TE Kyle Rudolph - Minnesota Vikings

6-6, 259Born: 11-9-1989College: Notre DameDrafted: Round 2, pick 2011

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Week 14: vs Detroit Lions

All TE vs DET

FBG says: Good matchup. Although the Minnesota Vikings struggled through the air last Monday night, they remain one of the NFL's most efficient passing attacks in spite of their low volume. Considering the Vikings have one of the league's most run-heavy offenses, Kirk Cousins has been extremely impressive in his little action airing the ball out, especially when his receiving corps is at full-strength. The Vikings have been without Adam Thielen in recent weeks, as he recovers from a hamstring injury that has hampered him for the better part of two months, which has lead to increased volume for Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph through the air. Diggs' increased volume has not directly translated into production in recent weeks, but his underlying metrics are promising, and he should see significant improvement in the near future. Kyle Rudolph, although an afterthought early in the season, is finally making his presence felt, especially around the end zone, with at least five targets and a touchdown in five out of his last six games. Should Thielen return to action in Week 14, the overall efficiency of this unit should spike back up to near-league-high levels; however, the target totals for players like Diggs and Rudolph may decrease slightly to make room for the top-end pass-catcher. Detroit's pass defense has defended the seventh-most pass attempts this season, allowing stunningly-high efficiency totals through the air. The Lions have allowed the 3rd-most passing yards this season, while also permitting a 25-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio, one of the league's worst. They have allowed multiple touchdown passes in 9 out of 12 games this season, including a 338-yard and 3-touchdown performance to Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears' struggling passing-attack last week. The Detroit pass defense is one of the league's worst from top-to-bottom, with only one significant play-maker taking the field regularly. Trey Flowers, the team's marquee offseason signing, has recently found a groove pressuring opposing quarterbacks, with five sacks in his last five games. Unfortunately, Flowers has received little support elsewhere, as many of the team's previously-strong pass-defenders have seen their production tail off in 2019. Darius Slay, a cornerback that was previously hailed as one of the league's best coverage players, has fallen off significantly this season, with his reputation far exceeding his on-field production. Overall, the Lions' pass defense is one of the league's worst, and in a tough matchup against the Vikings' strong passing attack, they should be overmatched in Week 14. Expect Kirk Cousins and company to get back on track after a poor showing on Monday Night Football last week, as they should shred the Lions through the air this weekend.

Recent Stats and Projections

10 at DAL 59 4.0 14 2 0 13.4
11 vs DEN 55 5.0 67 1 0 12.7
13 at SEA 47 4.0 50 1 0 11
14 vs DET PROJ-Dodds * 3.2 * * * *
14 vs DET PROJ-Tremblay * 2.2 * * * *
14 vs DET PROJ-Bloom * 4.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs TE 1, TE 12, TE 24

Percentile ranks

Kyle Rudolph's percentile rank in each category, among TE with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 13 vs SEA (6 / 4 / 50 / 1 rec)

The resurgence continues for Rudolph after he collected his 6th touchdown in his last 6 games. He had double the targets of Irv Smith with 6 and was able to catch 4 of them for 50 yards and a touchdown. His longest play of the game went for 19 yards up the seam and a big first down to help a Viking field goal drive. Rudolph also made a great grab and smartly got out of bounds with the Vikings driving for a field goal with under a minute to go before half. His touchdown catch was a thing of beauty for 3 yards out. Cousins had a clean pocket but nowhere to go with the ball. There were 3 defenders around Rudolph in the middle of the field, but he threw it in that direction anyway. It was a high pass that looked to be going wide of Rudolph until he went up with one hand and came down with the ball. It looked a lot like the catch he made against Dallas in the back of the end zone and brought the Vikings to within 4 points with a little over 7 minutes left in the game. Rudolph seems to have regained his grasp on the starting tight end job and has taken targets away from Irv Smith in recent weeks. The Vikings continue to run multiple 2 and 3 tight end sets and that has greatly benefitted Rudolph.

2019 Week 11 vs DEN (5 / 5 / 67 / 1 rec)

Something seems to have a lit a fire under Rudolph in the past few weeks as he now has touchdowns in 4 out of his last 5 games. The big tight end caught all 5 of his targets this week and was the Vikings 2nd leading receiver behind Diggs. He had no catch bigger than the go ahead 32-yard touchdown late in the 4th quarter. It was the same play that Diggs had scored a 54-yard touchdown on the previous drive. Cousins faked the stretch play to Cook and rolled to his left. The defender on Rudolph crashed to the rolling Cousins to make sure he did not run for a first down and it left Rudolph open in the flat all by himself. It was an easy catch for a first down and turned into a long touchdown run when Rudolph realized the entire defense had committed to the run on the other side of the field. It has been a great stretch for Rudolph as he is making a case for the Vikings to involve both tight ends in the offense heavily.

2019 Week 10 vs DAL (5 / 4 / 14 / 2 rec)

It has been a long season for Rudolph so far, but he made a statement this week with his 2 touchdown catches. The first catch may go down as one of the best of the season. Cousins rolled to his left and made a jump pass on what looks like a ball he was trying to throw away. Rudolph comes across the back of the end zone and makes a one-handed catch as he was falling to the ground and managed to keep both feet in and gain possession of the ball. It looked like a broken play that Rudolph was able to turn into 6 points. The second touchdown was a play-action pass to Rudolph in the corner of the end zone. It looked like Cousins was going to try and find his full back in the flat, but the linebacker jumped that route and left Rudolph open in the back corner. The yardage may not have been this this week, but Rudolph had 2 touchdowns and a 2-point conversion this week. Irv Smith has been pushing him for playing time in passing situations all season and this game may be enough to buy Rudolph some more time.

