There are certainly a lot of Fantasy Football managers who subscribe to the 'fool me once, we won't get fooled again' method of Fantasy Football. If they buy into the hype one year and a player fails to meet expectations, they are out. No second chances will be given. Certainly no third chances. I am not one of those Fantasy managers and I do not think you should be either. One tight end who is going to test that theory is Irv Smith, who recently signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.
On Tuesday we launched Fantasy Football Today on YouTube. In the first episode we discussed the bump Jake Ferguson gets with Dalton Schultz leaving for Houston. Check it out:
Smith is a 25-year-old tight end with just enough upside to get you excited and just enough injury concerns to keep you grounded, although it is a bit harder to stay grounded now that he's paired with Joe Burrow. Last year we saw Hayden Hurst earn a 15% target share in this offense and finish as TE20 per game with a miserable 8.1 yards per catch and 2.9% touchdown rate. Smith, for his career has averaged 9.4 yards per catch and scored on 7.1% of his targets playing with Kirk Cousins.
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Those efficiency numbers paired with Hurst's target share from last year would make Smith a borderline top-12 tight end. If his efficiency improves because he's playing with Burrow, then Smith could be the sleeper or breakout we projected him to be last year. Like Jake Ferguson, Smith does have to worry about the Bengals taking a tight end in the NFL Draft. He also has to prove he can stay healthy. But the bar is low enough at tight end that you're allowed to get excited about Smith after he landed with the Bengals, even if you've been burned by him in the past. .And you should definitely be looking for him on the waiver wire of your Dynasty league, just in case.
Here are my updated Dynasty tight end rankings: