NFL Fantasy: Vick's always a risk

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick throws a pass during a warm-up session before playing...

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick throws a pass during a warm-up session before playing the New York Giants in a NFL football game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania September 25, 2011. (REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)

DAN BILLICKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:00 PM ET

Earlier this week on my blog, I questioned Mike Vickís heart for not coming back in the Giants game with a bruised hand (even if he thought it was broken, itís his non-throwing hand and geez, Tony Romo just played through a punctured lung). So, itís absolutely no surprise that heíll ď100%Ē play this Sunday.

At the beginning of the season, many were predicting how many games Vick would start, but what we really should have been talking about is how many he would finish. Heís 1 for 3 so far this season at playing until the final gun.

It is actually far more detrimental in fantasy when anybody canít play an entire 60 minutes than simply not dressing. When you miss a start, a backup can be played in fantasy land. When you hit the bench during the game, fantasy players are stuck in limbo with whatever you gave them.

While Vick is a still must-start any week heís healthy, he could leave you in the cold any given Sunday, likely sinking your hopes for the week. So, until some website comes up with live substitutions for fantasy football ó what a world that would be ó weíre going to be left holding the cheque with Vick sometimes.

ó Cedric Benson may not have missed any of the regular season while in jail, getting his sentence out of the way in the pre-season, but now he may have to sit as a result of it. Heís appealing his three-game suspension and will be able to play this week, but make sure you keep your eyes glued in weeks to come. The Bengals are reportedly interested in signing Redskins castoff Clinton Portis as fill-in.

ó Just when things were getting great for Kenny Britt and his owners, he took a wrong turn on the field and tore both his ACL and MCL: Season over. That leaves Nate Washington as the primary receiving threat in Tennessee, but I wouldnít be surprised if they try to pound the ball even more with Chris Johnson, who has been ineffective to say the least this season.

ó Victor Cruzís time in the sun may be over. Mario Manningham has been back practising all week after sitting against the Eagles with a concussion. That means Cruz ó who had 100 yards and 2 TDs in Week 3 ó will likely go back to being the third receiving option on the team behind Manningham and Hakeem Nicks. In other words, we hope you didnít waste your waiver-wire pickup on Cruz.

ó Oh, what to do about Matt Forte? The Bears donít seem to want to run the ball despite giving quarterback Jay Cutler such little time in the pocket. In the past two weeks combined, Chicago has called 23 running plays compared to 89 passing plays. What do they have against the ground attack? But, surprisingly, Forte actually still has some value because of his receiving ability. Heís currently sixth in the league in receiving yards with 287 on 22 catches. Thatís compared to 119 yards on 33 runs. It might be time for a position change.

ó These arenít your fatherís tight ends, any more. Back in the day, these big guys at the end of the line were used more for run blocking, some extra pass protection or, if they were running a route, a safety-blanket receiver. Not these days. After three weeks, two TEs (Rob Gronkowski and Fred Davis) are actually tied for the league lead with seven receptions of 20+ yards. So donít discount these big guys on the waiver wire or when youíre setting your lineup each week. They have some big play potential too.

ó Somebody ought to tell Cris Carter to start watching the games, or to play fantasy football. When he said that Detroitís Calvin Johnson was not an elite WR, he must have been thinking about the long line of former first-round receiving busts the Lions had. Johnson leads WRs in TDs with six and is behind only Wes Welker in points with 58. Iím not sure what Carterís definition of elite is, but Johnson certainly is.

BEAR-LY PROTECTED

Jay Cutler has been sacked 101 times in 34 starts for the Chicago Bears. While playing for the Denver Broncos, he was sacked 51 times in 57 starts.

STAT CORNER

Torrey Smithís first three catches in the NFL were all touchdowns.

SIT/START

Start Rex Grossman, QB, WAS at STL ó Didnít look bad in Dallas and St. Louis have the second worst pass defence in the league.

Sit Josh Freeman, QB, TB vs. IND ó The Colts have been surprisingly tough against fantasy QBs, giving up the seventh least points.

Sit DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR at CHI ó Is averaging an astoundingly meek 20 yards per game and 2.3 per carry.

Sit Ben Tate, RB, HOU vs. PIT ó Arian Fosterís coming back, so it could be the end of the line for the waiver-wire gem.

Start James Starks, RB, GB vs. DEN ó Ryan Grantís questionable and Starks has already become the top guy in that time-share.

Start Denarius Moore, WR, OAK vs. NE ó The Patriots have given up the most passing yards in the league and itís not even close.

Sit Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL vs. NYJ ó Should be getting the Revis Island treatment and they also have...

Start Torrey Smith, WR, BAL vs. NYJ ó Smith burst on to the scene with three TDs last week and Antonio Cromartie is banged up.

Start Randy McMichael, TE, SD vs. MIA ó Antonio Gates looks like heís out and Miami has given up the fourth most points to TEs.

VERSUS

Brandon Lloyd, WR, DEN

ó Missed Week 2 with an injury and didnít exactly impress in Week 3.

ó Surprised many by leading the league in receiving yards in 2010.

ó Despite that, had to lobby coaches this week to be more involved in the offence.

ó Facing the Packers, who are giving up 359 yards per game through the air.

Percy Harvin, WR, MIN

ó Donovan McNabb is throwing him the ball, and itís not 2004 anymore.

ó Heís facing the woeful Chiefs, who donít have stud safety Eric Berry to watch him over the top.

ó Has yet to score a receiving TD in 2011, only has a return score so far.

ó Heís a bit of a run threat too, getting at least two carries every game this season.

Verdict: Go with Lloyd. Thereís no doubt that you can pass against the Packers.

Dan.bilicki

Twitter: @danbilicki

Blog: http://blogs.canoe.ca/nosebleeds/


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