Wednesday, August 20, 2014


                                                          Kyle Rudolph

Ordinarily if one were to mention the name Kyle Rudolph in fantasy football terms, the reaction (especially before 2014) was mostly just a shrug.  While Rudolph was a solid player who was even more adept at putting up points in the end zone, the former Notre Dame grad failed to ever make the leap beyond borderline fantasy football starting status in his previous 3 seasons.  Rudolph's career high in catches after all was only a very modest 53 and last season was an utter disaster as he missed 8 games with injury while hauling in only 30 passes for 313 yards and 3 scores.  One area that Rudolph was very good in as I mentioned earlier however was scoring touchdowns.  As a rookie playing part-time in 2011 Rudolph grabbed 3 scoring throws and than improved that number to a very impressive 9 in 2012 before last season's fade back to 3.  Long a trusted weapon in the red zone by Christian Ponder, Rudolph at the very least carved out a niche in standard formats at times.  Overall however Rudolph was the epitome of an average fantasy football tight end and that seemed to be his destiny going forward for 2014 until the Vikings brought in an offensive coordinator by the name of Norv Turner.  You mean the failed head coach twice over?  Yes that Norv Turner.  The Norv Turner who made tight end receiving stars out of some guys named Jay Novacek, Antonio Gates, and Jordan Cameron.  All guys who were virtual no-names until Turner got his hands on them and included each significantly in his offensive passing plans.  And the fraternity that is likely to include Rudolph this season based on Turner's history.  It is Turner's arrival in Minnesota as the new OF that Has Kyle Rudolph one of the most interesting fantasy football players for the 2014 season at his position.

As we noted earlier, Rudolph has never been a big receptions guy, having caught 30 or less passes in two of his three seasons.  However Rudolph was on pace for a career-high 60 a year ago with the awful Ponder under center.  While Matt Cassel is no one's definition of Tom Brady, the veteran has more talent than Ponder and has a habit of throwing to his tight end.  Enter Turner and his tight end loving ways into the equation and what you get is a possible run at 80 catches and 8-10 touchdowns.  This is pretty much what Jordan Cameron did a season ago in Cleveland right out of the blue when no one had heard of him before.  Rudolph has terrific leaping ability and soft hands which instantly sets him up for success.  Throw in the Turner offense and you have the wheels put firmly into motion for a breakout season.  All for the price of a very late round draft pick.  While Zach Ertz gets all of the love of out Philadelphia, Rudolph might even have the better statistics this season.

2014 PROJECTION  75 catches 817 yards 9 TD


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