2022 DeVonta Smith Fantasy Football Player Profile

It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the wide receivers. Today, we take a look at a receiver who had one of the best rookie seasons in 2021 (but was overshadowed by Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle) and then who was replaced by A.J. Brown atop the Philadelphia Eagles’ meager wide receiver room. What can we expect from DeVonta Smith’s sophomore year?

DeVonta Smith ADP and AAV:

Average Draft Position: WR36, 83 overall
Average Auction Value: $1.3

DeVonta Smith Statistics:
Year G GS Tgt Rec Yards TD Tgt/G Rec/G Rec% Yds/Tgt Yds/Rec
2021 17 16 104 64 916 5 6.50 3.76 61.5% 8.81 14.31
Year Std Pts HPPR Pts PPR Pts Pts/G HPPR Pts/G PPR Pts/G Pts/Tgt HPPR Pts/Tgt PPR Pts/Tgt
2021 121.6 153.6 185.6 7.2 9.0 10.9 1.17 1.48 1.78
Year Air Yards aDOT YAC YAC/Tgt YAC/Rec AYMS Tgt MS
2021 1448 14.1 220 2.14 3.44 37% 23%
2022 DeVonta Smith Fantasy Football Overview:

First and foremost, we have a volume problem with DeVonta Smith, which is the same problem we had for DeVonta Smith in 2021. He finished the year with 64 receptions for 916 yards. This is a highly respectable rookie year but it was overshadowed by Ja’Marr Chase & Jaylen Waddle. Or was it? Well, Chase had one of the best rookie years of all time, so that’s a resounding yes. But things get a little woolier when you consider the Jaylen Waddle of it all. Miami threw for 3,936 yards last season, and Jaylen Waddle had 1,015 of those yards (25.7%). The Eagles, in comparison, had 3,585 passing yards, and DeVonta Smith had 916 of them… or 25.5%. Smith impacted the Eagles’ passing game as Waddle impacted Miami’s, yet we act as though Waddle broke out and Smith had a good, but a not great, season. By relative usefulness to their respective team’s passing games, they had essentially the same rookie year.

Waddle and DeVonta Smith also have the same issue: Waddle was pushed down the depth chart by Tyreek Hill’s addition, and Philadelphia moved Smith down the pecking order by adding A.J. Brown in the draft. So, things don’t look great for Smith, which explains his draft day price.

2022 DeVonta Smith Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:

DeVonta Smith Salary Cap Value: $2
Draft Ranking: Find out for your league settings in a Beersheet!

DeVonta Smith is currently WR36 by ADP, and pick 83 overall. In salary cap drafts, he’s just $1.3. I don’t really understand this price, not because I think that it’s too high, but because I think that it’s too low. But, not by much. Sure, Smith will get sidelined by A.J. Brown at times, but this same A.J. Brown missed six games in the last two years thanks to injuries, so Smith will get his chance atop the target depth chart once again. There’s also the issue that outside of Smith, Brown, and tight end Dallas Goedert… there isn’t much to speak of in this Philadelphia wide receiver corps. Jalen Reagor and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside are both busts, and Quez Watkins is a never-was.

One thing a lot of people can’t live with is the outcome that it could be A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith in a grown pass volume offense in Philadelphia. Both players could get a 20%-30% target share, and there’s still 40-60% left for the rest of the team to divide up. I feel great about DeVonta Smith as a talent (I had him over Ja’Marr Chase last year, pre-draft because I’m a clown who worried about Chase’s year off). So, if DeVonta Smith can get, say, 25% of 500 targets (Hurts paced out to 490 targets), that’s still 125 targets for him to work with. Last year, Smith finished as WR36 on 105 targets, meaning that there’s room for him to grow from there, and with additional targets. He’s a great mid-round value pick as the team’s WR2 who has a chance to be the WR1 should things go south for A.J. Brown.

Best Case Scenario:

There’s nobody to come for targets outside of the big three in Philadelphia, and they split a 75% target share. The pie also grows in Philadelphia and the hyper-talented DeVonta Smith ends up with 140 targets and finishes as a top-15 wide receiver.

Worst Case Scenario:

A.J. Brown gets 150 targets, and Jalen Hurts runs the ball 300 times. DeVonta Smith eventually just sits down on the field to pick grass.

Check out all our 2022 player profiles, here.

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Want more 2022 fantasy football draft discussion? Check out these links!


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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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