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Irv Smith: Early waiver wire option in Week 17

Irv Smith continues to produce while Kyle Rudolph deals with a foot injury, an early waiver wire option in Week 17.

Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith (84) warms up before the game against New Orleans Saints on December 25, 2020 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Without veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph flanking him on the opposite side of the Vikings offensive line on Christmas Day, second-year tight end Irv Smith was elevated to TE1 status and performed well against the New Orleans Saints.

The 22-year-old tight end had one of his two best performances this season in the last three weeks on Friday. Smith produced a season-high six receptions (nine targets) for 53 yards and two touchdowns. The former Alabama Crimson Tide standout also had a career-high 17.3 fantasy points, which just shows the promise that he does have going into next season.

That being said, Smith should be able to continue his recent hot-streak next week against the Detroit Lions. On Saturday, we saw the Lions’ defense get absolutely lit up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 47-7. Detroit gave up two touchdowns to tight end Rob Gronkowski, making that four receiving touchdowns allowed to opposing tight ends in the last four weeks.

Up next — Detroit Lions