The Chicago Bears hope to avoid 0-3 this Sunday as they take on the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs. In the fantasy football landscape, it's hard to imagine a worse conundrum to be in: your quarterback won't throw the ball, his coaches won't let him run it, your team is constantly behind the sticks due to stupid penalties and sacks, so your running backs can't get going, either. Anybody pointing fingers at Halas Hall needs to remember there are three pointing back at them.
Justin Fields, the quarterback we all talked up this offseason, got an influx of offensive linemen and receiving targets and proceeded to put up an average QBR of 22.2 through two games. What's worse for fantasy owners, he's hardly running the ball much anymore, as he's admitted the coaches have tried to keep him in the pocket. The sacks he's taken due to a bad internal clock are glaring, and the Bears are playing horribly, so the garbage-time interceptions aren't likely to stop. Throw the ball, Justin!
At running back, the Bears have two guys with good averages: Khalil Herbert is averaging 6.1 yards per touch, and Roschon Johnson has 5.7. The problem is, the Bears continue to make bad errors on early downs, so whether it's a penalty or an ugly sack, they have to throw the rest of the downs to try to make 3rd/4th down manageable. This eats into running back carries, and the Bears predictable strategy of screen, screen, screen hasn't resulted in enough production for Herbert and Johnson, either.
At receiver, the Bears' investment at the position has yet to vest and even the superstar newcomer DJ Moore could only get 7 targets in week 2 after a simply unacceptable gameplan from the headsets in week 1. He needs to average two targets per drive for both fantasy managers and the Bears themselves to have a chance, and until it happens, he's a flex at best. Chase Claypool may be a good play in the long term this season, but an 0-2 team that can't move the ball downfield is a rough spot for a secondary target. Darnell Mooney was the only Bear to flash in week 1, but a knee injury limited him to 15 snaps in week 2 for 0 fantasy points.
Cole Kmet remains a viable fantasy starter, as he sees the field enough that eventually, he'll see touchdowns as the rest of the Bears offense does. He's currently #10 in tight end fantasy scoring, so he's not one to ditch yet.
Let's look at what three major Fantasy Football websites have to say about the Bears players:
No team is a bigger underdog than the Bears this week, meaning Fields should again be playing catch-up football late. Unfortunately, he has been one of the least accurate quarterbacks when working from the pocket, his 20.6% off-target rate the league’s worst (minimum five starts) and 61.8% completion rate second worst since he entered the league. The opposing Chiefs have played excellent football against the pass, including limiting more polished passer Trevor Lawrence to 9.24 fantasy points in Week 2.
Fields put together his second straight lackluster performance to open the season, although his two scores Sunday partly made up for the pair of picks and relatively modest passing yardage tally. The mobile signal-caller also was under constant pressure, taking six sacks and four additional hits on the afternoon.
Fields is the only QB to rank top-5 in longest time to throw (2.98s) and bottom-5 in AY/A (5.0) this season
Herbert had a new No. 2 running back mate in Roschon Johnson after D’Onta Foreman was made a healthy inactive, and the two players had a relatively close split in workload. Johnson saw four carries and recorded a pair of receptions in his own right, although Herbert was the more productive of the two overall with a 58-42 advantage in total yards. Given he was solid with his opportunities Sunday, Herbert should have a chance to continue leading the backfield, at least by a narrow margin, in a Week 3 road matchup against the Chiefs.
For a second consecutive week, Khalil Herbert has failed to top 40 yards rushing or find the end zone as the team’s leading ball carrier. This isn’t all Herbert’s fault. The team has failed to firmly establish an identity running the football, and the presence of rookie Roschon Johnson is further limiting Herbert’s opportunities to produce top-20 RB numbers in this offense.
Khalil Herbert (seven carries, three targets on 30 snaps) still led the way, but Roschon Johnson (four carries, two targets on 22 snaps) was just behind. Both backs ran 15 routes. Johnson could eventually take control as the lead back, but should be on benches for now.
Johnson elevated to the No. 2 role behind Khalil Herbert with D’Onta Foreman a healthy scratch, and the rookie did a solid job with his modest opportunities. The Texas product’s overall performance seemingly didn’t do anything to knock Johnson back down a peg on the depth chart, so he’s likely to remain the main complementary option to Herbert in a Week 3 road battle against the Chiefs.
