2020 Fantasy Football: Let Someone Else Draft Cole Kmet

Rookie TEs rarely pan out, but Cole Kmet has all the chips stacked against him in a crowded depth chart as part of an inefficient offense.
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The Chicago Bears drafted Cole Kmet, the consensus top tight end, in the 2020 NFL Draft. Out of Notre Dame, Kmet went in the second round on Friday night. Chicago hopes he can be everything Trey Burton wasn’t with the team, and that may be a tall order. If you’re reading this waiting for me to get excited about this fantasy prospect, prepare yourself for disappointment (somebody CC this article to the Bears management).

Kmet wasn’t a second-round talent; he just so happens to be the best tight end in a bad class. This class may have been worse than the 2015 class led by clear-cut top tight end Maxx Williams. At this point, he looks like an overvalued necessity pick landing in a less than ideal situation. On top of that, all things equal, I don’t even think he's the best fantasy tight end prospect in this draft. The tight end with the highest fantasy upside is Albert Okwuegbunam.

We find Kmet landing in Chicago where to say the tight end depth chart is crowded would be an understatement. After drafting him, they now have ten on the roster. No, that is not a typo; they have ten tight ends. On a roster muddled with mediocre tight ends, I’m not even sure Kmet is one of the best on the roster. The Bears signed Jimmy Graham to a two-year, $16 million deal, which should show you their prowess when it comes to evaluating tight end talent, and Demetrius Harris in free agency. Don’t get me wrong, Kmet more than has the potential to be the best of this bunch, but that's not saying much.

There is nothing about Matt Nagy's offense that has proven tight ends should thrive in it, and the quarterback situation is a nightmare. You either run Mitch Trubisky out there who you could make a case for being the worst starter in the league or Nick Foles, who has been mostly useless everywhere but Philadelphia for one magical postseason. Even when he was in Philly, star tight end Zach Ertz saw a significant drop in production when he was in the game. Despite seeing similar targets (9.6 per game from Carson Wentz and 9.3 per game from Foles), Ertz racked up 7.5 catches per game for 79.5 yards with Wentz as opposed to just 6.3 catches per game for 55.9 yards from Foles. With that, Foles is the much better option and clear-cut favorite to start for Chicago this year.

Even excellent tight end prospects struggle as rookies, so you should expect almost nothing out of Kmet this year. So the only hope is his dynasty value. That’s hard to gauge from a situational perspective because the odds are his coach and long-term quarterback aren’t currently signed to the team. From a pure talent standpoint, I don't see him as much more than a low-upside chain mover. Could he develop into a big tight end that can be a reliable check down guy and catch touchdowns? Sure. Does he have game-breaking ability like any of the top fantasy tight ends? Not at all.

If you’re a dynasty owner and want to take a flier on Kmet in a rookie draft, I can't blame you. Just temper your expectations and don’t expect anything in the immediate future. He’s not a special talent, and he didn't land in a great situation. I would be shocked if he becomes a fantasy TE1 at any point in the near future, and I'm not optimistic about his long-term ceiling.


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