Three and Out: Can Rivers keep up his hot start in San Diego?

{eot} Staff
9/19/2013 12:41:09 PM
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Each week, Fantasy Editor Scott Cullen and NFL Editors Ben Fisher and Mitch Ward discuss three hot fantasy football topics.

1) Are you buying into Philip Rivers' hot start in San Diego?

Cullen: Believe it or not, I am. Head coach Mike McCoy has had some success as the offensive co-ordinator with far lesser quarterbacks (Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow), so resurrecting one as talented as Rivers shouldn't be as difficult. Obviously Rivers' receivers have to stay healthy, and losing Danario Alexander in camp was a downer, but with Antonio Gates, Eddie Royal, Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown, that's enough talent to get Rivers north of 4,000 yards and, more importantly, drop the interception totals from the last couple seasons. Now, I'm not buying 5,000 yards and 50-plus touchdowns, like his current pace, but that's not fair to expect of anyone.

Fisher: No. Rivers is the fourth-ranked fantasy QB and has almost doubled his projected points totals through two weeks but I don't think it'll last. Rivers will eventually fall to QB2 status where he belongs, although that's higher than some had him ahead of the season. Too much has fallen in Rivers' favour to think his two-week performance is anything more than a hot run. San Diego has duked it out in all-offensive wars each of their first two games this year, forcing the Chargers to lean toward the pass over the run, and Rivers' favourite connection has been the similarly shaky fantasy performer Eddie Royal. There's no doubt Mike McCoy will be a breath of fresh air for Rivers and San Diego's offence, but I think we'll see a happy medium between last year's numbers and this year's fast start develop for Rivers starting this week in Tennessee.

Ward: Will the real Philip Rivers please stand up? I'm not going all in on the Rivers revival just yet. While I think you can expect better production out of him in Mike McCoy's system this season, his arm just isn't what it once was and he doesn't have the weapons to produce QB1 numbers on a consistent basis. If he was on my team, I'd probably be looking to sell high.

2) With Knowshon Moreno looking entrenched as the Broncos starter at RB, is he worth starting on your team every week?

Cullen: If you're starting two backs, sure, it's reasonable to start Moreno, but I don't know that he's so entrenched in the spot. The injury to left tackle Ryan Clady might help Moreno in that respect, because his blitz pickup is one of the advantages he holds over Montee Ball, but it's still worth noting that Moreno had 16 touches to Ball's 14 in Week Two. The production was much more in favour of Moreno (107 yards and two touchdowns compared to Ball's 41 yards) and that's why he's worth starting right now, but I don't yet have the feeling that Moreno is a locked-in, guaranteed starter for the rest of the season.

Fisher: Moreno is your prototypical boom or bust candidate, only with the added deterrent of two other RBs on the roster close to stealing touches. Moreno is the team's leading back because he protects Peyton Manning better than the others and anyone getting regular snaps in that offence is bound to have big scoring days like Moreno had last week, but they aren't going to come every week. If it's not Moreno's time to shine in the Broncos' offence, you could be looking at a five-point day from one of your starting RBs. Not good enough. If you have nobody else, take the chance Moreno will have another ‘boom' week, but a more consistent back, who is at less risk of losing touches, could be the safer route.

Ward: For now. You definitely wouldn't want him as your top back, but he has value as a mid- to low-end RB2 right now. The Broncos coaching staff has completely soured on Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball just isn't ready to play a ton of snaps with his fumbling and pass protection issues. The Broncos will be playing with a lead for most of the year which should mean plenty of touches for Moreno in the second half of games. Eventually Ball will eat into his touches, but as long as Moreno is at the top of the depth chart, roll him out there.

3) What is TE Jordan Cameron's ceiling in Cleveland?

Cullen: There are a couple of moves this week that might lower Cameron's ceiling a bit. After two weeks, he ranked second among tight ends with 203 receiving yards and I would have been inclined to say that he has a chance to be a Top Five tight end, because the tight end group gets rather muddled after the top three or four. But then the Browns named Brian Hoyer as their starting quarterback. It's not like Brandon Weeden is a world-beater, but he's had more than 96 career pass attempts and Hoyer hasn't done anything to this point in his career to generate confidence. So that counts against Cameron somewhat. The other factor is the trade of RB Trent Richardson to Indianapolis. Combining iffy quarterback play with a now unproven running game sounds like a lot more three-and-outs for a Browns offence that was already capable of putting those on the board. With those two factors taken into account, I think Cameron can still be a Top 10 tight end, but it's lower than I would have suggested, say, Sunday night.

Fisher: Cameron looks closer and closer to the real deal every week, even in Cleveland's offence. He's the fifth-rated TE through two weeks despite playing in 31st ranked offence, with the 29th ranked QB. The former fourth-rounder seems like a legit talent at tight end as more and more pure athletes are turning the position into a premier one. He could have a ceiling as high as Top 3 (behind Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham) if of course, he played somewhere other than Cleveland. His floor could be amongst the almost elite, think Vernon Davis and Jason Witten, and with the Browns' feeble offence, he'll likely be stuck closer to that than his ceiling. Cameron's fantasy stock could drop a little for Week 3 with surprise starter Brian Hoyer taking over for the injured Brandon Weeden, but he has enough talent to still produce TE1 numbers.

Ward: Even with the Browns' middling quarterback play (and that's being generous), Cameron is a solid TE1. Put him on a better team, with a better quarterback and he has top-3 potential. He's big, super athletic and is developing into an excellent route-runner. Even with Josh Gordon's return from suspension, Cameron could remain the Browns top receiving option.

Philip Rivers (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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