Fantasy football owners have benefited the entire season if they have had either the Denver Broncos' Kyle Orton or the San Diego Chargers' Philip Rivers starting on their teams. Rivers and Orton are one and two in ESPN.com's fantasy QB rankings, with only five points separating them (170-165). Now, on Monday, Nov. 22, the two quarterbacks will face each other at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
Philip Rivers and the Chargers are coming off a bye week, but won their previous game, 29-23, against the Houston Texans on the road. Rivers threw for 295 yards and four touchdowns. The Texans have the worst passing defense in the league, so Rivers throwing for nearly 300 yards wasn't a surprise. What could we expect from Rivers this week? The Broncos' passing defense is No. 19 and allows 229.8 a game. And when the Chiefs couldn't rush the ball against the Broncos last Sunday, head coach Todd Haley had Matt Cassel air the ball out 53 times for 469 yards and four touchdowns. All things considered, Philip Rivers shouldn't struggle at all this weekend against the Broncos.
Kyle Orton had a very similar game to Philip Rivers this past Sunday, throwing for 296 yards and four touchdowns. The four touchdowns were a new career high, and he had a total of 27 fantasy points for the game. He'll go up against a Chargers defense that is no fantasy juggernaut, but also has the third best pass defense in the league. But that shouldn't cause any of his owners hesitation over starting him. There are few better options available. ESPN.com projects 18 points for him this week.
Verdict: This is a no-brainer for every fantasy owner. If you own Rivers, start him. If you own Orton, start him. These are the top two quarterbacks.