Draft Strategy

Stealing a Top 10 QB

By Kevin English 7:07am EDT 7/26/17

Thinking about using an early pick on a QB? Then you won't like our MVP Board, which will steer you away from the elite options. (There are exceptions, of course, like 2-QB or Superflex leagues.)

Typically, value is in the lower tier of QB1 passers. Guys with the potential to break out but not the track record of QBs ranked higher. Sometimes, you get surprise QB1 performers like Dak Prescott. Or perhaps you’ll get an undervalued vet who explodes — like Matt Ryan, whose ADP sat at QB19 last summer.

He finished 3rd among fantasy passers.

Looking ahead to 2017, we’re once again remaining patient when targeting QBs. So, stockpile RBs, WRs and maybe a TE early in your draft. Then, target 1 or 2 of our favorite value QBs with upside.

The kicker? Each one is going in the 9th round or later of My Fantasy League drafts since July 15.

Philip Rivers, Chargers

DS Rank: QB8

ADP: Round 9, QB15

Starting in 2016, here are Rivers’ fantasy finishes over the past 4 seasons:





Yet if you look at his ADP, he's priced 5 spots lower than his worst finish during that span.

Something’s surgely changed entering 2017, his 14th season…right? Well, Rivers will play under a new HC — Anthony Lynn. But veteran Ken Whisenhunt returns as OC.

The O-line received a makeover, but that’s not a bad development considering their 2016 struggles. Russell Okung was brought in to stabilize the LT spot. The team also added top rookies Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney to fortify the interior.

Those are pretty much the only noteworthy changes we see (other than the Chargers bolting San Diego for L.A).

Sure, Mike Williams arrived early in Round 1 of the draft, but a back injury has his production in doubt. Anything Rivers gets from the rookie should be considered a bonus.

This team is plenty deep with Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman and Travis Benjamin. TEs Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates provide key red zone targets, too. Last year, only Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan tossed more RZ TDs than Rivers.

Melvin Gordon -- a TD machine last year -- added 41 grabs at 10.2 per.

We get that there’s little flare to Rivers’ game. He won’t provide much (if anything) as a rusher. And there’s admittedly some risk of physical decline for a guy set to turn 36 in December.

Still, he hasn’t missed a game since becoming the starter in 2006. So given his situation, recent play and draft cost, he’s among our favorite targets in 2017 drafts.

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