Vikings HC Mike Zimmer suggested at TE Tyler Conklin might be a bigger beneficiary of TE Kyle Rudolph's departure than TE Irv Smith. “I think it’s a bigger role for Tyler Conklin,” Zimmer said. “He’s kind of emerged as a guy that’s moving upward and with those two guys, we have a lot of weapons there. Irv always has been able to do what he’s been able to do whether Kyle was here or not." Conklin actually out-targeted Smith 21 to 20 over the final 4 games of last season with Rudolph sidelined. Smith just edged Conklin 118 to 106 in pass routes during that stretch. Smith remains the better 2021 fantasy bet -- but his role sans Rudolph might not grow as much as many are expecting. Conklin, meanwhile, is an intriguing end-of-draft flier in deep best-ball leagues, especially in the FFPC.
Vikings TE Tyler Conklin talked up his 2021 role in a chat with Bob Sansevere of TwinCities.com. “When Coach (Klint) Kubiak got hired as the new offensive coordinator, he reached out and talked to me, and just expressed that I’d be a bigger part of the offense. They’re excited for me to have that opportunity,” Conklin said. “And I think that’s really just what it comes down to. I mean, I think that people in the organization, people around me, are excited for me to have an opportunity...There’s probably a pretty good chance that, right from the get go, I’ll have a chance to make plays in the passing game and really help this team get to where we want to be.” The contract-year TE quietly caught 15 balls over the past month of 2020 with Kyle Rudolph sidelined. (Rudolph, of course, is a current free agent.) While Irv Smith remains the position group’s headliner, Conklin brings plus athleticism and should benefit from an offense heavy on 2-TE sets. He’s in play as a late-round target in FFPC drafts.
The Vikings are set to release TE Kyle Rudolph, NFL Network reports. Rudolph remained useful last year, ranking 21st among 43 qualifying TEs in yards per route run and garnering strong blocking grades from Pro Football Focus. But he turned 31 in November and was set to count over $9 million against the 2021 salary cap. We'll see where Rudolph lands on the open market. Meanwhile in Minnesota, it's wheels up for TE Irv Smith, who's had a promising start to his pro career sharing the field with Rudolph. With Rudolph out for the final 4 games of this past season, Smith ranked 4th among TEs in PPR points.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) has been placed on IR. So he'll miss Sunday's finale vs. the Lions. TE Irv Smith has averaged 5.7 targets, 4.3 catches, 51 yards and 1 TD with Rudolph sidelined the past 3 weeks and is a strong Week 17 fantasy play.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudoloh (foot) is out for Friday's game against the Saints. TE Irv Smith ran a route on 86% of pass plays and saw 4 targets last week. But the matchup vs. New Orleans' 7th-ranked TE defense leaves him outside the top 12 of our Week 16 Rankings.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) is out for Sunday's game against the Bears. TE Irv Smith was limited in his return from injury last weekend but isn't on this week's injury report. Expect him to be a full-go vs. Chicago's 28th-ranked TE defense.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) remained sidelined on Wednesday. TE Irv Smith, meanwhile, is off the injury report. If Rudolph is out for Sunday's game vs. the Bears, Smith will be a legit TE1 play.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) is inactive for today’s game against the Bucs. TE Irv Smith (back) is active but expected to be limited, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. That keeps Smith out of Week 14 spot-start consideration.
Vikings TE Irv Smith (back) is expected to play against the Bucs today, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. But the back injury "could limit some of his play time," Schefter adds. Even with TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) expected to be out, Smith is just a TE2 at less than 100%.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) is listed as doubtful for this weekend's game against the Bucs. HC Mike Zimmer refused to rule him out on Friday, but Rudolph is obviously a long shot. TE Irv Smith (back) is listed as questionable for Week 14. Rudolph's absence would free up opportunity for Smith, but he'd be a risky fantasy play at less than 100%.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) remained sidelined on Thursday, but TE Irv Smith (back) returned to a limited practice. Smith now seems to have a better shot to play against the Bucs this weekend than Rudolph. We'll update both guys' statuses tomorrow.
Vikings TEs Irv Smith (back) and Kyle Rudolph (foot) were sidelined on Wednesday. Smith has missed the past 2 games with his back injury and seems unlikely to play against the Bucs this weekend. Rudolph's status is uncertain with this foot issue. We'll see if he's able to get back on the field tomorrow.
Vikings TE Irv Smith (back) is out for Sunday's game against the Jaguars. That keeps Kyle Rudolph safely inside TE1 territory in our Week 13 rankings. He's seen 5 and 8 targets in 2 games without Smith this season, scoring double-digit PPR points in both. He gets Jacksonville's 18th-ranked TE defense this weekend.
Vikings TE Irv Smith (back) did not practice on Wednesday. The groin issue is off the injury report, but the back has Smith looking iffy for this weekend's game against the Jaguars. His absence would make Kyle Rudolph a nice TE1 play again.
Vikings TE Irv Smith (groin) has been downgraded to out for today’s game against the Panthers. That turns TE Kyle Rudolph into a nice Week 12 spot starter.
Vikings TE Irv Smith (groin) is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Panthers. Assuming he ends up inactive, TE Kyle Rudolph will be a viable Week 12 play. When Smith missed Week 10 vs. the Bears, Rudolph ran a pass route on 79% of QB Kirk Cousins’ drop backs and posted a 4-63 line on 5 targets.
After being limited on Wednesday, Vikings TE Irv Smith (groin) did not practice on Thursday. We'll see if he suffered a setback or just got the day off. We should have a better idea of his status tomorrow. Kyle Rudolph would turn into a viable spot starter vs. Carolina if Smith is out.
Vikings TE Irv Smith (groin) is active for today’s game against the Cowboys. He was limited in practice all week and might still not be at 100% in this one.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Vikings TE Irv Smith (groin) is expected to play against the Cowboys today. He was limited in practice all week after missing Monday night's win over the Bears. Between the groin and Kyle Rudolph's continued presence, Smith is just a TE2 for Week 11.
Vikings TE Irv Smith (groin) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys after a limited week of practice. That’s a 4:25 pm ET kickoff, so we’ll look for an update on Smith on Sunday morning. His absence would turn TE Kyle Rudolph into a viable Week 11 streamer.
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