Thursday update: The Vikings ruled Rudolph out for Week 16.
Wednesday update: Kyle Rudolph was once again a DNP for practice on Wednesday and seems unlikely to play on Friday against the Saints.
The Minnesota Vikings are back at practice as they begin preparations for their Christmas Day matchup against the New Orleans Saints. They continue to be without tight end Kyle Rudolph, who did not practice on Tuesday due to his foot injury. He injured the foot in Week 13 and has been sidelined since. Given the short week, it seems highly unlikely he plays on Friday.
Irv Smith would once again get the start at tight end and Tyler Conklin would serve as the second tight end. Last week, Smith caught three of four targets for 37 yards and the week prior caught all four of his targets for 63 yards and a score.
The Saints rank in the middle of the pack for fantasy points allowed to tight ends. If this game turns into a shootout, Smith could provide some value. The tight end position is fairly light in fantasy football, but in more traditional 12-team leagues, you can probably do better than Smith.