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What to do with Philip Rivers in Week 5 fantasy football

Rivers has found the Fount of Youth in his age-38 season. The quarterback has surpassed the 1,200-yard mark in four games but he’s done so through somewhat easy matchups. We take a look at his upside entering his Week 5 contest against Denver.

Philip Rivers of the Los Angeles Chargers running to the huddle in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

After Eli Manning was benched for Daniel Jones in Week 3, Philip Rivers became the second-oldest starting quarterback in the NFL behind Tom Brady. And although the Chargers are currently 2-2 in the standings, it’s been almost a decade since Rivers started a season (four games) passing for more than his current 1,254 yards (back in 2011). That’s some great aging, so we can officially start calling him Vino. Jokes aside, Rivers has been great in the still short 2019 season. He has three 300-plus yards games (he had 293 in the other game), has only been intercepted twice and has thrown seven touchdowns already. Rivers has looked like an elite QB and ranks inside the top 10 in attempts, completions, completion percentage, passing yards, and touchdowns.

Moving our focus to the fantasy world, Rivers has been as good as already introduced if not more. He has three games of 23.5 or more fantasy points (low-end QB1), and another one with 13.9 (low-end QB2). He comes from virtually identical performances in the past two weeks, passing for 318 and 310 yards—with two touchdowns in each game—against Houston and Miami, although his completion percentage against the Dolphins rose to a ridiculous 80 percent. Having the best WR in the world playing on his side definitely helps, as Keenan Allen ranks first in points at the position in every format. On top of that Melvin Gordon is coming back this week—not that Los Angeles needs him though, with Austin Ekeler performing as the second-best running back in all leagues, bested only by Christian McCaffrey. Could this really be Rivers year after all?

Fantasy football analysis, Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers

It could definitely be Rivers’ year, yes. What I am not so sure about is if this will be Rivers’ weekend. The Chargers have faced four average or below-average defenses, and in the two games they lost they were limited to 30 combined points. Denver is miles ahead of those teams. The Broncos are, actually, giving up just 14.6 fantasy points per game to QBs, second only behind New England. They have just surrendered a ridiculous 74 completions for 827 yards in four games. And what leads me to believe the Chargers will try to avoid the passing game this weekend is that Denver really suffers at stopping running backs. For all the good they do against quarterbacks, Denver is allowing 130 yards per game for an average of 27.0 fantasy points per game to rushers. Fournette burned the Broncos and this week both Ekeler and Gordon will feature in the backfield. I think Los Angeles will want to hand his “new” toy the ball to celebrate his comeback and use Ekeler as much as ever, limiting potential turnovers through the passing game.

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