Eric D. Williams, ESPN Staff Writer 351d

For fantasy players, Chargers QB Philip Rivers still worth keeping around

COSTA MESA, Calif. – Philip Rivers hasn’t exactly set the world on fire through the first half of the season, so it’s understandable that ESPN fantasy expert Matthew Berry says that fantasy owners shouldn’t be afraid to drop the 35-year-old quarterback in 10-team leagues with the Los Angeles Chargers heading into the bye week.

According to ESPN’s fantasy leaders, Rivers is 10th overall with 119.2 fantasy points. He finished 13th overall among quarterbacks with 250 points last season.

Through eight games, Rivers is fifth in NFL in passing yards (2,028) and tied for seventh in passing touchdowns (13).

While Rivers has not played his best football, he has been more efficient, with just two turnovers in his last four games. Along with that, there are a couple reasons to hold onto him if you have the NC State product on your fantasy roster.

Chargers’ schedule softens: Through the first eight games, the combined record of the Bolts’ opponents was 30-24. However, the Chargers’ opponents the final eight weeks are a combined 24-32. They include home games against the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills, along with a road contest against the New York Jets.

Jacksonville Jaguars up next: The Chargers face the Jaguars on the road coming out of the bye week. Yes, the Jaguars are playing good defense, but Rivers is 6-1 all-time against Jacksonville, completing 71 percent of his passes for 2,119 yards and 19 touchdowns, with just four interceptions. Also, having former Jaguars coach Gus Bradley around as the Chargers’ defensive coordinator should help in terms of knowledge of Jacksonville’s defensive personnel.

He’s available: Rivers hasn’t missed a game since he took over as the Chargers’ starter in 2006. And with prolific quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer already missing games this year, it’s nice to know that Rivers will likely be on the field during the second half of the season.

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