2014 Fantasy Football Sleeper Candidate: QB Philip Rivers
The San Diego Chargers cemented a surprise berth in the NFL postseason in 2013 and even won a game in the Wild Card round on the road. San Diego’s success was mainly generated by the offense, and in particular the passing game led by WR Keenan Allen and QB Philip Rivers, who is a big-time sleeper candidate in fantasy football heading into the 2014 campaign.
Rivers had a stellar statistical season in 2013. He threw for 4,478 yards and 32 TDs to just 11 INTs. Rivers finished the season No. 1 overall in completion percentage (69.5), fourth in QBR at 105.5, fourth in TDs and fifth in passing yards. The veteran undoubtedly put on the best performance of his illustrious 10-year career. Although Allen did not establish himself as a big threat until Week 4 of the season, Rivers still put him over 1,000 yards receiving and helped him to Rookie Of The Year honors.
San Diego has reason to believe the team will take another step forward in 2014, as will Rivers’ statistics. The Chargers have two solid tight ends in Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green who will wreak havoc over the middle, the aforementioned Allen spreading the field wide and three running backs in Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown who are all primed for impressive showings. San Diego’s offense is dynamic; plain and simple, and Rivers could be headed for his first 5,000-yard passing season.
Currently Rivers is being drafted at the end of the ninth or beginning of the tenth round (9.12) in most standard drafts, which is a steal for a QB who essentially finished the 2013 campaign as the fourth-most productive player at the position. There are 13 QBs being taken ahead of him on a consistent basis, which is absolutely absurd. He has a chance to outperform eight of those being chosen prior, including big names like Andrew Luck, Jay Cutler, Tom Brady and Colin Kaepernick, among others.
Drafting a prospective top-five QB any later than the fifth round is typically a heist, and Rivers will be available in most drafts until the ninth. Rivers is the perfect choice for those who buy into the theory of waiting as long as possible to draft their QB in order to load up elsewhere at the skill positions.