Show Navigation
Show Menu

FF Tips

Dynasty Prospect Scouting Report: DeVonta Smith

By Jared Smola 7:03am EDT 3/25/21


DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Height: 6’1

Weight: 170

Age: 22.4


Pro Day Results:

Smith chose not to work out at Alabama’s 1st Pro Day and doesn't plan to work out at the 2nd on March 30.


College career:

It’d be an injustice to start anywhere but Smith’s historic 2020 campaign. His 1,856 yards set an SEC record and are the 6th most in NCAA history. The 23 TDs are also an SEC record and rank 5th all-time. Smith’s 117 grabs land him 24th in the record books.

The game logs look like a video game.

That’s 100+ yards in 9 of 13 games, with 3 outings of 200+. Smith hit pay dirt in 10 of 13 games, including 8 multi-TD efforts. He had more games of 3+ scores than 0. And he saved the best for last, smoking the Buckeyes in the National Championship for a 12-215-3 line … in just a little more than a half. Smith exited in the 3rd quarter of that one with a dislocated finger.

He finished the season with huge market shares: 36.1% of the receptions, 39.9% of the receiving yards and 54.8% of the TDs. Ridiculous marks at a loaded program like Alabama.

It’s certainly worth noting that teammate, fellow 2021 prospect and likely top-15 pick Jaylen Waddle was only healthy for the first 4 games of last season, which undoubtedly boosted Smith’s shares. But Smith still averaged 9.5 catches, 120.8 yards and 1 TD over those 4 games with Waddle, accounting for 40% of the receptions, 30.7% of the yards and 33.3% of the TDs.

Smith averaged an other-worldly 12.8 yards per target and 4.39 yards per route run last year. The latter mark ranks 2nd best among 17 of this class’ top WR prospects, behind only Western Michigan’s D’Wayne Eskridge, who was obviously facing much weaker competition. Smith was named a unanimous All-American, won the Biletnikoff Award given to the nation’s top WR and became the first WR to win the Heisman since Desmond Howard back in 1991.

Of course, all of that came as a 21-year-old senior. But Smith is not some one-hit wonder.

His 2019 campaign was nearly as impressive as last year’s. The numbers weren’t as big -- but they came alongside a pair of 2020 1st-round picks in Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs, plus a healthy Waddle. Smith led that stacked squad with 1,256 yards and 14 TDs, ranking 2nd to only Jeudy with 68 catches. His 18.5 yards per catch beat Jeudy and Waddle and trailed Ruggs by just .2. Smith was named a Second-Team All-American and a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist.

As a sophomore in 2018, Smith ranked 5th on the team in all major receiving categories, behind Jeudy, Ruggs, Waddle and TE Irv Smith. He was mostly quiet as a true freshman but did catch a game-winning 41-yard TD in overtime of the National Championship.

Smith arrived at Alabama as a 5-star recruit and a top 10 WR in the class.


Film study:

Courtesy of FF Astronauts

Games watched - LSU (2019), Missouri, Georgia, Florida, Notre Dame

This kid is a true joy to watch. Sick releases, silky smooth routes, speed for days and uncanny balls skills.

He wins at all 3 levels of the field.

Quick, violent releases and explosive acceleration to create space on short stuff:


Smooth route-running leads to easy separation in the intermediate game:


Effortless speed and ball-tracking ability on deep balls:


Smith led college football with 15 catches 20+ yards downfield this past season.

And even when he doesn’t create huge separation, Smith still makes plays. He has a wide catch radius thanks to his long arms and leaping ability.


He also wins in contested situations with body control, concentration and vice-grip hands.


Smith isn’t quite as dominant after the catch. He’s not a big tackle-breaker or make-you-miss guy, instead relying on burst and speed to beat defenders’ angles. He averaged a nice 8.2 yards after the catch in 2020.


