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Instant Analysis: Alex Smith traded to the Chiefs

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Alex Smith was traded from the San Francisco 49ers to the Kansas City Chiefs today for a second round pick (#34 overall) in 2013 and a conditional third-round pick in the 2014 draft. The trade won’t become official until the new league year opens on March 12th, but that’s a mere formality. While the trade of Smith was hardly a shock after the emergence of Colin Kaepernick, the price tag the Chiefs had to pay is a huge surprise.  While few thought Smith would start the season in San Francisco, there were undoubtedly fewer who thought there would be any way for the 49ers to leverage Smith into such a bounty. This trade obviously has some big ramifications in dynasty leagues.

Let’s take a look at the players whose values have moved one way or another after this deal:

Alex Smith, QB KC

There’s no doubt Smith will be under center for the Chiefs when they open up the 2013 season. When you give up as much as the Chiefs did to acquire him, he won’t be holding a clipboard for anyone else. Andy Reid is no stranger to having pressure thrown at him for a quarterback to perform well and this will be no different. On the positive side, Smith is signed to a relatively good deal as he’s slated to make just $7.5 million in 2013 and another $7.5 million in 2014. You would imagine Smith will be a short term answer for the Chiefs as they attempt to rebuild from the ground up. He’s no savior at the position, but he’s not a terrible option, either. There are varying opinions on just how good Smith is, but there’s little doubt this is an upgrade over Matt Cassel.

Smith’s dynasty value obviously has to rise a bit with this move. We currently have him ranked as the 29th best dynasty quarterback and he’ll likely move up a few spots over the next few months, though a drastic move won’t be in order here. Over his seven year career, Smith has thrown for 14,280 yards, 81 touchdowns and 63 interceptions, making him the poster child for a good, but not great quarterback in both reality and fantasy. The Chiefs obviously hope the Smith we’ve seen of late (30 touchdowns and just ten interceptions over the past two years) shows up at Arrowhead.

He deserves a look as a low-end QB2 in dynasty leagues. A reasonable expectation from Smith would be a season with around 3,000 passing yards, a touchdown total of between 15 and 20 and an interception total of around 8-10.  While those totals aren’t going to win you any titles, you could do worse for a bye week fill-in for your dynasty starter. If you suddenly hope Smith is going to finally fulfill his potential of being an overall #1 pick, you’re likely going to be left very disappointed. He is surely going to manage the game very well, but will be asked to do what he does best – maintain a solid intermediate passing game and check the ball down to Jamaal Charles. Chiefs fans who are doing backflips and dreaming of Super Bowl trophies will be disappointed that his yards per attempt for his career is actually lower than the man he’s replacing in Matt Cassel. Simply put, he’s a pretty good quarterback in a system that doesn’t ask him to overextend his own limitations.

Matt Cassel, QB KC

We’ve been wrong a lot here at DLF and have no problem admitting it. However, we were spot on with Cassel when we called him an immediate sell after he was moved from New England in 2009. He’s regressed since a solid 2010 season and hit rock bottom last year when he threw for just 1,796 yards, six touchdowns and 12 interceptions in nine games last year. Cassel is best served as a backup player and will likely be just that next season. Early speculation has the Jets, Vikings, Cardinals and Patriots as potential suitors for him once his release becomes official. If he is anywhere near a starting job, it’s quite simply a very bad sign for that team – they would likely be the front runner for the first pick in the 2014 draft if they took on a player with a confidence issue like Cassel to be their new starter. He belongs on the waiver wire in dynasty leagues.

Geno Smith, QB West Virginia

Stop the presses if you started making those pirated Geno Smith Kansas City jerseys in your basement. While the Chiefs may take a quarterback in the draft, they have just two picks in the first 95 in 2013 and they have a boatload of needs – don’t expect Smith to be heading to the Midwest any time soon.  In fact, this could lock in Luke Joeckel as the first pick in the draft, especially if the Chiefs fail to re-sign Brandon Albert.

Nick Foles, QB PHI

It certainly looks like Foles’ best chance of being a starter next year just went away. While he’s surely going to get some action if he stays in Philadelphia since Michael Vick will undoubtedly get injured, his value is really at its lowest point right now.

Jamaal Charles, RB KC

Things couldn’t have gotten worse at the quarterback position for Charles last year and Smith should be a nice little upgrade for him in the short term, especially in PPR leagues. He should get a lot of check downs and will undoubtedly be the focal point of the offense for Andy Reid. While expecting vintage Brian Westbrook-like numbers from him might be a little greedy, this move shouldn’t have an adverse affect on his value at all.

Dwayne Bowe, WR KC

While some are saying this would be awful for Dwayne Bowe, I don’t necessarily agree. While Smith isn’t going to air out the ball and remind anyone of “The Greatest Show on Turf,” Bowe isn’t a player who simply depends on the deep pass to be productive. If Bowe re-signs with the Chiefs, he should be a red zone and target monster for Smith and would still be able to put up decent numbers. While this doesn’t make Bowe a potential WR1 on your team, I don’t believe it changes his value from a WR2 with upside at all.

Devon Wylie and Dexter McCluster, WRs KC

I can’t help but wonder if this move could really help both these receivers. Wylie seems to project as a decent slot receiver and McCluster is still a relatively talented “swiss army knife.” Andy Reid has always been creative with his offense and will likely be looking to get the ball into the hands of these players in his West Coast scheme. It’s safe to say Tony Moeaki could get himself involved a little more as well.

