TE Kyle Rudolph - Minnesota Vikings
|6-6, 259||Born: 11-9-1989||College: Notre Dame||Drafted: Round 2, pick 2011|
Week 11: vs Denver Broncos
FBG says: Bad matchup. Kirk Cousins executed the Vikings game plan to near perfection last week as he passed for two early touchdowns and 220 yards while committing no turnovers. Cousins was off to a slow start this season, but he has since turned it around with 15 touchdowns and just one interception in his last six games, scoring the third-most fantasy points among quarterbacks over that span. This passing offense receives the benefit of one of the best rushing offenses in football though, so despite the touchdowns and efficiency from Cousins, it remains a relatively low volume unit. Top receiver Adam Thielen will likely remain sidelined until after their Week 12 bye, leaving Stefon Diggs the top wide receiver option for Cousins. However, Diggs has taken a big step back in recent weeks with just four receptions for 53 yards in his past two outings after stringing together over 140 receiving yards and seven receptions in each of three straight games from Weeks 6 thru 8. Dalvin Cook, on the other hand, has been consistent in the passing game with at least six targets and 45 receiving yards per game over the past three weeks--including a season-high seven receptions for 86 receiving yards last week. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is a touchdown-dependent option, but those touchdowns have been rolling in lately as he scored twice last week and now has four touchdowns in his last four games. The Broncos pass defense remains one of the top groups in the league, giving up an average of just 202.1 passing yards per game (4th-fewest) while holding opposing quarterbacks and wide receivers alike to the third-fewest fantasy points per game (PPR scoring). Whether looking at the early or late season, this defense has consistently performed well against the pass. They have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in just two games while holding opposing offenses to zero passing touchdowns in four of nine outings. Cornerback Chris Harris has been nothing short of elite, while the pair of first-year starters Duke Dawson Jr. and Davontae Harris are both carrying their weight alongside the veteran Harris. It also helps to have two of the best safeties in football over the top in addition to a blossoming young linebacker A.J. Johnson to help in coverage over the middle. The defensive line has also been solid despite coming up relatively short in the sacks department this season. With the Vikings playing a man down in the receiving corps, Stefon Diggs will have his hands full while Kirk Cousins should be in for a challenge to find open options downfield.
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
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 NewsVikings | Kyle Rudolph piles up the points (Mon Nov 11, 12:57 AM) - Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph had four receptions for 14 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, Nov. 10, against the Dallas Cowboys. Rudolph also caught a two-point conversion. link to story
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|11||vs Denver Broncos|
|12||--- BYE WEEK ---|
|13||@ Seattle Seahawks|
|14||vs Detroit Lions|
|15||@ Los Angeles Chargers|
|16||vs Green Bay Packers|
|17||vs Chicago Bears|