Cole Kmet may just be the next great dynasty TE. The former 2nd round pick out of Notre Dame is in line for a massive uptick in targets and the percentage of red zone looks. These two elements, combined with the lack of quality WRs on the Chicago Bears roster, point towards a massive opportunity as the former pitcher heads into his 3rd season. I want to take a quick look at this player and his breakout potential for the Chicago Bears and your dynasty squads.
As mentioned above, Cole Kmet is a former 2nd round draft pick. The Chicago Bears took him with the 43rd pick of the 2020 draft. He was the top TE in his class and a dual-sport athlete to boot, having also played baseball for the Fighting Irish. Kmet tested relatively well at the NFL combine and offered an intriguing skill set as a 3-down TE. Unlike some other recently highly drafted TEs, such as Evan Engram, Cole Kmet was an excellent blocker and an explosive component of the passing game. You can see his athletic profile below.
Since being drafted, Cole Kmet has shown steady improvement for the Bears. From year one to year two, he drastically improved in all areas except one, touchdowns. There was a very understandable reason for Kmet’s lack of productivity in the red zone over his first two seasons in the Windy City. That reason is legendary TE Jimmy Graham. The previous coaching staff under Matt Nagy insisted on inserting the future HOF candidate into the lineup whenever they got inside the 20. Like an RB who only plays between the 20s, this will put a cap on your fantasy value. Fast forward to 2022, Matt Nagy and Jimmy Graham are out the door. With both of these impediments out of the way, Kmet has ample opportunity to improve his respectable career numbers again, which you can see below.
Receiving & Rushing TableGamesReceivingRushingTotal Yds
When you look at the best fantasy TEs in NFL and dynasty football, for that matter, they are all top 2 receiving options on their teams—with the exception of Dalton Schultz, every one of the top 5 TEs last season played on a team with only one WR in the top 24 PPR points. Heading into the 2022 season, the Chicago Bears have one of the weakest WR rooms in the entire NFL. As it currently stands, Darnell Mooney is the only WR with a season with over 600 receiving yards.
The Chicago Bears will almost certainly select a WR with one of their earlier picks in the upcoming NFL draft. However, the history of the NFL is rife with tales of rookies who never lived up to their potential. Cole Kmet is a known quantity in the Chicago Bears locker room. Even if the coaching staff isn’t overly familiar with their developing TE, you can be damn sure his QB knows who he is. Kmet was the second leading pass catcher last season, coming in behind Mooney in both catches and yards. With a solid set of hands and enough juice in the open field to make defenders pay, I expect an awful lot of plays like the ones you see below.
I’m looking forward to seeing Cole Kmet in Year 2 for the #Bears.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) June 27, 2021
His snaps and targets picked up near the end of last year, and tight ends typically take big leaps after their rookie year. Kmet could step into a bigger role in 2021. pic.twitter.com/amg55zNqlt
The Chicago Bears have brought in former Green Bay QB Coach Luke Getsy as their new offensive coordinator. The former University of Akron QB will bring a version of the Shanahan offensive scheme with him. One of the central tenants of these schemes is a reliance on the TE position as an intricate part of the passing game. Unlike a Mike Martz style scheme where TEs are used primarily as blockers, the disciples of Mike Shanahan and his son Kyle heavily feature the TE. Some of the best TEs in recent NFL history have come from this offensive tree. Names like Shannon Sharpe, Jordan Reed, and George Kittle have thrived in this system. Closer to hand, Green Bay TE Robert Tonyan enjoyed a breakout two seasons ago before suffering a major knee injury last year. Cole Kmet will play the same role that has made numerous stars across multiple teams.
Cole Kmet is a perfect target for your dynasty squads heading into 2022. He has everything you want in a quality TE. Kmet has draft pedigree, steady development, a lack of competition for targets, and the trust of his QB. He is a big and athletic player to boot sporting a legit two-sport profile coming out of college. Barring some unforeseen trade, the Chicago Bears seem poised to go into the 2022 season with one of the least accomplished WR rooms in the entire NFL. Heading into next season, Kmet has more career yards and catches than anyone on the roster aside from Darnell Mooney and David Montgomery. According to @FFCalculator, Kmet was the 1st TE in NFL history to see 90+ targets and NOT score a TD. Positive TD regression is a near guarantee.
Opportunity is necessary to create production. Cole Kmet is looking a massive opportunity squarely in the eyes heading into next season. Traditionally speaking, TEs take at least three seasons to develop before we see a sizable jump. 2022 will be that all-important year for Kmet. Also in his favor is the fact that as the Bears seek to rebuild their team, they will be trailing in a bunch of games next season.
If Kmet maintains his no.2 role on the offense, which I expect he will, his production will skyrocket. The departure of Jimmy Graham will also lead to additional targets in the red zone. Last season Kmet finished as TE 20 in your PPR leagues. If he can secure the 8 TDs, Jimmy Graham scored in 2020. He will skyrocket into the top 10 TE scorers. I am confident giving up a mid-2nd, especially in your TE premium leagues, for the former Fighting Irish star. Do yourself a favor and acquire Cole Kmet on the quiet before the NFL draft. I promise you will be happy with the result.
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