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Ito Smith

Ito Smith

Running Back #25
ADP:Round: 12, Pick: 12
Team: Atlanta Falcons
Ht / Wt:5'9" / 198 lb.
Born:September 11, 1995
Drafted:2018 / Rd. 4 (126)
Draft Team:ATL

Ito Smith: Let go by Falcons

The Falcons have released Smith.

Analysis: The move comes in the wake of the team's signing of the versatile Cordarrelle Patterson and quite possibly foreshadows the addition of a second or third-round running back in the upcoming NFL Draft, per Tori McElhaney of The Athletic. Smith finished the 2020 campaign -- his third with the Falcons -- with 268 rushing yards and one TD in 63 rushing attempts, to go along with 75 receiving yards on 17 catches. The 25-year-old will now look to catch on elsewhere as a depth back.

April 15, 2021 10:44 AM EST

Ito Smith: Ends season with quiet outing

Smith carried the ball three times for nine yards, adding a seven-yard catch during Sunday's 44-27 loss to the Buccaneers.

Analysis: Smith was limited throughout the practice week because of a rib injury, providing context for his reduced Week 17 role. Atlanta found itself in a pass-heavy game script facing a significant halftime deficit, but Brian Hill and Todd Gurley still combined for 18 carries atop the Falcons' backfield. Smith had been enjoying an uptick in usage in recent weeks, with double-digit carries over three of his five most recent outings entering Sunday. The 25-year-old closes out the year with 268 rushing yards and one TD on 63 attempts, adding 75 receiving yards on 17 catches. He's under contract with the Falcons for one more season at a cap hit of $1.1 million.

January 4, 2021 4:51 PM EST

Ito Smith: Gains Week 17 clearance

Smith (rib) does not carry an injury designation into Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: Smith submitted a trio of limited sessions throughout the practice week, but the team has now officially cleared him for his 14th appearance of the season. The third-year back has overtaken Atlanta's lead running back role, nearly doubling Todd Gurley in carries (35-19) since Week 13. With Atlanta's playoff hopes long evaporated, the team might as well see what it has in Smith, who unlike Gurley, remains under contract beyond this season. Smith's 4.5 yards-per-carry average on 82 attempts the past two seasons shows the 25-year-old has the ability to be an efficient NFL back. The end zone has alluded him, however, as he has just two TDs in 20 appearances over the same span.

January 1, 2021 12:04 PM EST

Ito Smith: Maintains limited practice activity

Smith (rib) was a limited participant at Thursday's practice, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Smith's rib injury kept him from logging full activity for the second straight day, so the Falcons may want to see him increase his involvement in Friday's practice before signing off on him playing Sunday in Tampa Bay. The 25-year-old has been the leader of Atlanta's backfield committee over the past four weeks, but that role hasn't proven fantasy-friendly. He's failed to score a touchdown in any of those four contests while averaging 40.8 yards from srimmage per game.

December 31, 2020 12:34 PM EST

Ito Smith: Limited in practice

Smith (ribs) was limited in Wednesday's practice, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: Smith led the Falcons' backfield for a fourth consecutive contest Week 16, with 10 carries for 46 yards. The third-year pro caught his only target for five yards, but he also appears to have injured his ribs. As long as Smith is able to continue practicing in at least a limited capacity he should have a fair shot at suiting up in Tampa Bay on Sunday, but if he were to miss time it would leave Todd Gurley, Brian Hill and Qadree Ollison in position to divvy up Atlanta's carries.

December 30, 2020 12:49 PM EST

Ito Smith: Leads team with 10 carries

Smith ran for 46 yards on 10 carries, reeling in his only target for a five-yard gain during Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Chiefs. He also fumbled once, but the ball rolled out of bounds.

Analysis: Ito Smith continued to lead the Falcons backfield in carries during Week 16, just as he had in three consecutive outings entering Sunday's cross-conference showdown. He was inefficient as a rookie in establishing just a 3.5 yards-per-carry average over 90 attempts during 2018, but he's been more effective in 20 appearances the past two seasons. Since Week 11, specifically, Smith is averaging 4.5 yards per attempt. However, he remains with only one total touchdown this season as Atlanta prepares for its 2020 finale against Tampa Bay's No. 1 rush defense.

