Kevin Smith‘s unexpected outburst of production in last week’s game sent fantasy footballers to the free agent list in hopes of landing some late season help for a playoff push. While future success would be good news for fantasy owners, it would be even better news for the Detroit Lions and their fans.
It’s no secret that the Lions have struggled running the ball this season. Jahid Best’s 4.6 yards per carry average might look nice but it is heavily inflated by his one run of 88 yards on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears. On all other runs he averaged just 3.6 yards per carry. While Kevin Smith won’t sustain the 8.0 yards per carry average that he has put up through two games this season, he helps restore some of the explosiveness that the Lions have been missing since Jahvid Best went out with a concussion.
Maurice Morris has been a capable backup in his time in Detroit but it is hard to deny that Kevin Smith brings a little something extra after watching his performance against the Carolina Panthers. He showed it in the running and passing game and he exhibited a killer instinct in the fourth quarter.
Though Thursday’s game will be just his third with the team, he is likely to end the day as the team’s second leading rusher behind Best. Smith has already gained 40 more yards than Keiland Williams and he is just 42 yards behind Maurice Morris. Kevin Smith was the man running with the first team offense today so expect to see a lot more of his this week and in the weeks to come. He’s earned it.
There are more important players on the Detroit Lions roster but there may not be a more important contribution down the stretch if Kevin Smith can provide something similar to what he showed last Sunday. He could make a lot of fans in the fantasy football realm but more importantly, he could help bring a playoff berth to the Detroit Lions in real life.