In 2005, Alex Smith was drafted with the 1st overall pick in the NFL draft to play quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. 1st overall pick or not, for any quarterback to succeed in the NFL, you are going to need talent, a coach and a system that makes the most of that talent, and the right personnel. For the first five to six years of his career, one could say that everything that happened to the quarterback out of Utah was like a movie straight from Hollywood, a horror film. A consistently weak receiving corps and porous offensive lines were just some of the problems he faced. Going from a coach that didn’t trust him (Mike Nolan) to a coach who couldn’t keep his pants on (Mike Singletary), Alex Smith finally had a competent coach who not only believed in him, but put him in situations for him to succeed and succeed he did. Despite being 2 muffed punts away from a Super Bowl game and leading the NFL in completion percentage the following year, Smith got traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in the offseason. The current state of these Chiefs makes me believe that Alex Smith will not only be a solid, efficient QB in real life, but I’m going to surprise a lot of people and say that he is going to be a QB1 in 2013.
2013 is one of those years where the QB position is extremely deep, along with tight end. Running back and wide receivers on the other hand, are much scarcer. The problem is, after the first few rounds, it’s tough to say which RBs and WRs are going to have a good season. You’re drafting handcuffs, third down backs and secondary WRs, but every year, there are guys in this group that break out and reward investors. If you are able to wait on a QB, the more guys in this tier you are able to take in the middle to late rounds, and the higher the odds are that you select the guy that breaks out. If the QB that you select in the late rounds is able to put up top 10-12 numbers? Then you are almost guaranteed to win your season. Here’s why I think Smith deserves to be on every roster this upcoming season.
Photo courtesy of SB Nation
The New QB for the KC Chiefs: Alex Smith
In Kansas City, Smith is going to have another coach that can best utilize his talents. During the two seasons that Smith played under Harbaugh, he averaged 7.6 yards per attempt but only 27 passes per game during this time span. Andy Reid’s pass happy offense on the other hand, averaged 35 passes per game throughout Reid’s entire tenure. If you combine this with Smith’s YPA and extrapolate it to a full 16 game season, it comes out to 4,250 passing yards, which would’ve had him in the top 10 last year. Smith may not be the best at throwing the long ball, but Reid knows this. Reid’s West Coast offense doesn’t rely much on deep throws, but rather short, safe ones that Smith excels at. The transition from Harbaugh’s offense to Reid’s will be seamless, and for someone who knows what it feels like to learn a brand new playbook every year, that is so important. If you throw in Smith’s X factor, his legs, he becomes even more valuable. He averaged over 11 yards per carry and had no fewer than 130 yards on the ground each year under Harbaugh. Do you remember that bootleg that came against the Saints in the Divisional round of the playoffs? The talent is there. The coach is there. All he needs are weapons around him to make the most of his situation. Speaking of which…
Offensively, an argument can be made that the weapons at Smith’s disposal are going to be more explosive and talented than what he had in San Francisco. In the backfield, Jamaal Charles is not only capable of running between the tackles, but also is an excellent pass catcher. If you throw in RB/WR specialist Dexter McCluster, you’ve got two of the most explosive pass catching running back duos in the league taking short dump offs from Smith. While his tight end will not be close to what he had on the Niners, Anthony Fasano and Tony Moeaki are both solid pass catchers that were on one too many sleeper TE lists a few years ago. Many experts smarter than me have pegged Dwayne Bowe as having a breakout season this year because he will be playing with the most talented QB he has ever had. This works both ways: Bowe is the number 1 receiver that Smith has NEVER had in his entire career. Smith’s leading receivers before Crabtree broke out in 2011? Arnaz Battle, pre-Denver Brandon Lloyd and Antonio Bryant. Yikes. With a solid offensive line that added Eric Fisher this past draft, all the pieces are in place for Smith’s breakout year.
Talent, coaching, and a supporting cast. These are things that all the elite quarterbacks have. While I’m not saying that Smith is going to be better than guys like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or Cam Newton, he has a good chance of putting up QB1 numbers. Smith is poised to make a tremendous impact both for the Chiefs and for your own fake football team. Smith’s ADP is currently in the 200’s, so he literally can be had for nothing. We’re all antsy for the season to start, so while it seems a little strange to make a prediction of what will happen at the end of the season, I’ll do it anyways. When we look back upon the drafts and waiver wire pick-ups, Alex Smith is going to be the first name on the list again, but this time, on the list of biggest surprises of 2013.
All Smith Needed was a Coach that Believed in Him
NFL Latest News
Chris Johnson signs with Jets
Chris Johnson has agreed to a 2- year deal with the New York Jets. It is my guess he is on a trial basis, working on an incentive program. The quarterback situation is ambiguous, so the Jets look to lean on the ground game. Johnson will join Chris Ivory in the backfield in what looks to be another NFL platoon. CJ2k is an intriguing pick in fantasy land.
Andre Brown signs with the Texans
Andre Brown is headed to Houston to join the Texans. Brown is an intriguing player that saw his season derailed due to injury in 2013. As a back up to Arian Foster, he will have flex value certain weeks. Brown should see a decent amount of carries. Training camp will give indication on what the split may be. In addition he could see regular snaps if Foster were to miss any significant time, Brown would have tremendous value.
