Dynasty Dilemma: Cole Kmet
By Cody Folden
I will be the first to admit it. I have never been fully “in” on Cole Kmet since the beginning. This doesn’t discredit what Kmet was coming out or the player he is now. There is a lot to like with Cole Kmet the football player. The fantasy football player is a different story. Cole Kmet went to Notre Dame for his college ball and became a 2020 2nd round pick in the draft this year. Running a 4.7 40 and a 1.6 second 10 yard split got me excited for some of the tight ends that came out this year. I understand the hype. The weaknesses he had coming out though were route running abilities like being to upright into brakes and not disguising it well enough, and questionable strength for contested catches. That doesn't even bring up the fact that he was also a very average blocker. Lance Zierlein of nfl.com compared him to Tyler Higbee in his draft profile and it's a very good comparison. The big difference is Higbee has been in an offense that, the type of tight end they are, works.
With three seasons now of statistics, we know what Cole Kmet is going to be. In 2020, 28 rec 243 yards 2 Touchdowns, 2021, 60 receptions 612 yards, 2022, 50 rec 544 yards 7 Touchdowns. Many Kmet owners have excuses for the lack of Tight End fantasy relevance for Cole Kmet including his starting quarterbacks have been Mitchell Trubisky, Andy Dalton, and Justin Fields. Others I have seen that both sets of coaching staffs he has had has been the issue. Cole Kmet is the definition of a dynasty dilemma and here are reasons why you should buy and sell.
A huge reason to buy Cole Kmet is he is still 24 years old. He hasn’t hit his true maturation yet for NFL lifespan. 24 years old and 3 years of NFL experience already is something to be very fond of. He has also been a bill of clean health while in the NFL and we all know that is huge. Being available for your team is always a plus.
The biggest reason why Cole Kmet is a buy is that he really does not have competition behind him. Well, he shouldn’t, ultimately that is up to the coaching staff but when you hear the names that are on the roster behind Cole Kmet you will see why he should be the tight end for 80 - 85% of the time. The tight ends behind Kmet are: Robert Tonyan, Jake Tonges, Stephen Carlson, Chase Allen, and Damien Caffrey (UDFA Stony Brook). With no draft capital put into the position and only one as an undrafted free agent. Tonyan is the only viable option that may take some playing time from Kmet. Tonyan could build some rapport but the only way he takes meaningful reps away from Kmet is if he stays healthy. Which he has shown in recent years, has been a struggle
At the beginning of the article there was a reference to Higbee being in an offense that works for this type of tight end. What I mean by that is Higbee and Kmet are perfect 2000s tight ends. They are athletic enough to make plays when the defense bites on a play fake, occasionally win on a route, and are willing blockers. Unfortunately, as a fantasy community, this tight end doesn’t work very well. We keep trying to find the next Travis Kelce or Tony Gonzalez . Cole Kmet is not it.
This is unfair to Kmet though, compared to some of the greatest tight ends of all time, that is a tall task. Yet, there are managers out there that still believe Kmet can still become this, and this is the biggest reason to sell. The statistics, in this regard, are what they are. With fantasy tight ends being a wasteland he is a viable option. I would still prefer an athletic tight end Evan Engram or Kyle Pitts. Even a slightly more athletic version of tight end Kmet is in Pat Freiermuth I would also take ahead of him. I am not a buyer in Cole Kmet, but I do have shares of him. Find the managers that love Kmet and get everything you can, they will overpay. For me this one is obvious…
Cody Folden joined the Dynasty Pros team in 2023. He plays in many dynasty leagues but dabbles in other leagues like devy, contract, and scouting leagues. He loves to dive deep into learning about prospects coming up through college and seeing them thrive when they get to the league.