December 27, 2020 4:52 PM EST

Ito Smith: Named lead back by coach

Interim coach Raheem Morris said Monday that Smith is the Falcons' "lead runner," Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Morris is only making the obvious official, as Smith has paced Todd Gurley in carries 25-15 since Week 13. However, Smith hasn't hit 50 yards from scrimmage or scored in that span, giving him an uncertain fantasy ceiling. D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that Morris credited Smith's performance as the reason for his rise up the depth chart, rather than an injury to Gurley.

December 21, 2020 12:17 PM EST

Ito Smith: Again the team's busiest back

Smith collected 24 rushing yards on six carries, reeling in two of three targets for nine receiving yards during Sunday's 31-27 loss to the Buccaneers.

Analysis: Smith has overtaken Todd Gurley for the main running back role over the Falcons' past handful of games, exceeding the three-time Pro Bowler 25-15 in carries since Week 13. The Southern Miss product was far more effective than Gurley over that three-game span, and he's proven more efficient as a rusher season-long as well, with his 4.3 yards-per-carry average towering over Gurley's 3.5 YPC. What has diminished Smith's fantasy ceiling is the fact that he possesses just one TD over 65 offensive touches on the year.

December 21, 2020 6:54 AM EST

Ito Smith: Overshadows Gurley in second half

Smith logged 42 rushing yards on 11 carries, adding a three-yard catch during Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Chargers.

Analysis: Smith overcame a neck injury that kept him limited for the first two sessions of the practice week, earning his 11th appearance of the 2020 campaign during Week 14. The Southern Mississippi product surpassed Todd Gurley for offensive opportunities as the game wore on, outpacing the three-time Pro Bowler by eight touches between the third and four quarters. With Atlanta sitting at 4-9, and Gurley set to become an unrestricted free agent following the season, it's not outside the realm of possibility that Smith is more productive over the final three weeks. The third-year back's 4.3 yards-per-carry average this season compares favorably to Gurley's 3.6 YPC clip.

December 13, 2020 11:40 PM EST

Ito Smith: Recovered from neck issue

Smith (neck) doesn't have a designation on the final injury report for Sunday's game against the Chargers, William McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Smith is fine to play after a full practice Friday, but he probably won't see many touches now that Todd Gurley's knee is feeling better. Smith took 20 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown over the past two games, adding five catches for eight yards on seven targets. It's possible he works ahead of Brian Hill off the bench this week.

December 11, 2020 10:07 AM EST

Ito Smith: Stays limited Thursday

Smith (neck) practiced in a limited fashion Thursday, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Smith was evaluated for a head injury Week 13 against the Saints, but he ultimately was revealed to have a neck issue once the Falcons kicked off Week 14 prep. Limited both days so far this week, he'll look to increase his activity level at Friday's practice. Even if he doesn't, Smith still may be in line for a decreased workload Sunday against the Chargers with Todd Gurley (knee) slated for a larger role moving forward.

December 10, 2020 1:45 PM EST

Ito Smith: Dealing with neck injury

Smith was limited by a neck injury at Wednesday's practice, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: During a Week 13 loss to the Saints, Smith was evaluated for a head injury, but fortunately for the running back he didn't enter the concussion protocol. Instead, he's tending to a neck issue. Smith has been used more often the last two games due to Todd Gurley's knee injury, which sidelined the latter Week 12 and limited him this past Sunday. With Gurley expected to handle more reps moving forward, Smith seems poised for a downturn in snaps, especially with a health concern of his own in tow.

December 9, 2020 1:50 PM EST

Ito Smith: Being checked for head injury

Smith is being evaluated for a head injury and his return to Sunday's matchup against the Saints remains questionable, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: Smith concluded the contest in a tie with Todd Gurley at a team-high eight carries, but his 4.5 yards-per-carry average was far more efficient than the three-time Pro Bowler's 2.0 YPC clip. The third-year back's status remains up in the air looking forward to a Week 14 showdown with the Chargers, but his stock is on the rise with back-to-back strong outings. He registered 12 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown last Sunday in a rout of the Raiders.

