Fantasy Football: Philip Rivers or Aaron Rodgers?

Taylor RummelSenior Analyst IJune 26, 2009

  According to 12-team mock drafts being held on fantasyfootballcalculator, Quarterback Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers is being selected with the seventh pick in the fourth round, and Quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is being taken two picks later in the fourth.

  But which one is better?

  We'll start with Rivers since he is the first man being taken.

  Last season, Rivers set new career highs for passing yards, (4,009), touchdowns, (34), completion percentage, (65.3 percent) and quarterback rating, (105.5).

  Compared to the rest of the NFL's QBs, Rivers finished first in terms of rating, tied for first in touchdown passes, fifth in passing yards and seventh in completion percentage.  Certainly these numbers make him a top five quarterback overall.

  Rivers achieved these numbers by being the commandor of a great, and star-studded offense.  He had sensational tight end Antonio Gates, emerging wideout Vincent Jackson, and solid vet Chris Chambers to chuck the ball to on any particular down.

  In the backfield he had perhaps the best in the business, LaDanianTomlinson, to help deflect defensive attention.  LT had a down year certainly last season, and the fact that he is an old-man now leads me to believe that the Chargers will use backup Darren Sproles now more than ever.  Sproles has shown his elusiveness in the open-field while giving LT a breather, evident by his 5.4 ypa average.  He also proves to be a fantastic dump-off option for Rivers, as he[Sproles] implemented a robust 11.8 ypc last year.

  No one is leaving from the Chargers offense, so Rivers should continue to enjoy statistical success, just maybe not to the levels that he did in 2008.

  Mr. Rodgers, like Rivers, enjoyed a career year in every regard.  He surpassed 4,000 passing yards, had a completion percentage of 63.6, threw 28 touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 93.8.

  Those totals were good enough for fourth, tenth, fourth and sixth respectively; and, like Rivers, produced well enough to warrant his selection as a top ten fantasy quarterback, and possibly top five.

  Rodgers had star wide receiver Greg Jennings, aged-veteran Donald Driver, up-and-coming receiver James Jones, and tight end Donald Lee to throw the ball to last season.  Not a great list of names, but must've been good enough for Rodgers to accumulate the stats that he did.

  In the backfield he had underachiever Ryan Grant.  A season after he gave fantasy managers the vibe to draft him high, (it rhymes), Grant came up flat, averaging a terrible 3.9 ypa, (compared to the 5.1 in 2007).  He should bounce back though, since the passing game will help open up the running game, and vice versa.

  The fact that Rodgers was able to put up the stats that he did, while playing in a mediocre offense to say the least, is mightily impressive.  Impressive so much that I think he will outperform quarterback Philip Rivers this upcoming year.  My reasoning is that while Rodgers can only go up, Rivers can only go down since I think he has achieved as high as he ultimately will statistically.

Draft either as a sure-fire number one fantasy quarterback.


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