The Oakland Raiders took a pretty big gamble by signing former San Francisco 49ers pass rusher Aldon Smith on Friday. Except, it really isn’t that big of a risk at all. The deal ended up being for one season and although contract details weren’t immediately made known, Oakland couldn’t have spent much to get him.
— Jason Cole (@JasonColeBR) September 11, 2015
Smith seems to be simply trying to resurrect a career that fell apart due to poor decision-making, and it’s possible Oakland is the place to do it. Guessing whether or not Aldon Smith works out in Oakland long-term is a waste of time, though. The 49ers just released him this year due to so much off the field drama that it’s not worth it to get into those kind of hypotheticals. However, with Aldon Smith shaping up to be active immediately for week one, fantasy football enthusiasts need to quickly consider two things: does Aldon Smith suddenly make the Raiders a defense to be feared, and if so, what do we make of it when assessing the fantasy value of Cincinnati Bengals players?
The Bengals are already coming into a hostile environment where Kahlil Mack can be a problem. Add Aldon Smith to the mix, and this could suddenly be a recipe for disaster. Just from a pure physicality perspective, Smith can still ball. He’s just 25 years old and is only a couple of years removed from a staggering 2012 campaign where he posted an impressive 19.5 sacks. The following year he only suited up for 11 games, yet he still got another 8.5 sacks.
Dude is a presence. Aldon Smith can get after the quarterback and it sounds like the Raiders may plop him in their rotation to some degree and just let him go do what he does best; sack the quarterback.
It’s probably silly to get too worked up about Smith’s potential impact on Bengals fantasy players. There even exists the possibility Smith won’t be allowed to play by the NFL thanks to numerous still standing legal issues. But if he does play, he could work with a slowly rising Raiders defense to give Cincy fits.