Fantasy Football 2012: Is Michael Vick Worth an Early-Round Pick?

John Degroote@john_degrooteCorrespondent IIAugust 20, 2012

Aug 20, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) reacts after getting injured against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Michael Vick left Monday night's NFL preseason game against the New England Patriots early after taking a big hit from defensive end Jermaine Cunningham. It was the second time this preseason that Vick has been knocked out with an injury.

Vick was taken for X-rays on his ribs, but per, they were negative. Owners who drafted Vick over the weekend probably let go of a collective breath.

However, it begs the question—is Vick worth an early-round pick in fantasy leagues?

Vick has only played a complete season once in his nine-year NFL career, and he is only getting older. Will he be able to stay on the field next season enough to warrant using an early-round pick on him?

Currently, I would say "no."

Vick can be a fantasy game-changer, but he has to be on the field to do it. If the preseason is any sign of things to come, he will be missing at least some time next season.

This will lead to fantasy owners being forced to start a second-tier quarterback when Vick is sidelined with injuries. After Nick Foles' performance in relief of Vick Monday night, it could be argued that he would be a solid handcuff for Vick owners.

Yes, it's just the preseason, but Foles was playing against NFL starters—and he looked good while doing it. If Vick does get injured next year, Foles could be a savior for many fantasy owners. He will also come very cheap, probably as a free-agent pickup.

Vick's potential to be an elite fantasy option at quarterback is what will have owners torn on draft day. Even though he missed time last year with a rib injury, he was a top 10 fantasy quarterback.

Vick could either make or break your draft in 2012.

Be wary of drafting Vick, and take him for what he is: an electric dual-threat quarterback, who is capable of putting up big numbers, but is also a major risk.