TE Kyle Rudolph - Minnesota Vikings
|6-6, 259||Born: 11-9-1989||College: Notre Dame||Drafted: Round 2, pick 2011|
Week 21: bye week
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs TE 1, TE 12, TE 24
Kyle Rudolph's percentile rank in each category, among TE with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2018 Week 17 vs CHI (5 / 4 / 19 / 0 rec)
After finally breaking out last week against the Lions, Rudolph failed to top 20 yards this week while catching 4 of his 5 targets. His longest catch was 9 yards on a check down play. It was 3rd and 18 when Cousins found Rudolph underneath. He came nowhere near the first down and that seemed to be the story of the entire game. It has been a frustrating season for Rudolph that saw him finish with 64 receptions for 634 yards and 4 touchdowns. He could have been and should have been a much bigger part of the offense this season, but the Vikings did not use him that way.
2018 Week 16 vs DET (9 / 9 / 122 / 2 rec)
It has been an ugly season for Rudolph until this week. He had under 500 yards and only 2 touchdowns coming into the game. That all went out the window with his 9 receptions on 9 targets and 2 huge touchdowns. He surpassed 100 receiving yards for the first time this season and added his longest play of the year. Rudolph kicked off his scoring with a 44-yard touchdown with no time left headed into touchdown. Cousins found Rudolph deep down the right sideline for the score going into half time. There were only 2 seconds left on the clock before the play happened and it was a chuck and pray kind of play. The second touchdown was a little more traditional in regard to his skill set. The Vikings lined up in a power run formation and went play action from the 4-yard line. Cousins found Rudolph who had leaked into the flat. His linebacker in coverage got caught up in the run blitz and Rudolph was able to outrun him to the end zone for the score. This was the best game of the big tight end's career. They are going to see a lot more efforts like this from Rudolph if they want to clinch a playoff spot and make a deep run. He has the skills to be dangerous in the red zone and if the run game continues to take off he should see even more targets in play-action sets.
2018 Week 15 vs MIA (3 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec)
With the new offensive coordinator taking control, we had to wonder if Rudolph was going to see a bigger role. That was not the case this week and he actually lost targets to backup Ty Conklin. Rudolph had the same number of targets, 1 more catch, but 30 fewer yards than Conklin this week. The run game imposed its will in the red zone and took away the best part of Rudolph's game. There is still the chance that the success of the run game will open up more play action passes for Rudolph, but Cousins will have to actually throw him the ball. It has been a frustrating season for the big tight end, but he needs to step his game up down the stretch if the Vikings want to have any playoff success.
2018 Week 14 vs SEA (5 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
Another week and another poor showing for Rudolph. The entire offense struggled this week and not just Rudolph. The only time his number was called when it mattered was on a 4th and goal play from the 1 where the ball was thrown behind him and into coverage. Rudolph was unable to make the catch and it may have been an interception if Cousins had actually thrown it to the correct spot. Rudolph caught 2 of his 5 targets and failed to surpass 10 total yards. It has been a very down season for the big tight end and he is starting to see some competition from Ty Conklin in recent weeks. The change to Cousins this year has not been beneficial for Rudolph.
2018 Week 13 vs NE (3 / 3 / 38 / 0 rec)
It looked like Cousins was finally going to start using Rudolph more, but that fell off in the second half this week. Rudolph had a big 23-yard catch and another tight roping catch on the sideline but did not see much outside of that. Cousins continues to forget about him in the red zone and just does not use him as much as they should. Rudolph does not lose looks to other tight ends, but instead competition from Diggs, Robinson, and Thielen. Cousins elected to throw to Cook out of the back field 10 times rather than look for Rudolph down the field. It has been a frustrating season for the big tight end but he continues to show flashes of how he can be a great tight end in the NFL.
2018 Week 12 vs GB (7 / 7 / 63 / 0 rec)
Cousins finally seemed to realize that he had a weapon in Rudolph this week and targeted the big tight end 7 times. This was good for 3rd on the team behind Diggs and Thielen and that is where he should be all season long. Rudolph snagged all 7 of his targets and even made an acrobatic one-handed diving catch across the middle for a first down. Rudolph did not make an impact in the red zone, but the Vikings scored from outside of it on 2 of their 3 touchdowns this week. Rudolph is a big weapon that the Vikings have not been using this season. He should see a greater volume as the rushing attack gets going. Rudolph fits the play action pop pass offensive style perfectly and that is something the Vikings could thrive on. Look for him to establish himself in the coming games this season.
2018 Week 11 vs CHI (5 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
Another week has gone by, and the Vikings have failed to use Rudolph again. There seems to be a disconnect with Cousins somewhere, and Rudolph is constantly being overlooked in the red zone and just about everywhere else on the field. He was targeted on the final 2-point conversion play to try and get the score within 3, but the duo failed to connect. Rudolph had catches of 7 and 6 yards and not much else. Cousins seemed so comfortable throwing to Jordan Reed in Washington, but that has not carried over to Minnesota. There is a lot of unused potential being wasted in Rudolph, especially down in the red zone.
2018 Week 9 vs DET (2 / 2 / 28 / 0 rec)
It was almost the perfect start for Rudolph this week. After Latavius Murray looked to fumble on the goal line, it was Rudolph who fell on the ball in the end zone. He was initially given a touchdown without even registering a catch. The play was eventually reviewed after the fact and the touchdown was given to Murray. Rudolph pulled in both of his other targets and had a long play down the side line for 24 yards. There was another third down play where Rudolph was wide open but Cousins under threw Thielen instead and the Vikings had to punt. Rudolph could be seen trying to talk to Cousins after they came off the field, but neither player looked angry about it. Rudolph is another great weapon for Cousins, but he has not used him as such to this point.
