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Dynasty & Redraft: TE Irv Smith Jr., Vikings


Faust

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Irv Smith caught 6-of-9 targets for 53 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings' Week 16 loss to the Saints.

With Kyle Rudolph out, Smith became one of the best TE2 streaming options for the fantasy finals, and he more than lived up to the bill. His two touchdowns came on red zone targets. He also moved the chains between the 20s with Kirk Cousins in catch-up mode. Smith will close out the year as an upside TE2 as long as Rudolph misses again. The second-year pro could be an interesting late-round option in 2021 fantasy drafts depending on how the Vikings offseason shakes out.

Dec 25, 2020, 7:46 PM ET

 

 

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7 hours ago, Faust said:

Ascending talent. A coaching regime change would also potentially help his situation.

You think Zimmer or Kubiak will be fired?

I am not sure if either of those things would be a positive for Smith. The Kubiak offense uses the TE in the passing game a lot. 20% of the total targets this year.

I suppose if the offense were throwing the ball more that could help all of their WR opportunities but it might come at the expense of per play efficiency.

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Irv Smith caught 2-of-3 targets for 30 yards in the Vikings' Week 17 win over the Lions.

A plus-athlete and former second-round pick, Smith struggled to earn enough targets to break into the weekly TE2 discussion in 2020. The Vikings’ run-first approach and strong one-two punch at receiver limited Smith to 30 receptions for 365 yards and five touchdowns. Only 23 years old, the Alabama alum could take a third-year leap in 2021 with Kyle Rudolph heading into his age-32 season and Adam Thielen likely phasing out of his prime. Smith has late-round sleeper appeal in redraft leagues this summer, especially if the Vikings opt to take the $5.1 million in cap savings by releasing Rudolph. Smith eclipsed 16.0 PPR points in two of four games without Rudolph to close out the season.

- Rotoworld

 

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Posted (edited)
On 12/26/2020 at 5:47 PM, Biabreakable said:

You think Zimmer or Kubiak will be fired?

I am not sure if either of those things would be a positive for Smith. The Kubiak offense uses the TE in the passing game a lot. 20% of the total targets this year.

I suppose if the offense were throwing the ball more that could help all of their WR opportunities but it might come at the expense of per play efficiency.

I think Zimmer and Kubiak are fairly safe. The utilization of Irv Smith Jr. at the start of the season left a lot to be desired especially once we saw what he was capable of doing later in the season. The Vikings are lacking game changing playmakers in their passing game after Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson - so it just feels like a fresh coaching regime that is more imaginative in the play calling could perhaps do a better job unlocking more potential from Irv Smith Jr.

 

Edited by Faust
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Watch out Zimmer Faust does not approve of the direction of the offense.

The last couple of weeks Tyler Conklin has been a more reliable option than Smith as a receiver. One of Cousins interceptions maybe two were on plays where he is trying to get the ball to Smith who has dropped TD opportunities.

From my perspective Smith has performed really well as a blocker. Not so much as a receiver.

Irv Smith is still one of the youngest TE in the league.

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  • 1 month later...
13 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Irv will be a hot name for late round breakout TE this year 

Agreed...although when you look at the landscape of TEs I bet he gets drafted reasonably high as far as that position goes.

Edited by Boston
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I like Irv,  he's a good candidate to break out or at least take a leap since especially since he's just going to turn 23 in camp next year but I do think people will overrate the impact of Rudoldph leaving.

Put another way I don't think Rudolph was a big factor last year with respect to being in Irv's way of breaking out. Injuries to Irv and low volume passing attack that funneled a heavy workload to the top two WR's were bigger contributors IMO.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, menobrown said:

I like Irv,  he's a good candidate to break out or at least take a leap since especially since he's just going to turn 23 in camp next year but I do think people will overrate the impact of Rudoldph leaving.

