Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers

by Ryan R. Bonini on July 2, 2010 @ 10:00:00 PDT


Steve Smith | Carolina Panthers | 5-foot-9, 185 pounds | 10th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

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Pros: Smith remains the team's No. 1 receiving option and is one of the most dangerous, electric receivers in the game, capable of scoring any time he touches the football. He averaged a healthy 15.1 yards per reception last season and has been good for at least six touchdowns since 2005. He connected well with quarterback Matt Moore late last season, catching 16 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns from Weeks 14 to 16.

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Cons: Smith may miss the entire preseason after suffering a broken arm - his second in as many years - so his timing and chemistry with the offense may be slowed. Injury problems are nothing new for Smith, so they are always a concern to anyone drafting him. The Panthers' passing game is being rebuilt and one of the team's other receivers needs to step up to take pressure off Smith. Moore also has to build on his late-season success and prove he is capable of leading an offense for a full year. The Panthers may opt to rely more on their talented running backs and lessen the pressure on the passing game.

Fantasy tip: Despite the broken arm, Smith should be ready for the start of the regular season, but one has to be concerned he won't be at 100 percent early in the year. Smith has been taken, on average, in the fourth round of fantasy football drafts, but that is likely to slip more as training camp hits and he is unable to get on the field. He always has high upside, but the rebuilding process the Carolina passing game is going through has to cause skepticism.

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About Ryan R. Bonini

Founding KFFL in 1996, Bonini now serves as VP of Fantasy Sports Solutions for USA TODAY SPORTS, KFFL's parent company. Bonini was named 2009 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year by the FSWA, received honors with the Best Fantasy Football Series in '10 and was named into their Hall of Fame in '13.

His work has been found in USA TODAY Sports, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports, CBS Sports,, and many others. He has also been featured on numerous radio programs around the country. Bonini is a member of the PFWA, FSWA and FSTA.

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