Philip Rivers: A Contenders Dream

When determining a player’s dynasty value, there are some different characteristics to consider.  The main characteristics considered are age, production, opportunity/potential and injury history.  When it comes to Philip Rivers, he matches all but one of these key boxes.  The only checkmark I can find against Rivers is the fact that he is 36 years old.  Yet in dynasty start-up drafts, according to fantasyfootbalcalculator.com, he is currently being drafted as the QB 21, behind the likes of Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, Jameis Winston and others that have larger concerns then Rivers does.  At this value, I believe that Rivers is a steal and can provide huge value for contending teams.

Old Reliable

Philip Rivers is the definition of being reliable.  Rivers leads all active QBs with 201 consecutive starts, dating back to 2006! The next closest QB is Matt Ryan at 140 consecutive starts.  Since Rivers is consistently on the field, he also consistently finishes as a top 12 QB in fantasy.  Since 2008, Rivers has been a top 12 QB in all but one season (ffstatistics.com). Even though he is older than the likes of Ryan, Carr and Winston, Rivers’ consistency and production greatly outweighs the vast majority of options at the QB position.  Let’s take a look at Rivers finishes in 4 pt./td leagues against the younger options listed above.

 

Year Philip Rivers Matt Ryan Derek Car Jameis Winston
2017 QB 7 QB 15 QB 21 QB 22
2016 QB 11 QB 2 QB 13 QB 16
2015 QB 12 QB 19 QB 14 QB 13
2014 QB 12 QB 7 QB 20
2013 QB 4 QB 14
2012 QB 21 QB 7
2011 QB 9 QB 8
2010 QB 5 QB 8
2009 QB 7 QB 19
2008 QB 3 QB 15

Great Weapons

The Los Angeles Chargers have done a great job of surrounding Philip Rivers with weapons that should help him succeed for at least the next couple of seasons.

Running Back:  The headline of this group is Melvin Gordon.  The former 1st round pick is entering his 4th season and seems to be improving each year.  According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), last year Gordon ranked as a top 12 running back despite being very inefficient in terms of YPC.  The main reason for this ranking is Gordon’s contribution in the passing game.  Gordon jumped to 83 targets in 2017, hauled in 58 receptions and added 4 receiving touchdowns. Melvin Gordon adding this aspect to his game allows for the Chargers to be creative and not become predictable. Between Gordon, Austin Eckler and the newly added Justin Jackson, Rivers has some great receiving options coming out of the backfield.

Wide Receivers:  The Chargers wide receiver group is led by Keenan Allen.  Keenan Allen has shown that when he is healthy, he is one of the best receivers in the game.  In 2017, Allen graded out as the WR 5 according to PFF. Allen showed that he is fully recovered from his torn ACL and has all the skills to be a top WR in the NFL.  Keenan Allen will be paired with 2nd year receiver Mike Williams.  The 7th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft experienced an injury riddled rookie season.  With a full offseason to recover, Williams should be able to bounce back in 2018 and provide Rivers with another great receiving option, especially in the red zone.  Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin will also be viable options for Rivers in 2018.

All Signs Point to A Couple of More Years

When looking at his stats from 2017, Rivers is showing no signs of slowing down. Playing in his 14th season, Rivers put up 4515 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.  This was good for Rivers’ 4th highest amount of passing yards in a season and 3rd lowest amount of interceptions in his career, when looking at full seasons.  Assuming there is no massive drop-off or major injury, Rivers seems to be aging like a fine wine and has what it takes to be a top 15 QB for the next couple of seasons.

The Los Angeles Chargers also seem to believe that Rivers has multiple years left in the tank.  The Chargers, who are quietly putting together a Super Bowl caliber team, have failed to majorly address the QB position, as opposed to teams like the Steelers and Giants, who used decent draft equity to snag young QBs.  As is, the only other QBs on the Charger’s depth chart are Geno Smith, Cardale Jones and Nic Shimonek. If the Chargers were truly concerned about Rivers regressing or possibly retiring, I would think that they would have made a strong push to find a quality candidate to be River’s replacement in the last couple of years.

 

About Mike Colaianne

Mike is a recent college graduate, now teaching Physical Education in the Chicagoland area. Growing up as a die-hard Chicago sports fan (except the Cubs), he has always had a passion for sports. As a P.E. teacher with way too much time on his hands, Mike quickly started to gain a new passion, fantasy football. When not teaching, he can be found either coaching lacrosse or watching his Chicago sports teams. Find him on twitter @mike_colaianne

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