2013 Fantasy Outlook: Kyle Rudolph
Kyle Rudolph | Minnesota Vikings | TE
2013 Experience: 3rd Season
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Fantasy Football Outlook: I was high on Rudolph last summer as a breakout option and he repaid fantasy owners with 9 touchdown receptions. It is concerning to see his yards per reception total under 10 yards each of the past two season, but then again, it’s not like Rudolph is the type of player to run away from defenders too often.
I remember watching the cutups on Game Rewind of a game Rudolph had in Chicago last season and being impressed with how the Vikings coaching staff moves him around. After losing Percy Harvin, Minnesota didn’t have much in the passing game around Rudolph but they continued to create ways to help him find soft spots in the defense so Ponder could throw to his top target.
There is a reason why Rudolph is Ponder’s favorite target in the red zone and it’s not just because of his size. Rudolph does a nice job of “boxing out” a defender with the way he positions himself and provides Ponder with a nice target to throw too.
He will likely lead this team in touchdown receptions again and I think we will see his reception total improve now that teams have to worry about Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson on the outside. Going as the 8th tight end of the board in recent ADP trends, consider Rudolph a solid TE1 selection on draft day.
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2013 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: ADP's | Rankings | Mocks | Cheat Sheets + Auctions
To help you get ready for draft day you will notice articles for ADP advice, cheat sheets, mock drafts and projected stats for Kyle Rudolph here. During the season, you can also find regular weekly ranking articles at this section as well.
August 2012: Rudolph Is Ready For A Breakout Season
After giving it some thought and listening in to some of the talk around the web, I’ve decided to buy into the belief that Kyle Rudolph is primed for a breakout season.
A talent for sure, Rudolph is good at boxing out a defender for the football and should be a valuable asset for Christian Ponder in the red zone.
Some have gone as far as to compare Rudolph to Rob Gronkowski and while I don’t think he’s the same overall talent (maybe closer than we think though), he’s clearly not in the same situation Gronk is in for fantasy success.
That said, never discount a situation that will lead to a team throwing the football regularly to help inflate numbers. The Vikings don’t have much after Percy Harvin at receiver and playing in the NFC North with a bad pass defense, you can bet the game scripts will error towards throwing the football.
Furthermore, factor in that Adrian Peterson won’t be his usual self for obvious reasons, and it’s even more likely the Vikings will throw the football.
Another reason I like Rudolph is that he’s developing chemistry with Ponder, and he has the ideal size to be a go to possession tight end for the young quarterback.
This will be a breakout year for Rudolph and based on his ADP — currently going unlisted in the top 18 tight ends at Fantasy Football Calculator — he’s a steal. Grab him late as a TE2 and you will be happy.
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Early 2012 Fantasy Projections
A disappointing rookie year, should turn into a productive second season as the Vikings are set to feature a two tight end look, with John Carlson aboard. With Adrian Peterson coming off a late season torn ACL and Percy Harvin the only legitimate pass catcher on the team, Rudolph has the skill set to develop into a TE2 for your team.
Better left to deep leagues, Rudolph won’t make the top twenty tight ends in summer re-draft leagues. We need to see Christian Ponder develop his game, but if he does, Rudolph will benefit.
Summer of 2011: Fantasy Projections
The Vikings may have selected the top tight end in a projected weak class for fantasy football purposes. While many seem to feel Rudolph will be a solid pass catcher, I wonder if he will ever be an option worth drafting as a ten team starter to begin a season? Maybe I’m just pessimistic because of his past injury problems and that top prospects out of Notre Dame haven’t been worth a darn in recent years.
Just look at John Carlson with the Seahawks. Sure, Carlson has suffered from a poor offensive line and an aged quarterback for his failure to be an elite tight end in fantasy, but nevertheless, he hasn’t played the way many hoped. While Rudolph is worth selecting in dynasty leagues, I wouldn’t recommend you take him in anything but a late round pick in deep standard leagues this summer.
Right now, the Vikings are looking to start a rookie quarterback in Christian Ponder, and they still have Visanthe Shaincoe around (good inside the red zone) to take time away from Rudolph, finding the field. Furthermore, with a rookie quarterback, this team is expected to play a heavy run first style of offense in year one and that won’t help Rudolph.
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