The Poll Shows an Undervalued RB

First up, I have a programming note of sort.

We put up the first of my video reports last night, this one on Brandon Jacobs. These aren’t extremely professional, but they’re getting better. I do these with my son, who plays the music on them and puts them all together. He’s 15, so he really can’t get a “real” job yet, so I’m trying to help him out and give him some work and something resembling some real-world experience. It’s tough, though, since he’s at an age where a kid can be a pain in the ass. It’s not exactly conducive to a productive work environment, a father and son working on a project like this, but hopefully it’ll work out the rest of the year.

On to today’s topic. In case you haven’t noticed, we added a Poll of the Day/Week to the site now (we’ll probably go Day in August, but for now we’ll likely change 2-3 times a week). The first poll was on rookie RBs and who will gain the most yards.

The results have been somewhat predictable. As of right now (11am on 6/23) we have 197 votes. The breakdown is as follows:

Forte, Chi – 81 votes
Stewart, Car – 74 votes
McFadden, Oak – 25 votes
K. Smith, Det – 9 votes
F. Jones, Dal – 4 votes
C. Johnson, Ten – 4 votes

I understand how Forte and Stewart are leading the way, but the player who isn’t getting nearly the love he should is Kevin Smith. I would personally rank them Stewart, Forte, and Smith, but with far less disparity.

It’s well documented that new OC Jim Colleto wants to run the rock 30-40 times per game, and that’s why they drafted Smith. Smith may not be a special player, but he’s a good player and he’s shown in college he can be a major workhorse (again, that’s why they drafted him). And unlike a guy like Stewart, Smith doesn’t have a quality player standing in between him and the lead role.

I’m not trying to influence the voting, but what these results tell me is that Kevin Smith is severely undervalued, and he’s not getting anything close to the love he should be getting as the clear favorite to carry the load for the Lions. I’ve learned my lesson that we can’t assume a shaky player will do well based solely on opportunity, but I think Smith is better than shaky, and in fact I think he’s pretty solid. He’s also apparently a high-character and work ethic guy, which helps. He doesn’t have the greatest o-line in the league, but it’s a decent enough group, and their passing game should be good enough for them to move the ball and get things done on offense.

Smith’s schedule against the run is middle of the pack, but it’s favorable early, so don’t be surprised if he starts off strong. Fantasy teams want to start of strong, of course, so barring a preseason meltdown, I’m going to be targeting Smith as my #3/flex, or maybe even by #2 if I’m loading up on WRs.

Category: Fantasy Football


7 Responses

  1. PackFan says:

    I like your evaluation of Kevin Smith, the only problem I have with him this that he plays for the gosh dang Lions. No offense to Detroit fans, but every year this team seems to find a hole to climb into and disappear along with any fantasy points one might be counting on getting on a weekly basis from Lion players. They’ll go great guns for awhile, then seemingly fall off the face of the earth. Drafting guys from non-winning programs always scares me.

  2. Former Army Person says:

    I’m not a big Smith fan but assuming he’ll be the main back, I agree he’s being undervalued. Any rb who gets 300+ touches is usually a top 10 back and almost always a top 20 guy – and right now, it looks like smith will get that kind of work if he can stand it I do have some concerns about his workload last year coming back to haunt him in this regard.

    I think Colletto (spelling?) is the new OC in DET and Solari (ex-Chiefs OC) is the OL coach in SEA. I think your analysis would be unchanged except for the names.

  3. John Hansen says:

    Yeah, I lost my mind for a second there. Smith’s a little tough to deal with because he’s far from an elite talent, and there are questions about his ability to physically pound the rock. On the other hand, he’s a tireless worker who proved in college he can handle a massive load, and the Lions would like him to handle one. But there’s no question he’s undervalued.

  4. spudballscott says:

    I’d have to go along with the undervalue for Smith arising from his team’s reputation for touting great prospects which will turn the Lions’ fortunes around, only to disappoint time after time. Raise your hand if a hot Detroit prospect has left your fantasy team in the cold after your summer draft?

    It would be great if Smith can break this trend, but he can’t do it alone no matter how much talent and perseverance he has in training and on the field. If the team and coaching staff can finally get their poop in a pile, Smith could surprise.

  5. ScottB says:

    I think he’ll be a steal if you get him as your #3 RB. Jusr remember that when healthy, Kevin Jones was a solid RB to have. The problem was he couldn’t stay healthy. And if I remember correctly Kevin Jones wasn’t exactly a “name” player his rookie year either, so why not Kevin Smith? Also don’t forget that he is fighting Tatum Bell for playing time so that means Kevin Smith will be the starting RB and any time you can get a starting RB after the 7th round, that’s great value!

  6. JerseyPaul says:

    There’s nothing better than working with your son. You’ll both remember those times with a smile.

  7. Celsior says:

    I am not a Kevin Smith fan, and steered clear from him in last month’s Showcase League draft. In this college career he logged 905 carries, with nearly half of them coming his senior year. Smith, who doesn’t even have elite speed, simply has too many miles on him. This is Cedric Benson without the high draft position and, hopefully, without the ‘tude. And for his sake, I hope Coletto doesn’t overuse him the way Caddy was as a rook.

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