Following wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith’s coming out party in Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles, he’ll now look to keep it rolling on Thanksgiving. The New Orleans Saints will host the rival Atlanta Falcons in a night game on Thursday, and there’s bound to be plenty of fireworks.
Last week, Smith shredded the Eagles by hauling in 10-of-13 targets for 157 yards and one touchdown. It was a huge showing for the rookie out of Central Florida, especially considering he hadn’t topped three catches in any other single game. He did post a 111-yard performance back in October, but it came on three catches (two of which were touchdowns).
Smith’s value as a big-play receiver and someone capable of playing opposite Michael Thomas is shining through. He’s also jumped onto the radar of fantasy football players, and could be a name to consider in Week 12 as a potential starter.
Let’s take a deeper dive into Smith’s situation and evaluate whether he’s a start or sit in fantasy this week.
Should You Start or Sit Tre’Quan Smith?
*Note: Smith is currently dealing with a foot injury, and was a non-participant in the Saints’ estimated injury report for Monday. Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate originally revealed Smith was a limited participant Tuesday but later updated and said he did not practice. He’s only in play (obviously) if he suits up, but this post will be updated as the game draws closer.
Both the Saints and Falcons are more than capable of putting major points on the board, and the Thanksgiving matchup should be no exception. This is also a great matchup for Smith, as the Falcons have allowed 131 receptions for 1,805 yards and 14 touchdowns to opposing wideouts. Per ESPN, that ranks as the No. 7 most fantasy points per game on average.
While all things currently point to the 22-year-old being in the mix as a fantasy starter, there is one cause for concern – Brandon Marshall. The recently-signed veteran wideout was inactive last week but seems likely to debut against the Falcons on Thursday. With that said, the fact Marshall totaled just 11 catches on 23 targets with the Seattle Seahawks through seven games this season helps to temper expectations.
Marshall also had a big opportunity with the Seahawks when Doug Baldwin was out with an injury, but failed to top the 50-yard mark in any game and his lone touchdown came in Week 1. Although Marshall may play, I’m not expecting him to eat into Smith’s snaps all that much, and his presence may actually help out the rookie a bit.
Based on the matchup and the fact we can feel confident in this game being high scoring, Smith is squarely in play as a fantasy option, assuming he’s good to go from a health standpoint. I’d feel comfortable using him as a flex option in 12-team leagues, and then as a WR3 or flex in 14-team leagues or larger.