him up. Even though he wasn't traded Wednesday, he'll be coming back (and contributing big time) for some team by midseason. ... Broncos rookie receiver Demaryius Thomas is already making plays for the Broncos. ... Browns back Peyton Hillis has scored in consecutive games. ... The same goes for Bucs rookie receiver Mike Williams ... Fred Taylor will shoulder the bulk of Patriots' rushing load with Kevin Faulk out for the season with a torn ACL. ... Mark Clayton had two touchdowns in Week 2 — on two catches. ... Mike Tolbert will steal goal-line carries from Ryan Mathews, and has decent value if the rookie is sidelined. ... Devin Hester, Kevin Walter and Louis Murphy can round out your receiver depth. ... Broncos QB Kyle Orton continues to be fantasy relevant. ... Jason Snelling could break out if Michael Turner stays down.
Mathews (ankle) and Turner (groin) should be OK, but keep an eye on their statuses. ... Reggie Bush (broken leg) is out at least six weeks, but if he was in your starting lineup, you were already screwed. ... Beanie Wells (knee) has missed the Cardinals' first two games and is questionable for Sunday. ... Ditto for Raiders back Michael Bush (hand). ... I wouldn't count on Percy Harvin (hip) until he shows he's healthy enough to contribute. ... Andre Johnson suffered an ankle injury in Week 2, but kept on trucking. No worries here. ... The status for Jason Witten (concussion) is unclear at the moment. ... Nate Burleson (ankle) is out 2-3 weeks.
You make the call:
Which player would you rather have going forward this season: Ray Rice or Arian Foster?
Reader question of the week:
Ian wants to know: "Do you think that it hurts you fantasy team to have one player from a team's passing game and one player from the running game on the team at the same time? Like [Matt] Schaub and [Arian] Foster? I also have [Anquan] Boldin and [Ray] Rice on my team."
Interesting question, Ian. I'm cool with it as long as it's a balanced, high-scoring team. The perfect example of that working out was Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Grant before Grant went down. The thing about Boldin and Rice is that we know the Ravens are going to be balanced (eventually), and that both guys will get their looks. If it's Boldin having a big game one week and Rice the next (or two, or three), what's not to like?
The Chiefs have produced a top-five fantasy D/ST over the first two weeks, and I'm starting to think that in 2010, they'll be the best of the surprise D/STs that come out of nowhere (think the 2009 Saints). The Chiefs have been solid defensively, allowing 14 points in each of their wins. But what makes them dangerous — remember, we're talking leagues that combine defense and special teams here — is the presence of rookie returners Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas. Right now, the Chiefs D/ST is a match-up play, but don't be surprised if they turn out to be more than that as the season unfolds.
My weekly Fantasy Fodder column will run in some fashion on the Virtual Vensanity blog every Wednesday. E-mail your fantasy questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, Tweet them to twitter.com/mattvensel or leave them in the comments section below. Carrier pigeons are also acceptable.