Percy Harvin's absence means more looks for Kyle Rudolph

      November 8, 2012 @ 17:21:45 PDT

Fantasy footballers have probably given up on Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, whose torrid pace to begin the season made him a fantasy darling through six games.

Three weeks later, he has a measly two catches for 17 yards since ... not exactly the kind of three-game stretch people were expecting.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
Ready to rebound?

The light at the end of the tunnel: Percy Harvin sprained his ankle in three places and is unlikely to play in Week 10. Minnesota goes on bye next week.

Harvin has averaged only 10.9 yards per reception this year, which is indicative of Christian Ponder's penchant for checking down. Some of that comes from the incessant use of screen passes going Harvin's way.

No wideout or tight end has been utilized more than Harvin this year, and he checks in as the fifth most targeted receiver in the NFL. Someone has to pick up the slack when a team loses that kind of involvement. Jerome Simpson hasn't proven to be that guy, and we all recognize just how limited Michael Jenkins is, especially at this point in his career.

Insert Rudolph. While he is nowhere near as dangerous or dynamic as Harvin, the athletic tight end is a capable playmaker for fantasy owners. Rudolph's Week 10 opponent, the Detroit Lions, are the 10th worst defense in the league against the position this year, allowing season-long averages of 4.50 receptions, 48.5 yards and 0.50 scores each contest.

Owners in point-per-reception leagues should look to Rudolph, who can be found on 21 percent of waiver wires polled. That isn't encouraging, although those in shallow leagues should check for his availability.

Monitor Harvin's status after their bye week to determine Rudolph's expected fantasy utility in subsequent weeks.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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