Popular Features

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  • NFL RB Prospect Machine Learning
    March 23, 2020
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  • Three Quarterbacks To Target In ALL Superflex Fantasy Football Formats
    March 13, 2020
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  • 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Michael Pittman Jr.
    March 11, 2020
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  • Is Will Fuller Still A Fantasy Football Buy At Increased Cost?
    April 1, 2020
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  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profiles: David Montgomery, Iowa State
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  • Fantasy Football Impact: Todd Gurley Signs With Atlanta Falcons
    March 20, 2020
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  • Kenyan Drake Fantasy Football
    March 26, 2020
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  • Fantasy Football Impact: Stefon Diggs Traded To Buffalo Bills
    March 17, 2020
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Fantasy Football Impact: Philip Rivers Signs With Indianapolis Colts

Fantasy Football Impact: Philip Rivers Signs With Indianapolis Colts
Ricky.sanders15@gmail.com March 19, 2020 4:09PM EDT

Fantasy Football Impact: Philip Rivers Signs With Indianapolis Colts

Move over, Jacoby Brissett, there is a new QB1 in town, and he is, of course, 35-year old Philip Rivers. Coming off his second worst season in terms of QB rating over the course of his 14 years as a starter, Rivers will be called upon to run an offense that features such weapons as T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle and Zach Pasca. General Manager Chris Ballard was dealt a terrible hand when he learned that Andrew Luck would retire from professional prior to the 2019 season.

The team could have easily pulled the plug on Brissett following a MCL injury in Week 9 last year that limited him to just 3.0 yards per carry in the second half of the season but they stuck with him. Clearly, he was not in the long-term plans, which may have been the reason they chanced further injury with their starting quarterback (QB).

How Rivers will fit in Indianapolis remains to be seen but the offensive line protecting him is a drastic upgrade to the one Rivers suffered behind last year. Pro Football Focus graded the Chargers’ offensive line as 29th in the league and it was the fifth consecutive season in which Rivers played behind a line that graded 26th or worse in terms of pass protection. The Colts ran pure last year in terms of line health as all five starters played over 1,000 snaps, and while that is unlikely to continue, the unit is a clear upgrade from what Rivers is used to.

Despite the talented receiving core Rivers was working with last year, especially once Hunter Henry returned to the mix, Rivers averaged a three-year low 7.8 yards per attempt (YPA) and posted a career-worst 1.15 TD:INT ratio. Additionally, it is not like Rivers dominated when the pocket remained clear, as he posted just a 96.8 QB rating when he was not under pressure. Amongst QBs who played at least 20-percent of their team’s respective dropbacks, only nine posted a worse QB rating in the split: Dwayne Haskins, David Blough, Andy Dalton, Baker Mayfield, Devlin Hodges, Kyle Allen, Mitchell Trubisky, Josh Allen and Kyler Murray (ARI). In other words, Rivers will need to improve upon his play from last year for the offensive line upgrade to matter.

Hilton becomes his top target in the passing game coming off a year where he averaged just 4.5 receptions (RECs) per game, nearly a career-low 6.8 targets per game and a career-low 50.1 receiving yards per game. At just 5’10”, 183 lbs., it is no wonder the under-sized Hilton has started to deal with more frequent injury concerns as his career has gone on, as he has missed a combined eight games over the course of his last two seasons (after missing just two games in his first six years combined). Whereas Keenan Allen possessed the skill set of a true number one receiver, no such thing exists in the Colts passing game as of now.

Marlon Mack is coming off a 1,000-plus yard season so he should at least bring balance to the offense. Only four teams averaged fewer rushing yards per game last year than the Chargers and only six teams averaged more rushing yards per game than the Colts in 2019. The balance should lead to Rivers attempting fewer than the 591 passes (second most of his career) from a year ago.

Combine all these factors and it is easy to see why Rivers is not worthy of fantasy consideration in shallow leagues. Rivers does not run much either as evident by the fact that he has rushed for 97 yards over the course of his last 80 games. Fully reliant on his arm in a less-than-perfect scenario for him at 36-years old leaves him outside the top 25 QBs in RotoExperts rankings and, barring acquiring multiple elite pass-catchers, he can be safely ignored in most one QB formats.

