Prior to his recent two-game suspension most early fantasy drafts had Steve Smith ranked as a late 2nd or early 3rd round pick. It’s hard to imagine that he won’t fall at least a little given the suspension. It’s hard to replace a #1 receiver so he may fall to the 4th round in some drafts.
Me personally, I’ll still take him late in the 2nd if he is still there. Smith is sure to come back with a vengeance and something to prove to his teammates and fans. That spells points for the Panthers and headaches for opposing Defensive Coordinators. In 14 games Smith will still be a top 10 receiver so don’t hesitate to draft him; just be sure to have a plan for the first two games.
So if you think you may want to draft Smith if you have the opportunity you need to do some research on potential #3 WR choices. Look at their first two games and create a short list of those with favorable schedules. That way his suspension has less of an impact. I feel pretty confident he will reward your selection during the remaining 14 games.
One last impact to consider is that on Musin Muhammad and DJ Hackett, both of whom will benefit stat-wise in the first two games. Prior to the suspension neither was more than a #3 WR but could develop into a #2 depending on how the Panther offense shakes out. I’m not sure that changes with the suspension but if DJ really shines in these two games he has the most potential of actually contributing over the course of a season. I think both may be worth a late round pick given the suspension and the fact that QB Jake Delhomme could have a career season.