Better quarterbacking will help Smith
Posted Jul. 13 at 03:16 AM
Coming off elbow surgery – Tommy John surgery – Jake Delhomme appears to be fine. He did a lot of throwing in the offseason and should be fine physically when camp starts. He’s right on schedule.
And that, in my opinion, makes Steve Smith an intriguing fantasy option. With Delhomme at quarterback, Smith won receiving’s “Triple Crown” in 2005, leading the league in catches, yards and touchdowns. And since that time, he’s produced at almost exactly the same statistical levels when Delhomme has been at quarterback. It’s when they’ve had to stick other guys in there – Carr, Weinke, Testaverde – that Smith’s numbers have fallen off.
I think that’s understandable. I don’t think any wide receiver would put up good numbers with those guys at quarterback.
So, if we make the assumption that Delhomme can stay in the lineup for 13-plus games, where does that leave Smith on our draft boards? In the top 5 among wide receivers, in my opinion. And with the Panthers one of the teams that has been rumored to be a possible landing spot for Brett Favre, that only further enhances Smith’s value – it means there would potentially be two quality quarterbacks there to get him the ball.
Here, by the way, are Smith’s numbers from the last two seasons:
Smith without Delhomme at quarterback, 2006-2007
81 catches, 844 yards, 3 TD
(10.4 average yards per catch)
(56 yards per game)
Smith with Delhomme at quarterback, 2006-2007
89 catches, 1324 yards, 13 TD
(14.9 average yards per catch)
(95 yards per game)
Bottom line: I’ve already drafted Smith in the only draft I’ve completed so far. I hope I get him in every other draft I participate in this year.
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