In an offense run by a coordinator who loves leaning on his tight end, and with a quarterback who does the same thing, Kyle Rudolph is expected to build on the career-best numbers he just put up last season. The key, of course, is volume. In the past, Rudolph would average right around three receptions and 27.8 yards per game, basically becoming a touchdown-or-bust tight end. With the switch flipped last year, Rudolph put up 5.2 grabs and 52.5 yards per game and found the end zone seven times. That was enough to place him as a Top 3 Fantasy tight end, albeit during a down year for tight ends. With no sign of Rudolph losing his role in the offense, Fantasy owners should continue to slot Rudolph as a tight end who not only has potential to score from week to week but also churn out decent yardage. He's not a top-tier option but he's way better than the tight ends you'll find at the end of your draft. Round 7 is the right time to target Rudolph regardless of format.
Rudolph is the only Vikings tight end with more than one career reception, Andrew Krammer of The Star Tribune reports. Though he doesn't have the best reputation as a blocker, Rudolph is unlikely to face serious competition for snaps and targets even as the Vikings look to reestablish a competent rushing attack. They'll live with his shaky work in that department so long as he provides a major receiving threat over the middle and in the red zone. While a long shot to match last year's career-high 132 targets in an offense that now has a better mix of weapons, Rudolph should be able to take advantage of the new context by improving on his 2016 mark of 6.4 yards per target. He also figures to stay heavily involved when Minnesota approaches the goal line, as he comfortably led the team in targets both in the red zone (24) and inside the 10-yard line (10) last season, with both marks doubling the next-best total on the team.
Rudolph caught 11 of 15 targets for 117 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 38-10 win over the Bears. Rudolph posted career highs in targets, catches and yards in this one while finding the end zone on a 22-yard connection with Sam Bradford in the second quarter. He showed a strong rapport with Bradford after the latter was acquired just before the season and finished with personal bests in nearly every major offensive category after falling just short of his personal best with seven touchdown receptions. Rudolph has emerged as a reliable fantasy option and should enjoy another strong season in 2017 even though the team could experience some turnover on the offensive side of the ball.
Rudolph caught six of nine targets for 53 yards Saturday against the Packers. Rudolph saw a similar number of targets as last week but was unable to come close to matching yardage totals. Still, he remained an integral cog in the Vikings' passing attack Saturday considering his nine targets only trailed Adam Thielen's 15. He'll look to finish the season strong in Week 17 against a Bears defense that has surrendered just the sixth-least passing yards per game in 2016.
Rudolph turned 10 targets into eight catches for 97 yards in Sunday's 34-6 loss to the Colts. Rudolph led the Vikings in targets and receiving yards as they took to the air often after falling behind 27-0 at halftime. The 27-year-old tight end set season highs in receptions and yards as quarterback Sam Bradford was forced to check down often. His 58 catches and 573 yards this season both represent career highs.
Rudolph hauled in four of eight targets for 60 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's win over the Jaguars. Rudolph got Minnesota's offense going early with a 44-yard gain and then capped the game off with a three-yard touchdown reception. It was all good news for Rudolph, who saw his largest gain of the season with his first reception and snapped a three-game scoreless streak with his last. His next test comes against a Colts defense that ranks near the bottom of the league in categories including opponents' receiving yards per game and receiving touchdowns.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/11||New Orleans Saints||16||6.88|
|3||09/24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||6.13|
|6||10/15||Green Bay Packers||23||7.89|
|11||11/19||Los Angeles Rams||6||5.25|
|16||12/24||@Green Bay Packers||23||7.89|
|3 Year Avg||79||52||522||5||29||10.04||82|