Fantasy's undervalued stars

Time to give more respect to Philip Rivers, others

Updated: November 15, 2013, 9:38 PM ET
By Tim Hasselbeck | ESPN Insider

Philip Rivers Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY SportsPhilip Rivers has put up sensational fantasy numbers in 2013.

Earlier this week, I saw the news that former NFL tight end Todd Christensen had passed away, and it was pretty shocking. My dad was Christensen's backup on the Los Angeles Raiders team that won Super Bowl XVIII, so it hit a little close to home.

Christensen changed the game for tight ends. He was a perfect version of the "move TE" that we see throughout the game these days -- not a great in-line blocker, but dominant on short to intermediate routes. Ask anyone about the great TEs from the early to mid-1980s, and you'll hear Kellen Winslow's name and Dwight Clark's name, but you won't hear Christensen's name as often.

In an era when the NFL was more of a rushing league, Christensen racked up 349 catches from 1983 to 1986 (four seasons of 92, 80, 82 and 95 grabs). In the '83 and '86 seasons, those reception totals led the entire league at any position, and they'd stand up against the best TEs in today's pass-friendly NFL. Oh, and those numbers were higher than Winslow's and Clark's best career marks.

The point is, Christensen doesn't get the same level of recognition as the others, even though he was performing at a ridiculous level. Well, there are a lot of players in 2013 who are performing at a high level and still not getting much recognition either. So in honor of the great Christensen, here's our Week 11 scouting report.

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