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Irv Smith Jr. start or sit: Week 8 fantasy football advice

We break down the fantasy football outlook of Irv Smith Jr. ahead of the Vikings’ Week 8 matchup against the Cardinals.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 16: Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. (84) warms up before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Miami Dolphins on October 16, 2022 at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings are 5-1 this season and sit atop the division standings, and they will look to win their fifth-straight game as they welcome the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8. The Vikings rank in the top 15 in scoring with an average of 23.2 points per game, which means fantasy managers could look to leverage their offensive weapons in lineups this week. With that in mind, does tight end Irv Smith Jr. make the case as a viable fantasy starter in Week 8?

Fantasy Football analysis: Vikings TE Irv Smith Jr.

Smith Jr. has largely been inconsistent in regard to his fantasy production this season, but he managed to salvage his performance in a Week 6 win over the Dolphins. In that game, the Vikings tight end logged caught all four passes for just seven yards, but a touchdown score helped him finish with 10.7 PPR fantasy points. Prior to Week 6, Smith had gone three-straight games without surpassing double-digit fantasy points. Ultimately, his track record is evidence of his need to find the endzone in order to remain fantasy relevant.

At least on paper, his Week 8 opponent works in his favor. Arizona is surrendering 13.2 fantasy points per game to the tight end position, which is the second-most in the NFL. Granted, drawing assuming that correlation is relevant to Smith Jr. also insinuates that he is a reliable tight end on a weekly basis, which has not proven to be the case. Yes, the numbers work in his favor, but that is only if Kirk Cousins targets him consistently each week.

Start or sit in Week 8?

Even with the favorable matchup, there is too little evidence to make the claim that Smith is an impactful player in the Vikings’ offense. He does not boast TE1 fantasy appeal, and thus should remain on the bench for this week’s fantasy matchup.