If you’re gonna slow Smith down, you need to get hands on him at the line of scrimmage. He can struggle vs. press and is sometimes bodied off his routes


Frankly, though, college CBs were rarely able to get a piece of Smith at the snap because of his quickness and release package.

He primarily lined up at the ‘X’ receiver spot for the Tide but also played 28% of his snaps in the slot over the past 2 seasons.


Fantasy potential:

If you don’t think Smith puts big check marks in the “production” and “tape” boxes, I’m not sure what to tell you. So let’s move on to the biggest (and most valid) concern about his NFL projection: His weight.

Smith weighed in at 170 pounds at Alabama’s Pro Day. Since the 1970 merger -- that’s 51 years -- there have been only 30 seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards by a WR 175 pounds or lighter. There have been only three 1K seasons from that cohort over the last 10 years -- all by DeSean Jackson.

Drew Osinchuk of Bulletproof Fantasy Football has dug into the correlation between BMI (a measurement of height vs. weight) and fantasy success. He divides WRs into 2 buckets: “Alphas” are WRs with BMIs of 26+ and “Betas” are WRs with BMIs below 26.

Smith falls into that 2nd group, with a BMI somewhere between 22 and 23. That’s worrisome based on Drew’s work. Only 37% of “Betas” drafted in the 1st round have recorded a WR2 season; 26% have recorded a WR1 season. The corresponding numbers for 1st-round “Alphas”: 55% and 41%.

So Smith’s weight certainly adds risk to his fantasy profile. He’ll be facing bigger, stronger CBs at the next level. Maybe that means he won’t be as dominant in contested situations. He might have more trouble against press coverage.

But Smith is also 6’1 and long, with a 78.5-inch wingspan that lands him in the 72nd percentile among NFL WRs. To be frank, we haven’t seen a guy with his body type.

It’s all a little scary. But it’s less scary when we get back to his production profile and tape. He dominated SEC competition for the past 2 years. And it’s tough to imagine him not being able to get open in the NFL with his athleticism, release package and route-running ability.

Smith also figures to have draft capital on his side. He’s expected to be a top-10 pick.

Smith falls short of checking in as a flawless, can’t-miss prospect. But he’s not someone I’ll be betting against.


In This Article

Related Fantasy Football

Podcast: Week 7 DraftKings 10-22-21

Podcast: Week 7 DraftKings 10-22-21

7:50am EDT 10/23/21

Where can we find the value to let us pay up for the top-shelf QBs on the Week 7 fantasy football slate?

Read More »
Podcast: Week 5 DraftKings 10-8-21

Podcast: Week 5 DraftKings 10-8-21

8:00am EDT 10/9/21

This looks like a good week to chase ceiling at RB and value at WR. Let's get to the names ...

Read More »
Premium Content Premium ContentDFS Showdown Tips: Eagles-Cowboys

DFS Showdown Tips: Eagles-Cowboys

6:35pm EDT 9/27/21

Are we about to get a bunch of fantasy points ... or another Cowboys-Chargers style clunker?

Read More »
Podcast: Week 2 DraftKings 9-17-21

Podcast: Week 2 DraftKings 9-17-21

9:09pm EDT 9/17/21

Can the wealth of options at QB and WR this week turn a couple of longtime studs into sneaky GPP plays?

Read More »
Podcast: Week 2 FanDuel 9-17-21

Podcast: Week 2 FanDuel 9-17-21

9:09pm EDT 9/17/21

Should we eat the Najee Harris chalk in Week 2 ... or spit it out?

Read More »
Premium Content Premium ContentWeek 1 FanDuel Cash-Game Picks

Week 1 FanDuel Cash-Game Picks

7:09pm EDT 9/10/21

The top plays at every position for your Week 1 FanDuel cash games.

Read More »
Premium Content Premium ContentStock Up/Stock Down Report (7-31 through 8-6)

Stock Up/Stock Down Report (7-31 through 8-6)

9:08pm EDT 8/6/21

A quick recap of the 22 players who moved up or down the Draft Sharks rankings over the past week.

