49ers QB Smith could play the role of fantasy hero

On Tuesday’s fantasy segment on “Around the League,” NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora and I discussed the possibility that Saints QB Drew Brees, Colts QB Brett Favre and Vikings QB Brett Favre could all be rested in Week 16.

After all, these three quarterbacks play on teams that could wrap up their postseason seeds before fantasy’s championship week.

Such a scenario would be devasting for owners who’ve ridden one of these stars into their league’s title game.

If you’re one of those owners worried about losing your top quarterback, I’d suggest going out and grabbing 49ers QB Alex Smith off the waiver wire.

And I’d do it now.

Since getting back the top spot on the depth chart, Smith has averaged a very respectable 16 fantasy points on NFL.com.

In Week 16, when fantasy owners need their players to step up the most, Smith gets to play the Detroit Lions on his home field. That’s the same Lions defense that made Browns QB Brady Quinn look like the second coming of Joe Montana in Week 11.

Detroit’s pass defense is one of the league’s worst, and is allowing an average of 23.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. It might seem odd that a player who wasn’t even considered in fantasy drafts could be a difference maker in league championships, but it’s true.

Oh, and Smith is still a free agent in 56.0 percent of NFL.com leagues.

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