Daniel Jones. Ryan Tannehill. Kirk Cousins. Joe Burrow. Drew Lock. Gardner Minshew.
What do the above NFL quarterbacks all have in common? They are right-handed. They are starters on average or below average teams. And…
“They are all ranked above Philip Rivers in ESPN’s latest fantasy football draft [projections],” Jeff Rickard told Big Joe on Wednesday’s Fan Morning Show.
You read that correctly. Rivers holds the 25th spot in ESPN’s updated fantasy football quarterback rankings. A panel of six ‘fantasy football experts’, including Field Yates and Matthew Berry, averaged their individual ratings together to arrive at the final number – one that has both Colts fans and fantasy team owners scratching their heads.
“I believe that he will have top-12 fantasy numbers this year with all the things that they’ve got going on and that offensive line and his understanding of the game,” Rickard said. “I don’t think he’s gonna be off the charts, but I think he’s gonna be really solid.”
It’s no secret that Indianapolis is committed to running the football. But in Frank Reich’s offense, which features a much better o-line than the one Rivers had in Los Angeles, surely the 38-year-old signal caller will put up respectable numbers.
“He hasn’t thrown for less than 4,000 yards since 2012,” Big Joe said. “He’s well over that. 4,300 was as close as he got, so he’s getting the yardage.”
20 interceptions really ate at Rivers’ fantasy numbers last season, but so did his lack of mobility. Nobody expects Rivers to use his legs as a weapon, but it is worth mentioning that he and Gardner Minshew were the only two quarterbacks inside the top 28 (using 2019 standard scoring) with no rushing touchdowns. On top of that, Rivers and Drew Brees were the only QBs in that group to rush for fewer than 30 yards. The NFL is evolving, and every stat adds up.
“They think he’s old and he’s with a new team that wants to run and they don’t like the [Colts] receivers,” Rickard concluded. “Those are really the three things…they’re telling you.”
Is Rivers, who threw for the fourth-most yards in the NFL last season, the fantasy football steal of 2020? Or will he be just another sleeper pick that never woke up?
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