Colin Kaepernick, QB SF

As if there was any doubt as to has the keys to the castle in San Francisco, the debate is now over. Kaepernick won’t be looking over his shoulder and if he does, he’s only going to see Scott Tolzien at the moment.

Scott Tolzien, QB SF

Watch the 49ers closely in the draft and during free agency as they now have five of the top 93 picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. If they don’t take a quarterback or sign a veteran to get Kaepernick’s water for him, it will show some element of confidence in Tolzien. If that’s the case, he could be worth a look in the preseason and possibly be a speculative add as a super deep prospect on your dynasty team.

This is the first of many dominoes to fall in the coming weeks and you know we’ll be here for every one. If you want to be the life of the party, follow Ken on Twitter

Ken Kelly

Ken Kelly

Senior Partner - Executive Editor at DynastyLeagueFootball
Ken is a corporate trainer by day an a tireless editor of dynasty content by night. His passion for the World Champion Seattle Seahawks is second only to his love of fantasy football and the dynasty format.

Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Kevin

    February 28, 2013 at 12:44 am

    Great article, Ken. How do you think this trade affects Tony Moeaki?

    • Ken Kelly

      February 28, 2013 at 12:57 am

      Thanks for asking, Kevin. I mentioned Moeaki could get a slight uptick in value in the article, but I remain skeptical of him. His biggest challenge is simply staying healthy. There’s little doubt he has talent and is well suited for a “Brent Celek” role in that offense, but you can’t do much from the trainer’s table.

      If Moeaki can get himself right, I think he could emerge as a low-end TE2 candidate. However, just remember that puts him in a very large pool of players. I wouldn’t be targeting him via draft or trade even if Smith does help his chances.

      Thanks for the late night read!

  2. kcDemonSlayer

    February 28, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Love Alex Smith, hate that we gave up so much for him though. I was all for the Chiefs getting Smith for a 4th or maybe a 3rd and using him as a stopgap, taking the #1 player in the draft no matter the position, and taking a Tyler Wilson/Matt Barkley/EJ Manuel etc etc at 34 overall. This trade crushed all of that. Hopefully EJ slides to #63 overall but his stock is rising fast and not sure if he will make it.

    • Ken Kelly

      February 28, 2013 at 1:46 am

      Yes, and even if he did, the Chiefs may not have the luxury of taking a young QB this year since they traded an important pick this year and next for Smith.

      Andy Reid reportedly LOVES Smith, so hope will spring eternal for you and your fellow Chiefs fans. Best of luck to you this year – hopefully you can slaw those demons in San Diego, Denver and Oakland.

      • Krcil

        February 28, 2013 at 10:10 am

        In all honesty… have we heard of a QB that Andy Reid doesn’t like? I bet if someone made a bar bet that he couldn’t make JaMarcus Russel into a real QB he would go and pick him up.

        • Chad Heiberger

          February 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm

          I’d like to see that project

    • robbyrobdu

      February 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      As an FSU fan living in Tallahassee, trust me, you don’t want EJ Manuel.

      So a 2nd and conditional is a LOT for a 70% NFL passer, but you’d LOVE to take a QB who has extreme accuracy and decision making issues and non-existent pocket presence at 63 overall…..that seems like a huge contradiction on value.

      A starting QB for 2 picks NOT IN THE FIRST ROUND?!?!? Not like he’s old either, he had, what 15 TDs before his first pick last year (And he won’t be facing any pass rushes like the NYG in that division, Von Miller is about it).

  3. Chris Mertz

    February 28, 2013 at 3:58 am

    Should this trade make me feel better about my Jon Baldwin investment, or is he a product of his own undoing thus far in his career?

    • Ken Kelly

      February 28, 2013 at 7:40 am

      Both.

  4. SJ

    February 28, 2013 at 9:10 am

    The nice thing about this A.Smith trade is that it just confirms youre getting a decent bye week starter cheap for the next couple years. Which is nice considering Smith is going dirt cheap as a QB3 in dynasty startups, and likely a QB3 on fantasy benches. I’m not a firm believer in having a ton of QB depth (just a top tier starter), so he fits my thrifty ways nicely.

  5. Cyrus

    February 28, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I’m just confused by the Chiefs giving up that much. I just don’t get it, at all.

    • Ken Kelly

      February 28, 2013 at 10:39 am

      Quarterbacks have become so incredibly valuable in the NFL that you pretty much have to pay what we used to think is an exorbitant amount to get one. We may have to simply start re-thinking their values in terms of draft pick compensation.

      • robbyrobdu

        February 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm

        And not just QBs, proven successful starters.

        Yes in Dynasty Nick Foles should get more than Alex Smith in a trade just based on potential and the snippets he has shown…but Foles has yet to do it for very long stretches and ISN’T a starter yet.

        Not to mention Philly is milking the situation and better get something while they can.

        • Derek

          February 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm

          They may be milking it, but Foles to me looks much better than Kolb when they milked his value….I never thought Kolb was it, Foles has a chance…i’d like to see him a little more…but he might be pretty good and we just don’t know it yet? sometimes it has to smack us right in the face before we see it…but then, everybody see’s it at that point.

      • Cyrus

        March 1, 2013 at 8:23 am

        Yeah… except that I see the draft as offering greater upside than Alex Smith. Russell Wilson was drafted late. Some of the guys this year could be good. Personally, I would rather go with a cheap QB this year, get a high draft pick and go for a stud QB next year.

  6. assertion inventory

    June 19, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Wonderful web site. Plenty of helpful information here. I am sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks for your sweat!

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