We need you, Michael Vick. We’ll deny it, and we’ll say awful things about you, and call your mother bad names and such. But we need you. Fantasy football needs you. I need you.

You’ve often besmirched the name of one Michael Vick, as have I. This is a natural reaction when your quarterback — fantasy, reality, or otherwise (there’s an otherwise?) — is giving the opposition the ball so often. Vick’s mistakes this season prior to his injury and eventual benching in favor of Nick Foles are well documented, as he committed 14 turnovers through just nine starts, and nine of them came through interceptions.

Now Vick is surely aware that he’s most likely spending his final weeks as a Philadelphia Eagle. He’s a 10-year veteran, and he’s been running the practice squad. His conduct has stayed professional as he’s faded into the scenery while allowing Foles to have his time, and for Eagles management to tinker with the Foles experiment to see if the rookie is indeed the franchise’s future quarterback. By extension that means Vick isn’t the Eagles’ future starting quarterback, and it seems inevitable that he’ll be jettisoned before $3 million of his $15.5 million salary for 2013 becomes guaranteed on Feb. 6.

In an interview with Tim McManus of Phillymag.com, Vick said that he still sees himself as a starter. And starting quarterbacks want to, well, start.

From McManus:

“I’m not a backup. Just being honest, just being candid. I’m a full-fledged starter. That’s what I’ve got in me,  that’s what I provide, that’s what I offer. Whatever happens, wherever I end up, they’re going to get 110 percent. You’re going to get the same thing out of me that you got the last two, three years and that’s 110 percent effort and a guy that’s confident in his abilities to play and win.

“I want to start. Yeah, I’m a starter. I’ll feel that way until I start to feel like I’m becoming a problem on the team.”

Alright, Mike, that’s good. Football players should want to play football. The next thing we need as we begin the post-mortem on the 2012 fantasy season in the coming weeks is some hold on a destination for the surely soon-to-be discarded Eagles. Because as much as you love to hate him and often hate to own him, Vick’s tumble could quite easily provide great late-round value.

Say, I hear the Jets are about to have a vacancy at the quarterback position, and there’s some mutual interest? Problem = solved.

We’ve listed the reasons why you shouldn’t draft a quarterback in the early rounds multiple times, and surely we’ll do it again next summer once the preparation for 2013 drafts begins in earnest. In short, the logic is simple: the gap in terms of fantasy production between an elite early-round quarterback like Tom Brady and Drew Brees, and a late-round QB like Carson Palmer (who wasn’t drafted at all in many leagues) isn’t nearly significant enough to justify the early reach at the position. You should constantly be searching for value, and drafting a quarterback early is increasingly becoming a serious misstep. Just ask Matthew Stafford owners, or for much of the year until recently, Cam Newton owners.

If he’s starting somewhere next year (Jets? Bills???), Vick could easily be that bargain buy. Maybe not nearly to the extent of Palmer, but the public opinion on him has soured to the point that he’s likely ready to fall. That happens when a quarterback turns the ball over with such frequency and can’t be trusted, and he records four games with a passer rating of less than 80.0. And it’s at this point when you remember that fantasy football cares little about the dealings of reality.

Despite his struggles, Vick was still productive as a fantasy quarterback this year. If we exclude his injury-shortened Week 10 outing against Dallas, he averaged 15.6 fantasy points per game. That’s good, and not great, but also far from terrible. It includes two games when he eclipsed 20 points, salvaged production accomplished mostly with his legs, as he averaged 34 rushing yards per game.

That’s the kind of production you can sit and wait for in the mid to late rounds, stock piling talent at other positions while knowing that there’s an opportunity to get still significantly above replacement-level numbers from a quarterback who will likely linger on the draft board. It’s great value, and late-round quarterbacking at its finest.

Maybe. Please find a home, Mike.

And now the links part of the links post…

  • For further proof of Vick’s imminent fall if he starts somewhere, he’s predictably being placed on lists of the worst fantasy busts in 2012. [Rotoworld]
  • Mark Sanchez probably isn’t going anywhere. Money still talks, guys. [Bob Glauber on twitter]
  • But Percy Harvin might be headed elsewhere. Repeated arguments with the head coach will have that effect. [ESPN 1500]
  • More Terrelle Pryor? Oh, Raiders. [Contra Costa Times]
  • Tony Sparano isn’t willing to acknowledge his failings in life. [ESPN New York]

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