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Week 1 vs. WAS
Receiving: 6 / 80 / 0 on 8 targets
Smith stepped up his game in Week 1 against the Redskins, leading all Giants receivers in catches and yardage. QB Eli Manning started to really look for Smith after the half and Smith rose to the occasion with several tough catches over the middle of the field. With both Domenik Hixon falling off the fantasy radar and the Week 1 injury to Hakeem Nicks, the biggest benefactor of the new receiver situation in New York should be Steve Smith. Expect him to start again next week against the Cowboys on Sunday night and be high on Eli Manning's target list.
Week 2 vs. DAL
Receiving: 10 / 134 / 1 on 13 targets
Smith is at first a possession receiver for the Giants, but in Week 2 against Dallas he showed that he can even do more than just move the chains on third down. Smith's 10 catches tied him for team lead on the night as he got open over the middle and down the seam all night long. Smith was wide open across the middle of the field on his scoring catch, and he helped set up the winning field goal late in the contest with key grabs late in the game. He abused the Dallas secondary and should be productive again next week against a weak Tampa Bay defense.
Week 3 vs. TB
Receiving: 7 / 63 / 1 on 7 targets
Smith didn't do anything flashy, but that's not his game. He consistently moved the sticks on precise short routes, and Smith also seemed to have a very strong sense of where to go when the play broke down and Manning needed a target. Smith scored a TD out of a bunch formation that caused confusion in the Bucs secondary. The other two receivers went deeper in the end zone and Smith sat down at the goal line for the easy score. He is definitely Manning's security blanket and most trusted target.
Week 4 vs. KC
Receiving: 11 / 134 / 2 on 16 targets
Don't look now, but the top wide receiver in the NFL so far in both touchdowns and yardage is Steve Smith --- and he doesn't play for the Panthers. The New York Giants have discovered their top wideout and he was there all of last season just waiting for his chance. Smith had another 10 catches against the Chiefs, his second double-digit performance in the last three weeks. He got open in the zones between the corners, linebackers and safeties all day, including twice over the middle that produced the first two touchdown for New York on the day. The chemistry is there with Eli Manning and Smith will likely see a large number of targets every week from Manning going forward.
Week 5 vs. OAK
Receiving: 3 / 70 / 0 on 4 targets
Smith had one early drop, but otherwise he looked the part of a number one wideout. Smith got behind the speedy Chris Johnson for his deep catch, and got some good yards after the reception on one of his other two grabs with a crafty move. He also drew a pass interference call on an intermediate route. His owners should be pleased that this game represents his floor going forward.
Week 6 vs. NO
Receiving: 4 / 44 / 0 on 6 targets
Smith had his quietest game of the year. It got off on the wrong foot when Manning overthrew an open Smith on what should have been a TD, and then Smith's short and intermediate routes weren't a big part of the game plan after the Giants fell behind big. He did had a long catch later in the game that he couldn't hold onto after a big hit from a Saints safety. Right now, Smith's owners have to be worried about three other viable targets emerging in a passing game that is not the focal point of the offensive game plan when things go well for the Giants.
Week 7 vs. ARI
Receiving: 4 / 69 / 0 on 10 targets
After getting off to a blistering start Steve Smith has seen his role reduced a touch in recent weeks. Smith was still effective in his usual precise route-running and displayed sticky hands, but it looked as if the Cardinals were committed to containing him in week 7. Smith essentially played the part of a decoy in the 1st half but was targeted a bit more in the 2nd half of the game. With the game on the line in the 4th quarter Eli Manning to looked to his #1 WR often, one was a spectacular reception down the middle of the field in tight coverage. He ended up leading the Giants in targets (10) while going for 4/69. Smith has glue-like hands and is a terrific player, however defenses have taken notice and are now daring the NY offense to throw to Smith while he is double-covered.
