Dynasty football is a competition. One of the best ways to get an advantage over your opponents in today’s dynasty environment is to have a high-end TE. There are very few players in the position that are true difference makers. The current upper echelon of the position is littered with players hovering around or over 30 years of age. These titans of fantasy will not last forever.
It is incumbent upon us in the dynasty community to scout that next generation of playmakers. The 2023 draft class is littered with high-end prospects. However, a couple of players have been drafted within the last several years and are on the cusp of taking that next step. Chicago Bears TE Cole Kmet is one of those players. In this article, I would like to examine the potential for a true breakout by the fourth-year pro and detail is cost and value to your squads. Let’s dive into the Chicago Bears’ starting TE without further ado.
Kmet came to the Chicago Bears via Notre Dame University. The former Fighting Irish star was a multi-sport athlete at South Bend. The kid from Lake Barrington, Illinois, was a highly touted pitcher and a star TE on the football team. 247sports.com rated him as a 4-star prospect and the TE3 in his national class. He had several choices for his college career, including Iowa, Baylor, and Kentucky. He eventually chose to stay closer to home at Notre Dame.
In the early days, he struggled to find his footing on the football field while enjoying much more success as a relief pitcher. However, after suffering several injuries as a pitcher, he decided to leave baseball behind and focus solely on his football activities. As a result, Kmet blossomed into one of the top TEs in the nation, putting up over 500 yards and six TDs. You can see his college stats below.
On the heels of his breakout campaign, young Kmet decided to forgo his remaining eligibility and enter the NFL draft. Some at Sout Bend wondered what might have been had the former two-sport athlete returned for just one more season. You can see from his highlights below why they were so sad to lose this high-end prospect.
Cole went on to dominate the NFL combine. He tested near the top of every measurement for the TE position. In particular, the 6’6″ giant tested particularly well in the exploding department. His vertical and broad jumps were safely in the upper echelon for his position. Most analysts were pleased enough with his performance to anoint him the top TE in his class essentially. You can find his measurements below.
On the heels of his impressive combine showing, the Chicago Bears brought the kid from Illinois back home to his childhood favorite franchise. It seems to happen rarely, but for Kmet, he was indeed picked by his childhood team. He would go on to describe to the media how he harbored a deep seeded hatred for the rival Green Bay Packers and how it was a dream come true to suit up for the Bears.
Cole Kmet grew up a Bears fan, and his family is thrilled he’ll be even closer to home than South Bend, Ind.— Chicago Tribune Sports (@ChicagoSports) April 25, 2020
His favorite Bears player growing up? “When I really started to play tight end, it was Greg Olsen for a little bit before they traded him.”https://t.co/nn7l8N0Zlb
The Chicago Bears drafted Kmet with an eye toward him being a dominant force in the passing and running game. His initial season saw him flash immense potential late in the season. He would back that up by increasing his yardage and catches more than double in his sophomore campaign. The only trouble there was he scored zero TDs. That was a huge disappointment for Bear’s fans and Kmet dynasty managers alike.
Following the 2021 season, the Chicago Bears fired Head Coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace. The arrival of new GM Ryan Poles and HC Matt Ebrerflus left some wondering if Kmet would remain part of the long-term plans for the franchise. That said, Kmet knuckled down and left an overwhelmingly positive impression on the new regime. His catches and yardage were down slightly, but his TD production exploded to a career-high seven scores while improving his YPC.
Following his first year under his new staff, the Bears front office announced that resigning the star TE would be a priority for the team ahead of his last season under contract.
#Bears TE Cole Kmet is the most likely to receive a contract extension from the team this offseason with one year remaining on his rookie deal: “I thought he elevated his game from the film that I watched last year to what it was this year,” general manager Ryan Poles said.— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) February 9, 2023
In 2022, Kmet operated as a safety valve for starting QB Justin Fields. Whenever the uber-talented Bears signal caller got himself into trouble that his legs couldn’t extricate him from, he looked for big #85. Of particular note is that the seven TDs Kmet scored last season came in the last ten games. Fields became more comfortable with his top TE as the season went on.
Kmet displayed an amazing soft set of hands and an absolute nose for the endzone. You can catch a couple of his more impressive scores below.
Cole Kmet TDs— Mojo Markets (@mojo) November 13, 2022
2021 – Week 7: 0
Week 8 – 10: 4
Heading into 2023, Kmet has his career on the line. The extension that GM Ryan Poles mentioned earlier in the offseason has not materialized to date. Kmet may get a deal done ahead of his fourth season in Chicago. It is also possible that Poles forces Kmet to earn his money and show continued improvement in the system.
With the addition of new alpha receiver DJ Moore to the squad, Kmet could see a reduction in his overall looks. However, I do not believe this will be the case. In the back half of 2022, Kmet and Fields displayed an ever-increasing connection that I believe the QB will nurture going into 2023. A receiving room consisting of Moore, Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool, and Velus Jones will stress defenses and open up the middle of the field for Kmet to ply his trade. I anticipate he will finish with a stat line around 60/700/8, making him a TE1 for fantasy purposes.
Several factors make Kmet an appealing target for your dynasty squads. He is young, tied to an ascending QB, and has displayed incremental progress in every season in the league. However, this player’s price is another appealing aspect relative to his competition.
When reviewing the Dynasty Nerds Trade Browser, you will find some nice deals on Kmet. I have seen multiple trades go down within the past couple of weeks where Kmet goes for as little as a third-round rookie pick. That is insanely good value, even in a Non-TE Premium league. To score a 24-year-old player with top-ten upside at his position for a third-round pick is a grand-slam home run of Babe Ruth proportions. He is the same age as the highly touted incoming rookie Dalton Kincaid and only one year older than fellow rookie Sam LaPorta.
If your league mates are this low on Kmet, I highly recommend you test the waters in your league. It is tough to find a player like this at that type of price point. His current ADP finds him behind numerous rookies, including Luke Musgrave, Sam LaPorta, Michael Mayer, and Dalton Kincaid. I would personally take him over two, if not three, of these rookies and could even make an argument for taking him ahead of all three of them.
As I have said before, playing Dynasty Fantasy Football is much like playing the stock market. It is all about buying and selling players at the right time to allow them to help your portfolio, i.e., championship aspirations, and selling them off at a handsome profit. Kmet seems like that stock that is primed for a huge run on the bull market. He should easily see his price rise from the comically low deals he is currently going for on the open market. He will likely outproduce every one of the rookie TEs from the 2023 class. Do yourself a favor and grab as many shares of Cole Kmet as possible. I promise you will be happy with the returns this time next year.
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