Fantasy owners finally got a full season out of the Vikings' Kyle Rudolph last season ... and got almost 500 yards and five touchdowns out of it. Rudolph looks the part of a menacing, awesome Fantasy tight end but between injuries, suspect quarterback play and an underwhelming receiving average (9.8 for his career), he's just not that great. Rudolph shouldn't be drafted -- sleeper tight ends like Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Charles Clay and even Jared Cook are better options. If anything, Rudolph could be useful off waivers for a week during the season when your primary tight end is off.
Rudolph did not have a catch and was targeted only one time in Saturday's preseason win over the Bengals. Rudolph is healthy as the preseason begins and got limited work in the preseason opener. After playing 17 games combined the previous two years because of knee, ankle, groin, abdomen and foot injuries, Rudolph played a full schedule last year for the second time in his five-year career. Rudolph will once again be a red zone threat, but Minnesota's run-first offense will limit his total targets.
Rudolph caught a 24-yard pass on his lone target in Sunday's loss to Seattle. Rudolph became less and less of a fixture in the Viking offense down the stretch, being targeted a mere seven times over his last four contests including the playoffs. Part of his lack of production can be attributed to a run-heavy approach to the offense that saw quarterback Teddy Bridgewater average just 22 passes per game in that final stretch, although it is important to note that Rudolph was third on the team in targets and led the team in receiving touchdowns with five. Although he didn't post the kind of numbers that he did in his breakout 2012 campaign, it's encouraging that Rudolph was able to play in all 17 games this year after a pair of seasons derailed by injury. At just 26 years of age, Rudolph still may have some of his best days ahead of him if he's able to stay healthy and Bridgewater continues to progress as a passer.
Rudolph was only targeted once and didn't catch any passes in Sunday's 20-13 win over the Packers. With Teddy Bridgewater completing just 10 of 19 passes for 99 yards, no Minnesota player had more than four targets, three receptions or 33 receiving yards, with running back Jerrick McKinnon leading the team in all three categories. Bridgewater will presumably need to throw more often in a first-round matchup with Seattle, but efficiency could be a major problem against one of the league's toughest defenses. Rudolph caught just three passes for 13 yards on four targets in a 38-7 loss to the Seahawks back in Week 13.
Rudolph caught two passes for 53 yards and a touchdown on three targets in Sunday's 49-17 win over the Giants. After failing to haul in any of Teddy Bridgewater's four touchdown passes the previous week, Rudolph caught the only one in Sunday's blowout victory. He's been an effective weapon for the young signal-caller this season, but Minnesota's preference for a run-heavy approach has led to a bunch of empty stat lines. Rudolph did have his best game of the season against his Week 17 opponent, burning the Packes for 6-106-1 (on nine targets) back in Week 11.
Rudolph had just two receptions for 21 yards in Sunday's win over Chicago. Rudolph had 50 receiving yards in three of his last four games, but he was less involved Sunday despite Teddy Bridgewater throwing four touchdown passes. Rudolph should return to being one of Bridgewater's top targets the final two games.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/19||Green Bay Packers||21||7.78|
|4||10/04||New York Giants||32||11.38|
|16||12/24||@Green Bay Packers||21||7.78|
|3 Year Avg||50||34||346||3||17||10.18||52|