Remains crucial to team Rudolph should retain a key role in the Minnesota offense even if fellow tight end Irv Smith becomes more involved in the passing game, Andrew Krammer of The Star Tribune reports.
Impact For the majority of last season, it was Rudolph handling a three-down role and Smith relying on multi-TE formations for his snaps. But by the time the playoffs rolled around, both guys were getting snaps in 11 personnel (one RB, one TE, three WRs), with the rookie sometimes replacing Rudolph in passing situations. The trend could shift even more in Smith's favor this season, with the 22-year-old bringing an element of speed and explosiveness that Rudolph can't match. In any case, the older tight end only saw 48 targets last season, Rudolph's fewest in a healthy campaign since he was a rookie back in 2011. Smith is the one with upside for fantasy purposes, though it's possible neither tight end sees enough targets to make a real dent.
AUGUST 18 • ROTOWIRE