Week Eight Drop: I'm less concerned about Alex Smith's two lousy recent performances. He's thrown one touchdown against four interceptions in two games. More worrisome for a spot starter like Smith is a schedule that looks very tough. Next week he gets Arizona's fourth-ranked pass defense. Then a bye. Then he faces the much improved Rams. Then the most opportunistic pass defense in the NFL, Chicago. You won't be comfortable starting him for a month.
Week Six Analysis: If we're going to talk about Alex Smith, let's be clear that a repeat of last week's game is not going to happen. Probably. He hit 300 yards and three touchdowns for the first time in 30 games. At that pace, he'll do it again in early 2014. Not this week. Probably. The Giants secondary is pretty bad. Brandon Weeden just threw for 291 and two against them last week. Corey Webster might be the NFL's worst starting cornerback. And their safeties are better in run support than coverage. Still, the 49ers aren't built for aerial shootouts, and Smith is simply a safe start this week. Probably.
Week Six Add: Alex Smith is about as enigmatic as it can get in the fantasy game and considering that he's usually regarded as a "caretaker" quarterback, he's usually not the most attractive option. But Smith just threw for 303 yards and a three touchdowns against the Bills on Sunday. That was his first 300-yard game since October 2010. He also faces a Giants team next week that has allowed no fewer than 240 passing yards to a quarterback this season. If you need a quarterback bid $3 on Smith.
Week Three Analysis: After allowing the most touchdown passes last year, the Vikings have allowed multiple touchdowns in both games, while facing two dubious quarterbacks, no less. Next up, Alex Smith, who has thrown multiple touchdowns in each of his first two games. Smith is a virtual lock for at least two scores, and his upside is much higher. Minnesota's talent level in the secondary is poor, and it's best player, Antoine Winfield isn't much of a coverage corner any more. Smith moves past a lot of established fantasy names this week.