I had no interest in Philip Rivers when it was time to draft any of my fantasy football teams this past summer.
I wasn't alone: The San Diego Chargers' signal caller was the 24th QB taken, on average, according to each of three popular league hosts I checked. I'd venture to say that roughly half of his 2013 owners plucked him from the free-agent pool.
But here he is: the fourth-highest-scoring passer in fantasy leagues through five weeks.
Rivers lost Danario Alexander (torn ACL) before the season began and Malcom Floyd (serious neck injury) shortly thereafter. Yet he moves on, and he chucks it -- more often than many and more accurately than most. He still targets a semi-resurgent Antonio Gates, jitterbug Danny Woodhead, a rightfully cocky Keenan Allen, three-year sleeper Vincent Brown and occasional playmaker Eddie Royal. Even Ryan Mathews, sometimes.
And he does it for head coach Mike McCoy. Yep, Rivers is running an offense that propelled Kyle Orton to fantasy greatness for two-thirds of the 2010 season.
I bring this up because I've seen Rivers on the trade block in several industry leagues. He's the most traded player at one major fantasy league host and probably one of the most commonly dealt QBs at the rest.
Many of his owners probably don't need him. Some might not expect him to keep this up. Rivers' three-INT performance against the Oakland Raiders could be a sign of things to come.
But they could easily be incorrect. And his remaining schedule is disgustingly sweet. Rivers still threw for 411 yards and two touchdowns in Oaktown.
Cory traded for Rivers in two different leagues earlier this week because he found himself in unexpectedly dire straits at QB. Neither swap cost him one of his essential players; Justin Blackmon in one, T.Y. Hilton in the other. Good players, sure, but he's deep at wideout. Smart moves, I'd say.
Worried now that Matt Ryan is without Julio Jones (foot surgery) and, for who knows how long, Roddy White (strained hamstring, sprained ankle)? Eli Manning not working out quite the way you'd hoped? It sounds as if you don't have much to lose if you approach the owner of Rivers in your league.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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