Things seemed so different as we were finishing up the magazine last week. Contract-year tight end Kyle Rudolph was likely headed out of Minnesota, maybe by trade or release, freeing up second-rounder Irv Smith to have sleeper potential at tight end. Well, nope.

The Vikings and Rudolph agreed on a four-year, $36 million extension that will keep the 29-year-old in Minnesota. Scratch Smith off the potential starters at tight end list, and put aside those dreams of Rudolph being dealt to New England or Oakland. He'll be in Minnesota this season and perhaps the next several.

Rudolph had some injury issues earlier in his career, but has now played all 16 games four years in a row. He's averaged 63 catches and 6 TDs in those seasons. He's been a top-15 fantasy tight end in each of them (1 point for 10 yards and 6 for touchdowns) -- 4th, 7th, 9th and 14th.

2018Travis Kelce103133610193.61
2015Rob Gronkowski72117611183.61
2018George Kittle8813775170.72
2018Zach Ertz11611638164.33
2015Jordan Reed8795211161.22
2017Rob Gronkowski6910848158.41
2015Gary Barnidge7910439158.33
2018Eric Ebron6675014158.24
2017Travis Kelce8310388152.52
2015Greg Olsen7711047152.44
2015Delanie Walker9410886146.85
2015Tyler Eifert5261513139.56
2016Travis Kelce8511254138.51
2017Zach Ertz748248130.43
2016Jimmy Graham659236128.32
2016Greg Olsen8010733127.33
2016Kyle Rudolph838407126.04
2018Jared Cook688966125.65
2016Delanie Walker658007122.05
2015Travis Kelce728755121.57
2015Benjamin Watson748256118.58
2017Jimmy Graham57520101144
2016Cameron Brate576608114.06
2016Martellus Bennett557017112.17
2017Evan Engram647226109.65
2016Zach Ertz788164105.68
2016Jordan Reed666866104.69
2017Delanie Walker748074104.56
2017Kyle Rudolph575328101.27
2015Richard Rodgers585108101.09
2015Zach Ertz75853297.310
2016Antonio Gates53548796.810
2016Hunter Henry36478895.811
2018Trey Burton54569695.16
2017Cameron Brate48591695.18
2017Jack Doyle806904939
2015Antonio Gates56630593.011
2018Austin Hooper716604927
2015Jason Witten77713389.312
2016Jack Doyle59584588.412
2018David Njoku56639487.98
2018Kyle Rudolph64634487.49
2016Coby Fleener50631487.113
2018O.J. Howard34565586.510
2018Rob Gronkowski47682386.211
2017Jason Witten6356058610
2016Jason Witten69673385.314
2018Vance McDonald5061048512
2016Dennis Pitta86729284.915
2015Eric Ebron47537583.713
2016Eric Ebron61711283.116
2017Vernon Davis43648382.811
2017Tyler Kroft42404782.412
2017Hunter Henry45579481.913
2017Eric Ebron53574481.414
2018Evan Engram45577381.313
2017Jared Cook54688280.815
2016C.J. Fiedorowicz54559479.917
2015Kyle Rudolph49495579.514

Minnesota fired its offensive coordinator with just three games left last season, but it looks like Rudolph's role will be secure in the new system. His best game last year came in Week 16, when he caught 9 passes for 122 yards and 2 TDs at Detroit. In those three games he caught a quarter of his passes on the season (16) and half his touchdowns (2).

Those hoping New England trades for a veteran tight end will need to look elsewhere. Those hoping Irv Smith will be fantasy viable will need an injury, or to be patient.

--Andy Richardson