2021 Fantasy Football Sleeper - TE Cole Kmet
2021 Sleeper: Cole Kmet
The 2nd year TE out of Notre Dame could be an intriguing later round option at TE. Last year, Kmet had 28 receptions for 243 yards and 2 TD’s on 44 targets. Not great, but first year TE’s rarely have good rookie season’s due to the time it takes for TE’s to develop in the NFL. It also doesn’t help that the Bears were the 11th worst passing offense last season with only 228 passing yards/game. Fortunately for Kmet and the Bears, they drafted Justin Fields with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. They also brought in Andy Dalton, but the “Red Rifle” isn’t anything to get excited over (Cowboys fans know this). Justin Fields has the ability to improve this offense greatly, and I see him starting sooner rather than later. Looking at last season, Kmet began as the TE2 behind Jimmy Graham. This showed on the field as Kmet only had 14 targets through his first 9 games (1.55/gm). This number skyrocketed to 28 targets over his last 5 games (5.6/gm). Jimmy Graham had 5.5/gm and 3/gm in these same spans. Going off of these numbers, it is apparent that the Bears are ready for Kmet to be the starting TE heading into 2021. Graham will still steal some targets here and there, but I believe Kmet is the more talented TE at this point in their respective careers.
Coming out of Notre Dame, Kmet was regarded as the top TE in 2020 draft and was the first TE drafted (2nd round). He’s 6’6”, 260 lbs and ran a 4.7 40-yard dash. In his final year at Notre Dame, he finished with 43 receptions for 515 yards and 6 TDs in 10 games. This was with Ian Book at QB and don’t forget Chase Claypool on the outside. The Bears are looking to make changes to their bottom 10 offense, as we saw with them drafting Fields. I think we will see more Kmet this season, as he could be in for a 60-80 target season. If we combine his profile along with his 2nd round draft capital, we are looking at a player poised to make some noise this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kmet finished as a high end TE2 or low end TE1, depending on league size. He’s someone you can get for rather cheap as he’s currently being drafted around the TE25.