Mike Williams traded to the Bills
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded Mike Williams to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a 6th round draft pick this year. While 2013 was a major disappointment for Williams, he has shown flashes of being a productive receiver in both 2010 and 2012 when he tallied 900+ yards with 9 and 11 touchdowns respectively. He should compete for starting time with Robert Woods and Steve Johnson. Assuming Manuel can stay healthy, Williams could bounce back in 2014.
Value plays are a must in DFS. Here’s a few guys with low values on the up swing with values all under $5,400 on Draft Kings: Brian Roberts – $5,400 It can still be a Holiday with no Jrue! Over last 7 games 15PPG, 5APG, 2RPG, 1.5 SPG, & 2TPPG. Kent Bazemore – $3,200 2 games with new team. 16PPG, 2.5APG, 1.5RPG, 2SPG, & 1.5TPPG. In Mike D’s system expect numbers to climb. Kyle Singler – $4,100 Over last 7 games 12PPG, 4RPG, 1.5APG, 2SPG, while playing around 37 minutes a game. Thomas Robinson – $3,000 No Lamarcus means it’s Thomas time. February 23rd stat line. …
The State Of The Sixers
Don’t be scared by the big dump in Philadelphia, still tons of value which equal fantasy gold. Thaddeus ” The Beast” Young – $7,800 DK- Young has been a beast, averaging 60 fantasy points over last 2 games. Enough said! Tony Wroten – $4,700 DK- Tony very productive when he gets minutes. Over last 2 games he is averaging 20PPG, 3RPG, 3.5APG, & 1SPG. James Anderson – $4,100 DK- Over last 2 James averaging 11PPG, 2RPG, 3APG, & 1.5SPG. More minutes better numbers. Byron Mullens – $3,000 DK- Been riding pine in LA, conditioning inproves expect big things. In only 14 minutes on Feb …
Hunter Pence continued to struggle on Sunday afternoon, going 0 for 3 with a strikeout. He is hitting .157 on the season. Pence could be dropped in the lineup or get a couple of days off to help him get back on track.
Martin Perez threw eight scoreless innings on Sunday against the Astros. Perez induced four double plays on Sunday, which helped his cause. He makes for a interesting spot starter for your fantasy teams depending on the matchup, but he is not one to count on. Perez is sporting a 2.70 ERA through three starsts this season.
Jonathan Villar went 0 for 2 on Sunday. His time as the Astros shortstop may be coming to end much sooner than expected, with Carlos Correa waiting. Villar had nice buy-low potential coming into the season with the ability to steal a lot of bases. However, if he continues to struggle with the bat he could lose playing time.
Coming into Saturday’s match, Chelsea had beaten Sunderland in 17 of the last 18 meetings. But, behind a brilliant performance from goalkeeper Mannone who racked up 14 total saves, Sunderland dealt the home side a shocking blow with a 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge. A result that may have major implications on the EPL title. The loss was Chelsea’s first at home under Jose Mourinho. Connor Wickham picked up his 3rd goal in his last two matches while Fabio Borini, whom is on-loan from title contending Liverpool scored the eventual match-winner from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute.
Mile Jedinak, Crystal Palace – MID
Palace continued their impeccable recent form on Saturday, defeating West Ham United 1-0 at The Boleyn Ground. The victory puts them at 5 straight, becoming only the second time the club has accomplished such a run. The three points most notably brings the total to 43 in the table which is good enough to guarantee the club is relegation safe. The match remained 0-0 until Cameron Jerome was able to draw a penalty. Stepping up to the spot was Jedinak who finished for his first career EPL score in the 59th minute, while picking up 11 fantasy points on the match. Source: goal.com / @OptaJoe
Wilfried Bony, Swansea City – FWD
With a penalty kick at the death, Swansea earned 3 points on the road from a reeling Newcastle. Although Shola Ameobi was able to end a goalless drought of 383 minutes for the home side, Bony picked up a brace to secure the victory. His first came in the 1st half stoppage time as he sent home an impressive header to equalize. Marvin Emnes then earned Swansea a penalty in the stoppage time of the 2nd half for Bony to send into the back of the net. Bony’s 13 points on the match was enough to earn Player of the Day honors.
Tim Kennedy executed his gameplan to perfection and virtually dominated Michael Bisping in the Main Event of The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Bisping Vs Kennedy. The former U.S. Army sniper, ranked #8 at middleweight, can now look to move into possible title contention with his win over #5 ranked Bisping. Kennedy improves his overall record to 18-4, 3-0 in the UFC.
Patrick Cote Grinds Out a Win
Patrick Cote defeated Kyle Noke via Unanimous Decision in the Co-Main Event of The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Bisping Vs Kennedy. Cote served as head coach of the Canadian team on The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada Vs Australia. He runs his record to 20-8 overall and 7-8 in the UFC.
Elias Theodorou Wins The Ultimate Fighter Nations Middleweight Final
Elias Theodorou defeated Sheldon Westcott via TKO to win The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada Vs Australia middleweight final and secure himself a contract in the UFC. The win puts his overall record at 9-0 and 1-0 in the UFC