Why Smith is a top pick for fantasy football wide receiver


Thinking about drafting DeVonta Smith in fantasy football this year? Let's explore what you should do.

2020 Stats: N/A

Smith is all upside, so if you’re looking for a guy who might drop a little lower than he should and then can out-perform his draft position, this is the wideout you’re looking for. 

Smith was a targets monster at Alabama and despite the fact that he’s never played a snap in the NFL, he’ll instantly be the Eagles’ top wide receiver option so he’ll be earning WR1 targets. Pair that with a new head coach in Nick Sirianni who is known for his work with wide receivers, and you have a perfect storm for a high-ceiling rookie year.

There’s also the part where Smith is joining his former college quarterback in Jalen Hurts. Sometimes establishing rapport between QB and WR can delay a pairing for weeks or even an entire season, but Smith and Hurts were fast friends and already know what the other likes - their college careers never truly lined up, as Smith entered his prime as Tua Tagovailoa took over for Alabama, but they’re still clearly on the same page. That’ll make Smith an easy target for Hurts from Week 1.

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Smith really does it all well on the field - you don’t win the Heisman Trophy for nothing. He’s a precise route-runner, he’s sure-handed, and he’s a burner on the field prone to big chunk plays down the field, which is helpful because Hurts likes to throw deep balls a lot more than his predecessor in Philadelphia.

Really, the only question mark here - outside of his knee injury, which doesn’t seem too serious - is how well Hurts will play as QB1 over a full season. This is Hurts’ first time as a team’s top QB for an entire year, and if defenses are able to figure out his skillset and Sirianni’s offense and they have to adapt on the fly, Smith could see a dip in overall production. 

Is Smith a WR1 or even a WR2? I don’t think so. He probably could end up being your WR3 or a solid flex option. If he’s still around in the seventh round in a 12-team league, snap him up ASAP. And if you’re playing dynasty, Smith is a great investment so don’t worry about choosing him a little early: you’ll be glad you pulled the trigger.

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