Foxy’s Fantasy Forecast – TEs
Cole Kmet (TE ADP Rank: 24)
Coming into year two of Kmet’s career with the Bears, there are high expectations for the former second round pick. Many are expecting the 6’6” Chicago suburb native to take a big step forward in his ability and involvement in the offense. Unfortunately, the Bears are facing the second toughest strength of schedule at the TE position.
While Kmet started last season off playing second fiddle to Jimmy Graham, he came on strong towards the end of the season and showed the potential many were expecting. With his speed and size combination, he should be able to carve out a nice role for himself as a security blanket for his QBs in the red zone and when under pressure. The question will be what his snap split will be with Jimmy Graham down in the red zone as Graham dominated the red zone snaps for the Bears last year pulling in eight TDs last season.
Kmet is currently going undrafted (in leagues not based in Chicago), so you should be able to pick him up off of waivers after the draft. I personally wouldn’t target him in the draft, but think he could be a good spot start in DFS if the matchup is right. We’re going to need to see how he performs in pre-season and the rest of camp before we can see what his real potential is. The jury is still out on his ceiling, but if he can take a big step forward and put up numbers similar to what Graham put up last season, I think he’ll be a TE to look out for in 2022 and beyond.
Jimmy Graham (TE ADP Rank: 39)
To say I wasn’t a fan of the Jimmy Graham singing prior to last season would be an understatement. After his two subpar seasons in Green Bay, I thought he was shot and was looking close to retirement. Last season he proved myself and many others wrong with how much of a weapon he can still be in the red zone by pulling down eight TDs over the course of the season. His Week 16 game against Jacksonville showed he can still play a major role for this offense (4 recs, 69 yds, 2 TDs).
Jimmy Graham has had one of the most prolific careers for a TE in NFL history and is passing along that knowledge and experience to Cole Kmet as they play together. From what I’ve read, they have a great bond which should only help Kmet develop more. It sounds like Graham has really embraced the player/mentor role to Kmet which likely means he’ll continue to cede snaps to Kmet over the course of the upcoming season. That said, he’s still a force in the red zone with his 6’7” size and skills to go up and get balls.
Graham is also going undrafted in all fantasy formats. If anything were to happen to Kmet (God forbid), he’d have an opportunity to see a huge uptick in playing time. Similar to Kmet, I’d only consider him for the occasional DFS lineup and would not use a bench spot on him in any season long fantasy formats. He’s had an awesome career and while I wasn’t thrilled with his signing, I’m thrilled with the way he and Kmet have worked together to sharpen Kmet’s skills to prepare him to take over as a TE1 in the future.
Jesse James, JP Holtz and Jesper Horsted
I put all three of these TEs together because none of them have any fantasy relevance at this point in time and none of them are worth drafting. It is worth noting that Jesse James has been having a great camp and will likely be a solid depth guy (TE3) for the Bears in 2021. He’s gotten a ton of snaps for the Stealers and Lions over his six seasons in the league which can only further help develop Kmet.
Holtz and Horsted will also act as depth guys, but I highly doubt the Bears take more than three or four TEs into the season. It’s unfortunate that one of these two guys (if not both) will likely not make the 53-man roster as those top three spots seem to be locked up by Kmet, Graham and James. Both have had a positive impact in their time with the Bears which we can all appreciate considering where this TE group was just a few years ago.
That said, what the hell was Adam Shaheen (the wannabe “Baby Gronk”) doing trying to mix it up with Kalil Mack at joint practices with the Dolphins??? So glad that blunder of a 2nd round pick is no longer on the roster. Hands down one of Pace’s worst picks in his time as Bears GM, but that’s a discussion for another day.