2013 Fantasy Football: Will Alex Smith Have Value?

By Rich Arleo
Alex Smith - San Francisco 49ers
John David Mercer – USA Today

It’s took the San Francisco 49ers’ former first-round pick Alex Smith a while to catch on in the NFL, but in 2011 he was finally able to find his role as a game manager on a great team.

Smith led his team to the NFC Championship Game after a solid regular season with 3,144 yards, 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions. While he’s no Colin Kaepernick with his legs, he’s not totally immobile, and did score two touchdowns on the ground that season as well.

Coming off his first good season in the league, Smith was drafted as high as the 15th quarterback taken in some fantasy football drafts. He started off the year pretty well, and had some big games against bad defenses, but was very inconsistent overall and had already matched his 2011 season total in interceptions by Week 7. After going down with a concussion, he ultimately lost his starting job, and the rest is history, as he was on the sidelines for Super Bowl XLVII.

The Niners have come out and said they are looking to trade their former starter. With very few quarterback options out there for teams outside of the draft he apparently has many suitors. The Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs are two possibilities, as are the New York Jets, so needless to say wherever he lands isn’t going to be loaded with weapons.

The Browns have Norv Turner at offensive coordinator, who worked well with Smith in San Francisco. Smith has also recently come out with praise of Turner. While they did just draft Brandon Weeden, it’s become obvious that he is not the future of the franchise, and the team has already said he will have to compete for the starting job. If Smith goes to Cleveland, he’ll have a good running game to work off of with Trent Richardson, who is also a great receiver, but won’t have much of a receiver corps to work with.

The same is the case in Kansas City, with Jamaal Charles out of the backfield but nothing outside of Dwayne Bowe. Landing with the Jets also wouldn’t be ideal, as they are lacking in the receiver department as well. If Smith can fall into the right fit, he can get back to being a solid game manager. Even at his best as a starter, he shouldn’t be drafted as more than a high-end QB2 in any formats.

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