2018 Week 8 vs NO (7 / 4 / 39 / 0 rec)
It was not quite the breakthrough performance we have been looking for from Rudolph, but there were a lot of positives and things to build from this week. Rudolph tied Thielen for 2nd in targets this week with 7 and hauled in a long 25-yard pass down the sideline for a big first down. His line would have been much better if he had been awarded the touchdown catch in the 1st quarter, but he was ruled to have stepped out of bounds and not fully reestablished himself. There was a lot of pushing and shoving in the back of the end zone and any number of penalties could have been called. However, the refs concluded that the defensive holding and or illegal contact was negated by Rudolph stepping out of the back of the end zone before catching the ball. The numbers still are not there for Rudolph, but if he continues to get this high a volume of targets, the numbers are going to come.
2018 Week 7 vs NYJ (4 / 1 / 16 / 0 rec)
It has been a very up and down season for Rudolph so far and this was another dud against the Jets. Rudolph had 4 targets and only hauled in 1 for 16 yards. He was dealing with a struggling Kirk Cousins this week and did not have much of a chance on the 3 missed targets. The offense tried to feature Murray in the red zone and continues to not use Rudolph to his potential. The Saints have not fared well against the passing game and it should provide opportunity for Rudolph to bounce back.
2018 Week 6 vs ARI (4 / 4 / 37 / 0 rec)
Just like Diggs, Rudolph was a mere afterthought in the offense this week. He managed to snag 4 targets this week and had a long catch of 17 yards but was still overshadowed by Thielen. The Cardinals made no effort to adjust their game plan and let Thielen run free underneath. They stuck with Rudolph in coverage and often times put a bigger and more physical corner or safety on him. Rudolph excels when there is a linebacker in coverage and he simply did not get that opportunity this week. The Jets have only given up 3 touchdowns to tight ends all season long and aside from their game against the Colts this week have been very solid all around against the position. It will be a difficult task for Rudolph next week, but he may see some things open up if teams focus on Thielen more.
2018 Week 5 vs PHI (5 / 5 / 41 / 0 rec)
The chemistry between Cousins and Rudolph in the red zone continues to struggle. The ball is being force fed to Diggs and Thielen and it does not leave a lot left for Rudolph. The big tight end caught all 5 of his targets and even got them in a goal to go situation before Thielen caught the eventual touchdown pass. Rudolph had 1 catch of 17 yards and continues to only be used in short to intermediate roles. Cousins has a very effective weapon in Rudolph, but just does not seem to want to use him.
2018 Week 4 vs LAR (6 / 5 / 57 / 0 rec)
With all the crazy passing stats in this game, it was almost surprising to see Rudolph not do a little more damage. The red zone looks went to Aldrick Robinson and the third down catches really did not come until the second half. Rudolph has had a respectable season thus far, but he has not been utilized as many thought he would be. His biggest gain was a 3rd down out route for a first down that he was able to carry up the sideline for 24 yards. There will come a game where Rudolph is targeted in the red zone and comes down with 2 touchdowns, but it has not happened yet. His average usage has come in at 5 catches per game for 50 yards and .5 touchdowns. He has the potential to do a lot more damage, but Cousins has not used him that way to this point.
2018 Week 3 vs BUF (6 / 5 / 48 / 1 rec)
It was a tough game for all of the Viking skill players, but at least Rudolph was able to find the end zone. He was the only player that got a chance around the goal line and he cashed in this week. The pass was a short 4-yard out route where Rudolph worked his way back to the ball. Cousins' pass was low, and Rudolph went to the ground to catch it. The Bills thought he had dropped the ball or at least not completed the catch to the ground. The play was eventually reviewed and upheld. Cousins then targeted Rudolph on the ensuing 2-point conversion, but the attempt failed. Rudolph had one other 17-yard catch up the seam, but no Viking player had a play over 20 yards this week. It was a disappointing week all around in Minnesota, but Rudolph managed to walk away with a touchdown.
2018 Week 2 vs GB (8 / 7 / 72 / 0 rec)
With Diggs and Thielen taking most of the headlines and touchdowns, Rudolph is easy to get overlooked in the offense. This plays directly into what the Vikings want to happen as the Packers defense began to forget about him as the game wore on. He managed to sneak out for a big 23-yard gain at the end of the third quarter. This helped set up the Vikings second touchdown after he was pushed out of bounds at the 5-yard line. Rudolph has not shown the same red zone prowess he did a year ago, but Thielen and Diggs have cashed in instead. It is only a matter of time before Rudolph gets his chances in the red zone.
2018 Week 1 vs SF (2 / 1 / 11 / 1 rec)
It was a very quiet day for Rudolph this week with the big tight end only receiving two targets the entire game. All three of the Viking tight ends caught a pass this week, Rudolph's just happened to be in the end zone. His greatest asset is his size and jumping ability in the red zone. Rudolph hauled in an 11-yard pass right down the seam for a Viking touchdown. Cousins knew exactly where he was going with the ball before it was even snapped. Outside of this play, Rudolph was locked down by an athletic core of linebackers for the 49ers. Always a boom or bust candidate, Rudolph continues to rely heavily on red zone touchdown opportunities.
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