34-Year-Old Quarterback – Washington Redskins
2018 Fantasy Football Outlook
Smith not only had a career year in 2017, he did it in a way few expected - stretching the field as a downfield passer. Once the epitome of a game manager, Smith led the league in just about every pas...
Alex Smith Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $94 million contract with the Redskins in March of 2018.
Smith was officially traded from the Chiefs to the Redskins on Wednesday in exchange for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 third-round draft pick.
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|Passing||Pass Distance||Big Pass Games||Rushing||Fumbles|
|2018 Proj||34||WAS||Subscribe now to see our 2018 projections for Alex Smith|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Passing Stats||Red Zone Passes||Red Zone Runs|
|2018 Proj||34||WAS||Subscribe now to see our 2018 projections for Alex Smith|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Passing||Pass Distance||Rushing||Fumbles||Red Zone Passes||Red Zone Runs|
|21||PRO BOWL||Pro Bowl|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Alex Smith: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Smith isn't asked to do much, and thus has little upside for fantasy owners. His 15 TDs, a career low in Kansas City, tied for the league's fewest with at least 450 attempts. That was partly due to the Chiefs' struggles in the red zone, where they ranked 30th in TD efficiency (45.5 percent). Smith completed only 46 percent of his red-zone passes with a 17.5 percent TD rate, both four-year lows. He made up for it a bit with a career-high five rushing scores, but his rushing yards dropped from 2015. The Chiefs put little effort into stretching the field: Smith's 38 passes (27th) of 21-plus yards were just 7.7 percent of his total attempts, second fewest in the league, and his 11 completions were the fewest (min. 35 attempts). The Chiefs moved up to draft the strong-armed Patrick Mahomes, but he isn't a threat to Smith yet. Next year is a different matter.
While he'll never be a fantasy superstar, Smith continues to do everything the Chiefs ask of him at a high level and has managed to carve out a little value in doing so. He threw 20 or more TDs for just the second time in his career (a modest accomplishment in the modern NFL to be sure) and his 498 rushing yards were also a career high. He also threw seven or fewer INTs for the fifth straight season, making him arguably the best caretaker QB in the league. Andy Reid's quick-strike offensive gameplan is perfectly suited for Smith's accuracy, decision making and mobility - while not requiring him to do things he's incapable of doing, like throwing a good deep ball. In fact, Smith attempted just 61 passes of 15 yards or more all season, fewereven than Joe Flacco (who played only 10 games). The rushing yards are a nice bonus, but they primarily come when he needs to move the chains after plays break down - the Chiefs aren't drawing up many designed runs. Smith just doesn't get enough carries in the red zone (six all year) to convert them into TDs on a consistent basis, further limiting his fantasy appeal. He does have some very good receiving options, including Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce, but unless the team's offensive philosophy changes radically, Smith won't get a chance to produce big numbers.
Smith turned in another solid but unspectacular season in 2014. He's asked to manage the game and does a fine job at it, protecting the ball with only six interceptions last year, second fewest in the league (min. 250 attempts). He had fewer attempts than in his first season in Kansas City but significantly improved his completion percentage (10th), thus finishing with nearly the same number of completions and yards. His inability to stretch the field is well-documented; he attempted only 18 passes of 21-plus yards and completed a mere three, both easily the fewest in the league among full-time starters. Arizona's Ryan Lindley, who started just two games, also had three. Those numbers could increase, at least somewhat, this season, as Chiefs' wide receivers should snap their 19-game scoreless streak with the addition of playmaker Jeremy Maclin. The team also drafted 6-2 wideout Chris Conley, who tested through the roof at the Combine, posting a 45-inch vertical, 4.35 40 and 11-foot, 7-inch broad jump. Travis Kelce is on his way to becoming an elite tight end after breaking out in 2014, and Jamaal Charles, arguably the league's best running back, is always excellent in the passing game. Smith will add some rushing yards as well, but even with the improved weapons, his ceiling is low in an offense that ranked 23rd in pass-play percentage last season.
Coach Andy Reid is known as one of the league's best quarterback coaches, so it was unsurprising to see Smith enjoy an efficient 2013 season, surpassing the 3-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. His career-high 437 yards on the ground were surprising, though, as was the fact that Smith's production had little to do with presumed WR1 Dwayne Bowe, whose season was a waste with 673 yards and five touchdowns. There's some potential for growth in Smith's numbers in his second year with the Chiefs, as Bowe clearly has the talent to produce much better numbers, but it's also important to realize Smith's somewhat limited potential. He plays conservatiely, and the Chiefs did nothing to improve their group of pass catchers, losing slot wideout Dexter McCluster in free agency and neglecting to secure an upgrade there or anywhere else. There's a possibility that second-year tight end Travis Kelce will help out after an impressive college career, but he's attempting to return from a microfracture knee surgery. Smith's ability to provide rushing yardage and protect the football make him a high-floor QB2, though likely not much more than that.
Although he showed monumental improvement as a quarterback and leader over the past couple of seasons in San Francisco, Smith's fantasy outlook was never great in the Niners' run-heavy offense. Even before getting injured and then benched in 2012, Smith was on pace to throw fewer than 400 passes. That should change under coach Andy Reid in Kansas City. Reid's pass-first style of the West Coast Offense should result in a career-high in attempts for Smith. That the team brought in former Nevada coach Chris Ault, who created the Pistol offense (the one Robert Griffin and Colin Kaepernick ran last year) could result in more production on the ground as well. Smith is already a capable rusher, amassing more than 300 yards the past two seasons, and he can buy time behind an offensive line that will go through some struggles, at least early in the season. With Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin, Dexter McCluster, Donnie Avery and Jamaal Charles, Smith wlll also have a nice balance of size, quickness and speed among his targets.
