2014 Fantasy Football: Should Torrey Smith Owners Panic?

If you drafted wide receiver Torrey Smith in your 2014 fantasy football draft, you are aren’t thrilled with the fact that tight end Owen Daniels has more targets than Smith.

The Baltimore Ravens looked much more fluid in a 26-6 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the offense used multiple sources to find production. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, that means the Ravens will host different fantasy stars from week to week. Not only will Smith struggle for  owner, but Dennis Pitta will now compete for red zone-looks with Daniels. Also, get ready to hear the name of rookie tight end Crockett Gilmore as the season moves forward.

If you look at Smith’s production last season, you need to realize that the Ravens were a completely different team. Quarterback Joe Flacco‘s favorite target Pitta was hurt, Anquan Boldin was no long there to provide a sure-set of hands and Jacoby Jones had the third-most receiving yards on the team. Smith is a talented player, but he received extra opportunities in 2013 because Flacco was very limited with his passing targets.

If we were to project the targets for the entire year from the average of the first two games of the season, here is what we would find:

Steve Smith 200
Torrey Smith 80
Jacoby Jones 64
Dennis Pitta 144
Owen Daniels 88
Justin Forsett 80
Bernard Pierce      16

Obviously, you can see some of these projections will not be sustainable. Steve Smith is not going to receive 200 targets for the entire season. The data is skewed because of Flacco’s 62 passing attempts in Week 1. I do think, however, it is reasonable to expect anywhere from 70-90 targets for Torrey Smith.

To me, T.Smith looked a little disappointed at the end of the game. After Flacco stated that Torrey would catch 100 passes this season, I would be disappointed with just three targets as well. At least in the case of Mike Wallace, it seems like whenever there is attention brought about a player for not having enough involvement in a game plan, the offensive coordinator quickly tries to change the public opinion by featuring that player in the next game more. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see T.Smith have a huge game against the Cleveland Browns.

If you own the 25-year old receiver, you are going to have highs and lows. Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak will use his trio of tight ends near the red zone, and Steve Smith appears to be the go-to-receiver to move the chains. He also has a knack for gaining yards after he catches the ball.

If you have to rely on T.Smith as a main part of your roster, I would actively work the waiver wire to try and find an up-and-coming or relevant prospect. Wide receiver Rod Streater is only owned in 4.2% of ESPN standard scoring leagues, Malcom Floyd is only owned in 7.6% of leagues and Robert Woods is only owned in 2.4% of leagues. You will need to look at optimal matchups to play these receivers, but that will have to be your game strategy until you see more targets for Smith.

The fantasy football community wasn’t entirely sure what to expect out of this new offense, and there still 14 games left to be played. Would I be a little worried about Smith’s lack of targets? Yes. Would I completely freak out? Not yet.

This does not give anyone an excuse to sit back and just see what happens though. Like I said, work the waiver wire, look into doing some trades and have a backup plan if things don’t get better.

Don’t let one player dictate how your entire team will perform.

Categories: Fantasy Football

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