That sound you heard at approximately 5:46pm was the collective jaw of the NFL world hitting the floor as we found out that Michael Vick had been named the permanent starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
After repeated assurances that Kevin Kolb, the Eagles' $12 million man, would remain the starter if healthy, Andy Reid has made a move that is almost as surprising as signing Vick in the first place. Without a doubt, this move has shaken the football world. But how does it impact the fantasy football world? Let's take a look.
Over his career, Vick has been a shaky, at best, pocket passer completing only 52% of his pass attempts while throwing one interception for every 1.4 touchdowns. While in 2010 Vick appears to be an improved passer, completing 64% of his passes and throwing three touchdowns and zero interceptions over six quarters of football.
The improved numbers thus far hold out hope for fantasy stud wide receiver DeSean Jackson and up-and-coming star Jeremy Maclin. Jackson posted huge numbers, four receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown, in his first full game with Vick at the helm in Week 2 at Detroit. Detroit or not, Vick has displayed a better grasp of the Eagles offense than Kolb showed in his one half of action. And the fantasy numbers prove it.
Unless Vick has turned a corner in his passing career under the guidance of Reid, his completion percentage will likely drop, but not necessarily back to his dismal career average. By season's end, Vick will likely finish in the top twelve of fantasy quarterbacks, but closer to the bottom than the middle.
Vick is best used a matchup play, not someone you want in your lineup every weekend. Until Vick gives us reason to doubt his ability to be a reliable passer, DeSean Jackson should continue to be an every week start simply because he is an explosive game changer that can take it to the house on any play.
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy is worthy of a slight bump in weekly projections as well. Defenses now must respect Vick's improved accuracy which should help McCoy find consistent running lanes if the offensive line can remain intact.
In the end, Vick will likely perform to the fantasy level we expected from Kolb, which means nothing changes, but nothing stays the same.
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