NFL Fantasy Football: Michael Vick Should Be Consensus No. 1 Draft Pick

Jonathan Pilley@@omnicomicContributor IIJuly 26, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 09:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs down field against Jarius Wynn #94 of the Green Bay Packers during the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 9, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Pegging the No. 1 draft pick come fantasy time is a tricky proposition.

You have to take into account past performance, coaching changes, player trades and schedule among a myriad of other factors. Chris Johnson was the majority number one after coming off the 2,000 plus yard season and while he didn't perform horribly he didn't perform as a No. 1 pick.

Michael Vick was thrust into the spotlight last year and pretty much hogged it from there on out. For as many owners that were ecstatic about his evisceration of the Redskins on that fateful Monday night there were just as many on the losing side, wondering whether or not they made a mistake in passing on Vick.

His line that night was 333 YDs and 4 TDs alongside a sterling 71.4 percent completion percentage. He even garnered MVP votes consideration and probably would have won were it not for the Golden Child Tom Brady.

This year he enters the season with little chance to be as great a surprise as last year, but a big chance of being the top player drafted in most fantasy leagues.

Now a lot of people will say Arian Foster or Adrian Peterson should be number one and they wouldn't exactly be called crazy. Foster was a smashing surprise last year, but his point total in standard scoring leagues over 16 games was maybe ten points higher than Vick's over 11 games.

Vick threw 21 TDs to 6 INTs last year and finished the year fourth among QBs with a 100.2 passer rating. His rating before the year before that in Philly was 93.7. Both ratings are higher than his highest rating ever in Atlanta (81.6 in 2002).

Let's put last year's numbers in context. Brady threw for 36 TDs/4 INTs and a 111.0 Passer Rating—15 more TDs and a Passer Rating almost 11 points higher. Philip Rivers threw 30 TDs/13 INTs and a Passer Rating of 101.8. Aaron Rogers clocked in 28 TDs/11 INTs and a 101.2 Passer Rating.

Rivers and Rogers were only two and one points higher respectively than Vick when it comes to Passer Rating. And both threw more INTs than Vick did. Granted Vick attempted about 100 fewer passes than Rogers (and roughly 150 fewer than Rivers) but he clearly held his own with arguably three of the top QBs in the game.

Now look at rushing, the other side of Vick. In 2010 Vick ran for 676 yards and 9 TDs, good for 35 among all RBs. The 676 yards was his fourth highest yearly total since coming into the league. And it was over 12 games.

In 2006 Vick played a full schedule and rushed for 1,039 yards and only 2 TDs. If your league uses standard scoring, that means in 2010 Vick's rushing netted you 121.6 points. 2006? 115.9. In four fewer games he scored six more points rushing (thanks to TDs).

Add that to the 222.76 points from passing and you're looking at a 344.32 point total. You'd be hard pressed to find any player exceed that total, let alone a quarterback. With Vick you get a QB who seems to have refined his passing game and never forgot his running game.

Of course, with Vick there's an awful big caveat: injuries. Vick's style, while electrifying, leads to some cringe-worthy hits and moments. Kevin Kolb is expected to be on the trading block (most likely the Cardinals) and, if that happens, expect Andy Reid to want to rein in Vick just a tad.

Still, with playmakers like LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek, Vick can be extremely dangerous. And if Philly lands Nnamdi Asomuga as well then they'll be extremely potent on both sides of the ball. Having playmakers like that around him might encourage Vick to be a little more careful.

In his eight years in the league Vick has played 16 games in a season only once, in 2006. His average number of games played though over the last eight seasons is 12 games, which also happens to be the number of games he played in 2010.

When it comes time to draft and you're sitting on the No. 1 pick, seriously consider Vick. You could make a case for him anywhere in the top five and he has to be considered the number one quarterback to draft.

Vick has also proven to be inconsistent at times. He's been known to be even feast or famine, scoring 50 points one week and five the next. In 2010 though, his average point total on a weekly basis was 18.06 points and that's only looking at his passing. There's a consistency to his game that was never there before.

Yes, there's the injury risk. And no, he's not surprising anyone anymore. In later rounds there will be a slew of capable backups (Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford maybe) that you can grab in case Vick does go down for four games like he did in 2010.

Honestly though, who wouldn't want a player that can score them 344 points in 12 games?