With four more teams on bye this week, two of which have a usable option at the position of tight end in Witten and Daniels, I’ll be focusing on the return of the “red-nosed” receiver of the tight end variety, Kyle Rudolph. He has been absent since the early days of TV antennas and no remotes this season. For those who don’t know, that was Week 3. That, to me, seems like forever ago. I was probably carrying around a Dukes of Hazard lunchbox, you know, the one with Daisy prominently displayed on the front? Week 3 for Rudolph saw a whole new system of play for the Vikings, as they were only two weeks removed from the Adrian-ocpalypse that nuked their run game and made us pick up the “Great” Matt Asiata. The thing that makes me wanna take more notice is that they had a different and most likely better QB to get him the ball than Matt Cassel, whom he had 12 targets with in 2 games. He then went into Week 3 with new starter Teddy Bridgewater not completely healthy and left the game after garnering 3 catches on 5 targets for 27 yards. He was originally drafted as your TE1, and may soon return there. And that’s what I am here to convince you of, or at least try to via the internet, where arm twisting and wet willies aren’t quite the same.
So go back to those September drafts and in the middle rounds you were peeping Kyle Rudolph as your TE sleeper after the big 4-5 guys were off the board already. He came into the season with a lot of potential, finally being healthy from missing half of the season before, and looked to build on his 53 receptions and 93 targets from 2012. These are all things you know because you stared at him either on your bench or waiver wire, waiting for him return from hernia surgery. He comes back off of the injury pile and stares at the steaming pile of defense that is the Chicago Bears. The same Bears that got lit the ef up by Aaron Rodgers in prime time. The thing I am intrigued with, and this is a big “if” because he is still a question to play this week, is that Rudolph and Teddy have a nice rapport going, the type we want. That, and the Bears are a turd sandwich against opposing TEs in fantasy. They rank second to last in overall points given up to opposing TE, add on top of that they give up the most yards per game to opposing TE, and almost nine targets per game for the position which is the worst. And they have Jay Cutler…
So if Rudolph plays this week, and you sat on him, or picked him back up, or he is available, the reason above should be enough to cement his rosterability. I just hope he comes back fully healthy so we can see that 2nd round pedigree that he possess… the guy we all waited for as our sleeper TE this year and the cohesiveness that him and Teddy Bridgewater may have with such limited practice time. If he is what we want him to be, a low end TE1, he should be ranked right below Antonio Gates and, in the same sentence, Dwayne Allen for ROS output.
Smokey Says: 8 TAR, 6 REC, 54 YDS, and 1 TD. (If healthy.)