The talk around the NFL over the past few days has been centered on the trade agreed to by the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers that will send Alex Smith to the AFC West club for a second-round draft pick in 2013 and a conditional draft choice in 2014.
At first, the compensation seems a little staggering. However, in today’s NFL, you need a quarterback to compete. New Chiefs head coach Andy Reid obviously feels Smith was the best quarterback available that could help his team contend for the playoffs in 2013 and beyond.
You have to ask if Smith is really the kind of quarterback that is worth that kind of compensation, though. He is a 28-year-old with a career completion percentage of 59.3 to go along with 81 career touchdown passes and 75 interceptions.
If we dig a little deeper, we see that over the past two seasons, the 2005 No. 1 overall pick has turned a corner. In 2011, he led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game, completing over 61 percent of his passes in the regular season, throwing 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Last season, Smith was even better completing over 70 percent of his passes and throwing 13 touchdown passes compared to just five interceptions in 10 games.
Smith also posted career highs in yards per attempt, passer rating and QBR in 2012. Who knows how good his season would have been had he not been injured in Week 11 against the St. Louis Rams?
Football-wise, this will be a good move for Kansas City. It provides a clear upgrade over Matt Cassel, giving the Chiefs a legitimate starting quarterback to pair with Jamaal Charles, Jonathan Baldwin and hopefully Dwayne Bowe.
The question is, how does this trade affect fantasy football owners?
To be honest, Smith has never been a great fantasy football quarterback and probably never will be. He has never averaged more than 13 fantasy points per game in any season. In 2012-13, he averaged 12.5 fantasy points per game, ranking him 30th among fantasy quarterbacks.
Even though Smith is going to be playing for a pass-happy coach, it’s unlikely that the former University of Utah standout will turn into a starting caliber fantasy quarterback any time soon. With that being said, he can still make an impact on the fantasy football value of Bowe and Baldwin in particular.
Bowe, who is a pending free agent, had back-to-back seasons with more than 1,100 yards in 2010 and 2011. He averaged 17 and 14 fantasy points per game in those seasons, respectively.
Last year, due to injury and incompetence at the quarterback position, Bowe was held to 797 receiving yards, 57 receptions and just three touchdowns. He averaged only 12.5 fantasy points per game.
Bowe is a pending free agent but should feel better about re-signing with the Chiefs now that the team has acquired a solid starting quarterback.
Fantasy football owners should also be higher on the former LSU product if he remains in Kansas City because Smith is more than capable of helping him once again become an upper-echelon fantasy wideout.
Smith's presence should also have a positive impact on Baldwin, tight end Tony Moeaki, running back Jamaal Charles and slot receiver Dexter McCluster.
While the fantasy value of Smith may not change, he will increase the fantasy value of all those around him, making all the Chiefs offensive weapons more viable fantasy options in 2013.