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WR Torrey Smith, Retired

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Is Torrey Smith really a 'one-trick pony'?

By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com

Quote

The Baltimore Ravens' Torrey Smith ranked No. 6 among wide receivers entering the final year of their contracts, according to the rankings by ESPN's Mike Sando.

One anonymous general manager told Sando that Smith doesn't rank higher because "he's a bit of a one-trick pony [as a downfield threat]."

Is it valid to put that label on Smith? The statistics say yes.

Last season, Smith led all NFL players in the most targets and routes run on passes that travel over 20 yards in the air. He was targeted 34 times on such passes, two more than Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace. It should be noted that Wallace was referred to as a one-trick pony by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin during his days in Pittsburgh, and Smith trumped him in running deep.

Of the 130 passes thrown Smith's way last year, 26 percent went over 20 yards in the air. Compare that rate to the receivers ranked ahead of him like Denver's Demaryius Thomas (18.5 percent), Dallas' Dez Bryant (15 percent) and Green Bay's Jordy Nelson (14 percent). It's not even close when you look at the number of times Joe Flacco flings the ball deep to Smith.

Where Smith has to become more of a complete receiver is on the shorter passes. Last season, he had 39 catches on throws that traveled 10 yards or less in the air, which ranked 71st among NFL players. Marlon Brown, an undrafted rookie, had one more reception on those shorter passes than Smith in 2013.

No one is saying the Ravens should stop throwing deep to Smith. His speed is his biggest asset, and he has been one of the better downfield threats in the NFL over the past three seasons. But Smith has to become more of a target on slants, comeback routes and quick outs. Those types of routes increase the efficiency of an offense.

The numbers show that Smith has made strides in getting rid of that one-trick pony perception. In his first two seasons, 34 percent of the passes thrown to Smith went over 20 yards in the air. So that rate did drop significantly last season.

What should help Smith is the addition of Steve Smith and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. Steve Smith's presence should limit defenses from bracketing their coverages on Torrey Smith all game. Smith drew all the attention last season when the Ravens were without Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta.

Kubiak is also known for not taking as many deep shots. In the past four seasons, Baltimore ranked second in air yards per pass attempt, which reflects how far the ball travels past the line of scrimmage to its target on average. In Houston, Kubiak's offenses were 27th in that category during the same period. If this trend continues under Kubiak, the Ravens could look to get the ball quicker to Smith.

Asked about his learning curve with Kubiak's offense, Torrey Smith said, “I understand football, so it’s not really hard. The biggest thing is remembering the terminology. It’s a lot faster today than it was yesterday and, obviously, a few weeks ago. I think when it’s all said and done, I think we’ll be fine.”

Edited by Faust

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Can Torrey Smith play the Andre Johnson role?


By Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
June 18, 2014 1:45 pm ET

Before last season Gary Kubiak was asked if the Texans targeted Andre Johnson too much. Johnson had drawn 164 targets in 2012, 96 more than any other Houston wideout, while catching 112 passes for 1,598 yards.

"It's going to happen again," Kubiak told the Houston Chronicle.

So it did. Johnson got 181 targets last year, second-most in the league and 88 more than No. 2 receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Look at Johnson's last four 16-game seasons:

2013: 181 targets, 2nd

2012: 164 targets, tied for 5th

2009: 172 targets, 1st

2008: 170 targets, 2nd

Note: Johnson missed nine games in 2011, three in 2010

Now look at Houston's No. 2 receiver in those years:

2013: Hopkins, 93 targets

2012: Kevin Walter, 68 targets

2009: Kevin Walter, 70 targets

2008: Kevin Walter, 95 targets

Note: Kyle Shanahan was Houston's offensive coordinator in 2008-09, working under Kubiak.

Kubiak, of course, was fired as Texans coach and is now running the Ravens' offense. He brings a zone run scheme and a West Coast passing game that stresses play action, throws to tight ends and a No. 1 wideout. This receiver plays the X, or split end position, in Kubiak's offense. Like Johnson, Smith is the X receiver.

Torrey Smith is not Andre Johnson. He's three inches shorter, but he's not small at 6-foot, 205-pounds. He's not frail either: Smith has never missed a game in college or the NFL.

Let's also concede that Ravens No. 2 wideout Steve Smith is slightly better, even at age 35, than Hopkins or Walter.

But look at what Torrey Smith, who's just entering his prime at 25, has done with far fewer targets than Johnson.

2011: 95 targets, tied for No. 23 Fantasy WR

2012: 110 targets, No. 23 Fantasy WR

2013: 139 targets, tied for No. 19 Fantasy WR

He has yet to finish lower than a WR2. That's his floor. His ceiling? Low-end WR1.

Torrey Smith should be going higher than his current average draft position -- 25th WR on MyFantasyLeague.com, 26th WR on FantasyFootballCalculator.com. He offers great value as a Round 6 pick almost guaranteed to have his best year yet.

I'd take him over DeSean Jackson, Emmanuel Sanders, Kendall Wright and Percy Harvin.

Smith is excited about Kubiak's arrival. He's picking up the system quickly.