Week 8 vs. PHI
Receiving: 8 / 68 / 0 on 12 targets
Steve Smith caught the first two completions of the game from a struggling Eli Manning as Smith worked short and intermediate routes for the Giants against Philadelphia in Week 8. Smith caught eight passes for 68 yards in Sunday's loss to the Eagles. Smith led all New York options in the passing game with 12 targets and eight catches. Smith will continue to be the possession receiver for the Giants going forward and is of high value in PPR fantasy leagues.
Week 9 vs. SD
Receiving: 8 / 57 / 1 on 11 targets
Smith did his damage on very short precise routes that created separation, including his short TD catch. He also converted a third and long with a nice route and catch at the sidelines. Smith was a huge help to Manning on a day that saw him constantly face a quality pass rush from the Chargers.
Week 11 vs. ATL
Receiving: 4 / 79 / 0 on 8 targets
Smith was held in check against the Falcons for the most part as they tended to roll a safety to his side pre-snap, particularly on 2nd or 3rd and long. Smith's best catch came on a deep pass by Eli Manning down the left side of the field. Smith laid out and caught the ball for a 41 yard gain. The play was successful because Smith was able to beat the jam on the line of scrimmage, gain a step on the defender in a foot-race, and then watch the ball in to his hands as he dove for it. Smith was primarily sent on crossing routes through the middle of the field or on "go" routes to the sideline.
Week 12 vs. DEN
Receiving: 7 / 71 / 0 on 11 targets
Steve Smith was once again the leading receiver for the Giants, topping the list in both catches and yardage for New York in Week 12. Smith had one big 30-yard gainer in the third quarter on a nice catch over his shoulder but the rest of his catches were all under 10 yards apiece. Smith's main value continues to be in PPR leagues as he is the best possession receiver that New York has right now.
Week 13 vs. DAL
Receiving: 6 / 110 / 0 on 13 targets
Steve Smith remains the top wide receiver for the Giants, this time catching six passes for another 100-yard game. Dallas covered Smith well, but he was still able to get away for some nice catches including a 36-yard gain in the third quarter on a 10-yard crossing route followed by a good run after the catch. Smith did drop a would-be touchdown in the back of the end zone as the ball bounced off of his fingers. The catch would have been a good one but it seemed like he should have come down with the ball. Look for Smith to have another strong PPR game against the Eagles next Sunday night.
Week 14 vs. PHI
Receiving: 7 / 74 / 0 on 10 targets
Steve Smith caught seven passes in Week 14 for New York as the possession receiver became the record holder for most receptions by a Giant in a single season with his 82 catches in 2009. All of Smith's catches were for fewer than 20 yards at a time but he did have several targets in the red and end zones. Smith helped to keep the chains moving like he always seems to do by making the tough catches over the middle and amassing solid numbers in the process.
Week 15 vs. WAS
Receiving: 5 / 40 / 1 on 7 targets
Steve Smith was up to his usual antics on Monday night making key 3rd down plays and running smart crisp routes for the Giants. His stats were muted a bit due to Eli Manning spreading the ball around so much; however Smith still managed 40 yards and a TD on the night. Smith now has at least 7 fantasy points in 8 straight games and 14 out of 15 games this season.
Week 16 vs. CAR
Receiving: 7 / 70 / 1 on 9 targets
Smith had an early long TD nullified by penalty, but he came back to catch a lot of balls in garbage time, including the Giants only TD on the day. Smith was pushed around by Richard Marshall so that he was off his route and Marshall was able to pick off Eli Manning as part of the Giants early collapse.
Week 17 vs. MIN
Receiving: 10 / 57 / 0 on 12 targets
Steve Smith led the Giants with 10 catches in the season finale against the Vikings, but every one of them was for less than 10 yards each. The Giants and Eli Manning clearly wanted their best wide receiver for 2009 to top 100 catches on the season (he finishes with 107) as they targeted him early and often, but the possession receiver did not pick up much yardage with those grabs. Steve Smith remains Exhibit A for haters of PPR leagues but he will be a starter next year for the Giants and remain Eli Manning's favorite target.