2019 Week 9 vs KC (5 / 3 / 23 / 1 rec)

It has been a very up and down season for Rudolph so far this year and he is starting to see more and more pressure from Irv Smith behind him. This week he caught 3 of his 5 targets and most importantly the go-ahead touchdown early in the 4th quarter. It was a 3-yard score with Cousins finding Rudolph across the middle on the slant. He fit the ball into a tight window and Rudolph made the easy catch. The play was setup by a 22-yard screen play by Cook and gave the Vikings hope late in the game. Rudolph added a 15-yard catch for a 1st down but was not involved in the passing game heavily otherwise. Irv Smith is emerging as the pass catching tight end and there may be an end to Rudolph's Viking tenure at the end of the season if everything continues to trend this way.

2019 Week 8 vs WAS (3 / 3 / 17 / 0 rec)

After finally breaking through with his first touchdown of the season last week, Rudolph went back to having a quiet game against the Redskins. The big tight end caught all 3 of his targets but did not make much of a dent this week. His longest catch went for 7 yards and he failed to pick up a key first down in the first half when he elected to try and run around a defender rather than through him. Irv Smith was also targeted 3 times and was unable to do much with his receptions either. All of the offense this week went through Cook and Diggs and Rudolph put up another dud of a game.

2019 Week 7 vs DET (6 / 5 / 58 / 1 rec)

It may have taken 7 weeks, but Rudolph finally got his first touchdown of the season. The big tight end has just 14 catches and 130 yards for the season. This was by far his best game of the season after catching 5 of his 6 targets for a season high 58 yards. This is even with Irv Smith also catching 5 of 6 targets and the Vikings showing they are not afraid to use both tight ends in the offense. Rudolph's touchdown came from 15 yards out and was a thing of beauty. Rudolph lined up in a bunch formation and made it look like he was blocking. He then spun off his defender and settled into the middle of the field with no defenders around him. He caught the Cousins pass 8 yards down the field and sprinted the last 7 yards in for the score without being touched. It was a great example of the athleticism that Rudolph has and was his longest play of the game.

2019 Week 6 vs PHI (3 / 3 / 36 / 0 rec)

Rudolph finally makes an appearance in the box score worth noting with Cousins playing well. He caught all 3 of his targets and even took a pass 15 yards to the 5-yard line for Cook to punch in a few plays later for a touchdown. Rudolph also added an 18-yard catch down the sideline for a first down and showed his ability to go up and fight for a ball. It has been a tough season for a lot of Viking receivers, but Cousins seems to have figured something out and is pushing the ball down the field. Rudolph has yet to break 100 receiving yards total this season and has not found the end zone. Expect that to change in the coming weeks.

2019 Week 5 vs NYG (1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)

The offense continues to go through Cook on the ground and Thielen through the air and Rudolph continues to struggle. A few weeks ago he was being pushed by Irv Smith for playing time, and now he just appears to be nonexistent when on the field. Rudolph caught his long target for 4 yards this week and has been a non-factor in the red zone or anywhere else for that matter. The offense is going to have to even out or teams will be able to game plan to stop certain players. Rudolph needs to step up if this offense wants to continue to succeed over the course of an entire season.

2019 Week 4 vs CHI (1 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)

We have to start to wonder if the struggles from Rudolph this year have more to do with Cousins than the declining play of Rudolph. He was pushed for playing time by Irv Smith last week and only saw a single target and catch for 12 yards again this week. However, Smith only had a single target and catch for 5 yards and no receiver in the offense found the end zone this week. The Viking offense is struggling outside of the running game this season and Rudolph is suffering because of it. It looked as if he was going to lose playing time to Smith last week but may have bought himself some more time with everyone else struggling around him.

2019 Week 3 vs OAK (1 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)

With every passing week the value of Rudolph continues to drop. This week may spell the end for him as Irv Smith stepped up and led the team in receiving yards while Rudolph caught a single pass for 11 yards. It has been a very frustrating start to the season for Rudolph. He knew the writing was on the wall when the Vikings took Smith in the second round, but no one thought it could come this fast. Rudolph has been a complete non-factor so far this season. Some of that has to do with a struggling Cousins and some of that has to do with Rudolph just not getting open. The battle between Rudolph and Smith will be an interesting one to watch as the season wears on.

2019 Week 2 vs GB (5 / 3 / 9 / 0 rec)

After failing to have a catch in the first game, Rudolph at least had a reception this week. He had less than 10 yards receiving on 3 catches, but that came from the ineffectiveness of Cousins this week more than anything else. We did see Irv Smith have a reception this week and if his snap count continues to increase it will be at the expense of Rudolph. The Vikings look like a team that is preparing to move off of their long-time tight end and see what Smith has to offer. Rudolph is going to have to get things clicking with Cousins and quickly if he wants to keep his starting job.

2019 Week 1 vs ATL (1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

It was a tough week for Rudolph. He did not register a single catch and had 1 target the entire game. That is not a good look when a highly drafted tight end is lurking behind him on the depth chart. However, it was not his fault this week as the offense only threw the ball 10 total times and ran it 38. Rudolph has always been touchdown dependent and will continue to be so this season. There is a lot of competition in the red zone for the Vikings and it will limit the overall value for Rudolph.


Latest News

Vikings | Kyle Rudolph cashes in for touchdown (Mon Dec 2, 11:42 PM) - Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph posed four receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown on six targets in Week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks, his fourth straight game with a TD (five total).

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14vs Detroit Lions
15@ Los Angeles Chargers
16vs Green Bay Packers
17vs Chicago Bears