The transition process from Kevin Stefanski as offensive play-caller to Gary Kubiak took longer than expected, but the Minnesota Vikings have found their footing in recent weeks. That has turned several of their once-ancillary weapons like Justin Jefferson into studs. But can that rising tide also even more marginalized targets such as their tight ends?
Fantasy Football analysis: Vikings TEs Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith
From a fantasy perspective, Kyle Rudolph serves as an emergency or bye-week replacement option. The veteran tight end has combined for just seven catches for 103 yards over the last two weeks while losing a fumble last Monday against the Chicago Bears. Rudolph also hasn’t found the end zone much in 2020, hauling in just one score nearly two months ago.
Presumably, Rudolph’s decline would open the door for Irv Smith Jr., but the second-year tight end hasn’t quite produced proof of concept just yet. While he did catch two touchdowns a week ago, he hasn’t reached the end zone in any other game this season. Furthermore, his other receiving production hasn’t exceeded the four catches for 64 yards he put up against the Seattle Seahawks’ terrible defense back in October. Perhaps a breakout performance will arrive soon, but the Vikings just don’t seem to have prioritized him in the offense.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Sit Rudolph and Smith.