Make Up or Break Up: Philip Rivers (Fantasy Football)
I will admit that it was difficult to decide to write to you after a year of disappointment and heartbreak. It feels like you set us up after your 2018 season when you finished as the QB11 completing 347 passes out of 508 attempts for 4,308 yards, 32 touchdowns, and only 12 interceptions. Indeed, you were considered a steal at the end of the 9th Round, finishing ahead of other QBs drafted before you like Cam Newton, Kirk Cousins, and Tom Brady. We all understood your fantasy production has ups-and-downs, but your ability to produce with high upside kept us by your side.
This year, however, I fear the pain has cut more deeply than in seasons past. While you beat last year’s numbers in completions, attempts, and yards, you also blew it when it came to touchdowns with only 23 and completely crushed us with 20 interceptions. It was your worst year for INTs since 2016 when you still managed to throw 33 touchdowns, lessening the sting. There is no salve to assuage the pain of six games with two or more interceptions (totaling 12) with only eight touchdowns during those games.
It seemed you abandoned your cool head and collected composure, choosing instead to force throws into double coverage creating turnovers time and time again. You must understand that not only did this hurt your own fantasy production, but that of your surrounding weapons like Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry, who all suffered from your ineptitude in 2019.
I am aware these words sound acerbic; however, there is a reality evident that must be addressed. After all, your old team thought Tyrod Taylor, of all people, would be a better replacement at QB than you. After your dismal 2019 season, it’s not hard to imagine why.
I have never been a fan of dwelling too long in the past. We must learn from our mistakes and move forward. The Indianapolis Colts have decided that your career of success outweighs that of your failures. Either that or they need a mature, father-figure in the locker room for rookie QB Jacob Eason to learn quickly and take your place in 2020 after you throw three or four interceptions in one game. Ahem. Like Weeks 10, 11, and 15 of 2019 that potentially cost a fantasy playoff spot. Just saying.
Anyway, as we look forward to 2020, we have to ask ourselves if you are in a better position with the Colts than you were with the Chargers. I confess, it looks rather dreary from my standpoint. While you will have a much-improved offensive line, your surrounding weapons could be considered pedestrian compared to Allen, Williams, Henry, and Austin Ekeler. This is no indictment against T.Y. Hilton, Paris Campbell, Jack Doyle, or Marlon Mack. They are excellent players and fantasy producers in their own right. However, how can they succeed both in real football as well as fantasy when your former Chargers’ weapons were hampered with you under center?
All right, enough with the doom and gloom. I promise this letter is not completely about disparaging your character. Your upcoming reunion with offensive coordinator Frank Reich gives me hope for your future in Indianapolis. Two of your better years, 2014 and 2015, featured Reich as the San Diego Chargers’ OC. In those two years, you completed 816 passes on 1,231 attempts for 9,078 yards. You had a whopping 60 touchdowns with only 31 interceptions (11 more in two years than you had in one year last season). You finished as the QB10 and QB11 respectively even though your team finished 9-7 and 4-12.
I guess what I am trying to tell you, Mr. Rivers, is that after all of the recent heartbreak and turmoil, I still wish to forgive you. But, don’t get excited. I am neither making up nor breaking up with you. While I am choosing to move past your poor season, I won’t be fooled again. Fool me twice, shame on me, as they say. I am moving on when it comes to other QB options who can be consistent with high upside in single quarterback leagues. In fact, having you as my second quarterback is far more realistic since you will most likely finish as a high QB2. I can certainly live with streaming you at the position on a matchup basis only as opposed to relying on you each week as my starter.
I hope you can understand my thoughts concerning your upcoming fantasy production and value. I will not completely abandon you, but I cannot let you be my one-and-only QB in 2020.