Fantasy Football 2012: Why Philip Rivers Will Produce Lackluster Numbers

Joseph BisacciaCorrespondent IJune 21, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 01:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers in action against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on January 1, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Philip Rivers is a name fantasy football players know very well but should stay away from in 2012. From 2008-2010, he was one the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL. He was consistently among the leading scorers for quarterbacks in fantasy football.

However, 2011 was a season that left many fantasy football players scratching their heads. Rivers struggled in the early parts of the season and ended up posting a career high in interceptions with 20. He also fumbled the ball seven times.

Thinking that 2012 is going to be a bounce back year for Rivers would be a huge mistake. It could potentially cost you money and bragging rights in your league.

The Chargers' offensive line is a group that has really struggled to stay healthy in recent years. They are a talented group, but Rivers has very limited mobility. He is a prototypical passer and needs to stay in the pocket. If this group suffers multiple injuries, as they have in recent years, he will be forced to make bad decisions. This could lead to another inconsistent, turnover plagued season.

Ryan Matthews is also a concerning area for Rivers. Matthews hasn't played at a star-caliber level since the the Chargers drafted him. Rivers needs some kind of a running game to keep the defenses from using extra coverage to confuse him.

Also, Rivers lost his best receiver in Vincent Jackson. He left via free agency to sign a huge deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Why the Chargers felt Jackson was unworthy of a new deal is unknown, but his presence will be missed. He was Rivers' go-to receiver.

Antonio Gates' future is also in doubt. According to Michael Gehlken of the UT San Diego, the 32-year-old is trying to lose weight to take the pressure off his feet. He has battled foot injuries for several years and isn't quite as explosive as he once was.

These are all reasons why it would be smart to stay away from Philip Rivers in fantasy football 2012. Other quarterbacks such as Matt Schaub, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan and Tony Romo will mostly be available around the same time as Rivers. They are all safer options who will likely produce better, more consistent numbers in 2012.