Fantasy Football: Michael Vick, The Jets, And Risk

Michael Vick Jets
Michael Vick Jets
Howard Smith USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy footballers with an undying love of fantasy points on the cheap should gather around, hold hands, and collectively will Michael Vick to start for the New York Jets this year.

It’s old hat to scoff at Vick’s fantasy prospects after the oft-injured one-time superstar has played precisely one full season in his decade as an NFL quarterback. It’s a woefully outdated view of Vick as a fantasy commodity, and I think it stems from all the fake football pain and agony he has caused those who invested a high pick in Vick in 2011 or 2012.

Vick, who certainly isn’t guaranteed a starting gig over second-year signal caller Geno Smith, didn’t help his standing in fantasy circles last season, as he once again succumbed to injury. It was the worst kind of injury — a groin tweak in the first half of the Eagles’ Week 5 tilt against the Giants.

Vick, once more, let us down.

What this sort of unhinged fantasy hatred fails to account for is Vick’s price. For those who abide by the strictures of the late round quarterback approach, Vick was a fine catch as the 15th quarterback off of draft boards. Vick’s injury after one month of the 2013 season shouldn’t have been a nail in the coffin of anyone who took him in the middle of the ninth round.

It would’ve been even less painful for those who drafted a few weeks before the season opener, when Vick was regularly going at the end of the 10th round as the 17th quarterback off the board.

Vick, for the record, was fantasy football’s third highest scoring quarterback after four weeks, just six points behind Drew Brees and 27 points behind Peyton Manning. Before he gimped to the bench against Big Blue and opened the door to the Nick Foles era, Vick had 79 rushing yards with two and a half quarters to play.

You might not be floored by Vick’s points per drop back during his tenure in Philadelphia. I thought it was a decent starting point in understanding what kind of fantasy producer Vick can be — through the air and on the ground.

Remember that these numbers are taken from games that Vick finished from 2010-2013, explaining the otherworldly stats from 2010 and 2013.

Player year Fantasy points per drop back
Michael Vick 2010 .69
Michael Vick 2011 .50
Michael Vick 2012 .41
Michael Vick 2013 .66


If, for instance, Vick scores in line with his average points per drop back over that span (.57), he would average about 19 fantasy points per game. If he scored .5 points per drop back — his second worst showing in the past four years — he would score right around 16 points per contest (putting him in low QB1 territory).

Please don’t mistake this for a comparison of Vick to fantasy machines like Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, but just to offer some context, Brees has averaged .56 fantasy points per drop back since 2010, and Manning has notched .53 points per drop back over this past four seasons.

Health and consistency create quite the gap, don’t they?

You won’t find another late-round quarterback option with anything close to this kind of statistical track record. Vick has shown us what a high fantasy floor looks like. He’s one of the only guys who could throw for 150 yards and no touchdowns and still score more than all but a handful of fantasy signal callers.

His average draft position is sure to rise in the coming months as pre-training camp chatter inflates his prospects in New York, but it’s worth noting that there are 30 quarterbacks being drafted before Vick in mocks. Let me translate that for you: Vick, once a consensus first or second round pick, is now a flier.

Eli Manning, somehow, is going five rounds earlier than Vick.

The knocks against Vick are many. He’s 33 years old, he’s in a run-heavy offense with no pass catching talent outside of Eric Decker, who many believe is nothing but a second or third option on a decent team. He’ injury prone and fighting for the starting job — a fight that likely won’t end even when the Jets unveil their opening day starter.

My response to this laundry list of criticisms would sound something like this: So what? Vick, like David Wilson, will be a wild swing for the fences. And if you miss, who cares? The risk is baked in.


author avatar
C.D. Carter
C.D. Carter is a reporter, author of zombie stories, writer for The Fake Football and XN Sports. Fantasy Sports Writers Association member. His work  has been featured in the New York Times. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+'://';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');