Breakout Contestant: Irv Smith Jr. (2022 Fantasy Football)

Irv Smith Jr. was a popular sleeper last year before suffering his season-ending injury. Smith is working his way back from injury and is making progress on his return according to the latest reports. What can fantasy football managers expect from Smith in 2022? Let’s take a look.

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Irv Smith appears to be a full participant in Viking minicamp (meniscus)

The Athletic’s Chad Graff reports that the Minnesota Vikings’ Irv Smith received live first-team representatives during the team’s mandatory minicamp after limited participation during the OTAs as he recovered from a meniscus injury. (Source: The Athletic)

Fantasy Impact: Smith underwent meniscus surgery on September 1 and missed the entire 2021 season due to the injury. Reports from Viking camp suggest Smith is perfectly healthy and could be in line for a breakout year as he looks set to have a near-continuous one will play a role as TE Tyler Conklin leaves the team on the free hand. Smith is entering the final season of his rookie contract, and if history is any indication, he should see a production surge in 2022. As of 2017, 90% of players who served as their team’s primary TE during their contract year produced a PPG at least one point above their career average. Smith is currently rated TE18 according to FantasyPro’s ECR and he will be a popular target for Fantasy Managers who wait until the later rounds to draft a TE.

– By Sam Ryner

Irv Smith Jr. 2022 fantasy football prospect

Assuming Irv Smith is in perfect health to start the season, he could compete with Adam Thielen as the second target in Minnesota behind Justin Jefferson. Let’s not forget that Smith was eighth in yards per goal and second in QBR in 2020 when he was targeted under tight ends. The Vikings surprised everyone by finishing 12th in neutral pass rate and 8th in neutral speed last year. If that happens again, the band will be there for Smith. As an unrestricted free agent in 2023, Smith should be strongly motivated to post the best numbers of his career.
– Derek Brown

2022 Consensus Best Ball Rankings


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