NFL Prediction (07/14/13)

By Paul Bessire

Each day over the next two weeks we will reveal a Prediction of the Day, where we share an interesting player or team prediction leading into the 2013 NFL season. Rams vs. FalconsTampa Bay's defenseBroncos/49ersRavens repeat?Sacks will SkyrocketPlayoff teams missing the playoffsNew playoff teams, Broncos TDs

Prediction: Philip Rivers will score more fantasy points than Robert Griffin III.

Why it is likely:

Rivers is not terrible. He is just one year removed from throwing for 4,000+ yards and 27+ touchdowns in four consecutive seasons and struggled last year due to an injury that bothered him all year.

New head coach Mike McCoy led a Denver Broncos’ offense last season that averaged a whopping 13.6 more plays-per-game than the Chargers in 2012. Even at last year’s sub-standard efficiency, Rivers would have thrown for 4,500+ yards and likely around 30 touchdowns at that tempo.

More importantly, since we are discussing total fantasy points and not fantasy points per game, Rivers has played 16 games in a season for seven straight years. We’re not even sure Griffin III will make into the game in Week 1.

Possible obstacles:

Almost unquestionably, Griffin III is the better talent and will score more fantasy points on a game-to-game basis than Rivers. If RGIII can stay healthy and both starts and completes all 16 games, this becomes an incredibly difficult feat for Rivers. Plus, Rivers is standing behind one of the weakest offensive lines in the game and lacks a running game for support. He may have played in 112 straight regular season games, but if injuries plagued him through all 16 last year, staying healthy this year while taking 13 more snaps a game is a concern.

Final thought:

The gap between Rivers and RGIII on a per-game basis is not nearly as large as last season would suggest. Given, RGIII’s injury concerns and style of play, Rivers is the safer option at quarterback in fantasy.