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Torrey Smith, Victor Cruz Will be Hot Pickups, but Repeats Cannot be Expected

Torrey Smith and Victor Cruz are wide receivers who caught the eyes of their quarterbacks — and many fantasy football team managers — with their studly play Sunday.

Smith, a rookie receiver from Maryland, caught five passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns in Baltimore’s win over St. Louis. The second-round pick caught touchdowns on his first three career receptions! He’s just the sort of deep threat that can help spread the field for the Ravens, and he will undoubtedly work wonders for the team’s passing game. He appears to have the speed to beat many defensive backs, but expecting two-to-three touchdowns per week is unreasonable.

Between Anquan Boldin, Ed Dickson, and dumpoffs to Ray Rice, Joe Flacco has plenty of options in the passing game. Having an extra option will be great for the team, but now that opposing defenses know what kind of speed Torrey Smith has, they’ll be prepared for him. He’ll still be able to get behind a few defenses, but as a deep guy, his stats won’t be impressive if he doesn’t catch a bomb or two. He’s likely an improvement over your worst receiver, but don’t be disappointed if you can’t get him — you’re not missing out on future three touchdown games.

Victor Cruz is an undrafted receiver out of UMass playing his second season with the Giants. He had his first career catches last weekend, and he recorded his first touchdowns on Sunday against the Eagles putting up three catches for 110 yards and two TDs. Cruz, who first caught my eye last preseason with three touchdown catches in a game, is a physical receiver who can catch balls in traffic and make plays after the catch. He reminds me of Miles Austin in terms of body control, hands, and the ability to run after the catch.

Needless to say, I like him a lot as a receiver and think he’ll provide value for your fantasy team as long as Mario Manningham is out. Hakeem Nicks draws a lot of attention as the team’s top receiver, leaving their second option as a player Eli likes to target. Cruz gets open just as well as Manningham and has much better hands. If the Giants were smart, they’d make him their second receiver. I’d add him to my fantasy team and start him if Manningham misses week four.

UPDATE: Manningham has been medically cleared from his concussion. He will likely regain his role in the offense, so temper expectations on Cruz. We still expect Cruz to be useful, but his weekly contributions will likely vary.


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