Fantasy Football: Can Kyle Rudolph Continue to Pick Up Percy Harvin's Slack?

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IDecember 6, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 25: Kyle Rudolph #82 of the Minnesota Vikings attempts to catch a touchdown pass against Major Wright #21 and Chris Conte #47 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 25, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings lost the second-best playmaker when Percy Harvin was placed on injured reserve, signifying the end of his season.

Kyle Rudolph was an afterthought, catching just two passes for 17 yards in Weeks 8 through 10 combined. Sadly, all of that “production” came in one week, meaning he twice went without a catch.

A lot of the blame lies with Christian Ponder and his terrible decision-making. The rest lies with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who, despite having one of the most dynamic running back/wide receiver/tight end combinations in the league, continues to refuse to take shots down field.

Granted, the wide receiving corps is nothing to write home about, but you’re never going to win the Powerball if you don’t buy a ticket.

Christian Ponder has no problem throwing the ball across his body into traffic in the red zone. Forget about the fact that Adrian Peterson is carving up defenses like they are playing short-handed. Let’s pass the ball three times and either settle for a field goal or a Ponder pick.

Oops, I got off track. The powers that be in Winter Park seem to have that effect on me.

Percy Harvin has missed the past three games with a mysterious ankle injury that went from possibly missing no time to out for the season. All in the blink of an eye.

In those missed games, Rudolph has been targeted  26 times. He hauled in 18 of those passes for 170 yards (56.7 per game) while scoring a touchdown in each of the three games.

It stands to reason that with Harvin out the rest of the year and the Vikings inexplicably void of wide receiver talent that Rudolph will continue to see plenty of looks.

He’s obviously a risk because of his quarterback, who enters the week ranked 25th with a 79.4 passer rating. Considering that his ratings were 105.5, 114.6 and 94.7 in the first three games, you can see just how bad things have got for Ponder.

Still, Rudolph remains a red-zone threat and the only viable option in the passing game. Rudolph’s roller coaster season should continue to rise as long as there aren’t any more unexpected twists.

Also check out:

2012 Week 14 Fantasy QB Rankings
2012 Week 14 Fantasy RB Rankings
2012 Week 14 Fantasy WR Rankings
2012 Week 14 Fantasy TE Rankings
2012 Week 14 Fantasy Football Start/Sit Options