Week 5 fantasy football: The overachieving college senior
College Contributor Network
Week 5 will be dedicated to the overachieving college senior.
Senior year of college is the ultimate time to live it up. In one year from now, you will be sitting at an office desk working for "The Man," while your younger friends back at school are still partying their faces off on Tuesday nights with their parent's allowance money. At this point, your GPA is what it is and unless you become spontaneously motivated, so is your résumé. (Disclaimer: it's not too late. I promise. Just join a club. Do community service. Please, anything!)
However, the overachieving senior thinks differently.
Instead of ignoring his or her future, the overachieving senior has already been building their résumé for the past three years. At this point, they don't even have room on the page to add any more extracurricular activities. They are ready for the business school's 'Career Fair' this fall, with an elevator pitch ready to go. And when they get their next opportunity in life, they are going to take full advantage of it.
That's what Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. has done. After spending the first 13 years of his career with the Carolina Panthers and becoming the franchise's all-time leader in touchdowns (69), receptions (800) and receiving yards (11,785), Smith Sr. was cut by the team this offseason.
When asked about the breakup in an interview with WFNZ Sports Talk Radio Charlotte, Smith Sr. said coach Ron Rivera didn't come to him face-to-face to let him know he was no longer in the franchise's long-term plans, and instead hid in his office.
But now, he is taking full advantage of his opportunity to play for the Ravens.
In Week 4, Baltimore hosted Carolina in a game Smith Sr. obviously took very personally. After amassing 18 receptions for 290 yards and one touchdown in the first three games this season, Smith Sr. torched the Panthers for seven catches, 139 yards and two touchdowns, making the 35-year-old wide receiver the oldest player in NFL history to record 400 receiving yards in the season's first four games.
Smith Sr.'s performance against Carolina has cemented him as a legitimate fantasy option and a worthy WR3, at the minimum, from here on out. After being ranked as the No. 139 overall player in pre-season drafts by Fantasy Pros (roughly an 11th-12th round pick), Smith Sr. was considered borderline washed up before the season.
At 35 years old, Smith Sr. is not supposed to be putting up these kinds of numbers. But with Torrey Smith struggling to get targets and Dennis Pitta out for the season, Smith Sr. has become quarterback Joe Flacco's go-to-guy, stockpiling double-digit targets in three of the team's first four games and overachieving in practically every one of them.
While Smith Sr.'s days as an NFL wide-out will eventually come to an end soon, just like a senior's college days, he has proven that if you put in the work throughout your career, you will be prepared to take the next step.
Hopefully, like his, yours will be into the end zone.
Bryan Rubin is a senior at Syracuse University. He once ate Chipotle three times in one day and woke up at 3:46 a.m. on a Wednesday morning to make a roster move to his fantasy football team (while his friends were sleeping) to avoid wasting his No. 1 waiver claim. Follow him on Twitter: @bryan_rubin