Put another way I don't think Rudolph was a big factor last year with respect to being in Irv's way of breaking out. Injuries to Irv and low volume passing attack that funneled a heavy workload to the top two WR's were bigger contributors IMO.

 

 

Yeah these breakout TEs rarely do breakout 

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40 minutes ago, menobrown said:

I like Irv,  he's a good candidate to break out or at least take a leap since especially since he's just going to turn 23 in camp next year but I do think people will overrate the impact of Rudoldph leaving.

Put another way I don't think Rudolph was a big factor last year with respect to being in Irv's way of breaking out. Injuries to Irv and low volume passing attack that funneled a heavy workload to the top two WR's were bigger contributors IMO.

 

 

Agreed...Rudolph was only 28-334-1 last year...it is on Smith to take his game to the next level and put himself in a spot where he is a weapon that the Vikings can't ignore.

Edited by Boston
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5 minutes ago, Boston said:

Agreed...Rudolph was only 28-334-1 last year...it is on Smith to take his game to the next level and put himself in a spot where he is a weapon that the Vikings can't ignore.

Yeah, the main reason I said Rudolph leaving was not a big factor is that after a few weeks Irv was getting starter snaps. He got hurt for a stretch of course were he missed games and got a little less snap counts but basically after a few weeks in the season he was seeing snaps consistent with a starter and you just pointed out Rudolph was hardly in his way.

It could easily be argued Rudolph leaving is a negative . I won't go there yet but the last few weeks of the year when Rudolph went down we saw Conklin get way more use then Rudolph and actually over the last 4 games of the year that Rudolph was out Conklin out targeted Irv 21 to 20 and was more consistently targeted.

Again I like Irv, he's not quite as good as a healthy young Jordan Reed but has a lot of similar tools and if I'm getting 80-90% of Reed in a healthier body I'm interested.

In some ways this situation reminds me of Jonnu last year. Many were calling for a breakout because Delanie was gone but Delanie barely registered the previous two seasons, he was not in any way holding back Jonnu. That's the case I believe with Rudolph to Irv last year.

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I don't think he'll ever ascend to the top tier of TEs but I see him as having TE1 upside in that TE5-10 range or something that isn't sexy but is necessary chalk to have on your squad. Doesn't have to be him though, that kind of TE production might be found elsewhere or on your roster already.

I'm wondering what happens to his market now that Rudolph is gone and Irv is suddenly on more people's radar. I think most of us knew or expected Rudolph to be gone but I have this feeling there are Irv owners out there that only just now are thinking about moving him. I have to assume the price just went up, though, and I'm not sure I like his upside or floor enough to go there now. 

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On 3/3/2021 at 10:25 AM, Boston said:

Agreed...Rudolph was only 28-334-1 last year...it is on Smith to take his game to the next level and put himself in a spot where he is a weapon that the Vikings can't ignore.

If I recall correctly a lot of Rudolphs production occurred when Smith was out with injury. 

You could likely add those meager numbers to Irvs stat line for 2021. Its not a lot but its something.

Irv Smith only had 43 targets last season in 13 games played. Rudolph had 37 last season.

If Smith absorbs those targets he would have 80 and that is enough volume that he might be in the top 12 in the 2021 season.

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  • 2 months later...

Irv Smith Jr. practices for expanded role as Vikings tight end
 

Excerpt:

Quote

Irv Smith Jr. expects more passes to come his way as the third-year Vikings tight end steps into the lead role vacated by Kyle Rudolph's release in March.

Smith, the 2019 second-round pick out of Alabama, got a taste of the top job late last season when Rudolph went down with a Lisfranc injury Dec. 6 against Jacksonville. In the four games after, Smith was a focal point and caught 15 of 20 targets for 183 yards and three touchdowns.

"I feel like my role is definitely going to increase," Smith said Wednesday. "I'm confident in myself in the run game, I'm confident in myself in the pass game, and I feel our coaches are as well."