There might not be a starting quarterback in the league with a lower ceiling than Smith, as his “career year” in 2011 consisted of throwing for just 3,144 yards (7.1 YPA) and 17 touchdowns. The lack of turnovers (five interceptions, two lost fumbles) and solid rushing numbers (179 yards and two touchdowns) helped out, but it seems safe to say that Smith is no more than a game manager. He does, however, have a very stable floor. He’ll have some more help in 2012, too, as the 49ers added three speedy upgrades at receiver in the form of first-round pick A.J. Jenkins and free-agents Mario Manningham and Randy Moss.
After a brief free agency, Smith agreed to return to San Francisco with a one-year contract with the 49ers. Coach Jim Harbaugh has talked him up all offseason, and second-round pick Colin Kaepernick isn’t a great fit as a starter for this year. If Smith does hold on to the starting spot in San Francisco, it’s probably safe to expect more of the same – below average numbers and too much inconsistency. Harbaugh figures to install a run-heavy offense, so Smith’s potential is limited even if he improves.
Smith last year threw for about 200 yards per game. The TD production was pretty solid in his 11 starts — 18 scoring strikes Smith had a reputation as runner but produced just 57 yards in those starts last year with no scores. The supporting cast seems good. Vernon Davis is the NFC’s Antonio Gates and Michael Crabtree is an ascending talent. A competent QB in SF would definitely be worthy of at least solid backup consideration and probably be a borderline starter, but Smith has never lived up to his selection as the top overall pick in 2005.
Smith appears to have fully recovered from the shoulder fracture he suffered last September, and his improved health has certainly been reflected in his off-season performance thus far. Smith has come on a lot stronger than expected, outperforming teammate Shaun Hill in the 49ers' OTA practices. While coach Mike Singletary considers the competition between Hill and Smith to be even at this point, Smith is still considered somewhat of a longshot to win the starting quarterback job. The competition will linger into exhibition play though, so Smith could conceivably beat out Hill for the starting job if he continues to outplay him through the exhibition schedule. If J.T. O'Sullivan could do it in 2008 then anything is possible. Either way, don't expect any sizable contributions from Smith in the fantasy realm this season.
Mike Martz offers hope for the owners of Niners QBs. But Alex Smith seems like an empty vessel. Look at the numbers: Hill had five TDs in 80 attempts with a 101 QB rating. Sure, the YPA was a pedestrian 6.3, suggesting the TDs were a fluke. And he fumbled three times on four sacks, losing two. The sample size is also miniscule. But Smith had two TD passes in 193 attempts, posted a pathetic 4.7 YPA and has been backsliding since September of 2006. Yes, Martz is his fourth offensive coordinator in four years, but Smith's the primary reason those predecessors got canned. The major surgery to his throwing shoulder is another issue, as is his public feud with his head coach. Smith's leash is two games, max, and might be as short as two quarters. The career progressions of Smith and Hill are a perfect illustration of how flummoxed NFL decision makers are when it comes to scouting and developing QBs. Hill wasn't even drafted and got some attention only after playing well in NFL Europe, which no longer even exists. He came to the Niners by way of the Vikings and only got a chance to start a game when all the other options were injured. Now, he has a three-year deal and a serious chance to start over a No. 1 overall pick who plays like an undrafted free agent. Whoever emerges in August should be a late-round pocket pick as a third QB because of Martz, who has made a career of turning other people’s castoffs into fantasy value and sometimes even fantasy gold.
Just when we thought he was turning the corner, he took a wrong turn right into Palookaville. His QB rating in the second half of 2006 was less than 70, which rightfully gets QBs benched nowadays. It was about 80 in the first half and actually 89 in September, when the Niners really focused on limiting any chance for him to make mistakes. The Niners seem really hesitant to kick Smith out of the nest and see if he can fly. Maybe they know something. The Niners are also not the Niners anymore, meaning they’ve deemphasized the pass and want to play power, running football. That’s quite sad, really. And the exact opposite of what every team should strive to do even if they don’t have all those Walsh/Montana/Young Super Bowl trophies in the lobby. But when your QB averages 5.9 YPA in the first half, and your backs average 5.4 yards per carry, you can’t really argue with play-calling splits favoring the run. The receiving corps needs a boost, and the Seahawks could barely give Darrell Jackson away, which leads us to believe that his knee problems are chronic.
Any former No. 1 pick is draftable when he’s a certain starter. But there is no evidence that Smith will reward the faith the Niners showed. Last year, it was a house of horrors for Smith: 0 QB rating on 20 attempts late/close, a 4.2 YPA on first down and a 32 QB rating on 27 attempts of 11-to-20 yards. You can grab guys out of the stands at halftime and have them put numbers up like that. You want something more than draft order to hang your hat on in the final rounds? How about Norv Turner, who was uncharacteristically aggressive calling passes on a terrible Raiders team last year. Oakland was third in percentage of passes overall and on first down and first in passing percentage in the red zone. Turner is a veteran coordinator who will be given free reign to call plays by second-year head coach Mike Nolan, and while the weapons at his disposal are slowly improving, the growing pains will likely continue for Smith this season.
We think Rattay, health permitting, has a good chance to hold off Alex Smith in training camp and start, though it’s only a matter of time before Smith takes over. Rattay is also recovering from a torn tendon at the bottom of his right foot, but expects to be ready for training camp. Even if Rattay were to keep the job all season (which is unlikely, both because of Smith’s presence and Rattay’s own durability issues), we don’t see much upside here given Rattay’s modest arm strength, lack of scrambling ability and below-average receiving corps.