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Vick set to return to fantasy relevance

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - I may be asking a tall task out of you, but try to think all the way back to 2006.

I know it may be tough, but bear with me -- are you there yet?

Okay, now what do you see?

Amongst highlights from the Winter Olympics in Italy, a blitzkrieg of commercials for Martin Scorsese's film "The Departed" and the execution of Saddam Hussein, you will also find the last time Michael Vick was relevant in football.

We all know what eventually happened to the former Falcons quarterback -- no need to rehash it here -- but lets summarize by saying Vick went away from football for a while.

The year of 2010 has seen a return of Vick to the land of fantasy football with the Eagles. He ran for over 100 yards and threw a touchdown pass in replacing the injured Kevin Kolb in Week 1, then threw a pair of scores this past Sunday in Detroit.

Owners who smartly picked up Vick on the waiver wire reaped an unexpected reward on Tuesday, when Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid named Vick his starting quarterback despite the fact that Kolb is set to return from a concussion.

While Vick wasn't declared the starter for the rest of the regular season in words, it appears the job will be his to lose and lucky owners everywhere may have just stumbled into a top-tier quarterback.

Vick has shown through his six quarters of action this year that he can still make plays. The good news for stat junkies is that now that the job is his, he may be more free to make plays with his legs rather than trying to impress Reid and the coaching staff in the pocket.

In a sense, Vick could turn into a running back at the QB slot and that's great news for fantasy owners.

Below are some other players off to quick starts this season who are trying to become relevant once again in the fantasy world.

Donovan McNabb, QB, Washington Redskins - While McNabb wasn't likely drafted as a starting quarterback for many fantasy teams, his 426 passing yards last weekend may push him up the rankings. McNabb used to be fantasy gold before injuries made him a risk and is looking to revive his fantasy career in Washington. He does have some favorable games this year, including a road contest at St. Louis this weekend, but we would like to see some more TD passes.

Tim Hightower, RB, Arizona Cardinals - Hightower was the lone bright spot this past weekend in Arizona's embarrassing loss to the Falcons. He ran for an 80- yard touchdown in the first quarter, but managed just 35 yards on his other 10 carries while making just two receptions. Hightower has benefited from Chris "Beanie" Wells missing the first two games with a knee injury and will likely begin sharing duties when Wells returns. Big gains like the one he had on Sunday, though, could keep him on top of the depth chart.

Mark Clayton, WR, St. Louis Rams - Clayton has made the most of his chance with the Rams since they grabbed him out of "depth chart hell" in Baltimore. He posted 10 catches and 119 receiving yards in Week 1 and both of his receptions this past Sunday versus the Raiders went for touchdowns. Clayton is definitely worth a pick up if you need some depth and the fact that rookie quarterback Sam Bradford doesn't have many options gives Clayton great upside.

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears - Cutler was one of the top fantasy QBs in 2008, when he posted 4,526 yards and 25 touchdown passes with the Broncos. While his TD total actually went up two last year, his first with the Bears, his 26 interceptions offset those scores in a big way and made Cutler a gamble. Two games into this season, though, Cutler has five touchdown throws to just one pick while averaging 324.5 passing yards per game.

Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit Lions - Yes, Best is a rookie and hence was never before relevant in the NFL, but we can't ignore a guy that has five touchdowns over the first two weeks and is coming off a 232 total-yard effort versus the Eagles last weekend. While other rookies or first-time starters Ryan Mathews, Shonn Greene and LeSean McCoy were all drafted ahead of Best (RapidDraft ADP 53.6), the Lions' back could end up being the best of the bunch.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Michael Rushton at mrushton@sportsnetwork.com.

Follow Michael Rushton on Twitter and Facebook.


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