If you were to guess who the most consistent quarterback in the 2013 fantasy football season was, you would probably say Peyton Manning. You’d be correct, but that’s not the point. Many of you wouldn’t have Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith anywhere near the top of your list.
However, Smith quietly put up double-digit fantasy point totals in 11 weeks. In seven weeks, he put up 20 or more points. He scored less than 10 points in just four games. Surprisingly, Smith accomplished all of this with a less-than-100-percent Dwayne Bowe and no clear No. 2 wide receiver. At the end of the regular season, Smith had 23 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
Luckily for Smith, though, he had the services of the No. 1 running back Jamaal Charles. Charles had career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns last season with 70, 693 and seven scores. Charles led the Chiefs in all three categories as well. Bowe came on strong with 24 receptions, 304 yards and three touchdowns in the final six games (he did not play in Week 17).
The signing of Andy Reid as the head coach made Smith that much better. Reid is an offensive-minded head coach. Just look at the Philadelphia Eagles offense in 2011 and in previous seasons with Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook.
In order for Smith to take that next step to elite status, the Chiefs need to add another big-time receiver. Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins won’t get the job done. Golden Tate and Emmanuel Sanders are two free agents that come to mind. In the meantime, Smith is a low-end top-20 quarterback. He is a must-draft player in two-quarterback leagues and deeper 16-team leagues.
Smith should be drafted as a backup if you own a quarterback like Robert Griffin III or Matt Ryan. Don’t be surprised, however, if you are starting Smith more than your original starter.