With a pair of fleet feet and his rocket left arm, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick stomped the Redskins and single-handedly swayed thousands on fantasy football matchups Monday night. Vick's performance — he threw for 333 passing yards and four touchdowns and ran for 80 yards and two scores of his own — was one of the best the fantasy world has witnessed over the past decade.
If your squad went up against Vick last weekend, you probably didn't appreciate his performance because you threw the remote control through your TV screen sometime during the first half.
Overall, America is buzzing over the play of Vick. I saw a poll on ESPN on Tuesday that asked fans if they rooted for the once-troubled quarterback on Monday night. Nearly 75 percent said yes. It's funny how winning games, dominating highlight reels and carrying fantasy teams can help people find closure.
According to ESPN's standard scoring, Vick is the fifth-ranked QB in fantasy. That's crazy considering he has played only four full games and in parts of two others. He has 153 pass attempts — fewer than half as many as the four quarterbacks ahead of him (Philip Rivers, Kyle Orton, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning).
He also boosts the value of DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy.
Vick is so hot right now, he's the kind of player who can pretty much win a fantasy matchup by himself and ruin someone's undefeated season — something to note with the fantasy playoffs only a few weeks away.
I'll put it this way: If my team is up against Vick in the playoffs, I'm having my girlfriend hide the remote.
Michael Vick (scroll up), Keiland Williams (139 total yards, three TDs), Dwayne Bowe (13 catches, 186 yards, two touchdowns), Rob Gronkowski (five catches, 72 yards, three scores)
Brett Favre (three interceptions, one fumble lost), Cedric Benson (24 rushing yards, one fumble lost), Mike Sims-Walker (three catches, 26 yards), Jason Witten (one catch for seven yards)
Start 'em or sit 'em:
Mark Sanchez, Jets: Start 'em. He's playing the Texans. You should know the drill by now.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills: Sit 'em. He's coming back down to reality, and the Bengals cornerbacks could make things tough for Lee Evans and Steve Johnson.
Felix Jones, Cowboys: Start 'em. Jones took on a larger role last weekend under Jason Garrett, and that will likely continue when the Cowboys play the Lions, who are vulnerable against the run.
LeGarrette Blount, Bucs: Sit 'em. If your bench is bare, go ahead and play Blount, but I don't see him being all that productive against the resurgent 49ers.
Nate Washington, Titans: Start 'em. No matter who is under center for Tennessee, look for the Titans to attack the Redskins downfield with Washington after the Redskins were exposed Monday night.
Malcom Floyd (hammy), Ryan Mathews (ankle) and Antonio Gates (foot) are expected to be dreaded Monday night game-time decisions. ... Sidney Rice (hip) should make his 2010 debut Sunday. ... Beanie Wells (knee) is a lost-cause this season. ... New York Steve Smith (chest) could be out a few weeks. ... It's hard to imagine Hines Ward (concussion) sitting out this weekend, but even if he plays, he could be ineffective. ... Ryan Torain (hammy) and Clinton Portis (groin) are still battling injuries, so Keiland Williams will likely continue to be the Redskins' starter. ... Check the injury report this weekend to see which Carolina running backs will play against Baltimore. ... Reggie Bush could be back this weekend if you're in a PPR league.
I'm still high on Josh Freeman and David Garrard if you're doing the QB-by-committee thing. And don't look now, but Troy Smith is becoming fantasy relevant. ... Tim Hightower and Clinton Portis (yes, Portis) are worth a look if you need running back depth down the stretch. ... Need a wideout? Consider Sidney Rice, Danny Amendola and Steve Breaston. Also, Mario Manningham has a lot of value with New York Steve Smith out.
You make the call:
Which player would you rather have going forward this season: Michael Vick or Philip Rivers?
Reader question of the week:
@wrr71 on Twitter asks, "How does one use Jedi mind trick to make owner trade Vick for peanuts?"
For reasons already stated, Vick will be in big demand on the trade market in your league if the trade deadline hasn't passed already. Honestly, you're probably going to have to overpay to get Vick right now. After all, he's coming off one of the most dominant performances in recent memory. But if you have roster depth and can somehow trade your quarterback and another player to get Vick, you've got to do it, right?
After a brutal start to the season, Chiefs QB Matt Cassel has produced double-digit fantasy performances in five straight weeks. His four-touchdown outing this weekend was overshadowed by Vick, but Cassel owners know what he has been doing. I still wouldn't feel confident starting him, though. Now Dwayne Bowe? I wish I would have bought low on that guy. Cassel's top target has averaged 18 fantasy points the past five weeks.
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.