5 Reasons to Draft Torrey Smith in Your Fantasy Football League

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystJuly 31, 2012

5 Reasons to Draft Torrey Smith in Your Fantasy Football League

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    To say that Torrey Smith of the Baltimore Ravens had a successful NFL debut would be something of an understatement.

    In a game against the St. Louis Rams last September the former Maryland star made NFL history, when the first three receptions of his NFL career all went for touchdowns.

    Smith went on to post 50 catches for 841 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie, finishing the season as the 22nd-ranked wide receiver in "standard" fantasy football scoring formats.

    Many pundits are expecting even bigger and better things from Smith in 2012, and here's a handful of reasons why Smith should be on your fantasy team this fall.

1. The Talent Is There

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    Smith's fantasy WR2 numbers in 2011 were no fluke, as he made it very clear, very quickly, with his outburst against the Rams that he was more than capable of playing with the big boys in the NFL.

    Smith is the sort of sure-handed burner capable of stretching defenses that any number of NFL teams wish they had, and his 16.8 yards per catch ranked eighth among all wideouts last year who had at least 50 receptions.

2. Smith Is the Top Dog at Wide Receiver in Baltimore

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    Granted, the Baltimore passing attack isn't going to be confused with the New Orleans Saints or Green Bay Packers anytime soon, as the Ravens ranked 19th in the National Football League in passing last season.

    With that said, wide receiver Anquan Boldin is on the downslope of his career at 31 and Jacoby Jones is a speedster who catches passes like he's wearing mittens.

    Given those facts, it's a safe bet that Torrey Smith will lead all Baltimore wide receivers in targets in 2012 by a fair margin.

3. Joe Flacco Will Improve in 2012

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    Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had an up-and-down season in his fourth year in the NFL in 2011, posting his lowest quarterback rating since his rookie year.

    However, Flacco did top 3,600 passing yards for the third consecutive season.

    With the 27-year-old entering a contract year, you can bet your last dollar that the pride of the University of Delaware will be doing everything in his power to put his best foot (or arm, as the case may be) forward in 2012.

    The primary beneficiary of that would be Torrey Smith.

4. Smith's Average Draft Position Makes Him a Solid Value

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    Success in a fantasy football draft is all about value. That is, selecting players who you believe will outperform the cost required to draft them.

    According to MyFantasyLeague.com, Torrey Smith is presently being selected as the 29th receiver off draft boards in the seventh round of 12-team leagues.

    Unless you're expecting Smith to put up significantly worse numbers than he did a year ago (which seems unlikely) then he's a very solid value pick, especially for fantasy owners who wait before taking their second wide receiver.

5. Upside Plays Win Fantasy Championships

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    There may be no bigger pitfall in fantasy football than "chasing stats," or over-drafting a player based off of one big year.

    However, there's a flip-side to that coin.

    The upside play, or a player who you feel will actually build on a successful season and post even better statistics the following year.

    Smith is one of the latter players.

    With a full offseason in which to better get in sync with his quarterback, and with no doubt that Torrey Smith is the No. 1 wideout in Baltimore, it's reasonable to expect that Smith will crack the 1,000 yards receiving mark this year.

    That makes him just the sort of upside player that fantasy owners should target in drafts.