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What to do with Kyle Rudolph in Week 12 fantasy football

We go over the fantasy football outlook of Kyle Rudolph ahead of the Vikings Week 12 matchup against the Panthers.

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) catches a pass for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at U.S. Bank Stadium. Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings haven’t gotten much from the tight end position in 2020, as Irv Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph have underperformed all year. Smith is expected to miss Minnesota’s Week 12 matchup against the Carolina Panthers because of groin and back injuries, so Rudolph could get the lion’s share of the tight end snaps this weekend. Adam Thielen has been ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19, so Rudolph could be important to the Vikings’ passing attack.

Fantasy Football analysis: Vikings TEs Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph has only played 40 more snaps than Smith this year and the two have very similar stats. Rudolph has a slight edge in receptions (21), targets (27), and receiving yards (266) while Smith has one more touchdown on the year. There’s a good chance Rudolph will play more than 80 percent of Minnesota’s snaps for the first time this year in Week 12 but I don’t expect him to see a ton of work with Justin Jefferson acting as the WR1 on the outside and Dalvin Cook acting as a workhorse against a Panthers defense that’s struggled against running backs.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

I’d pass on Rudolph in season-long fantasy and DFS.