TE Irv Smith - Minnesota Vikings

6-4, 241Born: 8-9-1998College: AlabamaDrafted: Round 2, pick 2019

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Week 11: vs Denver Broncos

All TE vs DEN

FBG says: Bad matchup. Kirk Cousins executed the Vikings game plan to near perfection last week as he passed for two early touchdowns and 220 yards while committing no turnovers. Cousins was off to a slow start this season, but he has since turned it around with 15 touchdowns and just one interception in his last six games, scoring the third-most fantasy points among quarterbacks over that span. This passing offense receives the benefit of one of the best rushing offenses in football though, so despite the touchdowns and efficiency from Cousins, it remains a relatively low volume unit. Top receiver Adam Thielen will likely remain sidelined until after their Week 12 bye, leaving Stefon Diggs the top wide receiver option for Cousins. However, Diggs has taken a big step back in recent weeks with just four receptions for 53 yards in his past two outings after stringing together over 140 receiving yards and seven receptions in each of three straight games from Weeks 6 thru 8. Dalvin Cook, on the other hand, has been consistent in the passing game with at least six targets and 45 receiving yards per game over the past three weeks--including a season-high seven receptions for 86 receiving yards last week. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is a touchdown-dependent option, but those touchdowns have been rolling in lately as he scored twice last week and now has four touchdowns in his last four games. The Broncos pass defense remains one of the top groups in the league, giving up an average of just 202.1 passing yards per game (4th-fewest) while holding opposing quarterbacks and wide receivers alike to the third-fewest fantasy points per game (PPR scoring). Whether looking at the early or late season, this defense has consistently performed well against the pass. They have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in just two games while holding opposing offenses to zero passing touchdowns in four of nine outings. Cornerback Chris Harris has been nothing short of elite, while the pair of first-year starters Duke Dawson Jr. and Davontae Harris are both carrying their weight alongside the veteran Harris. It also helps to have two of the best safeties in football over the top in addition to a blossoming young linebacker A.J. Johnson to help in coverage over the middle. The defensive line has also been solid despite coming up relatively short in the sacks department this season. With the Vikings playing a man down in the receiving corps, Stefon Diggs will have his hands full while Kirk Cousins should be in for a challenge to find open options downfield.

Recent Stats and Projections

7 at DET 41 5.0 60 0 0 5
8 vs WAS 46 3.0 21 0 0 2.1
9 at KC 43 4.0 33 0 0 3.3
10 at DAL 56 5.0 34 0 0 3.4
11 vs DEN PROJ-Dodds * 2.9 * * * *
11 vs DEN PROJ-Tremblay * 2.2 * * * *
11 vs DEN PROJ-Bloom * 4.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs TE 1, TE 12, TE 24

Percentile ranks

Irv Smith's percentile rank in each category, among TE with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 10 vs DAL (6 / 5 / 34 / 0 rec)

When asked who Cousins trusts as a third receiver behind Thielen and Diggs, his answer was Smith. The rookie is quickly becoming a favorite target of his quarterback and is seeing his usage increase every week. Rudolph may have come down with the 2 red zone touchdowns this week, but Smith is the tight end the Vikings like to use to move up and down the field. The rookie caught 5 of his 6 targets this week and the lone incompletion was very questionable as to whether or not the defender got there early and could have been pass interference. His longest catch went for 9 yards and he is proving to be a big body tight end that Cousins likes to find across the middle when he needs a short completion. Smith may fully overtake Rudolph by the end of the season as the primary pass catching tight end.

2019 Week 8 vs WAS (3 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec)

The numbers do not jump off of the stat sheet this week, but Smith continues to push for more playing time in the Viking offense. Smith caught all 3 of his targets and showed an ability to run complex routes. He has seen his snap percentage increase almost every week while Rudolph has started to see a decline. Smith's longest catch went for 11 yards against the Redskins and he looks to be one of the missing pieces in the Viking offense. Until a third receiver steps up, Smith should continue to see steady targets in the offense.

2019 Week 7 vs DET (6 / 5 / 60 / 0 rec)

When Adam Thielen went down with injury there was instantly more targets to go around in the offense and the Vikings needed someone to step up. Bisi Johnson did his part with 4 catches for 40 yards and a touchdown, but they needed more. Enter rookie Irv Smith who finished second on the team in receiving this week. Smith caught 5 of his 6 targets for 60 yards and helped the Vikings keep pace with the Detroit offense. He may not have found the end zone, but he helped extend drives and showed the offensive prowess that led to his high draft pick. Smith will continue to push Rudolph for playing time the rest of the season and has already surpassed him in yardage. Look for Smith to get his first career touchdown in the coming weeks as he plays a bigger role in the offense.

2019 Week 6 vs PHI (2 / 2 / 29 / 0 rec)

The Vikings are starting to realize they have 2 good tight ends on their roster and are working to get both of them the ball. Rudolph still saw more work this week and will continue to be the number 1 tight end, but Smith showed why they drafted him in the 2nd round with a big 29-yard catch down the sideline. His only other target and catch went for no gain, but Smith showed he has big play ability and is not afraid to go up and get the ball. Smith is the tight end of the future for the Vikings and it is just a matter of when they want to make the switch to him and not it.

2019 Week 4 vs CHI (1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

Smith was unable to build off of his big game a week ago. He had a single target and reception this week and did not challenge Rudolph for more playing time going forward. Smith projects out as the more athletic tight end but does not appear to be ready in this offense just yet. By the end of the season it will be Smith headlining the tight end group, but it is still too early to pass the torch.

2019 Week 3 vs OAK (3 / 3 / 60 / 0 rec)

There has not been much to celebrate for the Vikings through the air, but the emergence of Smith may be one of them. He broke out this week with 3 catches for 60 yards and led the team in receiving yards. He had a long catch and run down the side line for 26 yards and he continues to push Rudolph for playing time and targets in the offense. Smith seems to be clicking with Cousins more than Rudolph right now and we could see his playing time increase over the next few weeks if he continues to produce. The Vikings are very high on Smith and could move to him as the full-time starter before the season is over.


Latest News

Vikings | Irv Smith catches five in win (Mon Nov 11, 01:07 AM) - Minnesota Vikings TE Irv Smith had five receptions for 34 yards on Sunday, Nov. 10, against the Dallas Cowboys.

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11vs Denver Broncos
12--- BYE WEEK ---
13@ Seattle Seahawks
14vs Detroit Lions
15@ Los Angeles Chargers
16vs Green Bay Packers
17vs Chicago Bears