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Tre'Quan Smith (WR, NO) - 2019 Fantasy Football Sleeper


Tre'Quan Smith of the New Orleans Saints is primed for a breakout campaign in 2019. While many expected him to produce much more than he did as a rookie, we have to remember that it sometimes takes players a year or two to adjust to the league.

While he is currently listed as the number three wide receiver on the Saints depth chart, it should not be long before he overtakes the 34-year-old Ted Ginn. Ginn finished the 2018 season with only 17 catches for 209 yards and underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in the middle of the season. He is not getting any younger, which makes this a perfect time for the young Smith to step up and supplant him as the number two receiver behind Michael Thomas.

Before we dive into Smith's profile, don't forget to check out other sleeper articles on second-year receivers like Gallup and MVS.

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A Saint Ascends

Smith should take a big leap forward this year and become the Saints’ number two wide receiver, which is saying something. One individual who believes in Smith’s abilities is head coach Sean Payton. Payton was recently quoted by the New Orleans Times-Picayune stating he expects Smith to "take a big step in his development" this season. This is solid praise from the offensive-minded coach and should provide the fantasy football community with some much-needed confidence in the young wide receiver. It should also be noted that Smith has only been playing organized football since his junior year of high school.

It is not far-fetched to believe he will progress in this Saints offense much the way he did in his second and third seasons at the University of Central Florida where he increased his totals in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. The increase from year two to three in touchdowns was significant as he went from five to 13, and similar increases could be in store for him in his second season with the Saints.

Smith's advanced metrics are the main reason to expect his numbers to increase in 2019. As a rookie, Smith had a solid catch rate of 68.3 percent, which put him in the top 31 percent of wide receivers league-wide. He also landed in the top 39 percent of wide receivers with his aDot (Average Depth of Target) of 11.5 yards. This is a great spot for Smith to be in, especially considering he plays in the high-octane offense of New Orleans, which amassed over 4,000 yards of passing offense in 2018. If Drew Brees and Smith can build further chemistry throughout the preseason as they did during OTAs, there is little doubt his target share will rise above last season's eight percent total.

Even at an eight percent target share, Smith barely found himself outside of the top 50 percent of wide receivers. One should also expect his percent of team air yards to increase from 13 percent with more targets as well. Aside from these metrics, the departure of running back Mark Ingram from the Saints offense cannot go without mention. Ingram accounted for approximately 13 percent of the Saints total offense, and also received 27 targets through the air in 2018. With one less mouth to feed in New Orleans, we could certainly expect to see Smith's production increase.

Tre'Quan Smith should work his way into the second wide receiver role in a high-powered New Orleans offense, which gives him tremendous fantasy upside at his current ADP. To expect him to improve upon last season's 28 catches for 427 yards and five touchdowns is more than a reasonable expectation.

More ADP Values and Sleepers


Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!