Popular Features

  • 2020 Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings
    March 9, 2020
    2020 Post-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

    2020 Post-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings After getting through the process of ranking the incoming rookies, it is time to start more seriously thinking about how the incoming players change the construction of dynasty fantasy football rankings. The QB carousel is not quite done spinning yet and won’t until Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Jameis…

  • 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Justin Jefferson, LSU
    March 16, 2020
    The Top Machine Learning WR Prospect Will Surprise You

    What Can Machine Learning Tell Us About WR Prospects? One of my favorite parts of draft season is trying to model the incoming prospects. This year, I wanted to try something new, so I dove into the world of machine learning models. Using machine learning to detail the value of a WR prospect is very…

  • NFL RB Prospect Machine Learning
    March 23, 2020
    The 2020 Machine Learning NFL RB Prospect Model

    What Can Machine Learning Tell Us About NFL RB Prospects? Last week, I released some machine learning model results that attempted to predict WR success. This week, I wanted to do the same for NFL RB Prospects. Evaluating an RB prospect before the NFL draft requires careful examination as draft capital is a huge part…

  • Three Quarterbacks To Target In ALL Superflex Fantasy Football Formats
    March 13, 2020
    Three Quarterbacks To Target In ALL Superflex Fantasy Football Formats

    Three Quarterbacks To Target In ALL Superflex Fantasy Football Formats The lifeblood of Superflex fantasy football leagues are cheap(er) secondary quarterbacks that are essentially an afterthought in “standard” leagues. We have talked often on the SportsGrid Fantasy Football podcast and in articles here on RX about how fun we believe Superflex fantasy football dynasty leagues…

  • 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Michael Pittman Jr.
    March 11, 2020
    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Michael Pittman Jr.

    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Michael Pittman Jr. In a star-studded wide receiver class, Michael Pittman Jr. is not even amongst the 10 most recognizable names despite attending the University Of Southern California. Generally, USC wide receivers are held in high regard when they come out of school. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquise Lee, Nelson Agholor, and…

  • Is Will Fuller Still A Fantasy Football Buy At Increased Cost?
    April 1, 2020
    Is Will Fuller Still A Fantasy Football Buy At Increased Cost?

    Is Will Fuller Still A Fantasy Football Buy At Increased Cost? With the news that DeAndre Hopkins was traded to the Arizona Cardinals, Will Fuller’s dynasty fantasy football value got a nice little boost. The Texans also do not have a first-round pick and actually do not select all the way until the 57th pick.…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profiles: David Montgomery, Iowa State
    April 3, 2020
    David Montgomery: Mediocre Talent, Solid Seasonal Target

    David Montgomery: Mediocre Talent, Solid Seasonal Target On Feb. 25, Bears General Manager (GM) Ryan Pace told reporters that the team believes David Montgomery (CHI) can be the team’s featured back and carry a heavier load, “if the team opts to run more in 2020.” Bears GM Ryan Pace believes David Montgomery can be the…

  • Fantasy Football Impact: Todd Gurley Signs With Atlanta Falcons
    March 20, 2020
    Fantasy Football Impact: Todd Gurley Signs With Atlanta Falcons

    Fantasy Football Impact: Todd Gurley Signs With Atlanta Falcons With the news that Todd Gurley was released from the Los Angeles Rams for salary cap (and let us be honest, performance) reasons, Twitter immediately lit up with the speculation of where Gurley might go. Even if Gurley was at his worst last season, averaging 3.8…

  • Kenyan Drake Fantasy Football
    March 26, 2020
    Kenyan Drake, ADP And Markets In Motion

    Kenyan Drake, ADP And Markets In Motion The trade of David Johnson (HOU) to the Texans left Kenyan Drake (HOU), whom the team placed a transition tag on, as the clear lead man in the Cardinals backfield. In eight game with the Cardinals last year, Drake averaged 80.4 yards rushing yards per game on 5.2…

  • Fantasy Football Impact: Stefon Diggs Traded To Buffalo Bills
    March 17, 2020
    Fantasy Football Impact: Stefon Diggs Traded To Buffalo Bills

    Fantasy Football Impact: Stefon Diggs Traded To Buffalo Bills The fireworks have been fast and furious as the NFL has begun its’ free agency/legal tampering period. The Minnesota Vikings traded wide receiver Stefon Diggs and a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for the 22nd pick in this year’s draft, along with a fifth- and…