Ito Smith Fantasy Outlook Improves Following Todd Gurley Update

Isaiah De Los Santos
Ito Smith's fantasy outlook explodes following Todd Gurley's playing time update.
Ito Smith's fantasy outlook explodes following Todd Gurley's playing time update. / Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

After a string of poor performances by Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley, he has seemingly played himself out of his lead back role.

Head coach Raheem Morris confirmed that Ito Smith will be the team's RB1 going forward, which will skyrocket Smith's fantasy outlook while sending Gurley's tumbling even further.

Todd Gurley Fantasy Outlook

Gurley ranks as RB24 in PPR scoring formats, but he's been on a downward trajectory since Week 11. In that four-game timespan, the running back has seen just 7.8 opportunities (5.8 rushes plus 2 targets) per game, tanking his ability to be fantasy relevant.

Gurley was worth starter consideration each week before his drop off, but with him earning a demotion, he will now be bench fodder in the fantasy football championship.

Ito Smith Fantasy Outlook

Smith has seen his workload rise as Gurley has struggled in recent weeks. After registering just 13 total rushes in Weeks 1-11, he has averaged 9.3 per game since Week 12.

Smith's standout performance came in Week 12, when he turned 12 rushes into 65 yards and a touchdown while also catching 4 receptions. The 17.5 fantasy points he posted in that game foreshadow the level of production he's capable of in a heightened role.

The running back will now be possible starter material given his promotion. He'll still have to compete with Gurley for looks, but the team sounds committed to giving Smith an extended look, which makes him a viable option for managers needing RB help in the fantasy championship.

Smith will get his first taste of lead back duties in Week 16 against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are allowing a middle-of-the-pack 23.27 fantasy points per game to RBs this season.

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