Chargers

Can Rivers Return to Top 10 QBs in Fantasy? – K. Atchley

By Kevin Atchley

When you think of the Chargers; two key names automatically come to mind for most football fans: LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers. These two names carried the franchise to arguably their greatest run of success in the mid to late 2000’s. For Rivers, most Charger fans (including myself) would argue that not only is he the face of the franchise, but he’s also CARRIED the franchise on his back going on fifteen years now. Simply put, Rivers has been a stud. The gritty, fiery, trash talking, in your face competitor that Rivers is known for is often not considered among the ‘elite’ quarterbacks in the NFL. C’mon now, this is absurd. Rivers has been a model of consistency ever since he was named the full time Bolts’ starting quarterback in 2006. Hey fantasy football fans, you want your quarterback to stay in the game at all costs and not get injured, right? The reasoning goes this maximizes your player’s potential to score boatloads of fantasy points. Well, Rivers fits this bill well: In 2018, Rivers became just the 4th quarterback EVER to have a streak of 200 consecutive games played. Whoa. Don’t talk to Philip Rivers about missing a game. He doesn’t want to hear it.

The question posed for the upcoming football season is can Rivers crack the top 10 among fantasy quarterbacks in 2019. Is the sky blue? C’mon now, Rivers has the pedigree and experience to unquestionably make that jump into the top 10. According to Fantasy Pros, in 2018 Rivers just missed the cut, as he was ranked 11th. The gritty signal caller racked up 284.9 fantasy points during the season, with an average of 17.8 fantasy points per game…. You want touchdowns? Check. Rivers threw for 32 TD’s in 2018, and has thrown at least 21 touchdowns in 13 consecutive years. You want passing yards? Check. Last season, Rivers unleashed the pigskin to the tune of over 4,300 yards, and has thrown for over 4,000 yards in ten of the past eleven NFL seasons. Clutch: Even Drew Brees is blushing over Rivers’ model of consistency in that regard. And finally, you want to keep those interception numbers down? Check yet again. In three of the past four seasons, Rivers has thrown for 13 interceptions or less during that time. Talk about protecting the rock! Rivers has a knack of late to post gaudy passing stats while keeping his interception rates low. This, my friends, works wonders in the fantasy football world.

The only obstacles standing in Rivers’ way for the 2019 season are not himself; but, better yet, his fellow quarterbacks. The Top 10 quarterbacks in fantasy football last year, according to Fantasy Pros contained the likes of household names such as Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, and Aaron Rodgers, among others. In order for Rivers to crack this list; he might have to rely on at least one or multiple names above him to have an off-season, or worse, be injured for a period of time.

In summary, Rivers has the stats, the playmakers around him, and a wealth of experience under his belt in order to get into the coveted Top 10 fantasy quarterbacks list. The likes of Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen, and Hunter Henry, just to name a few, are all players who can help elevate Rivers’ status in the fantasy realm and boost him into that top 10 lineup. Rivers certainly shouldn’t be overlooked in fantasy drafts this year, as he has the stats and experience that screams fantasy relevance.

Don’t overlook Rivers in your fantasy football draft, and don’t be so certain he won’t be in the Top 10 (Five?) of fantasy quarterbacks at season’s end in 2019.

Rivers’ legendary run of consistency says you shouldn’t doubt him.

This sportswriter definitely won’t.

Neither should you.

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