Read More »
Winning Your League Starts Here Trophy

Why Wouldn’t You Invest
$36 to Win Your League?

Check out thisleague-winning info

2021 Draft Package Now - Sept 15th

$39

Get Instant Access
2021 In-Season Package Sept 5th - Mar 7th

$39

Get Access Sept. 5th
2021 DFS Package Sept 5th - Mar 7th

$49

Get Access Sept. 5th
Best Value – All Access Pass
DS Insider Membership All 3 Packages

$127 $36

Semi-annual auto-renew
Get Instant Access
Draft War Room Included Draft War Room Draft War Room Draft War Room Included Draft War Room
Award-Winning Player Rankings Included Award-Winning Player Rankings Award-Winning Player Rankings Award-Winning Player Rankings Included Award-Winning Player Rankings
3D Projections Included 3D Projections 3D Projections 3D Projections Included 3D Projections
Live-Draft Sync Included Live-Draft Sync Live-Draft Sync Live-Draft Sync Included Live-Draft Sync
In-Depth Player Profiles Included In-Depth Player Profiles In-Depth Player Profiles In-Depth Player Profiles Included In-Depth Player Profiles
Mock Draft Tool Included Mock Draft Tool Mock Draft Tool Mock Draft Tool Included Mock Draft Tool
Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Included Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Included Round-by-Round Draft Strategies
Insider Sleepers & Busts Included Insider Sleepers & Busts Insider Sleepers & Busts Insider Sleepers & Busts Included Insider Sleepers & Busts
Average Draft Position by Scoring Included Average Draft Position by Scoring Average Draft Position by Scoring Average Draft Position by Scoring Included Average Draft Position by Scoring
Scientific Injury Predictor Included Scientific Injury Predictor Scientific Injury Predictor Scientific Injury Predictor Included Scientific Injury Predictor
In-Season Weekly Rankings In-Season Weekly Rankings Included In-Season Weekly Rankings In-Season Weekly Rankings Included In-Season Weekly Rankings
“Who Should I Start?” Tool “Who Should I Start?” Tool Included “Who Should I Start?” Tool “Who Should I Start?” Tool Included “Who Should I Start?” Tool
“My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications Included “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications Included “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications
Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Included Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Included Live-Sync Free Agent Finder
Trade Partner Navigator Trade Partner Navigator Included Trade Partner Navigator Trade Partner Navigator Included Trade Partner Navigator
Player Shares Player Shares Included Player Shares Player Shares Included Player Shares
In-Depth Free Agent Gems In-Depth Free Agent Gems Included In-Depth Free Agent Gems In-Depth Free Agent Gems Included In-Depth Free Agent Gems
Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Included Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Included Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice
Strength-of-Schedule Data Strength-of-Schedule Data Included Strength-of-Schedule Data Strength-of-Schedule Data Included Strength-of-Schedule Data
DFS Lineup Builder DFS Lineup Builder DFS Lineup Builder Included DFS Lineup Builder Included DFS Lineup Builder
DFS Ownership Projections DFS Ownership Projections DFS Ownership Projections Included DFS Ownership Projections Included DFS Ownership Projections
Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Top Stacks Weekly Top Stacks Weekly Top Stacks Included Weekly Top Stacks Included Weekly Top Stacks
High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews Included High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews Included High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews
DFS Independent DFS Independent DFS Independent Included DFS Independent Included DFS Independent
Daily Fantasy Advice Daily Fantasy Advice Daily Fantasy Advice Included Daily Fantasy Advice Included Daily Fantasy Advice
Personalized Email Advice Personalized Email Advice Personalized Email Advice Included Personalized Email Advice Included Personalized Email Advice
Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles
Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates
Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates
To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives
All-Access
Draft Sharks App
All–Access Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Get Instant Access Get Access Sept. 5th Get Access Sept. 5th Get Instant Access

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Get It on Google Play