- Scott Engel, ESPN Fantasy Games
Here's a quick-hitting recap of key performances and news from the eighth week of the NFL season, complete with in-depth fantasy analysis.
Michael Vick, fantasy star? After his amazing performance against the Steelers, Vick served notice that it was no fluke, and he might have finally shed the stigma of being a statistical underachiever. Vick looked terrific again against Cincinnati, throwing for 291 yards and three TDs. Vick got great pass protection and spread the ball around well, as he did throw one TD pass to favorite target Alge Crumpler, but also tossed scoring passes to Michael Jenkins and FB Justin Griffith. Many opponents have come into games recently not expecting Vick to beat them by throwing downfield with so much success, and have been focused on containing the Atlanta running game while trying to prevent Vick from throwing on the move. Now that Vick is showing he demands more respect as a pure passer, defenses will have to try to stop him with different methods. Right now, however, there seems to be no sure way of stopping Vick, so keep him in your lineup while he stays hot.
Seneca steps in: Seneca Wallace became the latest backup quarterback to prove that passers who come off the bench shouldn't be immediately judged as inferior. After a full week of practice with the Seahawks' first-team offense, Wallace played well overall, despite throwing two interceptions. Wallace did throw for 198 yards and three TDs, and proved he can certainly be a quality fantasy starter if needed. Wallace is small, but he has a very strong arm, is very comfortable in the Seattle offense, and isn't intimidated easily. He came into a hostile environment at Arrowhead Stadium, stood firm in the pocket when he had to, and also threw well on the move. The production of his wide receivers did suffer, though, as he spread the ball around, and Darrell Jackson's 49-yard TD catch came when CB Ty Law fell down. Still, Wallace certainly wasn't a flop, and he is a decent stopgap starter if you need one. He also helped the Seahawks rediscover Jerramy Stevens, who made a key third-down reception and hauled in his first TD pass of the year.