2021 Fantasy Football Breakout - WR Tre’quan Smith
2021 Breakout: Tre’Quan Smith
Tre’Quan Smith is heading into his 4th season as a member of the Saints (drafted 3rd round in 2018), and I believe this will be his best one yet. At UCF, Smith was a part of the self-proclaimed 2017 National Champion’s team. In his final year at UCF, he caught 59 passes for 1,171 yards and 13 TD’s. He has good size at 6’2”, 210 lbs and he also ran a 4.49 at the combine. Smith was looked at by many as a possible sleeper in the 2018 draft class. The problem is that he hasn’t produced…yet. If we follow the 3 year rule for WR’s, Smith is past the time in which you would like to see good production. It is still possible for a WR to breakout past year 3, think DaVante Parker, and I think Smith will be one of those players. In his first two seasons, he played behind Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn, and then was behind Emmanuel Sanders this past season. Michael Thomas only started 5 games last year, but the Saint’s passing yards did decrease from 4,244 yards in 2019 to 3,758 in 2020.
Let’s also consider that with a QB change, it is possible the targets will be spread around differently. In 2019, Winston attempted 626 passes and of those 626, only 40 went to Ronald Jones and 24 went to Peyton Barber (the top 2 RBs on Bucs depth chart in 2019). That’s approximately 10% of Winston’s passes going to RB’s. This is compared to Kamara’s 20% target share from Drew Brees in 2019. Using this data, we can assume Kamara will likely see a decrease in targets this upcoming year, which could possibly open the door for Smith to get a larger target share than his first 3 years. Smith currently has an ADP of 252 overall in PPR leagues according to Fantasy Pros. That’s about the 21st round in 12 team leagues, so possibly undrafted depending on how deep your rosters are. Smith is entering 2021 as the WR2 on the Saints, something that hasn’t yet happened for him in his career. He’ll obviously be behind target share monsters in Kamara and MT, with Cook also getting a fair share for himself. All things considered, Smith could end up being a WR4-5 and you’ll only have to spend one of your last picks on him.