NFL fantasy football notebook: Back up Mike Vick in drafts

Your fantasy team plays in the NFL, and you should too! Sign up today to play the official free and customizable fantasy game of the National Football League!

Monday night, the New England Patriots decided not to play most of their key regular season startes. Bill Belichick hasn't been the type of coach to let others dictate his decision-making process, but after seeing what happened to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, Belichick probably feels a little vindicated.

» Two preseason games, two injury scares for Michael Vick. On Monday, Vick left the game in the first quarter with [injured ribs](http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000052450/article/michael-vick-exits-eagles-game-x

rays-negative-on-ribs?module=HP11_cp) after taking a big hit. X-rays were negative, although Vick is scheduled to have an MRI on Tuesday. Regardless of the outcome, it's yet another reminder of how fragile Vick has been throughout his career. If you take a chance on vick, make sure you draft a credible backup. You'll need it...

» Speaking of backups, rookie Nick Foles is pushing hard to pass Mike Kafka as the Eagles' No. 2 QB. Foles took over for Vick and threw for 217 yards and a pair of touchdowns. In two games, the former Arizona Wildcat has passed for 361 yards, four TDs and one interception. Whoever lands the gig is worth keeping in your back pocket as a mid-season waiver wire addition. If past is prologue, they'll see significant snaps...

» It was a big night for DeSean Jackson and it came, coincidentally, after the wideout admitted that he [didn't give his best effort](http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000052373/article/eagles-desean-jackson-admits-he-

lacked-effort-in-2011) last season. But with a new contract in hand, hopefully he's ready to produce for both Philly and fantasy football owners. Jackson's a dynamic talent and his mediocre numbers were a major source of frustration. Opinions on his comments aside, a focused Jackson is a more draftable Jackson. Hopefully this propels him back to the Top 15, but I'd still exercise caution before reaching for him in a draft...

» Both Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen had ho-hum nights running the football. That could lead to another season of fantasy football owners playing "Guess the Pats Feature Back". Last year, BenJarvus Green-Ellis had to hold off Ridley and Danny Woodhead to keep his top spot. The trick will be determining which back gets the bulk of the goal line carries. Then again, Rob Gronkowski could foil all of those plans. If you're thinking about a Pats RB, think late rounds as a No. 3 option...

» It seems like Deion Branch has been catching passes in the NFL since 1976. The 33-year old (he's only 33?!?) looked like his old self -- no pun intended -- Monday night, making three catches for 51 yards. With so many targets for Tom Brady to throw to, Branch doesn't figure to post many receptions. But the veteran is savvy enough to get open and make plays. When you're scouring the waiver wire sometime around Week 8 looking for WR help, keep him in mind...

Quick Outs

» After weeks of "Mike Wallace will be in camp soon" stories, guess what? Mike Wallacewill be in camp soon. The Steelers wideout will sign his free agent tender, but it's not likely that he'll be on the field before Week 1 as he learns a new offensive system. Guys who've stayed away from training camp have a dubious fantasy history. Wallace should still be a No. 1 WR, but consider waiting until at least the fourth round to snag him...

» The Minnesota Vikings plan to keep Adrian Petersonout of the final two preseason games. The goal to have Peterson play in the season opener remains on track, even if he has yet to have any contact in practice. The Vikings say they don't want to rush Peterson back to action, but it's a scary prospect to draft a running back that hasn't even taken a hit in practice -- even if it is Adrian Peterson. On average, he's coming off the board in the third round, but my cautious nature feels like that's a touch too high until I know more about how his surgically repaired knee will hold up to contact.

» It appears that Russell Wilsonwill be the starter Friday night when the Seattle Seahawks visit Kansas City. If you abide by the nebulous Third Preseason Game Rule, it means Wilson has the inside track to the Week 1 starting job. It also turns inside out [my summation](http://www.nfl.com/fantasyfootball/story/0ap1000000052443/article/nfl-fantasy-football-

notebook-lucks-got-skills) that Matt Flynn is still in the lead. Being reminded that Pete Carroll has been as clear as mud in this QB competition, I'll wait until after this weekend's game before making any further speculation. Even then, we may not know much more...

» Don't look for Dez Bryant to be back on the field right away after injuring his knee at Monday's practice. The good news is that an MRI revealed nothing more than tendinitis. The bad news is that with Bryant's injury and Miles Austin being out until Week 1, the Cowboys are getting short at receiver. Kevin Ogletree and Dwyane Harris are next up on the depth chart, but our own Adam Rank is eyeing Andre Holmes as one of his super sleepers. Expect both Bryant and Austin to be ready when the lights come on, but their growing injury histories are becoming a concern...

» We might be able to add one more tight end to an already crowded field. Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he believes Greg Olsen could put up Rob Gronkowski/Jimmy Graham-type numbers this year. With Cam Newton under center and Jeremy Shockey now departed, things seem to be set up well for Olsen, although matching Gronk or Graham's stats is a tall order. Consider Olsen in the mid-rounds until he proves he deserves to move up the ranks...

» Barrett Ruud was traded to the New Orleans Saints in an effort to help a linebacker corps decimated by suspension and injury. With a scrambled personnel set and a new defensive coordinator, it's hard to know what to expect from New Orleans this year. One thing we know is that Steve Spagnuolo likes to bring pressure on the quarterback, meaning Ruud could rack up a few sacks this year. Ruud won't be the first IDP linebacker off the board, but you could certainly do worse...

Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.