Two must-draft fantasy football players on the Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Cole Kmet
Chicago Bears – Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Must-draft fantasy football player on Chicago Bears: Cole Kmet, TE

Last year I dropped an article on Bear Goggles On calling Cole Kmet a potential fantasy football TE breakout for the year. Reflecting on that I do believe Kmet made some positive strides in year two but also think I was a year early on the breakout call.

Cole Kmet’s 2021 stats over 2020:

  • +49 in targets (93)
  • +32 in receptions (60)
  • +369 in receiving yards (612).

Comparing Kmet vs. the tight end position in general, he was a Top 12 TE in targets, deep targets, air yards, receptions, and receiving yards operating a ton (#5 for TEs) in the slot. The asterisk was the zero in the TD category — despite having 15 red zone targets. This resulted in a TE21 overall finish with seven PPG, which is an improvement from year one to year two but not necessarily a breakout. The breakout is coming.

What do TEs Travis Kelce (Chiefs), Mark Andrews (Ravens), and Kyle Pitts (Falcons) all have in common with Cole Kmet heading into 2022? The opportunity to be their team’s second receiving option in their offense. There are several categories you can identify and prioritize for the TE position in fantasy football, but the number one for me is the consistency in target volume which stems from having a role of high importance in their offense.

High target volume leads to receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns which equal solid fantasy points. Just some quick math. Looking at the Bears’ receiving options for 2022 (previously outlined), I do believe there is the true potential for Darnell Mooney to be option one for target share and Cole Kmet to be option two which relates him to the elite three options mentioned.

Cole Kmet is currently being drafted as the TE13 for fantasy football heading into 2022, and my spicy ranking for him is TE9. Last year we saw some high TE weekly finishes (Weeks 9, 12, and 15 were all top-10 TE weeks), nearly 100 targets, and an improvement in the receiving yards department. The receiving yards should continue to build on an individual week basis (Week 9, 12, and 15 he ranged from 65-87 receiving yards).

I am projecting Kmet to have over 100 targets in 2022, and with solid volume, the TDs will come. If I am not spending high draft capital (both Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews go as top-25 picks) at the TE position, I believe Cole Kmet can be a great target being drafted outside the top 12 who can finish inside the top 10 for 2022.