Fantasy Football Counterpoint: Why You Should Start Kyle Rudolph over Tyler Kroft

Start Kyle Rudolph

This week my co-worker, Jeff Krisko, suggested that starting Tyler Kroft was the smart fantasy football play.  In our week eight tight end sit or start counterpoint, I’d like to offer a different point of view on Tyler Kroft, once I figure out what that point is.  Frankly, I haven’t even thought about Tyler Kroft for more than five minutes this season.  I didn’t really need to.  The reason for that is because this week I will start Kyle Rudolph.

When I first saw that Jeff was picking Tyler Kroft as the tight end to start, I thought his Kraft Singles line was appropriate.  I found the pick bland.  But the more I looked into Tyler Kroft, the more I realized that I was the one who dropped the ball on this evaluation.

Over the past few weeks, Kroft has established himself as the third receiving option on an offense that has had to throw the football a lot.  Since week four, he is one of five tight ends to average double-digit fantasy points in standard scoring leagues.  Perhaps craziest of all, he is only owned in 45% of fantasy leagues.  At this point, he should be owned in all formats.

There is no doubt that Jeff is on point with recommending Tyler Kroft.  The man has been steadily improving and provides consistency to the very volatile tight end position.  But that doesn’t mean Kroft is the best option to start at tight end. How can he be?  He isn’t playing the Cleveland Browns.  And that is why you should start Kyle Rudolph.

To be fair to the Browns, they have shown improvement in defending the tight end position.  Right now, they only give up the 3rd most fantasy points to tight ends in standard scoring leagues.  Frankly, I don’t buy the improvement.  They are still giving up the most receptions to tight ends.  And by seasons end, they will still be the worst team in football when it comes to defending the tight end.  Also, they will be the worst team in football at everything else.

When you factor in that Kyle Rudolph is averaging 8 targets a game over the past three weeks, it is really hard not to love this matchup.  Rudolph has been getting the looks.  He just hasn’t been getting the touchdowns.  And this week, he gets to play a Cleveland Browns defense that has given up the 3rd most touchdowns to tight ends.

Today I learned that Tyler Kroft is actually a legitimate tight end prospect to start on a weekly basis.  Every day that you learn something new is a good day.  However, this week I am going to stick with the most important lesson I have learned about fantasy football this season.  You should always start the tight end who is playing the Cleveland Browns.  That means this week, you should start Kyle Rudolph.

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