2022 Bears Fantasy Football Preview: Is there enough here for Justin Fields to live up to his potential?

The Bears dumped Matt Nagy after another disappointing season, but it’s fair to wonder if the problem here is as much about training as the lack of offensive talent. Losing Allen Robinson without an obvious replacement doesn’t help, and puts a lot of pressure on Fields to launch an attack he may not be prepared for. On the other hand, his skill set is very Fantasy fantasy if they can make use of it.

2021 revision

register: 6-11 (26)
PPG: 18.3 (27)
YPG: 307.4 (24)
YPG pass: 188.6 (30)
YPG Rush: 118.7 (14)
Babbage: 31.9 (23)
Rabigh: 27.9 (11)

2021 end of fantasy

QB: Justin Fields QB31, Andy Dalton * QB33
RB: David Montgomery RB19
WR: Darnell Money WR23, Allen Robinson * WR84
TE: COOL MEET TE21
*No longer with the team

Number to know: 67

The Bears ran 67 reading options last season, according to ProFootballFocus.com, an unavoidably low number for a team with Justin Fields as the primary quarterback. They’ve also made 64 runs of the run/pass option, which is quite a few for a player with Fields’ skill set and limitations. Fields were often left either to fall back in traditional passing situations or to place the ball in designed trajectories which got the defense into the call of play early enough to put it down.

New offensive coordinator Luke Getsy joins the Bears after he was the Packers passer-play coordinator, and that provides reasons for optimism. The Packers placed fifth in the league in playing running/passing options last season with 139, so I would expect that to be a larger part of attacking, putting Fields in more accessible positions to either pick up yards with legs or easily completes. I also suppose we’ll see more creativity in how it’s used in the running game, and that’s not entirely out of the question, it takes a similar leap to what Jalen Hurts did last season – which is inconsistent, but often very effective Fantasy QB makes up for About the lack of weapons in a scrolling game with a rushed, high-volume production. This is hope at least.

2021 offseason

Draft Choices

2. (39) Kyler Gordon, CB
2. (48) Jakuan Presker, SAF
3. (71) Velus Jones, WR
5. (168) Braxton-Jones, OL
5. (174) Dominic Robinson, D
6. (186) Zachary Thomas, OL
6. (203) Tristan Ebner, R.B
6. (207) Doug Kramer, OL
7. (226) Gaiety Carter OL
7. (254) Elijah Hicks, SAF
7. (255) Trenton Gill, p.

Additions

OL Lucas Patrick, WR Byron Pringle, LP Nicholas Morrow, Equinimus Saint Brown, DT Justin Jones, RB Darrenton Evans

Major losses

LB Khalil Mack, WR Allen Robinson, DT Eddie Goldman, RB Tarik Cohen, LB Danny Trevathan

Opportunities available

40 loads, 23 RB targets, 159 WR targets, 31 TE . targets

2022 preview

ranking

Chris Towers Predictions

QB Justin Fields PA: 556, YD: 3894, TD: 22, Inter: 14; Rush – ATT: 117, YD: 526, TD: 7
RB David Montgomery Vehicle: 257, YD: 1029, TD: 9, TAR: 67, REC: 55, YD: 394, TD: 2
RB Khalil Herbert Vehicle: 70, YD: 302, TD: 3, Rating: 22, Scoring: 20, YD: 134, TD: 1
WR Darnell Money TAR: 124, REC: 75, YD: 1025, TD: 6
WR Philos Jones Jr. TAR: 65, REC: 42, YD: 535, TD: 3
WR Byron Pringle TAR: 76, REC: 44, YD: 572, TD: 4
TE Cole qumt TAR: 111, REC: 72, YD: 732, TD: 5

biggest question

Is Justin Fields ready to take the leap?

The Bears were frustratingly unprepared to cash in on Fields’ greatest gift, and athletic performance, early last season, and offense faltered as a result. Of course, Fields only had seven passing touchdowns to 10 interceptions, so his mediocre passing production was a problem in itself. Even if Fields are used more consistently as a runner as they should, the receiving corps led by Darnell Mooney, Cole Kemet and Phylos Jones does little to inspire confidence. There are a lot of positives with the fields but also the very low ground.

One sleeper, one detachment and one bust

Jones is already 25 and didn’t integrate into college until age 24, so his analytical profile is lacking, to say the least. What he wants is athleticism — a 4.31 40-yard dash at 6 feet 204 pounds — and a chance on the bears depth chart with little competition for goals. The fact that he wasn’t even the best receiver on his college team despite his age as a potential is a big red flag, but Jones can have enough chances to get some oomph like fluid play to boom or collapse.

Mooney actually broke out last season, so the question is whether he has room to continue growing. I was skeptical that he would reach the level he did in 2021, so I may not be the best person to ask, but I think it takes a lot more to anticipate than he did a year ago. However, he has almost nothing in the way of target competition, so if he can stay within his 27% target quota while the offense around him becomes more efficient, Mooney could take another step forward even without playing noticeably better. There can be a marginal aspect to WR1 here, especially if the Bears lean more on it in an RPO game, creating the look of a much easier and quicker to get the ball into their hands.

The thing about the Bears attack is that David Montgomery and Mooney are the only two players that were drafted early enough to justify the nickname “bust,” neither of which I feel are in danger of being disappointed. It could be fields if you decide to access it as a starting option in later rounds because there’s a chance it’s not quite as good. Despite his athleticism, Fields wasn’t a particularly productive runner in college, so his struggles as a rookie on the coaching staff may not have been what we think. The price tends to be low enough that it doesn’t matter much if Fields crashes, but if you go into the season and expect it to be a starting option, there’s plenty of room for it to disappoint.

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