Johnson is quickly earning reps, as Herbert has a slight lead of 59 to 51 in total snaps this year. Johnson has already pushed aside D’Onta Foreman, who didn’t take the field in Week 2.
DJ Moore is tough to leave out of the lineup locks, but the Chicago passing game hasn’t looked good out of the gate and Moore sits 49th in WR fantasy points as a result. The ex-Panthers star posted a 2-25-0 receiving line under Jaire Alexander shadow coverage in Week 1 before rebounding with a 6-104-0 line on eight targets last week. Kansas City has been terrific against perimeter wideouts this season (only slot receivers Christian Kirk and Amon-Ra St. Brown have cleared 12 fantasy points against them). As such, Moore is best viewed as a WR3 against potential L’Jarius Sneed shadow coverage.
Moore brought in six of seven targets for 104 yards in the Bears’ 27-17 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. Moore comfortably led the Bears in receiving yardage while also setting the pace in receptions. The veteran’s performance following a quiet debut in the Week 1 loss to the Packers was along the lines of what was expected after a strong body of work during OTAs, training camp and the preseason, and Moore will undoubtedly be called upon plenty as the Bears look to keep up with the Chiefs in a Week 3 road matchup.
DJ Moore managed to reach 104 total yards in Week 2, but there’s very little to rest your hat on that he might be able to consistently produce with Fields at quarterback, particularly when the Chiefs defensive line should be able to have their way with the Bears offensive line.
The Bears haven’t expressed any major concern with Mooney’s health, so if he’s able to bump up to full participation in Friday’s session, he’ll likely approach Sunday’s game in Kansas City without an injury designation. Through the Bears’ first two games, Mooney has hauled in four of seven targets for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Darnell Mooney had 4-53-1 on seven targets in Week 1, but he didn’t draw a single target in Week 2. D.J. Moore is clearly the lead receiver in Chicago, and the Bears’ popgun passing attack can’t support more than one fantasy-viable receiver. Feel free to swap out Mooney for a more valuable asset.
Claypool caught three passes for 31 yards and a touchdown in the Bears’ 27-17 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. The Bears lost Darnell Mooney to a knee injury during the contest, and Claypool then functioned as the primary receiving complement to DJ Moore. Claypool led the team with eight targets, and he could get a chance to build on his encouraging effort if Mooney is forced to miss time.
Last week, Claypool had a 24.1% Target share, a 41.4% air yard share, and 1.71 YPRR. He was second to only Moore with a 25% first-read share. Claypool has been a disappointing player, with multiple clips of lack-of-effort reps hitting social media. The talent is in there somewhere, but I wonder if we’ll ever see it again flourish on an NFL field. Claypool will run about 82% of his routes against Sneed and Williams. Week 3 Positional Value: WR5
Kmet was third on the team with six targets after tying for the team lead with seven in Week 1. Although the Bears have not had much offensive success through two weeks, Kmet’s volume could give him a reasonable weekly scoring floor.
Kmet continues to play the role of the lead pass-catching tight end in Chicago, as he’s played around 85% of the team’s offensive snaps. Justin Fields has been dreadful though, completing just 60.6% of his passes while throwing to his tight ends on just 21.1% of his passes. Unless you’re desperate, Kmet should remain on the fantasy sidelines.
Santos remains one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL, but his fantasy production remains inconsistent due to the Bears offense. Unless Chicago can begin to put more points on the scoreboard, Santos will struggle to crack the top-12 fantasy kickers.
Cairo Santos made both of his extra-point attempts and converted on his lone field-goal attempt in Sunday’s 27-17 loss to the Bucs. The Bears couldn’t get much going on offense, but Santos was perfect when called upon. He Made all of his kicked and ended up scoring five points on the day. Until this Bears offense shows some signs of life, he’s better off on the waiver wire.
What do you think? Did the so-called fantasy experts get it right with these outlooks? In my humble opinion, Justin Fields is a good play if he truly means it when he says,"F it and play," then we should finally get to see the best running quarterback in football again. Even if he doesn't run for 100 yards, if he's comfortable playing backyard football then he should be a good fantasy football option again.
The Chiefs host the Bears at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, September 24, 2023, at 3:25 Central Time.