"I love it. Football is football, and there are a lot of concepts that we've had before that we understand, but it's kind of his way of going about it," Smith said after a recent practice.

"Even something as simple as the route running, he likes to break down a little bit more rather than speed cutting a lot, which is what we did last year. It's been working well. Guys have been working hard, we're getting it down, and that's really all we can ask for at this point."

Check out this practice video to see Smith, known for going deep, run a variety of routes in the new offense.

It doesn't hurt that Smith is entering his contract year.

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I'm in love with Smith coming into this season. I've been on the look out trying to acquire him in every dynasty league I can.

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I've been targeting Torrey Smith in mocks. I have a few 2nd/3rd overall picks and I usually see what I believe to be a nice pocket of value for WR's around the 4/5 turn. Three years in the league, three finishes of WR22 or WR23 (standard) and nothing to indicate he won't repeat that, IMO. I'm very happy to have him as my third wideout, especially if I take a higher upside/riskier guy next to him like Harvin or Patterson

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Torrey Smith, Joe Flacco improving timing in Ravens' passing game:

http://touch.baltimoresun.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-81132092/

Rotoworld take on the article linked above:

Torrey Smith is anticipating a more versatile role this season.

The hiring of Gary Kubiak as offensive coordinator will be a boon to Smith's box scores. Used too often as a one-trick deep threat through his first three NFL seasons, the speedster's new role "incorporates his ability to run deep routes as well as short to intermediate patterns." Much like the Shanahan & Son offense, the Gary Kubiak scheme is ridiculously friendly to X receivers -- as we saw with Andre Johnson in Houston and 2013 NFL target leader Pierre Garcon in Washington last season. Smith is playing that spot now, is in a contract year and is one of our favorite value-pick wideout targets. He's currently lasting until the sixth round.

Source: Baltimore Sun

Aug 20 - 11:30 AM

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i have targeted torrey the past 2 years, and while he has always scored me points, he seams like a bit of an underachiever.

he is just good enough on paper to start each week, unfortunatly, you can prolly score the same wr points by playing the matchups with wr4s & wr5s.

so if you are looking at drafting him, and need to fill another roster spot, do the latter.

he and others in his range dont give much value so you can look for that elsewhere.

im sure i will end up drafting him anyway.

Edited by grateful zed

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Has to be the bust of the year so far after two games: 4 catches for 60 yards, 0 TD.

Edited by cstu
  • Like 1

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I wondered how long I'd have to wait for a thread bump where I could whine about Torrey. FFS man, what did he have two targets and one catch for 10 yards?

DAMMIT

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Flacco is so locked on Steve Smith it's ridiculous

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I am not sure if I should blame Torrey or Kubiak. He doesn't seem to be a big part of this offense.

According to Evan Silva, Torrey Smith was to fill the Andre Johnson role in Kubiak's offense ;)

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Beginning to wonder if this is going to work out for Torrey.

I will not be starting him again until we see some targets and receptions

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im not so upset about drafting him as i miss on 7th round picks all the time but im really upset with myself for starting him this week. i watched enough of the bengals game to know that flacco doesnt look at him anymore and i had some decent options. then i read this article and decided to roll with him over kelce/garrett/donnell/woods and in the other league over hurns/thompkins/cooper/niles. next week all of those guys start over him. hes quite worth a cut in deep leagues but hes getting there.

http://subscribers.footballguys.com/apps/article.php?article=harmon_receptionperception_torreysmith14

oops.

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One thing that's been pretty clear these first 2 games is Steve Smith has been primary X receiver. That's where the targets go in Kubiak O.

Which is surprising after Steve Smith called himself a "complementary" guy after signed him. Compared his role to Kevin Walter.

https://twitter.com/evansilva/status/510260753560268801

hmm, thats not what fbg says. check my link abovve.

The first order of business is to dispel the notion that Torrey Smith somehow lost the top of the pecking order to Steve Smith. Torrey Smith still lined up outside, and on the line of scrimmage far more often than not. With 83% of his snaps occurring on the line of scrimmage, its clear Torrey Smith is still the x-receiver on this offense

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I have never understood the love affair with this guy.... he is a one trick pony and if he does not score a TD he is going to get you killed in a PPR league. Good luck trying to figure out which weeks he will score a TD. The writing was on the wall when they added Owen Daniels and Steve Smith and Pitta coming back healthy....passes are going to get distributed every week so you have no consistency. If anything, Flacco was a smart play late as a QB .... everyone else will be inconsistent, including Pitta (see tonight 3 catches 30 yards no TDs)

Playing in 12 leagues this year and not once did I draft this turd.

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I have never understood the love affair with this guy.... he is a one trick pony and if he does not score a TD he is going to get you killed in a PPR league.

:confused: Last year he was WR23 in PPR despite only scoring 4 TDs all year.

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I have never understood the love affair with this guy.... he is a one trick pony and if he does not score a TD he is going to get you killed in a PPR league.

:confused: Last year he was WR23 in PPR despite only scoring 4 TDs all year.

Right, but Steve Smith wasn't there & Pitta missed 3/4 of the season. In other words, there was a lot less competition for balls last year. With the better Smith and two good TEs to throw to, Torrey's good games are gonna be the exceptions, not the norm.

