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Bears’ Fields set for breakout in Tampa Bay

If there was ever a time for the rookie to light it up, a road battle against a contender is ideal.

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Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

He’s shown many flashes of the quarterback he could become, but to this point, Bears rookie Justin Fields has not yet had a wire-to-wire “wow” performance. According to Pro Football Focus, that could and probably should change this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Through four career starts, Fields’ high in passing yards in a game is 209, and he has yet to throw the ball more than 27 times. A team with a weak passing defense but a potent offense that will necessitate the Bears to keep up when they have the ball means the onus is on Fields to drop back and launch bomb after bomb downfield.

Here’s how Pro Football Focus sees Sunday’s matchup for the bright rookie quarterback, who they have as a “Start” in fantasy football:

This is the week Fields breaks out in fantasy football. The Bears quarterback flashed a fantasy pulse last week with season-highs in rushing yards (43), pass attempts (27) and expected fantasy points (18.2).

Because Chicago was trailing against a formidable opponent, the offense was forced to call more pass plays. That led to the Bears’ pass-rate increasing to 61% on early downs — a far cry from their average across the previous three weeks (41%).

The surge in dropbacks also created more opportunities for Fields to take off and run, as all of his rushing yards came on scrambles.

No team has faced a higher percentage of pass plays than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year (77%), which sets the stage for Fields to have his best fantasy outing to date. Also helping Fields’ outlook is the fact that Tampa Bay has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.

Nothing would be a more exciting glimpse for the Bears’ future than Fields going toe to toe with Tom Brady while matching him shot for shot. If the Bears have any prayer of an upset victory, he’ll likely have to.