Going into every fantasy football season, everyone knows who the top QBs are going to be. You of course have Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and the list goes on. But what about the lower spectrum of players who could be a starting QB for your fantasy football team, and who you can snag at a discount on draft day?
Alex Smith is one of those players. Smith might not produce eye popping stats or have enormous games, but he's a solid, consistent player who could really produce some nice numbers for your team this upcoming season.
So, here's why Alex Smith could potentially be a great QB1 option in 2012.
The biggest positive about Alex Smith's game is that he is, as Ron Jaworski would say, (and painfully overuse I might add) a game-manager. Smith is consistent and rarely—if ever—turns the ball over.
In fact, last season he only had five interceptions on the entire year (per ESPN).
I don't care how many touchdowns you throw, if you play the entire season with so few turnovers, you definitely know what you're doing on the field.
Now, this alone isn't enough of a reason to entirely justify Alex Smith being a starter. Critics will counter by saying that he doesn't throw enough TDs (which I'll address later), but Smith will never cause you to lose a fantasy game due to having four of five turnovers—it just isn't his style.
He may not be dynamic, but he's a workman-like QB and will give you good production week in and week out with little risk of having points subtracted due to INTs.
The 49ers went from being somewhat anemic at the WR position last year to being loaded in 2012. With the offseason additions of Giants WR Mario Manningham, and the retired Randy Moss, San Fran appears to be poised to have a big year through the air.
This team's starting group of pass catchers will be Moss, Manningham, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. If they all perform to their capabilities, they could really be scary.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Randy Moss is looking as sharp as ever, which could lead to Alex Smith having a huge year—much bigger than anyone currently is anticipating.
Smith now has four legitimate receiving targets, as opposed to last year when he only had two. So, how could his numbers not increase significantly in 2012? He's going to have a terrific year and surprise a ton of people.
Don't be shocked if he sheds that "game-manager" moniker and officially becomes a full-fledged, dangerous passer.
As last season went on, Alex Smith just continued to get better. He became more comfortable with the system and with his teammates. Over Smith's last five games of the year, he passed for 1,074 yards and seven touchdowns—very solid numbers.
If he—at the absolute worst—keeps on that pace, he'll throw for nearly 3,500 yards and 23 touchdowns next season.
Smith definitely ended the season on a high note, and if he can parlay that into early success this season, expect him to go on a tear to start the year. If he was able to finish the season like that last year, then how could he not at least equal, and in all likelihood surpass those numbers with this new high-powered offense?
Smith has momentum coming into this season. If he can harness that, expect him to put up terrific production, as he's now more comfortable than ever and is poised for major success.
So, to sum up all the previous points that have been made, it seems as if Smith's career is yet to hit it's apex and that he's finally living up what the 49ers expected when they selected him first overall.
People forget that he has had a turnstile of offensive coordinators his first five years in the league. Now he's settled down in the offense, and he and Jim Harbaugh appear to really be on the same page.
Harbaugh really is the best thing that's happened to Smith in his career. Harbaugh knows exactly what buttons to push with Smith. Smith is going to have his best year yet this season.
Actually, I'll go out on a limb and guarantee that.
It wouldn't be a huge surprise if he approached 4,000 yards and 25 TDs. With the weapons he has around him, his production should be at an all-time high and he could be a definite QB1 option.
If you have a chance to get him at a good value, don't hesitate for a second.
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