Justin Fields and Fantasy, More For Mooney, Dome on Lambeau? And Other Bears Bullets

bears wr Darnell mooney
bears wr Darnell mooney

I woke up today clinging to a 7.1-point lead in my head-to-head fantasy baseball matchup. You can throw out the record books when Trader Lu and Dirtbags get together. And while I would usually find myself obsessing and refreshing until the end of today’s games, I’ve got some other plans that will keep me busy. Happy Sunday. There aren’t too many of these left that won’t feature some football fun.

  • At some point, I’ll dive into fantasy football. But for now, I’m only dipping my toes in the waters. Even still … I see this tweet did some waves:
  • Should I be surprised that Bears fans are ready to support Justin Fields? No. Am I surprised that they’re willing to back him from a fantasy standpoint? I shouldn’t be. Bears fans are thirsting for a quarterback who they can rally around and root for — both on the field and in their fantasy lineups. For what it’s worth, Fields has the potential to satisfy both parties. As PFF’s Ian Hartitz points out, Fields has the potential to be a high-end dual-threat fantasy quarterback. And with good reason.
  • If the Bears are set to lose more than they win (as the projections currently hint), then Chicago’s football team will be playing plenty of catch-up. If they’re playing from behind, it should give Fields opportunities to rack up stats. That’ll help fantasy teams, to be sure. But where some might see fantasy upside, I also see the increase in reps as opportunities for teachable moments. More reps gives Fields time to try some things, take some risks, and learn the limitations he might have as a QB. So, yeah, this might come with interceptions and fumbles from time-to-time. But so long as your fantasy team doesn’t hinge on Fields’ success, I’d roll the dice on him as a fantasy QB, too.
  • After struggling in 2020 on the fantasy football front, I didn’t want to put any of my bad mojo on Fields in 2021. Which means I totally missed this, via Fantasy Pros:
  • “Fields finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in his lat four full games in 2021, averaging 21.7 fantasy points per game. He also averaged 56 rushing yards per game over his lat six. All in all, Fields’ averaged 35 rushing yards per game during his rookie season. The last three rookie QBs to do so? (Cam) Newton, Josh Allen and Robert Griffin III. They all finished as top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in their second seasons, with the two former QBs finishing in the top-6.”

  • There are Bears all over this ESPN fantasy football look-ahead piece. ESPN’s Joe Kaiser lists Fields as his QB sleeper in 2022. Teammate Field Yates writes about Fields’ No. 1 target Darnell Mooney that the third-year receiver “has already stated his case as a budding star” while noting Chicago’s WR1 finished the top 20 in both receptions and receiving yards last year. Cole Kmet has Matt Bowen’s attention over at ESPN, landing as his sleeper tight end choice. Bowen envisions a potential breakout for Kmet with Jimmy Graham out of the picture. If Kmet gets Graham’s workload, there is potential he ends up as a fringe TE1.
  • Wait … are the Bears a fantasy sleeper? And is Fields ready to lead that charge? Hmmm…
  • My fearless prediction for 2022 is that Darnell Mooney will top his 2021 production. But what say you?
  • Running back situations being fluid as they are keep me from wanting to double down on buying David Montgomery in 2022. Don’t get me wrong. I still believe in Montgomery as a lead back. But I wonder if the additions of Darrynton Evans and Trestan Ebner (as well as the presence of Khalil Herbert) will limit some of the volume we’re used to Montgomery getting out of the backfield. Then again, we saw AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones both play roles as fantasy-relevant backs in 2021 in Green Bay. And even though former Packers QBs coach/current Bears Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy’s scheme is a big unknown going into this season, I wouldn’t mind seeing some of this coming out of the Bears backfield:
  • And I’d also like to see fewer missed tackles like the one we saw above.
  • Another day, another piece (this time from B/R’s Alex Ballentine) underscoring the failures of the Bears’ rebuilding efforts. To be fair, the Bears aren’t the only team Ballentine sees as failing its rebuilding plan. But it’s not fun seeing the Bears on a list with the Panthers, Texans, and Jaguars. I’m not sure what the Saints are doing on this list. New Orleans still has offensive firepower and is equipped with a top-12 defense. But to each their own when it comes to analyzing team building.
  • It bugs me that first-year GM Ryan Poles didn’t do enough to bolster what was a woeful offense last year. Then again, imagine the alternative of being the Jaguars where you still land on this list even after throwing wads of cash at Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Evan Engram. Tough scene.
  • To be clear, I realize the new regime’s limitations. But I believe we can all agree that more could’ve been done. Of course, every team can probably say that to some extent. But follow me for a moment. For instance, more resources should’ve been poured into the offensive line. This isn’t to say I didn’t like the Bears’ attack a problem with volume via the draft plan, as I think that is a fine way to find usable depth. Heck, it might even unearth a starter. But it feels obvious that the Bears are closer to the start of the turnaround than they are to the end. Which isn’t why I’m not freaking out about what this offseason didn’t accomplish. Let’s keep it real with each other. The Bears weren’t plugging all those holes in one offseason.
  • No wonder teams were hoping Tyler Linderbaum would drop into Round 2:
  • I’m glad sanity won out here:
  • Imagine a dome on Lambeau Field? No thanks. What’s next? A roof on Wrigley Field? Fenway? C’mon, now. Some games are just meant to be played in historic venues and out in the elements.
  • The Rays and A’s found themselves kicking off MLB trade season with a swap that sent catcher Christian Bethancourt from Oakland to Tampa Bay. It isn’t a sizable deal. But with the Cubs potentially being on the brink of trading Willson Contreras before August’s trade deadline, moves other teams make for catchers could ultimately impact Chicago’s plans.
  • I’ve been hankering for some fried chicken, so I’m glad to have stumbled upon this pickle brine chicken recipe from Jim Cooks Food Good. Hopefully, I’ll give myself enough time to cook it — either later today or sometime this week.
  • written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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