For those of you unfamiliar with The Alex Smith Experiment, this series will detail the up and down tribulations that comes with streaming the QB2 position on my XN League of Champions 2-QB fantasy football team, where I alternate between Alex Smith and Sam Bradford at the QB2 slot.
In Week 1, the start went to Smith, because he had a better match-up than Bradford, and the results were mixed.
Not only was the match-up in favor of Smith, but the Yahoo projections also had Smith scoring more than Bradford. Last year, the Arizona Cardinals, Bradford’s Week 1 foe, gave up less fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than Smith’s opponent.
All the signs were pointing towards Smith as the “right” call.
Well, Week 1 came and went, and when the dust settled, Bradford wound up the higher fantasy scoring quarterback of the two. Now, the difference wasn’t that large, with Bradford outscoring Smith by a margin of 19 points to 16 points. That three point difference isn’t a whole lot, and wouldn’t have helped me win my match-up, where I was the unfortunate soul in our league facing the 7-passing touchdown performance Peyton Manning put up in Week 1.
No matter how “right” you might feel with any fantasy football line-up decision, it’s an unpredictable game we play. The best we can do is study and research the data, use the information we have available to us, and make the best possible decision. Anything can happen though, and to show just how unpredictable fantasy football can be, Bradford outscored the “disappointing” Russell Wilson, my QB1, by 5 points.
With Week 1 of The Alex Smith Experiment out of the way, onto Week 2, and below our my options:
Sam Bradford versus the Atlanta Falcons or Alex Smith versus the Dallas Cowboys.
According to Pat Thorman’s chart, both Bradford and Smith have good match-ups this week, and when that’s the case, the tie usually goes to Bradford.
I’m sticking with Bradford this week at QB2. Even though Eli Manning was able to pass at will against the Cowboys, you can tell that the Dallas defense has some talent in that secondary, which could cause Smith some trouble this week.
The Yahoo projections for our league actually have Smith scoring more than Bradford again this week, by a margin of 14.61 to 12.62 points.
When you look at the points allowed data from last year, Atlanta gave up an average of 13.54 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, versus the 15.56 points the Cowboys allowed to quarterbacks. Looking at the Week 1 stats, the Cowboys gave up 28 fantasy points to Eli Manning, while the Falcons only gave up 20 points to Drew Brees.
Those are some interesting numbers that actually favor Smith starting, and if you were in the same predicament as me you could make the case to start Smith over Bradford. But, the Week 2 call goes to Bradford, and we’ll see how that turns out at the end of the week.