Emmitt Smith: Fantasy Football's First and Most Important Superstar

Originally Published: February 3, 2005
By Scott Engel | ESPN Games Fantasy Edge
Now that Emmitt Smith is gone from our fantasy football cheat sheets, it might seem easy to forget him. But many of those owners who know the real history of our widely popular pastime will revere the former Cowboys superstar as the greatest running back in the history of fantasy football.

During the 1990s, no RB was as consistently productive and durable as Smith, who produced eight seasons of double-digit rushing TDs. He scored 18 or more TDs three times, and twice, he actually sailed over the 20-TD mark. Fantasy football's rise truly came with the rise of the internet in the 1990s, and Smith became the pastime's first true signature player. He was easily the best player at the most important position, at the most important time.

Smith was on the cover of just about every fantasy magazine, and as players were gathering online for drafts and leagues, Smith was the most coveted and talked-about player in chat rooms, on message boards, and in e-mail trade discussions. One of Smith's uncharted records is probably amount of e-mails generated regarding fantasy football trades in a career. Smith helped Dallas win three Super Bowls, but was also the centerpiece of thousands of championship fantasy teams.