Smith has stood out with the starting offense during two organized team activity sessions open to reporters, speeding through the middle of the defense to snag a Kirk Cousins pass during Wednesday's team drills. Smith said he's feeling spry and "putting the best gas" in the tank after formulating a nutrition plan for the first time ahead of his third NFL season.

"My cousin, she's about to graduate from Tulane and be a registered dietitian," Smith said. "She calculated all of my meals exactly like, 'OK, you need this much protein, this many calories, this, this, this.' Just having that is awesome so you don't have to worry about, 'OK, what am I going to eat today?' "

Klint Kubiak has noticed, as the Vikings' first-year offensive coordinator is expected to lean on heavy personnel — two tight ends and/or a fullback — with a playbook similar to that of his father and former Vikings coordinator Gary Kubiak, who retired this offseason.

"Irv has come back in phenomenal shape," Kubiak said. "He's really been working at it since we last saw him in the building, but I don't want him to do anything different. I want him to be himself. And now he's going to have more opportunities, and I'm excited to see what he does with it."

 

 

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On 3/3/2021 at 11:48 AM, barackdhouse said:

I don't think he'll ever ascend to the top tier of TEs but I see him as having TE1 upside in that TE5-10 range or something that isn't sexy but is necessary chalk to have on your squad. Doesn't have to be him though, that kind of TE production might be found elsewhere or on your roster already.

In redraft I like him as a late round backup. Right now his ECR is TE16 (FBGs has him TE14 in consensus rankings and TE19 in consensus projections), so if you have a deep draft - ours is 12 x 18 - nice one to pair with say Fant/Goedert/Higbee. I'm likely gonna wait on TE to load up at other positions. I normally take 1 QB 1 TE and get my DST and K off the WW before WK1 kickoff, but I might draft a backup this year. I think he has really good upside.

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8 hours ago, Mark Football said:

I just don't like hearing that it took til their third season to get serious about taking care of their body. That's a red flag for me.

I don’t know if it implies he wasn’t taking care of his body before. Just seems he’s focused even more on his diet.

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5 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

I don’t know if it implies he wasn’t taking care of his body before. Just seems he’s focused even more on his diet.

 

2 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Also remember Irv is still only 22.

The Prefrontal cortex - the executive area of the brain where we make reasoned decisions that take into account risk factors - is not fully developed until age 25. Males tend to develop later than females in this area. That's why we do dumb #### when we're in our late teens and early 20s; we literally don't think through consequences bc we're not really equipped to do so yet. For an elite athlete the sense they are bullet proof is heightened even more.

(general statement - Irv Smith is not elite from a RAS perspective)

He graded out really well as a rookie but actually saw a decline in his snap count last year. With the plodder moving on I'm thinking he'll have an increased role in 2021. But there are a slew of young TEs to choose from in that TE 12-18 range: Smith Jr, Sample, Kmet, Trautman, maybe even forgotten guys like Herndon or Jarwin. Looking at situation and opportunity I favor the Vikings guy but it's not a mortal lock.

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3 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

 

The Prefrontal cortex - the executive area of the brain where we make reasoned decisions that take into account risk factors - is not fully developed until age 25. Males tend to develop later than females in this area. That's why we do dumb #### when we're in our late teens and early 20s; we literally don't think through consequences bc we're not really equipped to do so yet. For an elite athlete the sense they are bullet proof is heightened even more.

(general statement - Irv Smith is not elite from a RAS perspective)

He graded out really well as a rookie but actually saw a decline in his snap count last year. With the plodder moving on I'm thinking he'll have an increased role in 2021. But there are a slew of young TEs to choose from in that TE 12-18 range: Smith Jr, Sample, Kmet, Trautman, maybe even forgotten guys like Herndon or Jarwin. Looking at situation and opportunity I favor the Vikings guy but it's not a mortal lock.

