When looking for a fantasy wide receiver, the most anyone can ask for is consistent production. Someone who averages 60-70 yards and a TD a game is someone worth gambling on as a regular starter for a fantasy squad. We all know who the elite WRs in the league are....
Yet, over the last five NFL games, has anyone been as amazingly consistent and valuable at the WR spot as Jimmy Smith? Heading into the week 10 matchup with Detroit, Smith was ranked in the top four WR this season yardage-wise. Everyone expected a bump down in stats with Leftwich sidelined and inexperienced Gerrard at the helm.
However, Smith quieted his critics today with a 110-yard, 1-TD performance on seven receptions. He has turned in the following totals over the last five games:
That leaves Smith averaging 108.8 yards over the last five games. What's really amazing is that he has averaged 7.2 receptions per game during that same span. How many other NFL WRs are averaging over seven receptions per game?
Some may complain that Smith has done most of that damage against suspect defenses in shoot-out type contests. Outside of San Diego, it would be pretty easy to make arguements that the other four teams have problematic secondaries that allow opposing wide receivers to have big days.
Which, to me is fine. Why? Because it helps me build my case for Smith maintaining these elite numbers. A look at his remaining schedule:
Tennessee has been struggling to stop opposing WR. Pittsburgh can be a tough defense to crack. The rest of the matchups? Can you say cupcakes? It would be foolish to expect anything less than 100 yards receiving against Minnesota, Green Bay, Houston and Oakland. Chicago is another WR-friendly defense, but chances are Jacksonville will invest most of its effort in the ground game for that contest. Remember, too, that Leftwich will be back in action at the latest by week 12's matchup with Minnesota.
When we all were scrambling to predict the next great player to "come out of no where" and be a top-10 elite receiver back in August, there wasn't too much love for Jimmy Smith. However, he continues to make his case for comeback player of the season, and it would be wise to jump on his bandwagon while you still may have a chance in your leagues.
He has had at 5 games with at least 7 catches and six w/at least 5. He has had eight games with over 50 yds. and six of over 70. He is quietly leading the league in receptions and the absence of McNair seems to be no problem for him. I went with the sure thing this week in starting him, figuring he would be good for at least 6 catches for 80 yds and maybe a TD.
Plindsey88 wrote:Curious as to why this thread is titled "Welcome to Stardom" when Jimmy Smith has been doing this for several years, now...
True -- I guess it should be "welcome BACK to Stardom". The point of what I'm trying to bring across is that not many people look at Jimmy Smith as an elite fantasy receiver. The TDs have been a concern, but this guy has been putting up the yardage to keep himself among the cream of the crop. As a Marvin Harrison owner, for example, I've come to depend more on Jimmy Smith than Marv since Smith has been able to turn in a consistent string of 100-plus yard games now.
I agree that Jimmy's production may suffer long-term if Garrard has to start a number of games yet. Last I heard, Lefty should definitely be back by week 12's Minnesota game. However, I was expecting Smith to struggle yesterday with Garrard under center. Instead, he turned in another solid outing. Considering the fairly weak schedule the rest of the way, I still think Jimmy will do well even if Garrard starts several more games for Jacksonville. I didn't feel this way before the week 10 game.
Well, one good thing about having a back-up in is that they tend to send a lot of balls towards the #1 receiver rather than hitting 4 or 5 guys like the starter has a tendency to do... I dunno if you got to see the JAX game, but Garrard missed Smith twice on long TD passes that he had his man beat, too.... His day was good, but if Garrard would have been a little more calm early on, Jimmy very easily could have had 160 and 3 TD's...