2013 Fantasy Football Preview: Will San Diego Chargers' Philip Rivers Be an Elite Quarterback?

By Jesse Schwartz
Philip Rivers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard not to feel bad for Philip Rivers at this stage in his career. For a guy who looked like one of the best quarterbacks in the league up until 2011, his value as a fantasy player has absolutely plummeted. Rivers has never failed to put up big passing yardage, but his tendency to turn the ball over has gotten the best of him as of late. It’s hard to say whether he deserves all the blame, though, as the San Diego Chargers haven’t exactly given him a plethora of weapons to work with since the departure of Vincent Jackson. The offensive line has also been a disaster, leaving Rivers vulnerable to several sacks and fumbles. With the exit of head coach, Norv Turner, and offensive coordinator, Clarence Shelmon, Rivers is looking for a fresh start in 2013. Yet the question still remains whether or not he can return to elite status.

The most noticeable issue with Rivers last year was that he often tried to do too much and forced bad throws. The Chargers had a rough year without a solid run game or a standout defense. It looked like Rivers had all the pressure in the world on his shoulders to somehow pull out victories for the team. He can only hope that this year is different. The Chargers drafted right tackle, D.J Fluker, to protect Rivers and hope to have a healthy Ryan Matthews in the backfield. They’ll be looking to establish a more balanced attack for Rivers to lead which could help limit the turnovers.

I’m inclined to say that Rivers will have a bounce-back year under a new head coach because he’s too good not to perform at a high level. He shouldn’t be drafted at the very top of the fantasy quarterback class, but he could certainly play like a top ten quarterback. It tends to be feast or famine with Rivers, so don’t expect him to put together a great performance every week. But if the Chargers improve as a team and Rivers gets some help on the offense, he could return to the way he played in 2010.

Jesse Schwartz is an NFL Writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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