Steve Smith is set up to deliver a stellar fantasy performance in Week 12.
Nnamdi Asomugha hasn't exactly been a shutdown corner for the Philadelphia Eagles, and Smith of the Carolina Panthers will be the latest receiver to eat off his plate. Look for him to have a good-to-great game on Monday night—especially if and when he's matched against Asomugha.
Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were supposed to comprise one of the best CB tandems in the NFL, but it hasn't worked out that way.
So far this season, Asomugha has been victimized by the upper echelon of receivers he's faced. Check out some of the big performances he has surrendered this season:
September 30 vs. Domenik Hixon, New York Giants
Hixon's Stat Line: 6 receptions, 114 yards
You would think that Asomugha would have gotten a break because the Giants were playing without Hakeem Nicks.
No such luck.
Hixon torched the Eagles, with much of his production coming while being checked by Asomugha.
October 7 vs. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
Brown's Stat Line: 7 receptions, 86 yards
Brown is an emerging receiver in the NFL; he caught a variety of slants and comeback routes to lead the Steelers in receiving in this game.
The Asomugha people fell in love with from his Oakland Raiders days would never surrender a day like this against a second-level player like Brown.
October 14 vs. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
Johnson's Stat Line: 6 receptions, 135 yards
Yes, this is Megatron, but these are the types of receivers the Eagles hoped Asomugha would be able to at least contain. He kept him out of the end zone, but Johnson's production was still a key factor in the Lions' 26-23 overtime win.
October 28 vs. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Jones' Stat Line: 5 receptions, 123 yards, touchdown
This is yet another example of Asomugha not rising to the occasion against a premier receiver. Asomugha did spend some time checking Roddy White, but Jones beat Asomugha for the 63-yard touchdown strike pictured.
How Will Steve Smith fare?
How many catches will Smith have on Monday night?
Asomugha did pick off a pass intended for Smith in the players' only previous meeting in 2008, back when Asomugha was still with the Raiders, but that was then and this is now.
Smith may see both Rodgers-Cromartie and Asomugha, but judging by the way the latter has played this season, Smith should have a solid day. The Eagles haven't been able to amount much of a pass rush to take the pressure off their corners (16 sacks in 10 games), so Cam Newton should have time to throw the ball.
Don't let the hand injury Smith suffered in Week 11 deter you from starting him. I'd expect a solid fantasy performance from the Panthers wide receiver.
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