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Philip Rivers probably won’t be so bad against the Chiefs this year

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Philip Rivers was not good against the Kansas City Chiefs last year. In two games the Chargers scored just six total points and Rivers completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes for 441 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Not surprisingly, the Chiefs won both games. The Chiefs have actually won four straight against Rivers and the Chargers, including a two-pick game to end the 2014 season. If you’re tallying at home, that’s zero touchdowns and four picks in the last three games against the Chiefs.

So for you fantasy folks, you want to avoid Rivers this week, right? That’s what I’m reading here on Rotoworld as Rivers is listed as someone you should sit. I’m not so sure about that. The Chiefs defense has a reputation of being very, very good the past few years but those of you in Kansas City who are paying attention know that things could be different early on this year.

A few reasons I’m concerned this week:

The loss of Justin Houston is massive. It affects every position on the field, especially the quarterback who doesn’t have to deal with a freakishly strong 260-pound man barreling down on him. Dee Ford probably isn’t coming out with another three-sack game.

Tamba Hali hasn’t played a snap in the preseason. Even a veteran like him will be rusty in his first game back. I’m not expecting a big game from Tamba.

The secondary is very young. The loss of Sean Smith will hurt early on. I’ve said before that the upside with the Chiefs young corners is that you tend to get better quicker in your first year or two so the Chiefs secondary will probably be better in Week 16 than in Week 1. It’s still Week 1 this week though and you’re going up against the division’s best quarterback. There will be rough patches.

Rivers has some weapons back. Antonio Gates was suspended and hurt last year. He’s healthy (or as healthy as he can be). Keenan Allen is going to play. He didn’t play in either of the Chiefs-Chargers games last year. He is a $10 million a year receiver so pretty good. Add in free agent pickup Travis Benjamin and all of a sudden I’m a little worried about the Chargers moving the ball on the Chiefs.

Am I being a little too cautious here or does facing Rivers this week concern you?