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TE Kyle Rudolph - Minnesota Vikings

6-6, 259Born: 11-9-1989College: Notre DameDrafted: Round 2

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Photo: John Rieger, US Presswire

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Week 8: at Chicago Bears

All TE vs CHI

Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. This is the first clash between these NFC North rivals during the 2016 season. They'll meet again in Week 17. Sam Bradford got picked on by his former Philadelphia teammates last weekend, and wound up with 24/41 for 224 yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown, with six sacks taken for -35 yards. It was not the high-point of his stint in Minnesota. Cordarrelle Patterson led the team in receiving with seven targets for 7/67/1 receiving, while Kyle Rudolph led the team in targets with 11 for 5/55/0. Adam Thielen (five for 2/52/0) and Stefon Diggs (five for 2/18/0) helped move the chains but weren't very efficient with their chances. The Bears' pass defense helped rejuvenate Aaron Rodgers last week, allowing him 39/56 for 303 net yards passing, three TDs with zero interceptions thrown, and two sacks taken for -23 yards. Two weeks ago Chicago gave up 20/33 for 263 net yards passing, one TD and one interception thrown to Blake Bortles and company (with two sacks for -8 yards). So far this year the Bears are ranked 16th in the NFL averaging 243.4 net yards passing per game, but they have handed out 10 passing scores vs. four interceptions (tied for 20th in the NFL) and 15 sacks (tied for 14th) generated. From Week Five to Week Seven of the 2016 season (over the last three weeks), Chicago has averaged 23.7 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks (sixth-most in the NFL); and 39.5 fantasy points per game allowed to wide receivers (most in the NFL); with 5.1 fantasy points given up per game to tight ends (14th-least). Advantage, Minnesota - this looks like a good week for Bradford to bounce back, along with his wide receivers. Also, the rushing matchup isn't favorable, so if the Vikings want to win they'll need to go through Bradford's passing arm.

Recent Stats and Projections

4 vs NYG 72 5 55 1 0 11.5
5 vs HOU 68 2 15 0 0 1.5
7 at PHI 72 5 55 0 0 5.5
8 at CHI PROJ-Dodds * 5 * * * *
8 at CHI PROJ-Tremblay * 5 * * * *
8 at CHI PROJ-Bloom * 4 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 5 vs HOU (4 / 2 / 15 / 0 rec)

Rudolph had an off game, partly because the Houston Texans are very solid defending tight ends and potentially in part because he is still healing from a rib injury. Rudolph was largely contained until a 14-yard reception down the middle. It was one of the very few times Rudolph found himself in space with no defender draped on his back.

2016 Week 4 vs NYG (7 / 5 / 55 / 1 rec)

Quarterback Sam Bradford and Kyle Rudolph have now hooked up for touchdowns in three straight games, nearly doing it twice against the Giants on Monday Night Football. That missed opportunity found a confused Giants defense briefly leaving him uncovered as linebacker Jonathan Casillas (who initially was supposed to be on him) frantically asked cornerback Janoris Jenkins to do it instead. Either Bradford didn't see it or couldn't ditch to a quicker count, and Jenkins was in position when the ball was snapped. Bradford overthrew Rudolph just a little bit too far. The very next time they had the chance, they connected for a 7-yard touchdown. On the play, Rudolph ran a shallow post, getting perfect inside position on backup cornerback Trevin Wade and made an easy catch for the score.

2016 Week 3 vs CAR (10 / 7 / 70 / 1 rec)

Rudolph ended up the most consistent target in quarterback Sam Bradford's arsenal, scoring one touchdown and dropping another which would have been wiped out because Stefon Diggs was called for offensive pass interference. On the touchdown which stood, the play came early in the third quarter as the Vikings were down in the Carolina red zone. Rudolph lined up left-tight and but didn't block at the snap, instead releasing into a route immediately. Linebacker Shaq Thompson was in coverage, exactly the sort of mismatch the Vikings want for the athletic Rudolph, and Bradford just threw the ball up and let the taller Rudolph make a play on the ball. Overall, Rudolph ended up the focal point of the offense in the second half, as he was a great mismatch against the Carolina defense and virtually the only Vikings offensive player to consistently have any success.

2016 Week 2 vs GB (8 / 3 / 31 / 1 rec)

It took a little while, but eventually Sam Bradford and Kyle Rudolph got on the same page. After being unable to connect on three passes in the first quarter, Bradford hit Rudolph deep along the sideline. Rudolph did a great job splitting the defenders and finding open space to give Bradford a clean target to hit. The two connected again a short time later on an 8-yard touchdown. On the play, Rudolph drove safety Morgan Burnett off the line and into the end zone. The he cut towards the back corner pylon, where Bradford hit him for the score. The two connected one more time before the end of the first half, but not at all in the second half, as Bradford focused on getting Stefon Diggs the ball.

2016 Week 1 vs TEN (8 / 4 / 65 / 0 rec)

The main tight end, and one of Norv Turner's favorite players to call on, Rudolph made some key catches, including a big third down conversion in the second half of the game. He didn't find the end zone, but could be a bigger weapon when Sam Bradford is under center.


Minnesota Vikings Team Links

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Footballguys Articles

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Post-Draft 2016 Tier Rankings
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Almost Too Early 2016 Tier Rankings
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Articles from around the web

2015 Receiving Plus-Minus
  Scott Kacsmar - June 16
Red Zone Notebook
  Rich Hribar - June 20
Vikings Fantasy Preview
  Evan Silva - July 12
Wide receiver target distribution for all 32 teams
  Matt Harmon - September 1
Matt Harmon's 2016 tiered redraft fantasy rankings
  Matt Harmon - August 25
The Shy-Away Top 40
  Evan Silva - August 25
Training Camp 2016 Tier Rankings: Week 4
   - August 23
Fantasy Football Consistency: Tight Ends
  Bob Lung - August 2
Deep Sleepers
  Nick Mensio - July 28
Fantasy Football Pre-Season Preview: Receivers
  David Dorey - July 26


8@ Chicago Bears
9vs Detroit Lions
10@ Washington Redskins
11vs Arizona Cardinals
12@ Detroit Lions
13vs Dallas Cowboys
14@ Jacksonville Jaguars
15vs Indianapolis Colts
16@ Green Bay Packers
17vs Chicago Bears