Here’s our fantasy takes on the NFL news of the day …
Can Michael Vick’s success continue?: Earlier this week, NFL.com’s panel of experts debated if Vick can duplicate or improve on his immense statistical success of 2010. That’s a question a lot of fantasy owners will also be asking come draft day. Based on the past, I think the answer is simple: Expecting Vick to average close to 30 fantasy points per game again is unrealistic. Countless players in the past have recorded magical seasons, only to see their numbers drop the following year in the majority of cases. Look at Chris Johnson. He had a ridiculous season in 2009, breaking Marshall Faulk’s record for scrimmage yards in a season en route to being the top player in fantasy land. While he was still solid last year, CJ2K scored 114 fewer fantasy points. Will Vick be an elite No. 1 fantasy quarterback? Yes. But will he duplicate his 2010 numbers? I highly doubt it.
Tim Tebow has major sleeper appeal: The quarterback position in fantasy football is deep, and it could get deeper if Tebow earns a starting role for the Broncos this season. The Florida product worked out with some of his teammates on Thursday, and is excited about the competition between himself and Kyle Orton. I for one am hoping that a very different scenario plays out — the Broncos deal Orton to Miami, where he’ll be reunited with Brandon Marshall, and Tebow is under center against the Raiders in Week 1. Remember, no player scored more fantasy points over the final three weeks of last season than Tebow. And with OC Mike McCoy still calling the shots under new coach John Fox, the versatile field general won’t need to learn a new system. If this scenario comes to fruition, Tebow will have some serious sleeper value in the middle rounds.
Cam Newton no lock to start in 2011: NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks discussed the possibility of Newton starting as a rookie, stating that he’d be better off sitting on the sidelines for a year or two behind a veteran. The problem is that the Panthers don’t have said veteran — but what if the team went after Marc Bulger? He would be a much better option than Jimmy Clausen, and could mentor Newton and help him grow into an effective NFL quarterback. The move would also help the fantasy appeal of every prominent member of the team’s offense, none more than Jonathan Stewart and Steve Smith. If Newton and Clausen end up competing for the job, I’m hoping the former earns the role — at least he’ll offer owners the potential for solid rushing numbers.