Irv Smith Jr.
  • Irv Smith Jr.

  • TE
  • , Kansas City Chiefs
  • 26
  • 242 lbs
  • 6' 2"
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Scouting report

by Frank Ammirante

MIN TE Irv Smith Jr. - 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside
Irv Smith Jr. caught 30-of-43 targets for 365 yards (12.2 Y/R) and five touchdowns in his age-22 season, finishing as TE22 in half-PPR points per game. Veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph signed with the Giants, leaving Smith as the clear-cut top option at the position. Tight ends traditionally take longer to develop, so to see Smith with two 300+ yard seasons under his belt while sharing time with Rudolph is impressive. This is a player with second-round draft capital and untapped upside, ready to be unlocked with an increased role. Smith should be able to set career-highs across the board in his third year in the NFL.

Fantasy Downside
Smith was only able to post an 11.62% target share last season. Playing in a run-heavy offense with two stud wide receivers, it might be difficult for Smith to stay fantasy-relevant due to the limited volume. The team also likes backup Tyler Conklin, who could conceivably step right into the Rudolph role. We have also heard head coach Mike Zimmer say that he doesn’t expect Smith’s role to change too much. This is all bad news for a player who we’re really projecting forward with his current draft cost. Even though his early-career production is impressive, there’s a lot of downside to Smith.

Bottom Line
Smith is currently being drafted as TE13 (133.7 ADP), which shows that his upside is already baked into his price. It’s hard to envision a scenario where Smith puts up more than 500-600 yards in this run-heavy offense as the number-three target, perhaps even number-four behind Dalvin Cook. This makes Smith an overpriced tight end right now. He needs the Vikings to pass more in order to provide enough fantasy value to justify this cost. Look elsewhere if you’re looking for a breakout tight end, like Adam Trautman of the Saints.

by Richard Mejia

MIN TE Irv Smith Jr. - Week 17 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 17 at Detroit

Smith Jr. had his best game of the season last week against the New Orleans Saints as he caught 6-of-9 targets for 53 yards and two touchdowns. With the Saints secondary preoccupied with Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, Smith Jr. was given free rein all over the field. Kirk Cousins was targeting him heavily towards the end of the game, a great sign for fantasy managers. With Dalvin Cook expected to miss this week’s game against the Detroit Lions, Smith Jr. should see more work, especially in the red zone. Count on him as a low-end TE1 this week.

by Richard Mejia

MIN TE Irv Smith Jr. - Week 16 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 16 at New Orleans

Smith Jr. had a decent game last week against the Chicago Bears, as he caught 3-of-4 targets for 37 yards. With Kyle Rudolph out with injury, Smith Jr. has done well in his time as the starter. For those who streamed him, it was tough to see backup TE Tyler Conklin have the better day as he caught three receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown. With the better draft pedigree and athleticism, Smith Jr. still makes the better bet to produce moving forward, however, his Week 16 matchup against the Saints might not be the week to start him. With the Saints ranking first in aFPA to TEs, Smith Jr. is a low-end TE2 option in the fantasy title game.

by Richard Mejia

MIN TE Irv Smith Jr. - Week 15 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 15 vs Chicago

Smith Jr. came back from injury last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a big way as he caught all four of his targets for 63 yards and one touchdown. A late addition to the actives coupled with a late inactive for Kyle Rudolph gave Smith Jr. all the opportunity he needed to make a big impact. Stepping into another starting role this week against the Bears, expect TE2 upside for the sophomore TE.

by Richard Mejia

MIN TE Irv Smith Jr. - Week 14 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 14 at Tampa Bay

Smith Jr. makes his return to the starting lineup after missing the last two games with an injury. Kyle Rudolph has been ruled out for Sunday’s game, so Smith Jr. will have plenty of opportunities to produce. With Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson consolidating all the targets in Minnesota, Smith Jr. will be a touchdown-dependent fringe TE1 this week.

by Richard Mejia

MIN TE Irv Smith Jr. - Week 10 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 10 at Chicago

Smith Jr. had an efficient day at the office last week against the Lions as he caught 2-of-4 targets for 10 yards and two touchdowns. Mostly a non-factor outside of the red zone, Smith Jr. was on fire catching two scores last week, albeit for only ten yards This game was as fluky as it gets, as Minnesota’s effective ground game left the passing attack almost nonexistent. Typically a touchdown-dependent TE, Smith Jr. is best left on benches as he projects the be a low-end TE2.

by Richard Mejia

MIN TE Irv Smith Jr. - Week 9 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 9 vs Detroit

Smith Jr. finished last week against Green Bay catching his only target for 16 yards. With Kirk Cousins throwing the ball only 16 times, the target share distribution was limited to his top-three options. With Smith Jr. seeing five targets in each of the last two games prior to the bye, there was some hope his breakout was coming. With such a volatile passing situation in Minnesota, Smith Jr. is best considered a low-end TE2 moving forward.

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