The optimism over the possibility of the NFL lockout ending soon has spread to the fantasy football community, and our excellent fantasy writers rolled out a whole bunch of new content this week that's worth looking at if fantasy football is your kind of thing. The meatiest item is Christopher Harris' extremely detailed breakdown of Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, and whether or not his chances of repeating his 2010 brilliance are good enough to justify using a first-round fantasy draft pick on him. Harris concludes that they are not, in part because Vick is just statistically unlikely to rush for nine touchdowns on his own again and in part because he gets hit so much. The gist:
I have every expectation that owning Vick will be spectacular fun some weeks. He's a big play waiting to happen, and he can win you fantasy games by himself. And listen, I'm not saying Vick will suddenly find himself in Matt Hasselbeck territory. I think he'll be a top-five fantasy QB. But to be worthy of a first-round fantasy pick -- and to be worthy of the first overall fantasy pick, a notion I've heard floated by some this summer -- a player must boast an elite combination of steadiness, upside and safety. I don't think Vick is there.
Unnecessary shots at Hasselbeck notwithstanding, Harris has me re-thinking Vick a bit. I was very gung-ho on the idea of Vick as a first rounder and maybe even a No. 1 overall pick (maybe even our NFC East blog fantasy league!). Having had him on a team last year I think, if he's healthy, he's an almost irreplaceable commodity. But Aaron Rodgers gets rushing yards too and may be the safer pick. Must continue to mull this.
Meanwhile, we'll do the links with a fantasy flavor today, sprinkling one fantasy item and one non-fantasy link for each team, just in case you're not into the fantasy thing.
As Bleeding Green Nation discovers, Fox's Adam Caplan agrees with me that it's far more likely the Eagles will get draft picks, not established players, in exchange for Kevin Kolb. But if they do get a player, Caplan raises the possibility that it could be someone like linebacker Daryl Washington rather than much-discussed cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Makes a little more sense, and might help fill a need. Washington plus a pick or two would be a nice return for Kolb.
Looking through the sortable rankings our fantasy folks put together, the Cowboys have the No. 10 and No. 12 wide receivers -- Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, respectively. Also, if you click on the QB rankings, you'll see Tony Romo at No. 7, a full five spots ahead of Eli Manning, in case anybody wants to kick off that old debate again. (Dan ducks, chuckles, runs out of the room cackling...)
Cowboys fans hoping to land Michael Huff as the answer to the safety problem won't enjoy this review from Warren Sapp, who said Huff's practice habits while the two were teammates in Oakland made him want to "throw up." I mean, okay. But Sapp hasn't played in three years, right? Young players do, occasionally, figure things out and improve where they need improvement. Just saying.
The first Giant off the board in our site's first mock draft is wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who goes off the board at No. 14 overall, with the fourth pick in the second round. He's the third receiver taken, behind only Andre Johnson and Roddy White and ahead of Calvin Johnson. Not sure I'd take him over Calvin, but he's in that discussion, given his level of fantasy production in 2010.
Tiki Barber's back in the news, saying... no. No, I am not going down the Tiki road again. I'm giving you this, instead, from Big Blue View -- a look at Travis Beckum, whose role might increase out of necessity if the Giants should lose Kevin Boss to free agency. Wonder what Tiki would think about this? No! Stop it!
Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong gets a little love as a possible fantasy sleeper from Matthew Berry, who calls him "A legit deep threat whom the Redskins really like, he had double-digit fantasy points in three of his final five games. If he can become more integrated into all aspects of the passing game and not just the home run or bust he was last year, you're looking at Mike Wallace lite." Well, yeah. That'd be pretty useful. Again, though... who's throwing him the ball?
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to put together my tight end fantasy cheat sheet...