Fantasy Football 2014 Breakout Player: No. 5 Kyle Rudolph
Coaching changes are a huge deal when it comes to NFL teams, its players and of course your fantasy football team. Sometimes players have coaches that see something in a guy and just pull out the best in that player. Other times players will get a coach who has a differently philosophy about how their offense will run and that player just doesn’t fit the mold of what that coach is looking for at that moment. For our No. 5 fantasy player to break out in 2014, a coaching change will do him a world of good and that player is Kyle Rudolph.
When one thinks about top-tier fantasy football tight ends they think of Rob Growkowski, Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis. These guys not only put up the yards but can score you double-digit touchdowns in a season. Last season, a new man went to the top of that list and his name was Jordan Cameron of the Cleveland Browns. When Cameron actually had a quarterback to throw him the football he was a beast! He recorded 917 yards receiving and caught seven touchdown passes. This would have been much more if the Browns could have figured out their quarterback situation and gotten him the football.
The reason for mentioning Jordan Cameron is because there is a connection between him and Kyle Rudolph. In 2013, Cameron had Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator. In the offseason, Turner was signed by the Minnesota Vikings to be their offensive coordinator. This will be huge for the impact Kyle Rudolph will have for the Vikings. Everywhere Turner has gone, the tight ends that he has coached have gone on to have huge seasons (i.e. Antonio Gates, Jordan Cameron, of course Jay Novacek). All of these tight ends have been great weapons for their teams, and Rudolph is in line to be the next guy in line.
Rudolph is not unfamiliar with catching touchdowns. In 2012 he had nine touchdowns and went to the only Pro Bowl appearance of his career. Injuries cut his 2013 season short which of course hurt his fantasy value.
Rudolph plays for a team that has one of the best running backs in the NFL in Adrian Peterson. When any team plays the Vikings, it is their game plan to stop Peterson. If Peterson is healthy, Rudolph would be an excellent target in the red zone. Don’t look for Rudolph to be the yardage guy that Jimmy Graham is, but I can see Rudolph catching ten touchdowns or more in the 2014 season. He is definitely a player you can grab later in your fantasy draft and have him start for you the entire season. Please keep an eye on him in the offseason, especially with Rob Gronkowski probably out for most of the 2014 season.