Posted by Brandon Niles
Friday, July 17, 2015 - 1:50pm
Steve L Smith came back strong last season, putting up over 1,000 yards on 79 receptions in his first year away from Carolina. He had six touchdowns and was easily the most consistent option for quarterback Joe Flacco all year. Smith is 36 years old but showed last season that he can still get downfield and that he still has that competitive fire that has helped him become a WR1 in the league despite lacking ideal size.
Smith will once again be the most proven receiver in Baltimore, which should mean that his starting job and targets aren’t likely to reduce. Additionally, his new offensive coordinator, Marc Trestman, helped Chicago’s receivers put up big fantasy numbers the last couple of years. Smith should benefit from some young talent added around him in rookies Maxx Williams and Breshad Perriman, and while his upside may be limited, Smith is as proven as it gets and has the type of mentality that makes it hard to bet against him.
At 36, Smith has been around a long time and he was often a feast or famine type of fantasy player last season. He blew up at the beginning of the year with four 100 plus yard outings in his first six games, but then didn’t reach the century mark again until the playoff win over the Steelers. With that in mind, it seems unlikely he’ll be able to produce those early season monster games again, and that he may settle back into the kind of supporting role veterans often take.
Smith isn’t likely to be a WR1 on a consistent basis this year, but he remains the most proven player in the Ravens’ passing game and showed last year he has enough in the tank to remain productive. With limited other options, expect a similar number of targets for the veteran, and he could be a nice value as a reserve WR3 on your roster with his ADP in the 9th and 10th round.