December 6, 2020 1:17 PM EST

Ito Smith: Strong running day against Raiders

Smith registered 65 rushing yards and one touchdown on 12 carries, adding four receptions for 10 yards during Sunday's 43-6 win against Las Vegas.

Analysis: With Todd Gurley (knee) deemed unavailable for Week 12, Smith garnered 42.9 percent of the RB carries while coasting to a 5.4 yards-per-attempt average. Much of the rushing success came on a single 24-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter, a gain that obliterated Smith's previous season-long run of nine yards. He had 13 carries in eight appearances prior to Sunday's win, but if Gurley is forced to sit out Week 13 against New Orleans, Smith will surely maintain a share of the RB workload alongside Brian Hill. Clean running lanes will be hard to come by in a matchup against the Saints' No. 2 rush defense.

November 29, 2020 3:24 PM EST

Ito Smith: Unceremonious return to lineup

Smith rushed once for five yards in Sunday's 24-9 loss to the Saints.

Analysis: After serving back-to-back games as a healthy scratch, Smith returned to the lineup in Week 11 and slotted in as the No. 3 running back. Brian Hill remains the top backup to Todd Gurley, who is averaging 18.3 touches per game.

November 24, 2020 3:51 PM EST

Ito Smith: Scratched for Sunday's game

Smith (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game versus the Broncos.

Analysis: Smith will serve as a healthy scratch for a second straight week, as Qadree Ollison appears to have surpassed him on the depth chart, lining up as the No. 3 running back behind Todd Gurley and Brian Hill.

November 8, 2020 8:35 AM EST

Ito Smith: Healthy scratch Thursday

Smith (coach's decision) will not suit up against the Panthers on Thursday.

Analysis: Smith didn't get any offensive touches during Atlanta's Week 7 loss to Detroit, and he'll now be phased out entirely for Week 8. With Smith inactive, Brian Hill could see a slight uptick in usage as the No. 2 option behind top running back Todd Gurley.

October 29, 2020 4:03 PM EST

Ito Smith: No offensive touches against Lions

Smith played three offensive snaps, failing to haul in his lone target during Sunday's 23-22 loss to Detroit.

Analysis: Smith had two carries in each of his past three appearances entering Week 7, but Brian Hill (two carries) rounded out the RB workload behind Todd Gurley's 23 rush attempts in a loss to the Lions. The third-year back hasn't accumulated more than five offensive touches or 27 scrimmage yards in a game this season, but Atlanta's backfield benefits from a Thursday night matchup against Carolina. So far this season, the Panthers have allowed nine total touchdowns to opposing RBs, which is tied for third most in the NFL.

October 27, 2020 4:28 PM EST

Ito Smith: Breaks off 17-yard gain

Smith ran for eight yards on two carries, adding a 17-yard catch during Sunday's 40-23 win against Minnesota.

Analysis: The 25-year-old did break off the second-longest receiving gain of his 27-game NFL career, but he garnered only two of Atlanta's 32 running back touches during a multi-possession win over the Vikings. If there were to be an opportunity for Smith to see an uptick in involvement, it may have come during Week 6. Barring injury ahead of him on the depth chart, Smith remains the clear No. 3 RB option with an average of two rush attempts per game.

October 20, 2020 3:51 PM EST

Ito Smith: Three touches in loss to Panthers

Smith registered six rushing yards on three carries during Sunday's 23-16 loss to Carolina.

Analysis: The third-year back has garnered multiple offensive touches in every game but one this season, however, Brian Hill continues to rule the roost as Atlanta's No. 2 back. Hill has more than double the number of carries than Smith so far in 2020, while his 5.3 yards-per-carry average is a clear step up from Smith's 3.3 YPC clip. Given that starting back Todd Gurley owns five of the Falcons' six RB touchdowns this season, opportunity for Smith to provide fantasy utility remains minimal, barring an injury ahead of him on the depth chart.

October 12, 2020 5:06 PM EST

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