Yeah totally one of those flyer TEs for redraft and there’s maybe 1 of 10 of them who hits. He’s more interesting from a dynasty perspective. He’s going to have a rare combo of youth and experience. He’s always going to be a move TE but what he lacks in size, he makes up for with really good speed for the position. We think about the time it takes TEs to develop, if Irv does he will be hitting his stride at such a young age. He’s younger than Pat Friermuth but he’s already got 2 years of NFL development on him. 

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Just now, Ilov80s said:

Yeah totally one of those flyer TEs for redraft and there’s maybe 1 of 10 of them who hits. He’s more interesting from a dynasty perspective. He’s going to have a rare combo of youth and experience. He’s always going to be a move TE but what he lacks in size, he makes up for with really good speed for the position. We think about the time it takes TEs to develop, if Irv does he will be hitting his stride at such a young age. He’s younger than Pat Friermuth but he’s already got 2 years of NFL development on him. 

Yeah, he was the youngest player in the league two years ago. We think of him as a move TE and he does have a good skill set but my fear is he's also a really good blocker. From a FF perspective, there's always the danger he'll be another OJH bc he is a really good all around player.

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11 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

Yeah, he was the youngest player in the league two years ago. We think of him as a move TE and he does have a good skill set but my fear is he's also a really good blocker. From a FF perspective, there's always the danger he'll be another OJH bc he is a really good all around player.

OJH is a weird one. Crazy athlete but wasn’t very productive at Bama. Irv was more productive there at a much younger age. OJH was 22 his first season in the NFL. He also started to flash his 2nd year and it looked like it was going to happen for him and then Arians came and that just seemed to be the end of it. One problem I see with OJH is he seems kind of clumsy. He’s a great athlete but he seems to struggle catching the ball at times, doesn’t seem natural once he has the ball. Something about him always struck me as off.

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2 hours ago, BobbyLayne said:

In redraft I like him as a late round backup. Right now his ECR is TE16 (FBGs has him TE14 in consensus rankings and TE19 in consensus projections), so if you have a deep draft - ours is 12 x 18 - nice one to pair with say Fant/Goedert/Higbee. I'm likely gonna wait on TE to load up at other positions. I normally take 1 QB 1 TE and get my DST and K off the WW before WK1 kickoff, but I might draft a backup this year. I think he has really good upside.

I largely only play FFPC redrafts, which is TE premium, but in those he is going in around the 7th to 8th round as TE 11. Before the latest blurb. Not sure how that translates to regular PPR leagues but his price is just a little higher than what many may be expecting.

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I mean sure the players themselves should be responsible for their own diets, but why is he just now finding out from his college aged cousin about appropriate nutrition for an athlete of his size? Shouldn't the Vikings already have this stuff as a priority for their multi million $ players?

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Mark Football said:

I just don't like hearing that it took til their third season to get serious about taking care of their body. That's a red flag for me.

Where did you hear that?

From what Irv Smith said his aunt or cousin is a nutritionist and has been working with him on that for a ,long time now. Her input on his diet increased this offseason as he began to be more diligent about this in the offseason but its not a new thing and not worthy of any kind of red flag.

From what I am hearing Irv Smith has added good weight and has become stronger this offseason, as I Ilove80s points out Smith is only 22 years old now. He is still growing.

Edited by Biabreakable
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5 hours ago, BobbyLayne said:

 

The Prefrontal cortex - the executive area of the brain where we make reasoned decisions that take into account risk factors - is not fully developed until age 25. Males tend to develop later than females in this area. That's why we do dumb #### when we're in our late teens and early 20s; we literally don't think through consequences bc we're not really equipped to do so yet. For an elite athlete the sense they are bullet proof is heightened even more.

(general statement - Irv Smith is not elite from a RAS perspective)

He graded out really well as a rookie but actually saw a decline in his snap count last year. With the plodder moving on I'm thinking he'll have an increased role in 2021. But there are a slew of young TEs to choose from in that TE 12-18 range: Smith Jr, Sample, Kmet, Trautman, maybe even forgotten guys like Herndon or Jarwin. Looking at situation and opportunity I favor the Vikings guy but it's not a mortal lock.

