The Winter of our Discontent

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Now is the winter of our discontent. Made glorious summer by this son of York; And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house. In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

William Shakespeare, Richard The Third - Act 1, scene 1

Many fantasy owners' discontent has come from the fact that they selected Michael Vick with their first round draft choice in this year's fantasy draft. Some experts were even touting Vick as the No.1 overall selection! (I'm talking to you Matthew Berry).

Here at the Sports Network, which has its headquarters in Philadelphia, we knew better. We had the Eagles quarterback ranked as the No.5 QB and No.27 overall.

Still, even if you got Vick in the third round, you would be disappointed with his performance this season. He's had just four games of 20 points-or-more and of course he's missed two, going on three games, due to injury. Mark Sanchez and Ryan Fitzpatrick have scored more points than Vick this season.

Vick is just now starting to throw the ball again, but still feels enough pain from two broken ribs that Vince Young should get the start on Thursday night in Seattle.

Lets analyze this game.

Philadelphia at Seattle


Start - Vince Young, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, Brent Celek, Alex Henery

The Eagles are 1-1 with Vince Young at quarterback - a 17-10 win over the New York Giants and an embarrassing 38-20 loss to the New England Patriots. The Eagles team is producing plenty of yards on offense, but few points. In the two Young-started games they are averaging 428 ypg, but just 18.5 ppg.

Young is averaging 42 passing attempts per game and 329 yards, so he must be started even against an improving Seahawks defense. The problem lies in that LeSean McCoy has seen the ball less often. One of the league's best running backs was averaging 26 touches in the first nine games this year, but only 20 touches with Young at the controls. Given Vick (ribs) and Jeremy Maclin (shoulder, ankle) injuries and Jackson's contract-driven funk, it's a confusing strategy by coach Andy Reid - using McCoy less instead of more.

The injury to Maclin and sub par performance of Jackson has opened up a opportunity for Avant to help your fantasy lineup. Avant was always a solid third-down receiver with excellent hands, but the increase in playing time produced 23 fantasy points last week. He's a solid option against the 20th- ranked Seattle pass defense. Even No.4 on the Eagles depth chart, Riley Cooper, has some value after catching eight balls for 146 yards and a score over the last two weeks.


Start - Tarvaris Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Doug Baldwin, Steven Hauschka

The Seahawks have finally settled on Tarvaris Jackson as their quarterback (over Charlie Whitehurst) and the former Viking has been the journeyman we all expected him to be. He normally has little fantasy value, but if you dig a little deeper you may find that he could have low-end starter value on Thursday. He's averaging 234.8 ypg passing and one touchdown at home, including a pair of 300+ yard passing days against Atlanta and Cincinnati versus just 178.2 ypg in road games.

The best offensive player on the Seattle roster is Lynch who has posted a touchdown in seven consecutive games. He's also cracked the 100-yard rushing mark in three of the last four games and is averaging 21.5 rushing attempts per game over that span. He's a must-start.

With Sidney Rice (concussion) not likely to be in uniform, the receiving duties fall on Baldwin, Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu. Williams has been disappointing fantasy owners all year, suffered a shoulder injury in the second half of the Redskins game and has no fantasy value. Obomanu will get the start, but he's had one good game all season and this one doesn't figure to be his second. You can do better.

Baldwin, the slot receiver, is the only viable wideout option in this lineup. With the injuries to the other Seahawks receivers, he was targeted 10 times last week and should see at least that many this Thursday night. The Eagles have been killed by slot receivers this season - see Victor Cruz in Week 3 and Week 11 or Wes Welker last Sunday.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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