I’ve been doing this series of free dynasty profiles on 2020 rookies. I love the dynasty profile format, as it provides quick-hitting information in a short and digestible form. My previous work in this series is all found in links at the bottom of the page. Let’s jump straight into my next entry, Cole Kmet.
Kmet had a solid three-year career at Notre Dame. He didn’t produce much in receiving stats in his first two seasons, though, totaling just 17 receptions for 176 yards. However, in his junior season, Kmet had 43 catches for 515 yards and six touchdowns. That season put Kmet squarely on the radar of NFL scouts, especially from Notre Dame, a school not known for producing strong receiving talent.
The 2020 tight end class was an extremely weak group. Therefore, Kmet decided to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft, expecting to be an early pick given the class’s lack of competition. Kmet was the first tight end selected, as the Bears picked him with the 43rd overall pick.
Considering that Kmet only turned 21 years old in March 2020, he was a young prospect. Most analysts expected Kmet to sit for most of his rookie year behind veteran Jimmy Graham, causing him to fall to at least the round in dynasty rookie drafts. I even saw Kmet go in the fourth round in some non-TE-premium leagues. The 2020 tight end draft class was labeled an afterthought for so long, which may have contributed to Kmet’s slide.
In Weeks 1-9, Kmet lived up to dynasty owners’ expectations. He played as the Bears’ clear TE2 behind Graham, and he only had six receptions on eight targets for 79 yards and a touchdown in those nine games. Kmet beat out most rookie tight ends in terms of playing time, although Graham stole the spotlight in receiving stats. Graham had 35 receptions for 302 yards and five touchdowns, demonstrating that the Bears’ tight end could have value in Matt Nagy’s offense.
However, after Week 9, Kmet suddenly took over the lion’s share of snaps. He played 70% or more of the snaps in every game from Week 10 forward, and he outsnapped Graham in each game. Kmet only had a modest 22 receptions on 36 targets for 174 yards and a touchdown over the final seven games, slightly edging out Graham’s production. But, Kmet’s increased playing time was the most important story, especially for those dynasty owners who spent a rookie pick on him.
Here are Kmet’s final rookie year stats.
|Year||Games||Targets||Receptions||Yards||TDs||Fantasy Finish||Fantasy PPG||PPG Rank|
Kmet is one of my favorite dynasty buys at the tight end position. Right now, I rank him as my TE15, but he has plenty of room to grow in value. The Bears can release Graham before the 2021 season, saving $7 million in cap space with only $3 million in dead cap. Clearly, the Bears moved to Kmet as their every-down tight end near the end of the season. Therefore, if they release Graham, I will have full confidence in Kmet’s every-down role for 2021.
I could easily see myself ranking Kmet as a borderline TE1 if the Bears release Graham and get a quarterback upgrade from the horrible duo of Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky. Tight ends typically break out around 25 years old, and Kmet held down a starter’s role at 21. He has good draft capital, and the Bears also might lose target hog Allen Robinson, leaving more targets for Kmet. If Kmet is a top-five tight end this time next year, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. Acquire him now while he’s still cheap.
Thanks for reading this article. You can find me on Twitter at @DFF_Karp. I love to interact with anyone in the community, so reach out at any time! I take fantasy questions and help with all formats, so keep sending those questions my way.