Irv Smith had an injury and missed 3 games last season, if you account for that his playing time did not decrease from his rookie season. His snap counts are going to increase in 2021 though because Rudolph is now gone. The Vikings will still use a lot of 2 TE sets with Tyler Conklin as the 2nd TE.

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For folks in really deep leagues there will be a camp battle between Tyler Conklin and Brandon Dillon for the 2nd TE spot but Conklin has the inside track and is expected to win that job. Conklin has played well and in a scenario where Irv Smith were unavailable Conklin would be a good player to pick up.

I was listening to Onebar and Lupugus (Vikings podcasters) the other day and they brought up an interesting point that teams will be trying to double team Jefferson a lot more in the 2021 season which may open things up for the Vikings to use Irv Smith more in the passing game as a response to that. I think that makes sense.

Very high expectations for Smith last offseason too which is why some of us may feel disappointed with Smiths production so far. 

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4 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

Where did you hear that?

Right here. Straight from the article.

'Smith said he's feeling spry and "putting the best gas" in the tank after formulating a nutrition plan for the first time ahead of his third NFL season.'

Also I don't like when the coach makes a specific quote about how he came to otas in great shape. Why does that even need to be said? No one is saying that about Kelce or Kittle or Gronk. It's just expected because that's what they do. Believe me I want Smith to be good. He's my only TE besides Tomas. I'm just getting a little bit of a Rashaad Penny vibe from him.

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59 minutes ago, Mark Football said:

Right here. Straight from the article.

'Smith said he's feeling spry and "putting the best gas" in the tank after formulating a nutrition plan for the first time ahead of his third NFL season.'

Also I don't like when the coach makes a specific quote about how he came to otas in great shape. Why does that even need to be said? No one is saying that about Kelce or Kittle or Gronk. It's just expected because that's what they do. Believe me I want Smith to be good. He's my only TE besides Tomas. I'm just getting a little bit of a Rashaad Penny vibe from him.

Okay here is the interview I listened to last night so you can get the information right from the horses mouth.

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On 6/3/2021 at 3:32 PM, Mark Football said:

Also I don't like when the coach makes a specific quote about how he came to otas in great shape. Why does that even need to be said? No one is saying that about Kelce or Kittle or Gronk. It's just expected because that's what they do. Believe me I want Smith to be good. He's my only TE besides Tomas. I'm just getting a little bit of a Rashaad Penny vibe from him.

An often injured guy that has underwhelmed his entire career and never shown any hint of being good?

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1 hour ago, Mark Football said:

Yes, that guy.

Really odd comparison. I can't think of a single thing they have in common other then playing pro football. 

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Small sample and all that but according to FBG's own Dave Kluge, Irv Smith was 2nd among all TEs in 2020 in fantasy points per target. 

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1 hour ago, Ilov80s said:

Really odd comparison. I can't think of a single thing they have in common other then playing pro football. 

My comparison was that they both took 2 years before they decided to get serious about taking care of their body. 

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Just now, Mark Football said:

My comparison was that they both took 2 years before they decided to get serious about taking care of their body. 

Again, I don't think hooking up with a personal dietitian in year 3= did not take care of body for 2 years. I think you reading way too much into a fluff piece where Irv talks about what he has done over the offseason to improve. 

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8 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Again, I don't think hooking up with a personal dietitian in year 3= did not take care of body for 2 years. I think you reading way too much into a fluff piece where Irv talks about what he has done over the offseason to improve. 

Ok

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On 6/3/2021 at 1:10 PM, Biabreakable said:

When I say diligent about sticking to his nutritional plan what that means is fewer shrimp poor boys (which are very good and hard to pass up) than he was consuming previously. That is what Irv Smith said about it.

These wealthy NFL players can definitely afford a few of those, that much is certain.  

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