Kyle Rudolph Fantasy Analysis: Why Owners Must Sell High Now

Jamal Collier@@JCollierDAnalyst IIIOctober 25, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 16:  Kyle Rudolph #82 of the Minnesota Vikings scores a touchdown  during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 16, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Fantasy owners who own tight end Kyle Rudolph of the Minnesota Vikings might want to consider shipping him off for the best possible return. In the last two weeks, Rudolph has just caught two passes for 17 yards.

That's because he caught two passes for 17 yards in Week 8.

He rode his five 2012 touchdowns to the No. 6 tight end ranking in ESPN standard-scoring leagues entering Week 8.

That’s the angle you’ll want to take when selling him: He’s a touchdown threat that can score in any given week at 6’6”. But the reality is that when he doesn’t score—which has been the case in half of his games to this point in the season—he’s no longer a good fantasy option.

Rudolph didn’t score in Week 1, but brought in five balls for 67 yards. That was acceptable even in a week when tight ends were very successful as a position group because that’s as good as a short touchdown.

However, those 67 yards represent his highest single-game yardage output this season.

In the other three games that Rudolph went without a touchdown, he totaled 25 yards on four catches; that includes a zero-catch performance against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 7.

You don’t want that in your lineup.

Matchups on the horizon don’t look particularly inviting for Rudolph as a fantasy threat.

The Seattle Seahawks (Rudolph’s Week 9 opponent) have allowed just two tight ends to score touchdowns this season; the most recent was Week 7 against the 49ers, but that was the only pass that a San Francisco tight end caught.

It went for 12 yards.

The Detroit Lions (Week 10) haven’t allowed a tight end to score a touchdown since Week 3 and have already held Rudolph to two catches for eight yards in Week 4.

He’ll come off the Vikings’ Week 11 bye to see the Bears in Week 12, who have only surrendered touchdowns to tight ends in special-teams or garbage-time situations.

Rudolph could qualify for the latter if the Bears continue to steamroll opponents like they have been on the defensive side of things, but that’s not something you want to bank on as a fantasy owner.