Kyle Rudolph has 184 yards on 24 receptions through 10 games while Irv Smith has 241 yards also on 24 receptions. The difference being that Rudolph has four touchdowns to Smith’s zero. Smith has two fewer targets, but over the last four games, he’s 21 targets to Rudolph’s 19. At this point, they are neck and neck in most aspects of the offense.
Red zone targets are in Rudolph’s favor but not as much as you’d think, as Rudolph has eight and Smith six since Week 4. Smith’s touchdown luck has been bad, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t find the end zone soon.
Fantasy football analysis: Minnesota TEs Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith Jr.
This week the Vikings host the Broncos who have given up just one touchdown to a tight end and have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to the position. Football Outsiders DVOA ranks them seventh against tight ends as well. So this isn’t a giving team to tight ends while the Vikings split work between their tight ends almost equally. If one tight end saw the work of these two tight ends, he’s a Top-5 option, but as it is, neither are safe.
Even with two 0ne-yard touchdowns last week, giving him four on the season, Rudolph ranks 18th for fantasy tight ends. When starting him, he must catch a touchdown, and even then, he’s likely not to put up a big game. Smith has more upside, as he’s more athletic after the catch, and if I were in a pinch, he’d be who I would risk starting, as he’s seen a few more targets than Rudolph lately.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation