2010 Fantasy Football Sleeper Spotlight: Alex Smith
A typical fantasy football league consists of 12 teams nine starters (QB, two RBs, three WRs, TE, K, D) and anywhere from five to seven bench players. If you go with the latter bench allotment, you’re looking at 16 roster spots or 192 draft picks. By that definition, any sleeper should have an average draft position about 180 or lower.
San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith sports an ADP of 185, which means on average he’s the fifth pick of the 16th round. He has the 24th highest ADP of any QB behind the likes of Josh Freeman, Matt Cassel, and Kyle Orton.
I know he has been a disappointment, especially given his first overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft, but I think we’re being kind of harsh on the young man, though personally I have him as the 15th ranked fantasy QB. He showed enough last year to justify that ranking in my mind.
Smith completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 2350 yards, 18 TDs vs. 12 INTs, and a 81.5 passer rating. Those numbers don’t exactly bring Niner fans back to the days of Joe Montana or Steve Young, but they should lead fantasy owners to draft him before the likes of Josh Freeman, especially when you consider the weapons Smith has to work with.
Michael Crabtree was able to learn on the job last year, and is primed to have an even bigger impact in 2010. Josh Morgan is an adequate #2 receiver. Vernon Davis had nearly 1000 yards and 13 TDs. Frank Gore is very capable of catching the ball out of the backfield. Few teams can offer that assortment of weapons and yet he’s being drafted about sixty picks after Matthew Stafford.
Smith had at least 28 pass attempts in the Niners’ final seven games, which shows they aren’t afraid to open the offense up. Over that span he averaged 220.3 yards, 1.7 TDs, and 0.86 INTs. He didn’t do much with his feet last year, but he did average 10.6 rushing yards per game his first three seasons.
Is he a guy that I would target as a #1 fantasy QB? Of course not. I’d gladly take him as a QB2 though.
Prediction: 3600 yards, 22 TDs, 12 INTs, 120 rushing yards, 2 TDs
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