This past Sunday, Devin Smith caught his first NFL pass since all the way back on December 24, 2016. Because sometimes feel-good sports stories like this are too fantastic to possibly seem true, the reception was obviously a 51-yard touchdown to open the scoring for Dallas in its eventual 31-21 win over Washington. Smith played 18 offensive snaps in total and ran a route on nine of those opportunities, hauling in all three targets he saw. Was it a nice narrative? Sure. Would it really have any lasting impact on the fantasy spectrum? No. At least that’s what we initially believed.
After it was discovered that Michael Gallup would be missing from the Cowboys’ lineup for the next two to four weeks with a knee injury, Smith’s name has been suddenly thrust into the forefront. It also doesn’t hurt matters that Dallas draws a Miami defense in Week 3 that has surrendered a whopping 102 points to its opponents through a pair of contests.
Still, for all of the Dolphins’ faults, they employ one of the better cover corners in football: Xavien Howard. As we saw last weekend with Josh Gordon and the Patriots, teams seem more than content to sacrifice a WR to Howard and instead pick on the likes of Eric Rowe and Jomal Wiltz - and who could blame them? Rowe has allowed the most fantasy points per route of any CB with 100 routes covered dating back to the beginning of 2018 (0.73), while the rookie Wiltz has given up an 86 percent catch rate in the slot over the course of his two-game career. With Howard sure to be shadowing Amari Cooper, I’d expect Dak Prescott to be peppering his secondary receiving options with targets.
Fantasy Impact: Gallup had been on the field for 72.3 percent of the Cowboys offensive snaps through two weeks and you’d have to imagine Smith sees a similar workload. However, despite the tantalizing matchup, you can’t suddenly treat Smith like he’s a Top-30 commodity at the position. He’s a WR3 in deeper formats and has FLEX consideration in leagues featuring 12 teams or more. Above all else, he’ll be a popular value play on DraftKings with a modest salary of $3,400.