RB Ito Smith - Atlanta Falcons

5-9, 195Born: 9-11-1995College: Southern MississippiDrafted: Round 4, pick 2018

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Photo: Brad Mills, US Presswire

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News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Sep 9): Neither of Brian Hill or Qadree Ollison were active in Week 1, so Smith is the clear backup and handcuff to Devonta Freeman, who was underwhelming in the loss to the Vikings. The Falcons might employ a committee if Freeman goes down, but Smith is the most valuable back to own behind Freeman.

Week 2: vs Philadelphia Eagles

All RB vs PHI

FBG says: Bad matchup. Atlanta played from behind for almost the entire season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, which prevented Atlanta from attempting to run the football whatsoever. Throughout the game, Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith split snaps precisely down the middle with 50% going to each player. Freeman carried the ball 8 times for just 19 yards while Ito Smith carried the ball 6 times for 31 yards. Devonta Freeman saw the bulk of action early, while the game was still close, while Ito Smith entered the game later and saw the bulk of his work in the second half. The distribution of snaps in Atlanta's backfield is not causing for concern at this point because of the extreme circumstances of the Falcons' week one game. Atlanta's poor performance at offensive line, however, may be cause for concern. The Falcons struggled at both tackle positions, and while Jake Matthews' week one struggles are likely an anomaly, the struggles elsewhere may signal long-term issues for Atlanta. The right side of Atlanta's offensive line, specifically, is plagued with problems after just one game. Rookie right guard Chris Lindstrom broke his foot in week one and has since been placed on the injured reserve. Fellow rookie Kaleb McGary also started at right tackle for the Atlanta Falcons, and while healthy, McGary struggled mightily in all facets of the game during his NFL debut. As a whole, the Falcons running game will go as far as their offensive line will take them, and the outlook for Atlanta's offensive line is bleak, at best, in the immediate future. Philadelphia's run defense held the Washington Redskins to just 2.2 yards-per-carry in 2019's season opener, the 3rd-best mark in the entire NFL. The Eagles as a whole turned in a stellar performance against the run in week one despite notably weak games from the likes of Fletcher Cox and Zach Brown, two players who are expected to anchor the team's run defense throughout 2019. Brown, a free agent acquisition, finished the 2018 season as one of the league's best linebackers in run support, but he failed to make an impact in his Eagles debut. In week one, the longest run allowed by Philadelphia was just seven yards, which serves to show how all three levels of the defense were involved in shutting down Washington's rushing attack, even when Washington jumped out to an early 17-0 lead in the game. It is important to note that Philadelphia lost offseason acquisition Malik Jackson for the season due to a Lisfranc (foot) injury he sustained in his first game as a member of the Eagles. Jackson was expected to be a significant contributor against the run as a running-mate with Fletcher Cox on the interior of the team's defensive line. In his absence, the team will turn back to Timmy Jernigan, who has also struggled to stay healthy while a member of the Eagles. Philadelphia's run defense was as impressive as there was in week one of the 2019 season, but Washington is not exactly a juggernaut at this point. Shutting down the Redskins' rushing attack is a positive signal that the Eagles' run defense will be stronger in 2019 than it was in 2018, but refrain from placing them amongst the league's best until this performance is replicated against better opposition.

Recent Stats and Projections

1 at MIN 39 6 31 0 1 1.0 9 0 0 4
2 vs PHI PROJ-Dodds * 7 * * 1.5 * * * *
2 vs PHI PROJ-Tremblay * 2 * * 0.9 * * * *
2 vs PHI PROJ-Bloom * 8 * * 1.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36

Percentile ranks

Ito Smith's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 1 vs MIN (6 / 31 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)

A bright spot during this debacle, Smith's best gain was a 17-yard run on a cutback from a two tight end set and later in the same drive a pass reception that set up a short-yardage run for a first down. Smith had a pair of blitz pickup opportunities during the game. The first came late in the half when he got pushed back into Matt Ryan's lap by Anthony Barr and the second was a nice pick-up through the A gap that set up a third-down conversion for Austin Hooper. Smith later spun off a pair of tackles on a cutback during the fourth quarter.


Atlanta Falcons Team Links

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2vs Philadelphia Eagles
3@ Indianapolis Colts
4vs Tennessee Titans
5@ Houston Texans
6@ Arizona Cardinals
7vs Los Angeles Rams
8vs Seattle Seahawks
9--- BYE WEEK ---
10@ New Orleans Saints
11@ Carolina Panthers
12vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
13vs New Orleans Saints
14vs Carolina Panthers
15@ San Francisco 49ers
16vs Jacksonville Jaguars
17@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers