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Week 5 notable quarterbacks on bye:
Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford
Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo
Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Josh Freeman
Alex Smith will be playing the Buffalo Bills on these noteworthy QB byes. Though the Bills have added some key pieces to their defense, mainly Mario Williams, their secondary is still their true weakness. Smith could put up some really good numbers while Romo and Stafford are on bye.
Week 6 notable quarterbacks on bye:
New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees
Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton
Chicago Bears’ Jay Cutler
Alex Smith will be smack dab in the middle of a rematch with the New York Giants in Week 6. Smith played one of his best efforts against the Giants in last year’s playoffs, and this time he has far more weaponry. Don’t forget that the Giants pass defense finished 29th out of the 32 NFL teams in 2011.
Week 7 notable quarterbacks on bye:
Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vick
Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning
Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan
San Diego Chargers’ Philip Rivers
Kansas City Chiefs’ Matt Cassel
Alex Smith has the pleasure of facing off against the Seattle Seahawks. One could look to the 2011 defensive passing rankings and view the Seahawks as one of the better units, but you have to look deeper. It was easier to run against the Seahawks and stop them from scoring points in 2011, thusly limiting the need to throw. With Matt Flynn on offense for Seattle there should be a bigger need for San Francisco to put up points.
Week 8 notable quarterbacks on bye:
Houston Texans’ Matt Schaub
Cincinnati Bengals’ Andy Dalton
Baltimore Ravens’ Joe Flacco
Buffalo Bills’ Ryan Fitzpatrick
Smith gets a juicy divisional game against the Arizona Cardinals here in Week 8. Much like the Seahawks, the defense should be moderate at best, but their offense should provide more competition in 2012. Alex Smith could be needed to throw more against a weak secondary, a fantasy football manager’s dream.
Week 10 notable quarterbacks on bye:
Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers
Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III
Arizona Cardinals’ Kevin Kolb
Smith will be matched up against my all-time favorite opposing defense the St. Louis Rams. The Rams have yet to figure out the meaning of the word defense, and I doubt that will magically change here in 2012. Look for the presence of a now healthy Sam Bradford and first-year coach Jeff Fisher to at least make the 49ers keep pushing ahead to maintain a lead though.
Week 11 notable quarterbacks on bye:
New York Giants’ Eli Manning
Seattle Seahawks’ Matt Flynn
Alex Smith has the challenge of the Chicago Bears here in Week 11. Historically the Bears are viewed as an elite team defensively, but that notion has been weakening over the past few years. The linebacking group is great and Julius Peppers provides an elite rush, but once you make it past Brian Urlacher the talent of the personnel drops off drastically. Smith could find better-than-expected success against the Bears secondary that was dominated in 2011.
The moral of the Alex Smith story is that if you select an elite option early on draft day and their bye week coincides with a good 49ers matchup, you should wait for Smith. Add depth to the other skill positions and monitor the quality of quarterbacks being selected to wait to make your jump on Smith. He’ll be viewed as a low-end No. 2 option, but for you on that one week he could put up No. 1 numbers. This is something that owners need to consider when taking a big name early. This makes a lot of sense for backing up the early selected quarterbacks like Michael Vick, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo and Eli Manning. It makes even more sense to wait and secure Smith for quarterbacks going in the first two rounds like Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. That’s Alex Smith’s fantasy value in nutshell – a great bye week starter depending on his matchup and a good injury replacement option.
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