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
David Wilson cleared for training camp
New York Giants running back David Wilson was cleared for training camp today. While owners will want to monitor the Giants training camp situation, Wilson looks to provide value as a late round pick this season. Wilson’s return may hurt the value of Rashad Jennings slightly this season. There should be opportunity for both RBs this season. Jennings is still an every week starter and Wilson is a later round flyer with upside.
Rashad Jennings to be feature running back
The New York Giants will use Rashad Jennings early and often. GM Jerry Reese said Jennings can be a “bellcow type running back”. Jennings proved in Oakland last season he can play all three downs. He can be a pass catcher and block well enough to remain in on third downs. Coming off the board as running back 27 and 87 overall Jennings will provide tremendous value and should be viewed as a RB2.
Montee Ball “Making Strides”
Denver OC Adam Gase, who probably has the most boring job in the league, said that he has seen Ball make the most strides throughout the 2013 season, and looks forward to seeing more this offseason. Ball is set to be the featured back in Peyton Manning’s high octane offense. Knowshon Moreno was able to be a top 5 RB last year, and Ball is clearly more talented. The sky is the limit for the former Badger.
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 …
Ozuna went 2-4 with two RBI, and a home run. His second game in a row with a HR. Ozuna had been struggling, but it may be possible the struggles are over. He is still producing some good HR numbers, if he can cut down on the strikeouts things could turn around for him.
Sale came off the DL in a big way Thursday night, throwing six shutout innings with ten strikeouts. Sale had a no- hitter going into the sixth, but with two outs Zolio Almonte singled to center to break it up. According to Sale and manager Robin Ventura, they had discussed before the game that even if Sale had been throwing perfect game he was not pitching more than six innings.
Keuchel dominated again Monday night against the Angels. Throwing almost his second complete game in consecutive outings. Keuchel threw 8.2 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 earned runs, and he stroke out 8. Keuchel has been very tough, not allowing no more than 4 runs in his nin starts. He will look to continue his dominance on Saturday against Seattle.
Already missing star striker Christian Benteke, Belgium got a bit of a scare in their final World Cup tune-up against Tunisia. Lukaku came on as a substitute at the 61st minute in the 1-0 victory in Brussels, but was forced off the pitch shortly after with an ankle injury. Belgium manager Marc Wilmots downplayed the severity of the issue saying that Lukaku should only need a few days rest to recover. Wilmots added that despite the striker being in pain, he believes the rest should be enough to bring Lukaku back to fitness in time for Belgium’s first match. Source: foxsports.com
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal – MID
Making an appearance in England’s International friendly with Ecuador, which came to a 2-2 draw, Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a knee injury from a challenge by Ecuador’s Carlos Guezo. The club is fearing that there may be ligament damage resulting from the injury, but will be sending the midfielder for scans on Thursday. Ox-Chambo was forced from the match in the 63rd minute. England will play Honduras in their final tune-up before they face Italy on June 14 to kick off their 2014 World Cup campaign. Source: foxsports.com / dailymail.co.uk
Frank Lampard, Chelsea – MID
Lampard’s current contract with Chelsea is set to expire at the end of the month and so will his time with the club. It was announced today that after a wonderful 13 year stint, Lampard will move on to a possible stint with New York City of MLS. Lampard leaves with a long list of achievements including scoring 10+ goals in 10 consecutive seasons, 648 appearances, a club record 211 goals scored, 3 PL titles, 4 FA Cups and two-time PL player of the season, to only name a few. A true Chelsea legend. Source: @Squawka / @chelseafc
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