Scott Engel is in his 12th year as the official Fantasy Football writer and analyst for Seahawks.com. He is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Scott is a four-time FSWA award winner and a 12-time nominee, including being a finalist for the 2020 FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year Award, which he won previously. You can find more of his fantasy football analysis at The Game Day.
When Geno Smith signed a three-year contract extension with the Seahawks earlier this month, it was confirmed that he would stay with the team that gave him the opportunity to win the Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year award. Smith penned an unforgettable tale of a career revival in 2022, and now he gets the chance to show that he can perform at a Pro Bowl level again.
When Smith wrapped up his deal, it also stabilized his fantasy football outlook for the 2023 season. In 2022, he was one of the best fantasy football waiver wire pickups at quarterback, as he finished in the top 5 at the position. Smith averaged 18.5 points per game. His 30 TD passes were fourth-most among NFL QBs.
Once it became apparent that Smith was trustworthy as a fantasy player, he was a prime streaming option at QB, as many fantasy players did need to take that sort of approach at the position. In two-quarterback and superflex leagues, Smith emerged as a must-start QB2. In the high-stakes Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC), I was able to draft Smith in the late rounds of a rookie/free agent draft and he became a regular starter. Smith was a great story in real life, yet he also came through as a very deep sleeper in fantasy football in 2022.
Selected advanced statistics backed up the surface numbers that illustrated Smith's respectable fantasy production. According to playerprofiler.com. Smith ranked No. 3 in the NFL on "money throws", which are passes that require exceptional skill or came in clutch situations. Being able to deliver those types of plays does translate into quality fantasy output.
Smith ranked fifth in the league in deep ball completion percentage and third in deep ball accuracy rating. Those markers bolster his fantasy outlook in terms of connecting with his outstanding receiving tandem of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett for frequent big plays.
For the first time in his career, Smith will be working with the same offensive coordinator for three consecutive seasons. His familiarity with Shane Waldron's system and schemes are another factor that stamp him as a quality fantasy starting option again in 2023. Smith should be viewed as a rather safe pick who will approach or even better his 2022 fantasy production.
In early offseason fantasy football expert consensus rankings on fantasypros.com, Smith has an average ranking of No. 14 at quarterback. That is a huge jump from the 2022 preseason and certifies that he is in high-end QB2 territory in the estimations of experienced fantasy analysts. Such a consensus ranking also endorses Smith as a top QB2 starting option in two-QB and superflex leagues, which have become increasingly popular among fantasy football players in recent years.
Smith should also now receive stronger consideration in fantasy football formats where players can be retained from the previous season. In dynasty leagues, he is a totally essential player to hold in two-QB and superflex setups and he should be considered as a trade target if you need QB help. In single-QB dynasty formats, Smith is a regular starting candidate and a top-notch QB2 roster option. Those who play in two-QB and superflex keeper leagues must also view Smith a top choice to retain for 2023.
Having the comfort of Smith running the Seahawks' offense again in 2023 also bodes well for forecasting continued fantasy success for the team's other top skill position players. Tyler Lockett finished as fantasy WR13 last season in Point Per Reception formats with 237.3 points, and he averaged 14.8 points per game. He scored 15-plus fantasy points in four of his final five games in 2022. Lockett will continue to be a quality fantasy WR2 option for the 2023 season. He had nine TDs last year, and Lockett caught eight TDs for the fifth consecutive season. He reached 1,000 yards for the fourth season in a row, joining Steve Largent as the only the second Seahawks player to accomplish the feat.
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It was obvious that Lockett's production did not drop off in Smith's first year as a starter and the annually dependable wideout should be headed for another good fantasy campaign. From the advanced statistical perspective, Lockett also ranked sixth in the league in fantasy points per target (2.17).
Metcalf remains an upside fantasy WR2 target at age 25. Last season, he finished as fantasy WR16 with 226.8 points, and he averaged 13.3 points per game. In 2022, Metcalf finished with a career-high 90 receptions, which indicates that he will continue to benefit fantasy players in PPR formats. He has apparent comfort working with Smith as a key target on important passing downs.
Kenneth Walker III is already being regarded as a top-level fantasy running back for the 2023 season by fantasy analysts. The most recent expert consensus rankings on fantasypros.com have Walker at the lofty spot of No. 5 overall. Walker, who took over as a starter for the Seahawks in Week 6 in 2022, performed at a top-10 fantasy RB level for the rest of the season. He averaged 15.9 Fantasy Points Per Game in points per reception formats from Week 6 on. Walker had eight rushing TDs in his 11 starts and he can be a top-level source of rushing TD production in 2023 working with Smith in the backfield again.
Overall, Smith should provide steady production himself for fantasy purposes in 2023. His continued quality play will also assure that the featured fantasy WRs and top fantasy RB on the team will have very good statistical floors and some more potential upside for the upcoming season.
Here are my latest Fantasy QB rankings for the 2023 season, with Smith slotted in as one of the better QB2 targets.
- Josh Allen
- Patrick Mahomes
- Jalen Hurts
- Justin Fields
- Joe Burrow
- Justin Herbert
- Lamar Jackson
- Dak Prescott
- Trevor Lawrence
- Deshaun Watson
- Daniel Jones
- Tua Tagovailoa
- Kirk Cousins
- Geno Smith
- Kyler Murray
- Jared Goff
- Trey Lance
- Aaron Rodgers
- Matthew Stafford
- Russell Wilson
- Derek Carr
- Bryce Young
- C.J. Stroud
- Kenny Pickett
- Jimmy Garoppolo
For more fantasy analysis from Scott Engel, visit The Game Day during the fantasy football offseason.
Take a look back at some of the best photos of Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith from the 2022 season.