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Irv Smith Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2021

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Vikings TE Irv Smith had surgery Wednesday morning to repair his injured meniscus. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that he has a 4-5 month recovery timeline, which almost certainly ends Smith's season. That leaves opportunity open at the position. HC Mike Zimmer talked up Tyler Conklin this summer. Conklin missed about half of August with a hamstring injury, but he has downplayed the severity and said he expects to be ready for the opener. He's our top choice among Minnesota TEs. The team also traded for Chris Herndon this week, of course. The former Jet comes with athletic upside but has disappointed since a standout rookie year. It's worth noting the Jets unloaded him for merely a move up from Round 6 to Round 4 in the 2022 draft. We'll see whether the Vikings look to add anything else over the next week and a half -- or in season if they're dissatisfied once the games begin.

The Jets have traded TE Chris Herndon to the Vikings for "draft pick compensation," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That likely means a Day 3 pick, perhaps conditional. More importantly, it means Herndon enters the mix for a team that just lost Irv Smith to meniscus surgery and has been operating for a while without Tyler Conklin (hamstring). Conklin told reporters Monday that he's "feeling really good" and that the injury was "very minor in the first place," according to the team website. He has yet to return to practice but says he'll be ready for Week 1. We should learn more about Smith's return timeline after his surgery this week. Herndon, meanwhile, became expendable with a lackluster training camp and preseason for a Jets offense with nothing else exciting at TE. If Conklin is ready for the opener, we'd still bet on him as the team's initial leader at the position. We'll see whether Herndon can rebound with a new team. He remains a dynasty stash at least. Herndon's departure from the Jets also positions Tyler Kroft as the #1 TE there.

Update: The Vikings sent a 4th-round pick to New York in exchange for Herndon and a 6th-rounder.

Vikings TE Tyler Conklin (hamstring) returned to practice on Monday, according to beat writer Chris Tomasson. Conklin missed 2 weeks with the hamstring injury. But, barring a setback, he's set to open the season as Minnesota's lead TE. We're still waiting to hear how long TE Irv Smith will be out.

Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said Monday that TE Irv Smith will have surgery this week to repair his meniscus injury. Unfortunately, he had no update on how long we should expect Smith to be out. "We'll just see where he's at," Zimmer said, per ESPN's Courtney Cronin. "A lot of times you can't really tell anything until you get in there. We really won't know until they get in there." We'll watch for updates after the surgery.

Vikings TE Irv Smith will undergo surgery for a meniscus injury, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The 3rd-year TE is expected to miss at least the Week 1 opener vs. Cincinnati, but a specific timeline isn’t yet known. Tyler Conklin, the #2 TE, has already missed time this summer with a hamstring injury. If healthy, Conklin will profile as a potential spot-starter out of the gate.

Vikings TE Tyler Conklin left practice Monday with a hamstring injury. Beat writer Ben Goessling tweeted Tuesday that it’s a “mild” issue for the 4th-year TE. Certainly not the worst-case scenario. Conklin doesn’t profile as a standalone fantasy option, but his progress (and presence) might take some shine off Irv Smith’s ultimate upside. HC Mike Zimmer talked up a bigger role for Conklin in June.

Vikings TE Irv Smith has been a frequent target of QB Kirk Cousins in camp so far, according to insider Judd Zulgad. "It’s become clear that Kirk Cousins is very comfortable throwing to Smith — more than he was throwing to Kyle Rudolph — and that could result in a big season for the tight end entering his third season," Zulgad writes. The Smith hype quieted a bit after HC Mike Zimmer talked up a bigger role for TE Tyler Conklin back in June. But Smith was always most likely to lead Vikings TEs in targets and fantasy points this season. He has top-10 upside.

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.

Buffalo
9:12am EST 12/30/20

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.

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