The 2022 NFL season is less than one week from kick off, and with it comes the start of another year of fantasy football. With fantasy draft season in high gear, sharp team managers know the easiest path to a league championship is successfully identifying sleepers in the later rounds who emerge as breakout players.
For the Chicago Bears, that guy might be tight end Cole Kmet.
In The Touchdown Wire’s recent breakdown of one fantasy football sleeper for every team, Kmet got the nod in Chicago.
“A lot has been made of the lack of weapons for quarterback Justin Fields heading into a pivotal Year 2,” Alyssa Barbieri wrote. “Outside of Darnell Mooney, there’s no proven option at wide receiver. Which is why tight end Cole Kmet has the potential to have a breakout year in Chicago. Fields and Kmet have developed a nice rapport this offseason and through the summer, and it’s certainly an under-the-radar connection to monitor this year. With questions surrounding Fields’ supporting cast, the Bears are hoping Kmet can be a reliable target in the middle of the field. As the Bears transition to a new offense, Kmet is one of the players who most serves to benefit from Luke Getsy’s scheme. We caught a glimpse of Kmet’s potential in the passing game this summer, and it’s clear he’s going to be a focal point in this offense.”
Kmet, by default, will be a starting-quality tight end in fantasy football this season. His target total has a chance to rank near the top of the position group in 2022, and if no Bears wide receiver steps up as a complement to Mooney this fall, Kmet could conceivably be Fields’ No. 2 option from Week 1 to Week 18.
It’s that kind of target share that’s critical for tight ends to go from the position’s dead zone to X-factors for fantasy managers. While it’s still way too early to put Cole Kmet in the “Mark Andrews” tier of fantasy football tight ends, his upside in the Bears’ offense makes him an Andrews-lite option in the later rounds of fantasy drafts this weekend.