Fantasy Football 2011: Aaron Rodgers vs. Michael Vick
So you’re sitting pretty with the 9th pick in your draft and you want to nab an elite quarterback. The clear, and ridiculously enticing options this year are Aaron Rodgers and Michael Vick. But look at ten different draft boards and you’re likely to get five listing Rodgers as the top quarterback and five touting Vick. It’s like choosing between The Wire: Season 3 and 24: Season 6. Cristal or Dom. Ryan Gosling or vintage Clooney. There are no losing options. But still, it’s a tough choice and not one to be made lightly. We’re here to help break it down.
Overall Scoring Potential
You’d be hard pressed to find a 1-2 quarterback punch as even as 2010 Vick and Rodgers. Using ESPN.com’s standard scoring, Michael Vick had the second most overall points with 300; while Aaron Rodgers nabbed the bronze with 292 points. Rodgers threw for 28 touchdowns; Vick for 20. But, of course, Vick, an almost official QB/RB hybrid ran into the end zone nine times. If you’re not a Pack fan and didn’t own Rodgers last year, you may be surprised to learn he scored four times on the ground himself. Rodgers is the idyllic conductor of a world-class orchestra and will always be an upper echelon scorer. Vick has the ability to put up the type of numbers that inspire owners to tell non-caring strangers on the street that they own him (Remember Week 10 at Washington). And don’t forget, Vick put up those numbers while sitting out three games last year with the rib injury.
This year the Packers used their first round pick on offensive tackle, Bryan Bulaga. And last year, the Packers grabbed offensive tackle Derek Sherrod in the first round. Clearly the mission they’ve decided to accept is simple: protect Aaron Rodgers. The team has remarkable offensive line depth, and assuming a couple of players emerge, the unit should be an improvement over last year.
The Eagles also focused on their line in the draft, selecting guard Danny Watkins with the 23rd overall selection. They also recently signed offensive tackle Ryan Harris from Denver who has talent, but is also injury prone. Seems like the Eagles have a lot of serviceable ingredients and just need to find that perfect offensive line cocktail. Vick owners can only hope it’s figured out it’s figured out by Week One.
The offensive threats on the Packers run deep and remain largely unchanged from last year. Greg Jennings, James Jones, and oldie but goodie, Donald Driver are ready to receive Rodgers’ precision passing, Besides that security, the good news for Rodgers’ owners is the offensive weaponry will run deeper with the returns of running back Ryan Grant and tight end Jermichael Finley. And don’t forget about John Kuhn and James Starks. Rodgers has a true arsenal at his disposal.
With all the talk of the Eagles monopolizing the free agency (and trade) market, they didn’t add much to their offense. Ronnie Brown was their big offensive pickup and will certainly be a big contributor, but he’s not a guy the Eagles will greatly change their playbook for. Not when you have DeSean Jackson, who deserves a raise and will likely get it. (Jeff Lurie didn’t break the bank the last two weeks only to leave his top receiver watching regular season games from his local Buffalo Wild Wings) But what the Eagles lacking depth, and a sliver of uncertainty when it comes to Jackson, Vick makes up for with his position as the NFL’s top weapon.
Odds of Injury:
Take it from a 2008 Tom Brady owner – NOTHING bursts your fantasy euphoria faster than your first round pick going from superstardom to IRdom. It happens to some unfortunate soul almost every season and Michael Vick is clearly 2011’s most likely candidate. Expose your body like Vick does and bad things will happen. (Google ribs and Vick).
Rodgers has had his share of injuries as well. He’s admitted to playing with substantial foot and shoulder injuries in the past. And, of course, he was concussed multiple times last year. Every year, though, Rodgers becomes a smarter QB in the pocket and isn’t afraid to throw the ball away.
This is still a too close to call decision, so it’s time to bring in a pretty important game changer…the 2011 schedule. The Eagles play the NFC West this season (and get the Bills, too). The Packers do not.
Michael Vick for the win. There you have it. (But Aaron Rodgers isn’t a shabby consolation prize.)