Don't get caught up in the hype of Vick's early start

Posted: September 20, 2013

THE EXCITEMENT of the Eagles offense has fans rolling off their bar stools. But one fantasy expert warns that there is a long season ahead.

"While [ Michael Vick] seems to be quite comfortable in this offense, especially with increased read-option elements, he will always be an injury risk," Scott Engel, of, said before last night's game.

Engel had Vick at No. 14 in his preseason rankings and has moved him up four spots after the Eagles' first two games.

"Plus," Engel said before last night's game, "Vick has never had a good fantasy season from start to finish in his career, so I do remain somewhat skeptical and not reactionary."

The Daily News also had Vick at No. 14 in August, but we've moved him to No. 5.

We also moved LeSean McCoy ahead of Adrian Peterson for the top spot among running backs. (In the preseason, AP was at 1 and Shady was 2.) Engel is not ready to make that leap just yet.

"I absolutely love McCoy, and could see ranking him second," Engel said. "But no other running back is safer for elite all-around production every single week than Peterson. McCoy's late-season injury issues we have dealt with in the past have not been completely forgotten."

Contest winner

Last week, coming off McCoy's 184-yard effort in the opener, we asked readers to project the number of rushing yards he would rack up against the Chargers. Don Habermehl's guess of 78 yards came closest to the 53 McCoy posted. Habermehl, from West Chester, earned a Daily News fantasy football T-shirt.

Reader Rick MacLeod deserves an honorable mention for his guess of 114 yards, which was the number McCoy accumulated with his six receptions. Horseshoes and hand grenades.

Name-drop of the week

If Brandon Weeden goes down with a thumb injury, does he make a sound? The Browns quarterback will not play Sunday, as wide receiver Josh Gordon returns from suspension.

Gordon had 50 catches for 805 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie in 2012, but is worth scooping up only in leagues of 14 or more.

"It's a humbling experience," Gordon said of his drug suspension, not of his fantasy standing. "You find an appreciation for the game. The absence of it makes the heart grow fonder in a sense. That's really what it's about for me right now."

Gordon had only one 100-yard game last year and found the end zone only once in the last 9 weeks. And, let's face it, injured thumb or not, Weeden isn't exactly Otto Graham back there. His only touchdown pass in the Browns' first two games was to tight end Cameron Jordan.

Weeden is out for the game at Minnesota. Surprisingly, third-stringer Brian Hoyer got the starting nod over Jason Campbell.

Position watch

Quarterback: Robert Griffin III, who set the record for rookie quarterbacks last year with 815 rushing yards, has 25 through two games. Imagine being one of those morons who bought him a wedding gift. By the way, hope Peyton Manning enjoys that china set we sent him after his seven-touchdown monstrosity in Week 1.

Running backs: Trent Richardson wasn't traded to Indianapolis as much as he was rescued from Cleveland. The Browns may wind up with this generation's Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin, but for this season, they did Richardson's owners a huge favor . . . Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Bernard Pierce is on the verge of "becoming a complete back." Pierce is expected to get extra work this work as Ray Rice deals with a hip injury. Rice was out in the injury report, so Pierce deserves to play as a fantasy flex . . . Reggie Bush did not practice yesterday, but said he thinks he'll play Sunday. Bench him - and play Joique Bell - until he does.

Wide receivers: One of the most interesting matchups is Brandon Marshall and the Bears hosting Pittsburgh. Sure, the Steelers stink, but cornerback Ike Taylor did an admirable job on A.J. Green Monday night (six catches, 41 yards) and the Titans wideouts did nothing against Pittsburgh in Week 1 . . . Vikings rookie Cordarrelle Patterson has played only 11 snaps through the first 2 weeks . . . Kenny Britt complained earlier this week about being squeezed out of Tennessee like former teammate Jared Cook.

Ed Barkowitz has been writing about fantasy football in the Daily News since 2001.


On Twitter: @EdBarkowitz

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