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Is Steve really better though? Looked overwhelmed on all his redzone targets. Andrew Hawkins put up a similar (better) stat line against PITT last week. I know people love the guy and for good reason but I'm not that blown away by his performance other than one big play last week and getting tons of targets. If this is how Kubiak continues to use them though, I guess Torrey's screwed.

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Is Steve really better though? Looked overwhelmed on all his redzone targets. Andrew Hawkins put up a similar (better) stat line against PITT last week. I know people love the guy and for good reason but I'm not that blown away by his performance other than one big play last week and getting tons of targets. If this is how Kubiak continues to use them though, I guess Torrey's screwed.

At some point you have to consider that Smith Sr. is just getting open more than Smith is... could be as simple as that.

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Is Steve really better though? Looked overwhelmed on all his redzone targets. Andrew Hawkins put up a similar (better) stat line against PITT last week. I know people love the guy and for good reason but I'm not that blown away by his performance other than one big play last week and getting tons of targets. If this is how Kubiak continues to use them though, I guess Torrey's screwed.

My opinion in pre-season was that Smith Sr. is better and that remains unchanged. Smith does open up the field for Smith Sr.

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Is Steve really better though? Looked overwhelmed on all his redzone targets. Andrew Hawkins put up a similar (better) stat line against PITT last week. I know people love the guy and for good reason but I'm not that blown away by his performance other than one big play last week and getting tons of targets. If this is how Kubiak continues to use them though, I guess Torrey's screwed.

At some point you have to consider that Smith Sr. is just getting open more than Smith is... could be as simple as that.

To the point of a 15 target difference, not buying that at all. And it's worth pointing out as well Torrey was prevented from a very possible TD by a pass interference. Still not much to do other than park him on the bench and pray.

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I am not sure if I should blame Torrey or Kubiak. He doesn't seem to be a big part of this offense.

According to Evan Silva, Torrey Smith was to fill the Andre Johnson role in Kubiak's offense.

Count me as one of those individuals who wrongly assumed that just because Torrey was playing the role of AJ in Kubiak's offense, that the numbers would parallel. Shame on me. While Torrey will eventually get his big game or two and win you a couple of weeks, he will do nothing but disappoint the remainder of the time. It's time to move on for me.

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3 targets is awful quite. I offered Ingram straight up for Torrey last week and got no response. haha The thing is I'm crazy I just might offer it again.

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He drew a PI in the endzone on his first target. Other than that, he was a ghost imo.

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Do think he is possible buy low in dynasty but I wouldn't be looking at him in redraft at this point.

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I'm not ready to write him off yet. Who were teams shifting coverage towards? I assume that Torrey Smith was seeing safety help allowing Steve Smith more opportunity to get open. I think if Steve Smith continues to shred defenses that things will open up for Torrey.

He's not going to continue the pace that he's on. If that was the case, he'd be finishing with 480 yards on the season, which we all know ISN'T going to happen. I'm pretty confident Torrey will pick it up down the stretch.

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He's now the wr2 on the ravens. Steve smith has plenty left in the tank and flacco loves him. I'm sure smith will have better games ahead but they won't come consistently and he will surely disappoint his fantasy owners this year. After 2 weeks it's clear that smith is the wr to own on the ravens.

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Picked him up in 3 out of 4 leagues. Thought he was a high floor player that had upside if could get more TDs. Did not realize he would be the 4th read for Flacco.

Edited by Slapdash

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Rotoworld:

Torrey Smith insists he's "not frustrated" with his role in the Ravens' offense, and expects his touches to grow as the season progresses.

It's similar to what Joe Flacco said last week before he targeted Smith three times in the Ravens' win over the Steelers. Smith's take is by far the most likely outcome, but he can't be trusted as more than a high-risk, high-reward WR3 until OC Gary Kubiak proves he knows how to use him.

Source: Aaron Wilson on Twitter

Sep 18 - 2:35 PM

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Rotoworld:

Torrey Smith insists he's "not frustrated" with his role in the Ravens' offense, and expects his touches to grow as the season progresses.

It's similar to what Joe Flacco said last week before he targeted Smith three times in the Ravens' win over the Steelers. Smith's take is by far the most likely outcome, but he can't be trusted as more than a high-risk, high-reward WR3 until OC Gary Kubiak proves he knows how to use him.

Source: Aaron Wilson on Twitter

Sep 18 - 2:35 PM

He must be a Steve Smith owner.

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Rotoworld:

Torrey Smith secured just 2-of-8 targets for 25 yards in the Ravens' Week 3 win over the Browns.

It was another brutal game for Smith statistically, and he didn't help himself with a fourth-quarter drop. After opening the season as a potentially promising WR2/3 candidate, Smith's stock has been torpedoed by OC Gary Kubiak's offense, which is funneling the football to Steve Smith Sr. We wouldn't drop Torrey quite yet, but he's getting there. He's just a WR4. The Ravens take on the Panthers' tough defense next week.
Sep 21 - 4:16 PM

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Mid round bust of the year

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