2022 Irv Smith, Jr. Fantasy Football Player Profile

Irv Smith Tight End Sleeper

It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the tight ends. Today, we take a look at a tight end coming off of an injury that cost him 2021, who everyone seems to be in on having a big season. Well, almost everyone. Let’s take at Irv Smith in his 2022 fantasy football player profile!

Irv Smith, Jr. ADP and AAV:

Average Draft Position: TE15, 132 overall
Average Auction Value: $1.3

Irv Smith, Jr. Statistics:
Year G GS Tgt Rec Yards TD Tgt/G Rec/G Rec% Yds/Tgt Yds/Rec
2021 —-
2020 13 7 43 30 365 5 3.31 2.31 69.8% 8.49 12.17
2019 16 7 47 36 311 2 2.94 2.25 76.6% 6.62 8.64
Year Std Pts HPPR Pts PPR Pts Pts/G HPPR Pts/G PPR Pts/G Pts/Tgt HPPR Pts/Tgt PPR Pts/Tgt
2020 68.5 83.5 98.5 5.3 6.4 7.6 1.59 1.94 2.29
2019 43.1 61.1 79.1 2.7 3.8 4.9 0.92 1.30 1.68
Year Air Yards aDOT YAC YAC/Tgt YAC/Rec AYMS Tgt MS
2020 336 7.81 126 2.93 4.20 14% 12%
2019 265 5.6 136 2.89 3.78 8% 11%
2022 Irv Smith, Jr. Overview:

So, here’s something I truly don’t understand about the Irv Smith Hype this offseason: any of it. Irv Smith tore his meniscus on the eve of the 2021 season, so we didn’t see anything from him last year. And, what we saw in 2020 wasn’t really all that impressive. Derek Brown of FantasyPros.com makes the case that Irv Smith’s yards per target and QB rating when targeted could see him breakout out in 2022 after missing 2021. Luckily, I can see if any of Irv Smith’s peers in these regards from 2020 broke out in 2021! Per PlayerProfiler.com, his QB rating when targeted was behind just Robert Tonyan and was just ahead of Tyler Higbee, Jared Cook, and Dan Arnold. Well, that doesn’t do much to help us make a case for Irv Smith. And what about his yards per target peers from 2020? Did any of them break out in 2021? He was once again sandwiched between Jared Cook and Tyler Higbee, with Dan Arnold and Kyle Rudolph peeking their heads out just a bit away. None of those players broke out in 2021.

Kyle Rudolph’s inclusion on that list is extremely telling since that tells me that has more to do with the system the Vikings employed than anything else about Irv Smith. Tyler Conklin, who we all agree is not as good as Irv Smith (since he was going to be his backup in 2021), was in the top 20 in Yards Per Target as well as QB Rating When Targeted. So maybe, that has to do with Kirk Cousins and the Vikings’ system more than Irv Smith?

While Irv Smith hasn’t done anything in the NFL, his prospect profile also makes very little sense for a fourth-year breakout from Irv. He’s small (6’2”, 240 pounds. The same height as Adam Thielen). He also doesn’t have a particularly athletic profile, posting good straight-line speed but not much else en route to a 5.84 RAS. So, it’s not like he has a ton of latent athletic ability either.

The only pro for Irv Smith does have to do with this offense and what it did for Tyler Higbee. While they didn’t focus on Higbee (about 3.5 targets per game outside of his December 2019 blowup), they did give him a ton of red zone targets, as Higbee ranked first in that category among tight ends last year. But, I think that Adam Thielen, even at his age, is still a better talent than Irv Smith. So, you’re hanging your hat on red zone targets that probably won’t even come in a new offense with an undersized tight end coming off of a meniscus tear.

2022 Irv Smith, Jr. Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:

Irv Smith, Jr. Salary Cap Value: $0
Draft Ranking: Find out for your league settings in a Beersheet!

Unless you couldn’t figure it out, I’m out on Medium Irv at his draft day price. He’s WR15, and tight end 133 overall. It’s not that he’s particularly pricy, but he’s basically the same price as Cole Kmet (TE14/130 overall) and Gerald Everett (TE18/147 overall). In salary cap drafts, he goes for $2 about half of the time, with the rest being uncontested $1 bids. So, you can see how Irv Smith really doesn’t have that much of a market as a breakout tight end, despite what some people might want to say.

I feel as though Irv Smith just has residual breakout potential in the minds of fantasy pundits because they (rightly or wrongly) tapped him as a breakout to replace Kyle Rudolph in the “stand in the end zone and catch targets” role). I just personally think that role is once again going to go to Adam Thielen, and I don’t have much patience for Irv Smith, who is likely to fall by the wayside as Justin Jefferson, Thielen, and Dalvin Cook all get theirs.

Best Case Scenario:

Irv Smith is the new Kyle Rudolph and he gets 10 touchdowns this season.

Worst Case Scenario:

Irv Smith is the new Tyler Higbee, outside of December 2019, and without the hate crimes.

Check out all our 2022 player profiles, here.

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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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