A fantasy draft is all about obtaining the most value with each selection. There is value available throughout a draft, and grabbing it is one of the most important keys to a successful fantasy team. This article specifically targets deep sleeper value (players that can be found very lain a fantasy draft). In an attempt to point out this value, we asked our staff to look deeper than the Top 150 and identify players that should significantly outperform their late draft position. These players should be your targets after the 12th round of your draft.
Player Receiving 9 Votes
Philip Rivers, Indianapolis
Andrew Davenport: Rivers certainly looked like he had lost a little bit last year at times. But a porous offensive line can make any quarterback look washed up. The Colts are the polar opposite with one of the stronger offensive lines in the league. A savvy veteran like Rivers suddenly finds himself behind a great line, with three very capable running backs, and a group of explosive pass catchers. Dismissing him seems like a bad idea, despite his age. The situation is set up for Rivers to have another quietly productive year as fantasy drafters have largely forgotten him despite the upgraded situation. Take a chance on Rivers late in drafts.
Jeff Haseley: In his 16 years in the league, Philip Rivers has surpassed 4,000 yards passing 11 times, including 11 of the last 12 seasons. He may be in the sunset of his career, but until proven otherwise, he is still a confident, proven quarterback with a solid supporting cast led by veteran T.Y. Hilton. The Colts also have a young corps of receiving talent in Zach Pascal, Parris Campbell, and rookie Michael Pittman Jr Jr. As a fantasy quarterback, he has finished inside the top 15 in each of the last seven seasons. A drop in production could come this season, but until then, he is still a viable fantasy commodity who can be drafted as a QB2.
Bob Henry: Rivers signing with the Colts was no surprise. It reunites him with Frank Reich. The two were together in San Diego from 2013 to 2015 where Rivers finished as QB5, QB11, and QB13. Rivers will also be playing behind what’s arguably the best offensive line of his career with a solid mix of skilled targets. As long as Rivers holds true to form at 38 years old, he should easily outplay his ADP and return value either as a committee quarterback or a backup with weekly QB1 upside.
Andy Hicks: The arrival of Philip Rivers in Indianapolis is one of the more intriguing stories of 2020. After 16 years with the Chargers, we get to find out if Rivers was propping up his former side or holding them back. With the Colts he should be a breath of fresh air after Jacoby Brissett struggled to manage the full-time role. The Colts have built a much stronger offense, in theory, than his time with the Chargers. The offensive line is one of the best in the league, a problem often with his former team. There is a strong three-headed monster at running back and a potential explosive corp of receivers. The youth of the offense may be an issue for a veteran needing a side that is ready now, but with Rivers already familiar with this offense, an explosive start is more than feasible.
Jordan McNamara: Sometimes, players just need a change of scenery. Philip Rivers will get the opportunity to play behind one of the best offensive lines in football, with a diverse set of weapons in Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, T.Y. Hilton, Michael Pittman Jr Jr., Paris Campbell, and Jack Doyle. Rivers finished as QB15 last year when he threw for 4,615 yards last year and was exactly at his career average of 7.8 yards per attempt. His big downfall was the 3.9% touchdown rate, the worst of his career as a starter. Rivers is an excellent bounce-back bet in 2020.
Chad Parsons: Rivers is one of the Rodney Dangerfield quarterbacks in 2020. He gets no respect despite three top-six finishes and another eight seasons in the QB7-12 range over his 14 years in the NFL. Rivers enters a Colts offense with a strong offensive line, T.Y. Hilton primed for a bounce-back, Michael Pittman Jr and Jonathan Taylor notably added from the NFL Draft, and Jack Doyle a sturdy tight end option. Rivers optimizes offenses with the keyword being protection. Rivers will have it with a much better offensive line than he had of late with the Chargers and a run game which can alleviate pressure from Rivers to be the centerpiece of the offense at all times. The two previous times in Rivers' career he came off of a QB2-level performance, he followed with top-5 seasons. Rivers was QB17 in 2019 as another one of his down years with an opportunity to, once again, crush his draft stock in 2020.
Jeff Pasquino: Rivers joins his first new team in his 17-year career as the new starter for Indianapolis. The good news is that he knows the offense thanks in part to his long history with Frank Reich when both were in San Diego. Rivers is a solid quarterback that never misses a start, but he is getting overlooked because of what the Colt offense looked like last season. Remember that last August, Andrew Luck surprised everyone by retiring, shocking the Colts and forcing them towards a more conservative, run-heavy offense. All that can change this year behind Rivers, who has T.Y. Hilton, two strong tight ends and several young but talented wide receivers to round out the group.
Matt Waldman: Veteran quarterbacks paired with strong offensive line play leads to strong production. Rivers may be in a new town but Frank Reich coached Rivers a few years ago and the personnel catching the ball from Rivers bear a lot of stylistic similarities to the players of Rivers' past in San Diego and Los Angeles. Add a productive ground game to the mix and Rivers will have to take fewer chances to make plays, which will lead to efficient, big-play production. The fact that he's not even at the end of the Top 150 is absurd.
Jason Wood: Philip Rivers has been a top-10 fantasy quarterback eight times in his storied career, but he hasn't cracked the Top 12 in consecutive years. That's part of the reason the Chargers moved on and are planning a rebuild around rookie Justin Herbert. Rivers wasn't unemployed for long, as he takes over in Indianapolis. Many think the Colts are a competent passer short of Super Bowl contention, which makes the signing logical. But does he still have the skill set to be a fantasy starter? The Colts receiving corps is unproven beyond T.Y. Hilton, who has battled a litany of injuries in recent years. The good news is Rivers knows Frank Reich's system intimately from their days in San Diego, so if the Colts young pass-catchers can make a leap, Rivers could surprise with another strong year.
Players Receiving 5 Votes
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