Torrey Smith offers boom-or-bust potential with Eagles
After a monumentally disappointing stint in San Francisco, Torrey Smith will be switching coasts. The speedy wideout signed a three-year, $15 million deal to join the Philadelphia Eagles’ smoldering crater of a receiver corps.
It was not long ago that the 28-year-old Smith was considered an up-and-coming fantasy asset. He has eight- and 11-touchdown seasons under his belt, as well as a 1,128-yard campaign. His yards-per-reception rates consistently rank near the top of the league and he’s averaged 17.0 for his career. Smith was an annual fantasy WR2 during his time in Baltimore while playing with Joe Flacco. The last two seasons in San Francisco were a considerable step down in the quarterback department.
Smith’s fall from fantasy relevance can’t entirely be chalked up to poor quarterback play, however. After receiving above-average grades in the passing game during his final three seasons as a Raven, Smith ranked 84th in 2015, before hitting rock-bottom as the 117th-graded receiver (out of 119) last year. Never sure-handed, he dropped a whopping 25-percent of his catchable targets while in San Francisco (16 of 64).
While Smith is pulled from a quarterback nightmare in San Francisco, he isn’t exactly hooking up with an elite passer. Carson Wentz graded 25th at his position during his rookie season, only two and three spots ahead of Smith’s former quarterbacks, Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert, respectively. To take advantage of Smith’s field-stretching prowess, Wentz needs to improve his deep-ball accuracy (35.9 percent; 25th-best), or his 27th-ranked passer rating on balls aimed 20-plus yards downfield (60.9) won’t get the desired boost.
Even if Wentz doesn’t take the leap in his second season, Smith figures to get a target volume boost. He saw only 45 and 56 targets in his two seasons in San Francisco. While he won’t see as many looks as Eagles’ slot receiver Jordan Matthews (109), Smith can expect a bump on the 62 that former starting wideout Nelson Agholor essentially wasted last season. Smith again profiles as a boom-or-bust fantasy asset who would ideally be rostered as no more than a fantasy WR4.