TSmith

Torrey Smith was already in line to see a large uptick in targets after Anquan Boldin was traded to the 49ers. Now that Dennis Pitta is out for the season with a hip injury, Smith is going to have an even bigger role in the Baltimore offense. The fact that Ozzie Newsome dug up a fossil named Brandon Stokley and put it in a Ravens uniform does little to change the fact that Smith will not only be heavily targeted, but also asked to run more short to intermediate routes in 2013.

Many experts are predicting the Ravens to throw less in 2013 and rely heavily on the running game. Joe Flacco threw the ball 531 time last season. To simulate the lower pass rate, we’ll say Flacco only throws the ball 500 times in 2013. Combined, Boldin and Pitta had 198 passes thrown their way. Boldin/Pitta were targeted 37% of the time Flacco threw the ball. In a 500 pass season with no Boldin/Pitta, 185 targets would be up for grabs. Of course, Smith isn’t going to be the only player seeing more targets without Boldin/Pitta, but he should receive 25% of the unclaimed targets (46). Adding 46 to Smith’s 2012 target total would result in 151 targets.

To show how much of their 2012 short to intermediate passing game the Ravens will be without in 2013, here are the distances Boldin/Pitta ran on the  plays they were targeted:

Boldin

Pitta

20+ Yards

17%

12%

19 – 10

31%

16%

9 or Less

52%

72%

Both Boldin and Pitta ran more than half of their targeted routes for under 10 yards. Boldin also had a high percentage of targeted routes between 10 – 19 yards. In 2012 Smith ran a large number of deep routes. Without Boldin and Pitta to work the underneath routes, Smith will be expected to pick up the slack and run shorter routes more often. Here’s what Smith’s routes by distance looked like last season:

DistanceTargetsReceptions% Catch
20+ Yards44 (42%)13 (27%)0.3
19 – 10 Yards19 (18%)9 (18%)0.47
9 or Less42 (40%)27 (55%)0.64
Total10549 (100%)0.47

A 25 bump to Smith’s receptions from 2012 looks very appealing. Last season Smith averaged 17.3 yards per target. With him running shorter routes, and defenses keying in on him, we can expect this number to drop. In 2012 Boldin averaged 15 yards per reception. With Smith inheriting part of Boldin’s role, 16.3 yards per reception seems more reasonable for Torrey next season. With the 74 receptions we predicted for Smith earlier, Torrey would end the season with 1,206 yards, which would be 351 more yards than he had last season.To adjust for the shorter routes Smith is going to be asked to run, the 20+ yard route percentage was dropped by 10%, while the 10-19 range was increased by 6% and the 9 yard or less targets was increased by 4%. Here’s how Smith’s stats could look in 2013 with the change in role and bigger target numbers while keeping the same reception percentages for each distance:

DistanceTargets (%)Receptions (%)% Catch
20+ Yards48 (32%)14 (19%)30%
19 – 1036 (24%)17 (23%)47%
9 or Less67 (46%43 (58%)64%
Total1517449%

Smith had 8 touchdowns during the 2012 regular season. 5 of those TD came on 20+ yard routes, 0 came from 10-19 yard routes, and 3 came on routes of less than 10 yards. Here is how his TD rate from 2012 would translate into his projected uptick in receptions:

 2012 TD/RecProj. ’13 Rec.’13 Proj. TDs
20+ Yards38%145
19 – 100%170
9 or Less11%435
Total 7410

Before training camp began and Pitta was lost for the season I was not as high as Smith as many other RotoViz contributors, but after taking a deeper look into his numbers, and the opportunity ahead of him, he is without a doubt a steal at his current ADP.In our final projection we have Smith finishing the regular season with 74 receptions, 1,206 yards, and 10 TDs. This would total 180.6 (10.62 per week) fantasy points in standard scoring leagues, and 254.6 (14.98 per week) points in PPR formats. If our projections are similar to Smith’s 2013 production, he is a steal at his early 6th round ADP. Smith is being drafted as WR22, but our projections have him finishing much higher. If Smith would have put up these numbers in 2012 he would have finished as a top 10 WR.

Subscribe for a constant stream of league-beating articles available only with a Premium Pass.