Post Mortem: Vick will be even better in 2011

The 2010 fantasy season is over, and what a strange year it was. Eagles QB Michael Vick was your fantasy MVP. Texans RB Arian Foster was your draft value of the year. And Broncos WR Brandon Lloyd was the waiver wire pickup of the year, in leagues where Vick was handcuffed to Kevin Kolb by the savvy fantasy owner.

Fantasy football was personally satisfying, winning three of my four leagues including the NFL.com Magazine League against my bosses both current (Craig Ellenport) and past (James Buckley Jr. and Jim Gigliotti), former Cowboys architect Gil Brandt, the hilarious Nick Bakay and the most respected mind in fantasy football, Michael Fabiano.

Here is a quick look back, and some thoughts for the future.

Can he do it again?

Foster is already expected to repeat his 2010 totals, as he has established himself as a surefire top three pick — at least according to our mock draft during NFL.com Fantasy LIVE’s award show. But what about Vick?

Many expect Vick to be a one-hit wonder, the fantasy equivalent of Billy Ray Cyrus‘ “Achy Breaky Heart.” But why? Bitter that you lost your fantasy season — or your NFL playoff chances, Giants fans — because of him? I hate to break this to you, but Vick is going to have another monster season next year as long as coach Andy Reid is calling the plays. Vick is finally starting to take being an NFL quarterback seriously, and you see what he can do. Vick is going to have a full offseason of being the starter under his belt, too, so he might be even better.

For those of you who love the numbers, the best comparison of Vick is Hall of Fame QB Steve Young, who had his breakout season with the 49ers in 1992. Young had an increase in both passing yards and touchdown in 1993, and then had his best season in 1994 when he had 3,969 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns and seven rushing scores.

So I’ll go on record to say it: Vick is going to be better in 2011.

And hey, as long as Vick avoids having an offspring as annoying as Miley Cyrus, then he will have to be considered a success.

Value on the horizon

Many fantasy enthusiasts expected big years from Jets RB Shonn Greene and Chargers RB Ryan Mathews. No need to rehash their disastrous results for 2010. The only hope is that you were able to grab Browns RB Peyton Hillis off the waiver wire.

However, Greene and Mathews guys are poised for breakout years in 2011.

Greene should be able to take over for veteran RB LaDainian Tomlinson. And Mathews ran through the Broncos in Week 17, as he offered a glimpse of things to come next year. Thankfully, most fantasy enthusiasts will be reticent to go after either player, so you can snag either guy at a value price in next year’s draft.

Some will believe that buying the hype on Mathews might be a viewing in Overreaction Theater, but remember, he was a first-round pick and it was a high-ankle sprain that slowed him. No, the performance to be wary of is Joe McKnight‘s huge game against the Bills. You know some Long Island resident in a Richard Todd jersey is talking up McKnight as a breakout in 2011. Don’t buy it.

You just made the list, buddy

At the request of a few of the readers, here is the current “list:” Bears RB Matt Forte, Redskins WR Santana Moss, Cardinals RB Beanie Wells, Cardinals QB Derek Anderson, Giants G Kevin Boothe, Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall, Lions RB Jahvid Best, Chiefs coach Todd Haley, former Vikings coach Brad Childress and should-be former Texans coach Gary Kubiak.

If you think I have this written on a white board in my living room like Steve Buscemi‘s character in “Billy Madison,” then I will kindly ask you to mind your own business.

But please welcome one more member: Ravens QB Joe Flacco, who killed anybody who trusted him in Week 17.

Thank you for stopping by

Could we have seen the end of Kyle Orton‘s fantasy value? Hopefully not. Orton was threatening Dan Marino‘s seemingly impossible single-season record for passing yards (5,084), but ended the year backing up the future in Denver, Tim Tebow.

But Orton is good enough to start in this league.

Hopefully one of the quarterback-poor teams will make a serious run at Orton. A marriage in Arizona could be just the thing to restore the value of Orton and WR Larry Fitzgerald. Let’s make this happen.

And finally …

Thank you all for a wonderful fantasy season. From your patronage on NFL.com and your participation on NFL.com Fantasy LIVE, you cannot be thanked enough.

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