Fantasy Football: Will Kyle Rudolph Be an Elite Tight End in 2013?


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Obviously a brilliant Pro Bowl appearance is not a good measure of future success, but his five catches for 122 yards and a touchdown en route to the MVP honors gave a glimpse into his potential.

There were times during the season when Rudolph flashed that same brilliance, particularly as he scored five touchdowns in the first six games. After 25 receptions on 41 targets during that stretch, Rudolph basically went into the Witness Protection Program. He was nowhere to be seen the next three games, catching just two passes on two targets for 17 yards.
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Just when fantasy football players began to jump ship, he scored in the next three games, averaging 56.7 yards along the way. Clearly he was back.

Week 12 proved to be a trap as Rudolph wasn’t even targeted for the third time in seven games. Percy Harvin didn’t even play in the game against the Chicago Bears. Something called Micheal Jenkins led the Vikings in targets that day.
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Rudolph scored one more touchdown over the final three games, but averaged just 27 yards.
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Rudolph finished the season with 53 catches for 493 yards and nine touchdown. Clearly Rudolph has it going on in the red zone, but he was nowhere in the neighborhood of elite tight ends when it comes to receiving yards.
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There is reason to believe that he can make the leap.
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The Vikings brought in Greg Jennings. Not only should he help quarterback Christian Ponder’s development, he should stretch the field, giving Rudolph more room to work in the middle of the field. As good as Harvin is, he is best in the same space the Rudolph tends to work in.
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Rudolph’s success is tied to Ponder, which is a bit scary, but as the fifth or six tight end coming off the board in most fantasy draft, he should be a solid value pick.

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