Later today the San Francisco 49ers will release their first practice participation report of the week for their matchup this Sunday with the Rams. For the most part the 49ers are fairly healthy on offense with the big fantasy football guns ready to go this for this Sunday’s Week 10 battle with the St. Louis Rams.
Of course, there is one slightly pertinent position where health is an issue: the starting QB. Yea, that’s just a little important. Alex Smith suffered a shoulder separation against the Carolina Panthers and while he feels less and less pain, he has yet to be medically cleared for practice. Troy Smith is practicing and that could impact the team this Sunday in terms of winning and also in terms of fantasy potential.
Troy Smith brings something a little different to the table, and with the last bye week occurring he could potentially have some value. This week sees Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Jason Campbell having byes. That’s three of the best starting QBs (and Drew Brees…just kidding) having byes. There are usually some decent QB options on the waiver wire, but Troy Smith could be a sleeper with upside.
While Alex Smith had some scrambling skills, Troy Smith’s maneuverability brings a little something extra to the table. He’s a more natural scrambler, which likely will mean more rushing yards as he gets more comfortable in the offense. Additionally, he showed against the Broncos that he can be particularly evasive before trying to run. The Broncos repeatedly got hands on him and he was able to evade the sacks and keep plays alive.
Throw in a cannon for an arm and if you’re getting desperate for a big performance, he might be a guy worth considering. The Rams bring a better defense than the Broncos, but I could see some decent fantasy numbers from Troy Smith in Week 10. Smith was 12 of 19 for 196 yards, one passing touchdown, and one rushing touchdown on a QB keeper. Smith didn’t scramble too frequently but obviously he chose one particularly good time to run.
I don’t expect a ton more yards from Smith, and in fact he might have fewer passing yards as I see this game turning into a battle of the trenches. I see Frank Gore and Steven Jackson, along with the opposing defenses deciding this game. However, if Smith can improve his accuracy and the chemistry with his receivers, I could see maybe a second passing touchdown and a greater number of rushing yards. He rushed four times for two yards last week so obviously there’s room for improvement.
I don’t personally need a QB in either of my fantasy football leagues this week. However, if I did I might consider Troy Smith, even as an unbelievable 49ers homer.