Archive for category Chargers

Quarterback Blurb Breakdown: Philip Rivers

Can Philip Rivers repeat a better than expected 2008?

Can Philip Rivers repeat a better than expected 2008?

Not everybody likes Philip Rivers. There may be an entire industry built around hating him.

I have never quite understood it – he’s not even the most obnoxious player at his position in his team’s history (Ryan Leaf anyone)?
He’s a trash talker and I love a good fiery trash talker (see last fall’s constant Rudy Carpenter analysis), so maybe I’m immune to his tomfoolery.
All I know is, last season he talked – and backed it up.
If you drafted Rivers as part of a quarterback by committee or your back-up, there’s a fair chance you started him a ton more than you thought you would. Rivers led the league in passer rating and touchdown passes in 2008 and was in the top five quarterbacks of many fantasy leagues.
It’s worth noting he did it with a shaky offensive line, no blocking fullback to count on and a perpetually injured LaDainian Tomlinson. Of course, being down late in many games because the defensive was lackluster didn’t hurt his numbers.
The offensive line should be much improved this year, Jacob Hester should have a better grasp on blocking, LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates will be healthy. There is a lot to like about Rivers’ team this year.
There are a few things to worry about though. First, the defense looks to be much better this season. Shawne Merriman is back and the overall defense looks stronger. That’s supposed to be good, right?
But in so far as Rivers’ value, no it may not be.
Part of what made Rivers such a surprise quarterback stud was the incredible collapse of his defense, forcing him to throw from behind in many games.
If a quarterback has to come from behind, there is a strong chance you will see their numbers inflated. Rivers had to throw a ton from behind last year. By all accounts, that is not the case this coming season.
So his opportunity to throw during a game may actually come down a bit.
Still, this is a player who has a ton of upside and while he may not throw as much as he did last year, he may be more effective and score more. With a better defense, field position will be better and while that may limit his 98 yard drives, he’s more likely to finish a shorter drive with a score than a longer one, since he doesn’t have a classic ‘big play/vertical threat’.
I’m a big Vincent Jackson fan and think we’ve really just scratched the surface of his talent the last season or so, but I don’t expect him to be a marque wide receiver in the Wayne/Jennings/Johnson sense. Chris Chambers keeps hanging around and people keep talking him up but he’s no great shakes overall. Decent but again, not anything to hang your hat on.
Yet Rivers is able to utilize them to tremendous affect and as he gets a healthy Gates back, I think it only helps him more. Looking at his division, it’s promising as well.

To me, while his attitude rubs some the wrong way I look past it to see a player who is definitely a top ten fantasy quarterback and a strong possibility to sniff the top five if things fall right.

Let others worry about his personality – grab him as part of your QBBC and know you have someone who has the upside to finish as one of the best in 2009.

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Wednesday Stampede

Short post this morning as it’s just a bit quite. This is what happens as we shift into season mode – aside from cuts and some injuries, not much going on. Next week the Blurb will me more strategy than info as we also shift into season mode.

Also a reminder that The Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Podcast airs live tonight on BlogTalkRadio.com at 9pm EST/6pm PST. You can get on the air by calling (718) 506-1722.

On to the news -
Cleveland Browns
Derek Anderson’s concussion was termed mild and he should be ready for week 1 – so don’t worry about Edwards, Winslow and the rest of the Cleveland offense. We’ll see a lot of Brady Quinn over the next few preseason games and the Browns will be able to judge – at least in part – what Quinn might mean for their future. If he plays well enough, you’ll hear some murmurs about him starting but the Browns could challenge for the AFC North title, so it won’t happen. Kick Returner Joshua Cribbs has a high ankle sprain and that’s a worse piece of news. That can linger and will upset the Cleveland Special Teams, and their value, if he isn’t 100%.

Buffalo Bills
Trent Edwards was injured during Tuesday’s practice – a deep quad contusion according to HC Dick Jauron. Like with Anderson, this will probably keep Edwards out of a preseason game or two but is unlikely to affect his Week 1 status. There have been a few people who have wondered whether or not JP Losman might be a better fit (again) but the question has been answered already and barring a big injury, the Bills will start Edwards.

Arizona Cardinals
Rookie Tim Hightower has moved to the #2 spot on the depth chart in Arizona. Not surprising given how awful JJ Arrington and the departed Marcel Shipp have been the last two years. He won’t eat into Edge’s value much although he might get some short yardage looks. He’s Edge’s handcuff if you follow that strategy and is a good person to have on your Dynasty bench, Edge or not. Another rookie not faring as well would be WR Early Doucet. Doucet was back in practice Tuesday after a hamstring injury knocked him out for a while. He needs a big couple of preseason games to pass Steve Breaston for the #3 spot on the Cards. A few rookies have exploded on rosters this preseason, so he could do it – but as always I warn against counting on rookies – especially rookie WRs – for much.

Cincinnati Bengals
So Chris Henry is back after Marvin Lewis said ‘never again’ – which can’t make him (Lewis) all that happy. Before you get all excited, Henry is serving a suspension for the first 4 games. Some are reading it into Chad Johnson’s injury (so much that he dropped about 4 rounds in the Fantasy Sportswriters Assoc Draft last night) but I read it more as concern that the rookie they have won’t be able to step up if Johnson and Houshmandzedah have problems. That sounds like the same but it isn’t – I don’t know that either Housh or Ocho Cinco are hurt badly so much as the rookies have been unspectacular in camp, although each has had a good preseason game.

Miami Dolphins
This is probably just encouragement, but according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel HC Tony Sparano has not ruled out rookie Chad Henne being named the starter. I don’t know I buy that but it could mean Pennington is having issues picking up the offense. It could also just be Sparano’s way of saying ‘Nice job, rookie’ as Henne has impressed during Trainging Camp. It would suck if – in the unlikely event Henne was the starter Week 1 – Pennington moved teams only to get stuck as a back-up again. Let me be clear though – I don’t think that will happen. The team is reportedly also looking for a 4th round pick for John Beck.

Yeah – good luck with that.

Chicago Bears
Running Back Kevin Jones gets some preseason action on Thursday against the 49rs. He’s fighting to back-up Matt Forte but Jones could get significant carries by the middle of the season – he’s got ability, it’s his health that seems to get in the way. Forte is still a rookie and will burn out at some point as most do. Expect the Bears to keep him fresh with Jones if Jones is available. Forte is still the guy to grab first, if you find him at a godo value.

San Diego Chargers
In other brief news, Antonio Gates is cleared to practice and might be looking good for Week 1. You probably won’t see him in the next two preseason games – if a healthy LT isn’t playing, why risk a healing Gates? – but assuming he isn’t set-back in practice, he could start Week 1, which is both good for your Fantasy Team and the Chargers’ chances at starting strong, something they need to do in the AFC this year.

That’s all for now – remember the show tonight. Among other things, we’ll be talking some Offesnive lines to watch and some to avoid, talking about the BloTalkRadio Fantasy Football Podcaster league draft I will be doing at the same time and the fact that I am a mere 30 odd hours from Vegas.

Good times.
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Feel free to send questions – or betting advice – to thunderingblurb@gmail.com or comment below.