Over at Niners Nation, they're starting to come to the realization that (holy %^&!), their starting QB this season is going to be Shaun Hill
So, let's pretend that Hill performs perfectly fine. Maybe not superstar performance, but he doesn't shoot himself in the foot. Would Alex Smith be able to surpass that sufficiently to become the starter week 1? I would have to guess no. I think we have to consider Shaun Hill the incumbent starter.
Unless he manages to pull off a Chris Chandler/Gus Frerotte type of late-career comeback, you have to consider Alex Smith as one of the greatest #1 draft pick busts of all time. Wow.
By the way, I like Shaun Hill as a fantasy option this year. No, I'm not kidding. He threw for 2,046 yards with 13 TDs and 8 INTs in only 9 games last season. There's nothing wrong with those stats. Give the Niners some benefit-of-the-doubt with new HC Mike Singletary, WR Michael Crabtree and RB Glen Coffee and it's safe to assume that they'll be a better team this year. Hill should be a low-end QB2 in 10-12 team leagues and a solid QB2 in larger leagues.
Now we just have to make sure Alex Smith doesn't play well and screw it all up...